#DENTradio interviews @MeccaGodzilla : “#hipHop belongs to the universe, period…”

Today we are excited to welcome @MeccaGodZilla to #DENTradio for an in-studio interview.  Originally from Brooklyn, New York and raised in Long Island MeccaGodZilla is a seasoned world traveler who is now on his 5th trip to Japan. Welcome to #DENTradio.

@MeccaGodZilla Hey how is everything @Jayda_b and @TokyoTwilighter

DR We are so happy to have you here. We know how busy you are whenever you get out this way. Tell us about how this trip came about.

@MeccaGodZilla Basically I was working with #YUMEfest for the Brooklyn hip hop festival last summer and this idea was basically a dream of Mike Peterson and he recruited my help and I helped organize some of the back end stuff and then he asked me to perform. The gist of this trip was YUME fest and then it ended up being Japan Music Week as well.

DR You’re talking about the YUME fest that took place in Brooklyn this year, 2010?

@MeccaGodZilla Yeah

DR You performed on the YUMEfest two weeks ago, tell us about  thatexperience.

@MeccaGodZilla Out of the world. Like that was the most incredible event I have ever done in my life. It was crazy. It was in Harajyuku with a nice glass background with a nice lounge area. It was packed. There was so much love and support in the room. And then we ended up dancing and partying. It was great.  

DR What was the best part? What was the highlight?

@MeccaGodZilla No one realized that, like @DJTomoko was going to come up to there in Tokyo and I got her to back me up as a DJ and I got to collaborate with @Ucca23 And you know my friends Q, the dancers. They (the Q dancers) really wanted to be a part of the YUME fest but there wasn’t enough time to get them on the bill so I had them dance with me. It was a great collaborative effort.

DR You seem to have a great love for Japan and the Japanese hip hop culture. What is the appeal of Japanese culture and hip hop for you and why did you adopt Japan?

@MeccaGodZilla I chose Japan for a number of reasons. New York’s market is kinda brutal.  I just like how (it’s) engrained in most (of) Japanese culture, courtesy first. It attracted me to actually visit here and learn more. When it comes to the hip hop culture I just like the idea(that) the young guys now  come from a lineage of tough warriors and samurai and sometimes it
comes out in the music. Shout out to Ryuzo (@ryuzorrated) and Issugi and Down North Camp and R-Rated records. These are some of the tough upcoming MCs that are keeping it real and portraying the tough samurai spirit when they rap.

DR I know you have a lot of love for R-Rated and Ryuzo. How did you meet up with R-Rated and the rest of the team?

@MeccaGodZilla That’s a great question. I don’t know if I should spill the beans (laughs) but 2005 when I first got here I was running around with Monohon records. And Maguma MCs (broken English…should be an emcee from Maguma MCs’ crew) and he gave me his CD. Then I went back to New York and I was at a big event at BB Kings where I was performing with Majesty and I got off stage and I saw this guy in the crowd with this girlfriend. He looked Japanese so I asked him if he was and he said ‘Yeah.’ So then I asked, ‘Do you know Monohon?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, my friend’. And then I asked, ‘Do you know Maguma MCs?’ And he’s like ‘That’s me!” And I was like ‘whatttt?!’ And basically he was real good friends with NOB which was the other half that I’d never met. From there Ryuzo and Akira always kept in communication and told me anytime I came back they got me.

DR I know you don’t speak a lot of Japanese yet, how do you deal with the language and cultural barriers. What do you do to navigate these obstacles?

@MeccaGodZilla That question is tough, I have to say yes there have been barriers and obstacles, but it hasn’t stopped my progress. I have a Japanese tutor in New York. I have dated a few Japanese girls. Shout out to all the Japanese girls, they’re awesome but yeah I actually study. I really study.

DR Do you have any study tips for people that want to learn Japanese?

@MeccaGodZilla Yeah, they can listen to the MP3s I have, the company is called Pimsleur and get a tutor.

DR You’re well known within the Japanese hip hop community. I don’t know if you know that or not, but you are kinda famous. What did you find was the best way to network with people in Japan, particularly a big city like Tokyo?

@MeccaGodZilla All right well comparing Japan to New York. Most New York parties jump off from 11pm and basically shut down, not shut down but people are basically done by 2, 2:30. But here in Japan people party all night so I basically hit the street. Daytime I hit the street, I run around and send a lot of emails. Then nighttime I hit the parties and just keep talking. That’s
the only thing I can tell you I just talk and smile. That’s it.

DR And you have a sweet smile. We love his smile on DENT radio.

@MeccaGodZilla *smiles

DR I know that your sponsor is Applebum. How did this sponsorship come about?

