In an industry dominated by solo artists, D.C-bred Hip-hop group, Likeblood (aka Eric “Yung E” Mann; Andre “Dre Strong” Strong; Mbea “Mbea Da 1” Bassil), takes the new age mantra, “more for your money,” and makes it a reality. With a trifecta of voices that are unique in both perspective and sound, Likeblood emerges onto the scene to remind music lovers and Hip-hop heads alike, just how special a cohesive group of emcees can be.
Being from Washington, D.C., automatically aises the stakes for any emcee. The original “Murder Capital” is one of America's top urban markets, is the nation's 1 most watched political center, and is the birthplace of Go-go, a musical subculture which has influenced Hip-Hop since its inception. Even with all of this in hand, the true voice of D.C. Hip-Hop has yet to be defined, and for Likeblood, establishing that voice has always been paramount.
True to their name (“Likeblood” represents “like family”), Likeblood tarted off as a full regime of comrades, even crossing intra-city boundaries to fill its ranks; But as everyday life soldiered on, the group found itself scaling back to the current trio (ironically, the three original members) to officially push their product. In early 2006, the group signed a record deal with indie powerhouse, Soblu Music Group, who cast the group alongside Wood Harris (“Next Day Air”) and Clifton Powell (“Next Friday”) in the company’s debut feature film, “Jazz in the Diamond District.” In addition to acting in the film, Likeblood was heavily involved in creating the music and placed a number of songs on the film’s soundtrack, which was co-produced by renowned producer, Chucky Thompson (Notorious BIG/Mary J Blige).
In March 2009, after the release of Mbea Da 1 (previously incarcerated), they dropped their first single from the film’s soundtrack, “Red Carpet,” featuring their label mate, Chris. The video garnered them enormous visibility, premiering as the “New Joint of the Day” on BET’s, “106 & Park,” and getting airplay on MTV Jams, Music Choice and Fuse. In addition to the video exposure, the song peaked at 89th on the Urban Mainstream Billboard chart, putting the group, their music and their story on the industry’s radar. “The video debuted on BET and the single got a lot of radio support across the country. I think that really put us on the map and now it’s up to us to continue to deliver quality music to our fans. We have a lot of great records on the way,” says Yung E.
Following the success of “Red Carpet,” Likeblood headed to the studio to begin working on their debut LP, “#dabiness” (slated for release in May 2010). The album speaks on the groups journey as up-and coming artists, and includes the pound sign (“#”) before the title to brand it as a Twitter “trending top,” which has proven to be an important element of one’s visibility in the music business (i.e. “dabiness”). Drawing on past experiences, which include opening up for artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, LeToya Luckett, Rich Girl, New Boyz, Lil Scrappy and Bun B and features in Hip-Hop Weekly and in Urb Magazine’s, “Next 1000 to Blow,” Likeblood gives listeners a taste of the path that they have traveled so far and what it has taken for them to make their way in “#dabiness.”
After finishing 2009 on the road as the opening act for Raekwon’s highly anticipated, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. 2” tour, in January 2010, the group went to urban radio with the first album single, “Money Over Here,” featuring Bobby V. With a strong debut as the #2 most-added urban record earlier this year, Likeblood has been steadily expanding their fan base and familiarizing the industry, both nationally and internationally, with the Likeblood brand. “The music game, especially now, isn’t about a quick fix. It’s about quality and consistency…that is really our focus right now,” says Dre Strong. “We just want to prove that we can stand with the best and make classic albums. The only way we can do that is to put in the work and just keep grindin’,” says Mbea Da 1. That quote encapsulates the message of “Money Over Here,” which speaks to the grind needed to maintain success. Look out for “We All Alone: 3010,” a promotional EP from Likeblood dropping in March. Also be on the lookout for Likeblood’s upcoming mixtape, “Capital Wasteland,” which is based on the hit video game, “Fallout 3.”
