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MTV: How would you define your sound?

Cognito: For us, the type of music we're doing is just grassroots hip-hop. We basically had to create an identity for ourselves, because there's a whole collection of people who think about music on the same level as we do.

MTV: Who do you find yourself getting compared to?

C: People are going to start comparing us to somebody. I've heard some ill... kinda Tribe [Called Quest]-ish, De La Soul-ish, you know. It's kinda crazy. But I'm not mad at those, because I was influenced by them. I'm fans of those people. So I can look at a group like The Arsonists. The Arsonists remind me of Leaders Of The New School back in the day. Energy.

MTV: What do you think about the attention that Southern hip-hop acts are getting lately?

Spearhead X: A lot of the people that's from here really identify with Southern music, because we've never really had an identity before, so it's like, that's why we're seeing the booming sales with the Juveniles and the groups that's coming out now.

C: It's not to take away from Southern hip-hop or whatever, but the level that we come out -- there's just -- I guess people don't look at the South for the type of music that we're doing, coming from here. We're trying to make a name for ourselves from an underground standpoint also.

SX: it's not just trying to redefine, but define. It's not where you're from, it's where you're at.

C: It's the whole premise of Massinfluence comes from: it's to influence or be influenced by the masses. You know, we're influenced by Southern hip-hop, by West Coast hip-hop, by European hip-hop, by all music around. Everything around us. Whereas we hope they're influenced by what we're influenced by -- the masses being the people out there.

MTV: Where do you see hip-hop going in the next few years?

SX: When you look at the groups that are coming up right now, I really see in the next few years, there's going to be a changing of the guard. Right now you're getting the same songs out of a lot of the same [artists]. Like if I hear a certain artist, if I see their video and hear their song, I pretty much know what to expect.

But now, when I go and listen to a lot of these kids that are underground, it seems that each of these songs is different. It's like they never put out the same songs back to back to back to back. And I think that with the major labels they're looking for artists that will bring them the same sound over and over and over again. And that's what's really making a lot of the commercial hip-hop sound really redundant. You keep hearing the same stuff over and over again.

That was the death of disco, and that same thing is repeating itself. If we don't straighten it out now, we're going to run into that same pattern. I'm not going to say that hip-hop is going to die, but if we don't try to do something to change it up, it's going to be a situation where it's going to be faced with the same problems disco was faced with.
"All Out" (WMA)
"Analyze" (WMA)
"Clown Syndrome" (WMA)
"Life to the M.C. (featuring Big Von)" (WMA)
MTV News 1515 Package (RealVideo)
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