@MeccaGodZilla @DJSarasa brought me to a New Year’s eve party this year. Basically it was a party of who’s who in Tokyo so all the magazines, animators, brands, Djs… Everybody was in that party. I even met someone that animated on this big animated movie, I can’t remember the name. So, Nicholas was there, and I kept talking to him. He looked like Nicholas Cage a
little bit and I was teasing him about that. And his friend was from France, it was photographer named Gon. Me and Gon were talking in French and I guess they just liked my rapport so theyoffered me to shoot that weekend.

DR Whenever I talk with you, you always mention your iPhone; is Apple one of your sponsors?

@MeccaGodZilla Nah, I wish they were. I want the new 4. (laughs)

DR I notice that you use your iPhone and the Internet a lot to promote. How important do you find the web to be for promotion and how much actual street promotion do you do?

@MeccaGodZilla I think the web is kind of like the new age word of mouth. For most of the kids that are out now most of them are online but still for the older generation… there are a lot that are not online so it’s like you have to utilize the technology to get to the younger generation and you have to always be at events to reach the people that are not online.

DR What about the streets part of the promotion?

@MeccaGodZilla For me, the streets situation comes from events. Like in New York city I don’t hand out fliers anymore like I kinda paid my dues not to do that but you kinda gotta to be on the streets after the event to rock the cypher so that people that don’t know who you are or if you didn’t hit the event after you spit on the street they know what’s up. It’s kinda crazy.

DR I want to get your opinion on a recent development in the Japanese hip hop scene. Recently a number of significant clubs such as Vuenos and Harlem have been shut down for night time club parties. How do you think this is going to affect the Japanese hip hop industry?

@MeccaGodZilla I always feel that… like Japanese people are the bomb… seriously. When it comes to new ideas and technology they always… they flip the idea and they enhance it.  So, the club being shut down, I feel like they’re just going to default and go somewhere else.  Vuenos and Harlem are two of the best clubs I have ever been to but now like 27 Destiny is kinda like the new location. Destiny wasn’t poppin the last time I was out here but now
everyone is going there so you know they’re just going to adapt and make the best of it.

DR Where do you see Japanese hip hop going? Coming from NY, the birthplace of hip hop do you ever feel like they’re copying your culture?

@MeccaGodZilla Hip hop belongs to the universe period and whoever gets their hands on it if they have an honest respect for it and they put 100% into it I can’t be mad at what people are doing here. I am just really inspired by @iAMKojoe. Kojoe was living for a long time in NewYork, in the hood. He’s like more ghetto than I am and I’m black. His heart is just so soulful,
from like the Donny Hathaway, from the R&B type of soul and it is coming out in his hip hop. So, him coming back to Japan and bringing this influence of the black culture even more than it already is, is like amazing. He is teaching Japanese kids how to boo, you know Japanese kids don’t boo but he is just bringing a lot of American culture here. It is going to be interesting in the
next year to see what Kojoe does.

DR I was also at a show where he opened for STONES Throw where he taught the audience how to all pick up their cell phones to light up the room during a Guru tribute. Because you know how in the states you see the stadiums or university theaters where the audience is all lit up with lights from the cells. I didn’t know what that was and someone told me ‘those are cell
phones’ but we don’t do that here yet.

@MeccaGodZilla Yeah in Jamaica or elsewhere it would be a lighter. But I feel you.

DR This is your fifth time Japan, is there any advice you with you could give the MeccaGodzilla that visited for the first time?

@MeccaGodZilla What I would say, I was kinda… I won’t say shy but I was really humble. Ididn’t bring any of this boisterous American attitude here I just needed to observe. What I would say I needed to have come out here with an album back then. It would’ve been crazy right now.  It is still kinda crazy right now but it would have progressed a little faster. I should of had a
project done back then.

DR And what is the rest of your performance schedule while you’re in Japan like? Any big shows coming out that we can check out?

@MeccaGodZilla There’s a lot of shows. I have to look at my schedule. I’ve been performing the last week and a half every day. And sometimes I will find out about the performance an hour before. But for now they can go to http://www.ravagenrumble.com and I’ll make sure to have it updated. Also they can hit me up on Twitter @MeccaGodZilla

DR Is that like the Godzilla that chased the Japanese people in the movie?

@MeccaGodZilla Oh no I was the guy trying to kill the other one who was chasing the people.  The Mecca is like the robot that was created to destroy Godzilla so he looks like Godzilla but he’s just steel. Yes I am cho otaku desu

DR We have been so honored to have you on the show with us today. Any last words for our DENT radio listeners?

@MeccaGodZilla Stay tuned to DENT. They are getting more and more connected to Japanese society. They’re going to have all the music about the upcoming stuff and information about artists. And they’re global, it’s not just Japan. Shout to Jayda and shout out to Mariko for doing a great job with DENT radio and YUME Fest.

DR Thank you so much for joining us on DENT radio!

@MeccaGodZilla Thank you. Matane.

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