And they've lived up to it, recieving critical acclaim and climbing the ranks, raising from The Source's Unsigned Hype, then as Symbolyc Elementz, to their current album The Healing featuring fellow Texan Erykah Badu, producers 9th Wonder and Illmind.
We, specifically Cam, said amongst ourselves that we wanted to get @ these dudes a few months ago. And through the course of events, they seemingly fell into our hands. Lucky enough to get a few minutes with them for a phone convo, The Strange Fruit Project breaks down their place in the current hip-hop landscape, how they got here and where they plan to go.
TSS Presents Smoking Sessions With The Strange Fruit Project
Words By Cameloti Bulgari
TSS: Who do we have right now?
S1: You got S1 [Symbolic One] and Myth.
TSS: Who are we missing?
S1: Myone (pronounced my-own)
TSS: Ya'll in Arizona right now?
S1: Naw, we in Texas
TSS: You finished the West Coast leg of a tour, right?
S1: Correct. Arizona [was] the first leg of the tour out there.
TSS: How was the reception in L.A.?
S1: It was mind-blowing. It was a great experience man--while we're on the road in the middle of our tours--the album released, and the feedback's been amazing. Big up to the people supporting the product.
TSS: You hit up the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival earlier this summer? That was
your first time performing in NY? What was it like rockin a NY audience?
Myth: That experiece was phenomenal. Man. I mean, first of all we were around a bunch of legends. From Big Daddy Kane to Buckshot Shorty. To rock in front of a NY crowd was just crazy. That's the birthplace of hip-hop.
TSS: Musically, what's your inspiration coming into the rap game?
S1: We're all pretty low-key humble guys, we have families and stuff. Me, personally, I would have to say my family in general; and just to be able to inspire and motivate people through our music, that's the diamond. I vibe off to a lot of old 70's and 60's music, some old jazz. Even like some new school stuff. Different genres. I'm kind of
all over the place.
Myth: Pretty much everything, except for country, dude. Specifically, Outkast--definitely an influence on me...Redman. There's so many artists that I listen to from the East Coast, West Coast, South. They all influenced me.
Listen To "Get Live" Featuring Erykah Badu
TSS: What trips me out is that ya'll from Waco. And coming from the East Coast, when I think of Waco, I just think of white people burning.
TSS: How did ya'll go from Waco, TX to here and now? Is there some kind of rap scene there?
S1: To be honest with you man, we had a dream and an idea, and we pretty much just acted on it. There's really no type of hip-hop scene in Waco, TX. We had a whole crew down there of like 8 to 9 members and within our crew we would just feed off each other. I guess living in Waco, it kinda gave us a good work ethic because we had to overcome a lot of stereotypes. People tend to look at you kind of strange and funny, so all we had was each other to create and build and get to where we are now.
Myth: The thing about Waco is it's a small city. As far as hip-hop, I watched a lot of videos. We had "Rap City", "Yo! MTV Raps" stuff like that, and then the radio. That's where I got most of my hip-hop from. Then we had Geto Boys and UGK, so that's how it all started here; and then we just kind of grew it to our own. The majority of the people here, they listen to what you normally hear in Southern rap, you know, the typical stuff. Then what we do is kind of a little bit like Outkast.
TSS: That's a good comparison. The Healing is your 3rd full-lenght LP. The word "classic" is being attached to this. Any pressure?
S1: Really don't feel any pressure. We just steady workin to try to either boost ourselves or build more of a fanbase or spread the material more to the masses. But really, as far as pressure, man, we just doing us. The only pressure would come from how the people are receiving the product that we're putting out, but so far the feedback's been great. I have to say there's really no pressure.
Myth: Musically, there's no pressure. It's just getting out! Being heard.
TSS: How long did ya'll have to do this before you could eat off of it?
S1: Man. Dude.
Myth: 20 years. Nah. [Laughs]
S1: We been doin this for a while. As far as music, we been doin it for a long time.
Myth: 10-plus years.
S1: We started the Strange Fruit Project back in like 2001.
TSS: How old are ya'll?
S1: Myone is 25, and Myth and I just turned 30 a couple of weeks ago.
TSS: Word, me too. It's good to see people doing they thang at that age. I notice MTV purchased some of your tracks for shows like "Run's House" and "Yo Momma".
S1: They actually licensed some of our music and also some of my tracks to be played within the broadcast.
TSS: Have you seen it? Or are they holding onto your stuff?
S1: I haven't even been keeping up with it, dude. I mean, I haven't even looked at the show, so I'm not even sure.
TSS: You grindin, doing your thing, it must be hard.