Buggin’ Out Exclusive: Inside the Mind of Mustafa
Malcolm MeLo Mustafa X is a fitting name for this larger-than-life Renaissance man. He can make you a beat, solve your rubik’s cube, rock your photoshoot, and throw you a crackin’ party with an explosive name like Electric Punanny without even breaking a sweat. With the release of his highly acclaimed FREE downloadable mixtape, Mustafa’s Renaissance, MeLo continues to make a name for himself and inspire others to stay true to their unique vision(s) of the world. Unlike many of today’s emcees who promise to put out innovative material, MeLo actually delivers. Beyond all the accolades, MeLo is simply a good natured, disarmingly charming, down-to-earth dude. I honestly couldn’t think of a better candidate to interview for the very first official Buggin’ Out exclusive. For the cavedwellers who are not yet familiar with MeLo, fret not — your dark days are over. This interview was conducted across coasts by way of e-mail, phone and twitter (we traverse borders when necessary!!!)
Everyone agrees that MeLo-X is a modern day Renaissance man — a jack of all trades. Traditionally, the word Renaissance refers to a cultural movement whose influence affects and informs a society’s art, literature, philosophy, politics, religion and science. With that said, what is MUSTAFA’S Renaissance?
MX: Mustafa’s Renaissance is a statement. It stands for Me in all my glory. The Photographer, the Emcee, the Producer, The DJ etc. It’s like me making a statement that these things are not Something I do just to say I do but actually things I Believe in and things that drive my everyday life and creativity. And these things influence my thoughts and ideas towards art, literature, philosophy, politics, religion and science etc. Like Harlem’s Renaissance this is Melo’s Renaissance or rather the God Mustafa Haha.
Both you and DJ Jasmine Solano (shout out to WERS fans!) are quickly gaining a rep for throwing the “the ill nana” party @ Sway Mondays called Electric Punanny. In The New Pop video feature you described it as “an electric vagina oozing with wetness and vagina juice” (*SMH* HAHAHA) but I want to know: What is the philosophy behind Electric Punanny? What sets it apart from other NYC parties?
MX: Well, the main thing that sets it apart is the energy. Many DJ’s spin reggae and electro in their sets. But this is more like a Battle and it brings out the best in nightlife. We do like an hour of electro, dance (etc) then go right into some dancehall reggae then right back into some b-more shit. It’s like the energy of a Rave meets the energy of a Brooklyn Basement Bashment Party. You’ll see gay dudes over here with they home gurls and sum thugs over there sipping henny then some dancers in the middle of the dance floor Willie Bouncing. Plus we have the most illest name: Electric Punanny. Like the name alone has brought people out who know nothing about me or Jasmine. I love PUNANNY!!!
Beyond throwing & djing parties and making music, you also roll with the notorious ALIEN NYC fam. To me, ALIEN embodies fierce and fearless style and a bold do-it-yourself attitude towards fashion and life at large. How did you first get involved with the ALIEN crew? What are y’all currently grinding on?
MX: I started getting hip too ALIEN back in ’05 when I began Djing in the city more. I met some friends online that were down with ALIEN at the time and they introduced me to QUAN LUV. Shortly after, they recruited me as there main DJ and that helped get my face out there even more. Right now we are about to relaunch the Website and the spring summer collection. We are also spreading knowledge of self to our fans and supporters. Got a lot planned for Japan this year also. You can go to TheGalaxyRiders.com for more info.
That’s dope! I know you’ve collaborated with a number of talented artists (who happen to be some of your closest homies) from Theophilus London to Mickey Factz to Nikki Ntu. Who do you hope to work with in the future?
MX: I have a few peepz I want to work with. Chester French, Justice, Blu. There’s more but I can’t think of all of them now. I’m very selective so I tend not to want to work with artists I admire cause I feel like I’m becoming part of the process. I like to sit back and watch the process a lot.