Yung E, Dre Strong, Mbea Da 1 (Vocalists)
"We All Alone: 3010" - EP (2010)
Money Over Here - Current Single (2010)
Drop - Single (2009)
Red Carpet - Single (2008)
Like Us - Single (2007)
Rap trio Likeblood teams up with Bobby Valentino
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Link: http://www.s2smagazine.com/node/2759 Rap trio Likeblood is gaining attention with the new v...Link: http://www.s2smagazine.com/node/2759
Rap trio Likeblood is gaining attention with the new video "Money Over Here" featuring Bobby Valentino. The video, that was shot in the trio’s hometown of Washington, D.C., has aired on BET 's "106 & Park" and MTV Jams.
"The video features a lot of cameos from people who are really doing it big in D.C.," said Yung E.
"We just wanted to bring the city together on this one. We feel like D.C. is about to blow and it's time to show people that we have real movement going on here," said Dre Strong.
Is this what it will take for the nation's capitol to become a music capitol? Check it out below.
New Artist Spotlight: LikeBlood
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Link: http://hiphopwired.com/2010/04/06/new-artist-spotlight-likeblood/ In the Hip-Hop Industry...Link: http://hiphopwired.com/2010/04/06/new-artist-spotlight-likeblood/
In the Hip-Hop Industry, we see many artists make music that relates to the current trend and disperse from the game as quickly as they came. However, there are artists out there with such versatile style and easy relativity, that help make certain careers last longer.
With a musical background and an ear for what the people really want to hear, it's hard to imagine the DMV's own "LikeBlood" is destined to be a one hit wonder. With music that makes you want to sit down and learn something, to music that makes you want to hit the club and spend every last dollar you made this month, LikeBlood has every aspect of Hip-Hop covered.
Hip-Hop Wired spoke with the group to see what these 3 talented D.C. dudes had to offer to a game filled with trends and forgetful names.
Hip-Hop Wired: Explain to me where did you get the name LikeBlood and what's the meaning behind it?
LikeBlood: The name Like Blood is as simple as it sounds, it means like family. It came from us being all friends before we started the group and the rap game, when we were all into music but friends outside of music as well. Then we started really taking it serious enough to say we need to start a rap group, and that's when the crazy names started coming up. So one day our manager told us, “I'm going to call y'all “Like Blood,” because y'all hang like family, and it stuck.
Hip-Hop Wired: Why don't you tell me about that single you got out right now with Bobby V?
LikeBlood: Well, the single we got out with Bobby V is our first single off our up and coming album “The Business.” The track “Money Over Here,” is like motivational record for everybody in the world. Everybody wants to ball, I don't care who they are, and nobody wants to be broke. Everybody wants to say we got money over here and I don't care if you got 50 cents, two quarters will rub together just fine. You can go ahead and say I got Money over here. (Laughs) We're shooting our video in Washington DC, and Bobby Valentine is definitely going to come down for that. Everybody needs to look out for that video, it's going be on all over your local radio stations so make sure ya'll go on Itunes and grab it.
Hip-Hop Wired: Tell me about the album, what kind of vibe are we going get with it and who can we see on it?
LikeBlood: We got so many things coming out before the album, we don't even want to give you exactly who is on the album. Right now we're about to come out with a nice EP called “We All Alone 3010,” and then we all coming out with a mix tape called “Like Blood Capital Wasteland,” so ya'll be sure to check that one out too.
Likeblood: The vibe of the album is definitely everything that we experienced and telling people what we think are ways to get on. We're not one type of way, we touch on different emotions and everything that somebody could possibly feel during the day is going be on that joint. We are going to have something to party to, something you can really thing about and relate to, and something that goes real hard.
Hip-Hop Wired: For the people that are getting into you and your music, where is the best place to cop a mixtape and get a feel for you guys?
LikeBlood: You can get our mix tapes on likeblood.com or our Myspace page myspace.com/likebloodentertainment. We got WLBR, which is the Like Blood Radio Volume Series 1 through 3. Then we got a catalog on Itunes that features all of our music, and even a film that we did. They should definitely check us out Itunes and likeblood.com, to get their hands on it.
Hip-Hop Wired: So y'all got a lot going on for y'all now?
