Get to Know the White Mandingos

There’s usually a distance that’s kept between journalists and musicians, but sometimes that line just needs to be crossed. Rock-rap trio the White Mandingos are positive proof that writers and musicians can co-exist in studio harmony. The seeds for the project were laid down 10 years ago, when Sacha Jenkins, a journalist who co-founded hip-hop magazine Ego Trip and worked as music editor at VIBE connected with Bad Brains’ Darryl Jenifer. A few years and some start-stop recordings later, they connected with L.A. MC Murs, whose sociopolitical rhymes criticize popular rap themes. The resulting effort is their debut album The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me. Throughout the 16 tracks, we follow fictional character Tyrone White, a Harlem housing project guy who confronts issues of race and identity in his career and personal life. Like a lot of dudes these days, he likes rock music and fights to stay grounded. Hive caught up with Murs and Jenkins, who explained the origins of the White Mandingos, the crossover of rock and rap, and the authenticity of their lead character Tyrone.

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