MixCity MuZes Vol 6: Grand Unified Rhyme Theory w/ Makeba

I use to write down my dreams once I woke up because they were so vivid. -Makeba MoonCycle

Hold on to this.

Autobiography can be fictional.

The universe’s frequencies perform according to their prescribed nature regardless of any interruption.

Autobiography can be imaginative and truth.

Still, the objective perspective can be bigger, untrue, smaller, unreal, or even more imaginary. The Black Freq Sheets is usually collaborative in our approach to storytelling and we find it the best way to present the truest, most real, yet imaginative version of gifted artists. Now don’t get it churro’d or your brows furrowed. Stay with us…

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Our literary and literal imagination is grounded in reality and self-articulation through our gifts. We down with turning up and up with the downturns of all architecturally sound, rollercoastery rides that end in art creation.

Down can turn up all it wants…

TBFS recently got down with the super, underground emcee, Makeba MoonCycle. The night air daughter of 8 track classics, 45s and Donna Summer Live lands in The Sheets to share remanences of her journey to and through Hip-hop.

And to hear her tell it, from hearing the needle drop on the first rap song, it was on. It was a song called Must Be the Music by Secret Weapon, this came out in 1981. I was eleven. My sister and I would stay up late Friday and Saturday night to listen to WBLS or KISS FM in New York. We’d listen to all the Hip-hop and make our own tapes. We’d play them back to write down the lyrics so we could say them with the songs and perform in front of the mirror. The first Hip-hop record I owned was the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight,” revealed Makeba MoonCycle, legendary underground MC and artist developer.

 

The next time I started to do music again was not until I began to work with MC Lyte. -Makeba MoonCycle

She spoke of a much different time in black life and American music. Same dangerous politics, but the people were affected a very different attitude  toward the external universe and reached more inward and it showed on the outside. Self love-making made the sweetest noise.

And black life is traditionally the cornerstone of the American music institution. The sounds of Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, and Hip-hop all embody the storytelling of black life. Love and happiness, peace and pain, joy that comes in the morning, and the travails of the night embed themselves in notes and the art and poetry of the people.

The cycle continues. Oppression has a way of making the spirit rebel, rise up, and those vibrations can be music. They can be violet, strong, sharp, and slicing lyrics. They can be balloons of frustration squeeze from a brave trumpet while oppressors pray for more tepid notes. Something more tamed. Less righteous. Less…

I took Jazz, Tap, Ballet and Gymnastics. I sung in my church choir, not because I wanted to, only because it was what you were told to do.  Anything I wanted to do was replaced with what I was told to do which caused me to rebel.  I took piano lessons for a few years.  I was always surrounded by music. -Makeba MoonCycle

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I never lacked, I always shine, I’m the gifted, never twisted and the grace is mine. -Makeba MoonCycle

Rebirth is good when you were going through fire and you walk through the hood for all to admire. -Makeba MoonCycle

Rebirths happen every moment as we live and breathe and the cycles of the gifted artists like Makeba have a specific quality. Her auspicious rebirths can be traced through expressions of rhythmic articulations that speak truth to power and of her will to be.

Our 6th MuZe dons a cloak of ever-present Hip-hop aesthetic that we’ll plant deep in the alleyway gardens of MixCity. That’s how we’ll keep writing those organic compounds that can only be found in the underground. The Black Freq Sheets pushed the margins all the way back to find out the science behind the Makeba magic.

“I just was naturally going with it,” says Makeba. “The entire culture of Hip-hop was just what you lived.  When I began writing it was poetry. My first rhymes, I was a Sophomore in high school, in a rap crew with my sister and some of our friends,  The La Rock Crew.”
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#PeaceandPain
“Everyone stopped except me.  I continued writing and hooked up with a producer on my block.  Unfortunately, my sister and my producer both died and I stopped for a couple of years… went to college,” Makeba recalled in a candid TBFS exclusive interview. 

As in-depth as we get in The Sheets, we dared delve deeper still. We had to know what gave rise to such deliberate expression through the mire of life in youth. MoonCycle gave it to us clear as… well… a moon-lite sky, even offering us some muZes of her own.

What does a MuZe muse?

   “My muZes early on was of course Rakim. I knew once I heard him that I wanted to do it. He was incredible. Aretha Franklin flowed over tracks, Stevie Wonder, Prince and Michael Jackson. I was inspired by MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shante, Salt-n-Peppa and Sweet T,” she offered. “I don’t think its just a person, I think events and people in your life can inspire something in you to create.  One of my artist, Problem Child aka Skanks The Rap Martyr inspires me.  Alistair Christopher from 51 Designs inspires me. Haime Wharton inspires me.  Zulu Monk inspires me. The Mama Wise inspires me.  DJ Evil Dee inspires me. My brothers House Da Beast, Just, Joshua, Holy Smokes and Prodigal Sunn inspire me.  Glock Shinobe inspires me.  Talib Kweli, Mos Def, J Rawls, J Sands, Aphropik inspire me.  My son Jahaad  inspires me.  Love inspires me.  Pain inspires me.  Allah inspires me.  So I must create…”

 

And the creation of solar systems commenced in the goddess’ universe. Expressions of herself through Hip-hop music is a soul-stirring experience for the listener and the artist. Collaborations with other gifted artists is a way to expand the wingspan and Makeba let her network work along the way for her.

#assheshould

“The next time I started to do music again was not until I began to work with MC Lyte.  I worked with the Black Watch Movement, Sonny Carson, X-Clan whom I met through Lin Que artist name ISIS.  I met her at a club. She introduced me to X-Clan.   We became close friends and Lyte and Lin Que and I started a management company called Duke Da Moon.”
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Pioneer Hip-hop artist and recently engaged MC Lyte pressed the cornerstone along with Lin Que of the X-Clan forming a pinnacle alliance with Makeba that would echo throughout her journey.
 
“Lyte secured Lin Que a deal on Ruffhouse Records. I began soliciting beats for her album and met some great producers. Once Lyte began recording for her Ain’t No Other album, I felt that I could really be successful as an artist. I knew the business and what it took to put an album together. The song we performed on BET was called Hard Copy it featured Lin Que and I, at that time my rhyme name was Kink Ez. But other circumstances happened and life took a shift.  I learned so much from… the business since X-Clan that I started my own company and work on my music and my artists.”  

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