LikeBlood: We definitely got a lot of things coming. We just got off the tour with Raekown (shout out to Raekwon) which was a real great look and a real good experience. Like Blood's back home right now just keeping it moving, and making sure we showing to all our old city spot.
Hip-Hop Wired: Tell me about that tour, how did that opportunity come with y'all and how did it go down?
LikeBlood: What happened was, we actually ran into Raekwon just chilling on the block at the Howard University Homecoming. We just started talking and chilling with each other and kicked it for about 15 minutes. It was funny because while we were performing at the Homecoming, one of our managers was off in cut actually talking to Rae's people. So when our manager came down to get Rae and his manager he tried to introduce us, but we had already been talking. So now we are on a 20 city tour and who knows where it goes after that.
Hip-Hop Wired: What's it been like on the tour?
LikeBlood: We actually have a Youtube series of videos that shows all of us during the tour. You are literally riding with us from beginning to end and get to see everything we encounter. I mean of course there's a coupe things we can't put on Youtube, (laughs) but all I'm gonna say is, if you listen to our music for real you are going to find out everything that happened.
Hip-Hop Wired: I know ya'll went to art school and everything, so I know y'all got to be musically inclined, do y'all have any influences outside of Hip-Hop that you try to bring within your work?
LikeBlood: The great thing about that is that we came into the game big with a movie and a soundtrack to it. We starred in the film, so we came in there acting and rapping our music. We definitely not gonna be one dimensional and we're gonna be here to stay. That long money is when you are multi-talented and you can make it for the long run.
Hip-Hop Wired: What do you feel about artists who claim they from DC but they really from the Maryland, Virginia area and hiding their identity. I'm not gonna say now names but y'all probably know who I'm talking about.
LikeBlood: (Laughing) I mean, the DMV movement has been a thing that's been a long time coming, because the parts of VA and Maryland that are around DC are very influenced by DC. So for some reason a lot of time dudes feel a lot more comfortable claiming DC even though they from Maryland. Everybody in every major city can relate to that, you got people from New York City that might be on the outskirts or live up state and act like they from the boroughs. All darkness comes to the light though, just the fact that you even asked us that question means you can tell. So there ain't even a need for us to go on ni&$as and point it out now, because we love when the audience speaks for themselves. The audience is more brutal than we can ever be, so I think it would be more brutal for them to get them.
(Video) LikeBlood F/ Bobby V “Money Over Here”
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Link: http://www.hiphophoopla.com/videos/video-likeblood-f-bobby-v-money-over-here/ LikeBlood is ...Link: http://www.hiphophoopla.com/videos/video-likeblood-f-bobby-v-money-over-here/
LikeBlood is a three man hip hop group from D.C. who recently hooked up with us over here at HHH for an interview. We return today with their first official major music video – “Money Over Here” featuring former Ludacris protege Bobby Valentino.
It’s clear that LikeBlood and Soblu Music Group are ready to enjoy a very long and successful career together.
(Music Video) LikeBlood “Money Over Here” (Ft. Bobby Valentino)
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LINK: http://www.soprupradio.com/?p=5655 SoPrupRadio recently conducted and published an intervie...LINK: http://www.soprupradio.com/?p=5655
SoPrupRadio recently conducted and published an interview with D.C. group LikeBlood. Described as a family aura, LikeBlood are currently making a lot of progress with their careers as they operate with Soblu Music Group.
LikeBlood recently shot the video for their lead single, “Money Over Here” featuring popular hook man Bobby Valentino. Check it out below:
(Video) Likeblood "Money Over Here" (Ft. Bobby V)
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Link: http://raptalk.net/website/content/view/2346/56/ The official music video from Likeblood an...Link: http://raptalk.net/website/content/view/2346/56/
The official music video from Likeblood and Bobby V.
Raptalk recently introduced our readers to Likeblood, a group formed of three close friends from the D.C. area. With a great situation in place with their partnership with Soblu Music Group, Likeblood hooked up with multi-platinum hook crooner Bobby V for a banger titled "Money Over Here" - watch the video.