MX: Lindsay is the shit. I fell in love with Lindsay since the Parent trap. She was a little girl playing twins. Not only was she playing twins but she had to do a London accent. Then she did the London twin pretending to speak American and vice versa. That shit just blew me away. So since then I was a fan. And as she grew and got more beautiful I just got infatuated haha. I’m a sucker for freckles…and Samantha better play her cards right.
With the recent release of Mustafa’s Renaissance, an imeem feature, and countless interviews lined up with different magazines and blogs, we know you’re keeping busy and constantly evolving as an artist. What can we expect from MeLo-X in 2009? What are some of your upcoming projects?
MX: 2009 is the year of great shows. I’m trying to put together great performances that will set me apart once again from everyone else. Not that I’m trying to but I just know it will because of how I approach things. I’ll be putting out a Live album sometime soon and a documentary on my night life as a DJ, and me preparing for my First Big concert at Blender Theater. I’m also working on Projects with Nikki Ntu and Marty McFly.
As someone who has built your success from the ground up, what words of wisdom can you impart to the next generation of young hu$tlers around your way?
MX: Everything happens for a reason. The people in your life. The people that you hate or love. The opportunities that happen and the ones that pass you by. They all happen for a reason. So you have to just keep going forward no matter what. You have to speak things into existence. And it may not go down how you want or plan but something will always pull through.
You might’ve guessed that the name of my blog is inspired by Tribe’s classic joint “Buggin’ Out”. What is your favorite Tribe joint or album?
MX: My favorite tribe joint is “Award Tour”. Just the way the beat comes in and when Q-tip performs it. It’s classic. Matafact this might have to be a battle between “Award Tour” and “Find A Way”. Damn there’s too much to choose from…
Lastly, what is one thing that BUGS MeLo-X out?
MX: The main thing that bugs me out is fake ass people. I try to stay 1hunnid at all times. It’s hard too because sometimes you don’t want to hurt feelings. But I just hate all around fake people.
The rules are simple. I gave MeLo a list of 10 unrelated people, places and/or things to which he could respond “take it” or “leave it”. Every word within the MeLo-X speech bubbles is a direct quote. The photograph to the left or right of MeLo corresponds with the number listed above it. Read on and find out what MeLo would keep and what he would leave behind. You might be surprised…
2. Sarah Palin — Russia’s neighbor, Tina Fey’s doppleganger, Katie Couric’s frenemy
3. Kanye’s Mullet — Just another Michael Jackson swagger jack
6. ME!!! — A legend in the making, gangsta-est blawgah in the game (c) Jimmy Jones
7. “Hipster Rap” — Dress good, Rap bad Conundrum
8. Ryan Leslie — A closet dork with a penchant for v-necks and hot chicks
9. Dookie Rope Chains — A personal vice of mine, ubiquitous throwback accessory
10. “Brooklyn Girls” — Charles Hamilton’s pastel pink ode to Brooklyn gyals
*** all pseudo-definitions were written by yours truly
I want to give a special shout out to the great MeLo-X for taking time to show me and all the Buggin’ Out readers some love. Please, please take a look at the links below to keep up with MeLo and his peoples. Be sure to check out his upcoming SOLO performance at Blender Theater, it’s finna be EPIC y’all so don’t miss out. In the meantime, subscribe to his BLOG and hit him up on MySpace or Twitter for more info and updates on all things MeLo-X. Thanks for reading and hit me up (bugginoutblog (AT) gmail (DOT) com) if you think you should be the next Buggin’ Out exclusive.
- Mustafa’s Renaissance: Download MeLo’s mixtape!
- ALIEN NYC: Ride the galaxy with these fly extraterrestrials
- DJ Jasmine Solano: Check out the talents of the other half of Electric Punanny
- Electric Punanny: Party with MeLo, Jasmine and hundreds of other free spirited hooligans
- The New Pop: Watch more videos by Tone and Trevz on NYC night life