Likeblood Exclusive Interview
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Link: http://mydailyjoe.com/2010/04/04/likeblood/ Likeblood Exclusive Interview LikeBlood – My...Link: http://mydailyjoe.com/2010/04/04/likeblood/
Likeblood Exclusive Interview
LikeBlood – MyDailyJoe Exclusive
By Raina Webber
A few months back, platinum recording artist Tech N9ne did an exclusive interview with MyDailyJoe – which happened to be the first exclusive interview for this site.
This month, MyDailyJoe has another exclusive interview from a rising group out of the nation’s capital, named Likeblood. Their single “Money Over Here” is currently playing on MTV Jams and features R&B crooner, Bobby Valentino – aka Bobby V.
MyDailyJoe: What would people be surprised to know about you?
[Mbea Da 1] I collect Asian weapons. My favorite weapon is my nun chucks.
MyDailyJoe: [Laughs] Who has the most overinflated ego in the group?
[Yung E] Mbea
[Dre Strong] Mbea Da 1 takes the cake.
[Mbea Da 1] Nobody (laughs). No, this is not true.
[Dre Strong] I don’t even know why he is trying to fake like he doesn’t think he is the greatest in the world.
MyDailyJoe: What are your current relationship statuses?
[Dre Strong] We’re all single.
MyDailyJoe Other than music, individually, do you have any other passions that you are pursuing or hope to pursue in the future? If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
[Mbea Da 1] If I wasn’t doing music, I would go crazy.
[Dre Strong] I act. I would do the UFC thing. I love to travel, so it would have to be something with travelling or maybe real estate. I want to own a lot of properties all over the world.
[Yung E] Man, I don’t really know what I would be doing. Music is something that kept me from doing a lot of bad things.
MyDailyJoe: What was the conversation like the first time you considered doing music together, and how did that opportunity come about?
[Yung E] We were all friends before we began doing music but we were also all into music. There were a lot of conversations that happened that led to us doing this. So it wasn’t really just one conversation.
[Dre Strong] It felt more natural because we all loved music and we were all artists already, in middle school, so it just fell into place.
MyDailyJoe: Do you ever have vastly different opinions on what sounds good in the studio and what doesn’t? How do you settle those disagreements?
[Dre Strong] Of course, and majority rules.
MyDailyJoe: Tell us more about this unique approach of music you’re continuing to brand in the D.C. area, one of America’s top urban markets…
[Dre Strong] One of the great things about Likeblood is that we are three completely different types of artists. Usually people come together in a group because they like the same things and they are moving in a similar direction musically. But with us, it wasn’t like that. When you bring three different styles together, it’s going to be a different sound. And then, even just being three totally different dudes from D.C., you are getting variety in terms of the mindset of a D.C. dude.
MyDailyJoe: Do you ever incorporate elements of go-go into your music?
[Mbea Da 1] Definitely. Our last single, “Red Carpet,” was produced by Best Kept Secret, and it has a lot of Go-go influence in the track. A lot of percussion.
[Dre Strong] Also, the movie we did, “Jazz in the Diamond District,” where a few of our original songs were turned into Go-go songs. So there is Go-go in the vault.
MyDailyJoe: What do you think about the people before you who have made a name for themselves coming out of the metropolitan area?
[Dre Strong] I think everything helps. It’s not going to take just one artist or group to break DC. It has to be a wave of artists. So for everyone moving towards the common goal of putting DC on, they only help.
MyDailyJoe: What is your specific background?
[Yung E] I’m African American.
MyDailyJoe: What would people be surprised to know about you?
[Yung E] I can draw. I went to Duke Ellington for Visual Art.
MyDailyJoe: What is your specific background?
[Dre Strong] I’m Haitian American. My Pops is from D.C. and my Mom is from Haiti.
MyDailyJoe: What would people be surprised to know about you?
[Dre Strong] If it wasn’t for my love of music and acting, I would probably be a UFC fighter.
MyDailyJoe: What is your specific background?
[Mbea Da 1] My background is that my father is African, from Cameroon, and my mother is from D.C.; I lived in D.C. all my life, mostly in NE and SE.
MyDailyJoe: Switching gears, individually, are there any stories of struggle or abuse that you’ve had to overcome from your past?
[Mbea Da 1] Yes, the prison system. The prison system is designed to keep you in prison mentally and physically. When it’s mental, you have the key. When it’s physical, you have nothing.
[Dre Strong] Yea, definitely. You can’t live life without struggles. Everybody has been held back and told they weren’t going to make it. Just at different times. It could be in prison, school, home, at work. We’ve all had to take shitty jobs and there were times when it seemed impossible to make it. However, we are relentless.
MyDailyJoe: Mbea Da I, in the past couple of years, you were released from incarceration. How have you grown from your experience behind bars? What would you say to the people also facing time at this moment?
I have grown to know that everything is possible as long as you have God on your side and a clear head on your shoulders. Before I got locked up, I didn’t know that. I took shortcuts. Sold drugs. Became addicted to selling drugs. Some addictions are bad and some are good. Now, I’m addicted to recording music. You have to addict yourself to something positive.
MyDailyJoe: How did Mbea Da I’s incarcerating affect the group?
[Dre Strong] We are the original members of the group and there was a lot that happened between the initial time we got together and now. Life made us all separate. But that friendship and that bond brought it back. E was in Chicago, I was in New York, and Mbea was home. Then when Mbea went in, E and I ended up back in DC and we just started going at the music hard. It was like Mbea didn’t go anywhere, he was just on timeout. So we just figured, let’s make it right while he’s gone.
Likeblood f. Bobby Valentino Money Over Here
Likeblood: "I Get It All"
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Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/08/AR2010030803916.html Single...Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/08/AR2010030803916.html
D.C.'s own Likeblood is out with a new track.
D.C.'s own Likeblood is out with a new track. (Courtesy Of Soblu Inc.)
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Likeblood: "I Get It All"
The DMV up-and-comers follow up "Money Over Here" with this Judah-produced track from their new mix tape, "We All Alone: 3010."
The Oscars Video Playlist: Death Cab For Cutie, Tupac And Johnny Cash Take You To Tinseltown
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The crown jewel of the awards season goes down this Sunday, March 7, when the Academy Awards are han...The crown jewel of the awards season goes down this Sunday, March 7, when the Academy Awards are handed out in Hollywood. Though this year's show expects to be a little more predictable than in years past, there are still a number of contests that should have a number of people biting their nails in anticipation. Will "The Hurt Locker" top "Avatar" in the race for Best Picture? Will "The Cove" take home Best Documentary or will a dark horse like "The Most Dangerous Man in America" shoot to the front of the pack? Is this Jeff Bridges' year to walk away with Oscar gold or will he be undone by the performance of Jeremy Renner? These questions (and the rest of the Oscar-related intrigue) will be resolved on Sunday. Be sure to stay tuned to MTV News, MTV Movies Blog and Hollywood Crush for your complete Oscar coverage, from the red carpet to the after parties).
Like any big event, getting in the right head space to absorb the Academy Awards is a key to enjoying it. That's why we've put together a video playlist for the 2010 Oscars. Tupac shows us a little "California Love," Likeblood take us to the "Red Carpet," Jurassic 5 celebrate "What's Golden" and They Might Be Giants admit that "This Statue Got Me High" (that's the thrill of victory talking, boys). There are also entries from past Oscar winners like Eminem and Three Six Mafia, as well as tracks that pay tribute to some nominated films (including Depeche Mode's "Precious" and Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt").
Check out the playlist below, which kicks off with Death Cab for Cutie's "A Movie Script Ending," the best song ever written about wanting your life to be more cinematic.
Likeblood Chops It Up
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Link: http://hiphopruckus.com/2010/03/likeblood-chops-it-up.html/ The nation’s capitol is bubblin...Link: http://hiphopruckus.com/2010/03/likeblood-chops-it-up.html/
The nation’s capitol is bubbling with Hip-Hop talent, and rap group Likeblood is flowing thicker than Formula 50 Vitamin Water right now with their new smash hit record “Money Over Here” featuring Bobby Valentino, a single which is currently making a lot of ruckus over at MTV Jams.
Riding the wave of their new video the fellas of LikeBlood have managed to land starring roles in the new film Jazz in the Diamond District along with Wood Harris and Clifton Powell. Likeblood is kicking up dust and preparing to surf the crimson wave of success.
Hip Hop Ruckus was able to catch up with the trio for an exclusive interview. The fellas spoke about their new video, their label situation and their upcoming album among other topics. Read up – it’s food for thought.
HHR: You recently released the music video for “Money Over Here” in which Bobby Valentino also appears. With four males and more than a handful of competing video girls, was there anything interesting that happened behind the scenes of the “Money Over Here” video?
Mbea Da 1: What happens at Ibiza [Nightclub] stays at Ibiza (laughs).
HHR: Ah, what a cop out! Who produced the music video for “Money Over Here”?
Dre Strong: Our record label, Soblu Music Group, also has a production company, Soblu Productions, and we do all our videos through them. Lindsey Christian and Erica Chamblee who did the film we starred in last year “Jazz in the Diamond District” directed the “Money Over Here” video. So the video was all done in-house.
HHR: With so many rap videos centered around fame, women, and money, do you ever feel the public’s interest in that era has kind of died down, or do you think it can never get old?
Yung E: I feel like, in a way, it’s died down, but in a way, it’s become a staple. People are starting to stray away from it but you always got to make sure the club has something they can party to. There are classic songs about getting money; you just have to be diverse enough in your music not to stick to that one topic.
HHR: Good Point. Apart from the music, you’ve also delved into acting, recently starring in the film “Jazz in the Diamond District” along with Wood Harris and Clifton Powell. Please go into more detail about this project.
Yung E: The film is about a singer who drops out of college and moves home to DC. She joins a Go-go band in the movie and we play the band along with UCB, a band from DC. That’s how we got involved in making the music for the movie and we ended up converting some of our original songs to Go-go songs.
Dre Strong: It was great working with such veteran actors. I learned a lot doing that project. Most of my scenes were with Wood and I felt totally comfortable and we all built a friendship with him to where we all still chill and are cool today. Clifton is from D.C. so he was just cool off the break. He is hilarious.
Mbea Da 1: Clifton came and did our “Red Carpet” video too. He was crazy in that joint [laughs]. Ya’ll should check that out.
HHR: You also have several songs on the film’s soundtrack, which was co-produced by producer Chucky Thompson, who has worked on material for artists like Notorious BIG, Mary J Blige, Nas and Faith Evans. Which songs of yours are on this soundtrack? Did you write these songs specifically for the film, or were they chosen from your previously recorded songs?
Yung E: It was cool working with Chucky Thompson on the soundtrack. We had certain songs that Soblu picked up from our catalog and we remixed them as Go-go tracks for the soundtrack. Then we also did some original songs for the soundtrack. “Red Carpet” was our main single off that, featuring our label-mate, Chris.
HHR: Your first song released from the soundtrack is called “Red Carpet.” What has the public’s response been like so far on this song?
Mbea Da 1: The response to “Red Carpet” was good. The video premiered as “New Joint of the Day” on 106 & Park so we really got a lot of visibility from that. The whole soundtrack project was cool. You can check out the “Red Carpet” video and the “Jazz in the Diamond District” soundtrack on iTunes.
HHR: You’ve also been featured on BET 106 & Park, MTV Jams, Music Choice and Fuse. What do you think when you hear or see yourselves in these huge media outlets?
Dre Strong: Just that it’s been a long time coming.
Yung E: Everything that happens like that, or every time I see myself on TV, it makes me want to work harder.
HHR: Going back to your single “Money Over Here”, you’ve said the song is about the grind needed to maintain success – how do you feel about people who grind, in any type of job, without ever coming into a lot of success or money?
Dre Strong: I feel like as long as you are doing what you love to do and you are getting’ by, you are able to pay for your bills and stuff, then it is good enough. That is success to me. People measure success on other people’s terms instead of figuring out their own terms. Everyone wants to be crazy successful, but you will always have those that make billions and those that make G’s.
HHR: How does someone maintain their swag if their broke? Moreover, do you think in this day in age it requires a large cash flow to earn people’s respect?
Dre Strong: Unfortunately, yes and no. If you’re doing it without money, then it’s going to take a lot longer. It’s not impossible, it’s just going to take a hell of a lot longer. Marketing is everything and it usually costs. You could be the tightest rapper, but if you are only rapping for yourself, it doesn’t matter. So it really takes money to make money.
HHR: Speaking on a man’s character, what makes for a “real man” in your eyes? What do you view as weakness in a man? What do you view as strength in a man?
Mbea Da 1: Strength in a man is standing firm and standing by his word. If you say you are going to do something, you do it – and taking care of your damn kids.
Dre Strong: I agree with that. I will also add on to that, that it’s also about making new paths. It’s easy to follow a path the next dude made for you, but when you got to make your own route and when you have to catch your own falls and get back up, that shows strength. I would say two of the many things that make a man are being able to pave your own way and how well you recover when you fall.
HHR: Do you find yourselves sometimes having to work extra hard to achieve or maintain a cohesive sound within the group?
Dre Strong: I wouldn’t describe it like that as far as “cohesive,” but I would say that they make me elevate my game. I feel like I need to come on point with my lyrics because I know their lyrics are going to be hot. It’s almost like a friendly competition. So it just makes us better.
Mbea Da 1: I’m getting tired of these two burning me up on tracks.
Yung E: When we say its family, that’s what we mean. So sometimes we bump heads. But we know each other really well and we generally know what each person is bringing to the table. It’s not always simple, but we make it work.
HHR: Bands and music groups often disband or break up after a period of time, but what do you do in order to maintain your tight bond? What kind of sacrifices would you make for the Likeblood career?
Mbea: We each make sacrifices now – whether its time with family or whatever. I have a six-year-old daughter, and I miss a lot that happens in her life and I want to make sure she is raised right. But you also have to support your family. So you just have to do what it takes. Even with me on parole, I have to do a lot of extra just to travel and move around freely, but you have to make it work.
Dre Strong: I feel like we sacrifice any other path of life that we could have gone down to do music. To go into this industry, you really have to be crazy because millions of people are trying to do this and failing, all the time. So the career is risky and that’s a sacrifice. We put everything that we got into this. And so we are sacrificing our lives, basically.
Yung E: But we are family. We just talk it out and work through the issues.
HHR: Would you support each other if one of you decided to branch out and pursue a solo career in the future?
Dre Strong: We already plan to do solo albums. So we don’t look at that as a detriment to Likeblood. We think it’s good. It only supports the movement and the brand.
HHR: Tell us about your current record label situation.
Yung E: We are signed to Soblu Music Group, which is an independent label in DC. We got with them on their first film project “Jazz in the Diamond District” back in ’06, and then in ‘07 we officially signed with them.
HHR: Other than your rapping and lyrical contributions, what is each of your other jobs within the group?
Dre Strong: We always talk about other ways, outside of music, to make money. We are also about to start directing videos.
HHR: You’ve stated that, as a group, you “want to prove we can stand with the best and make quality records.” Who would you consider to be “the best”, both in the past and in the present?
Yung E: My top five rappers are Pac, Biggie, Nas, Scarface and Andre 3000. In no particular order. I think Lil Wayne, T.I., Jeezy, Kanye and 50 Cent are killing the game right now and so you have to be able to stand with them also.
Dre Strong: A lot of people think that quantity makes you the best. In this industry, if you take like a year or two off, that’s like a lifetime. But I feel like it’s about the quality. I also don’t look at records sales. I look more at the originality and just whether I like the music. Just because you are popular, doesn’t make you the best. And on our mixtapes, we let people hear how we match up with the people at the top of the game. Go grab those “WLBR: Likeblood Radio” mixtapes at Likeblood.com. You’ll see what we mean.
HHR: What projects or collabs do you have going on right now?
Yung E: The album is coming – “#DaBiness” – Scheduled to drop in May. “Money Over Here” with Bobby V is the first single off that album. The title basically has two meanings. We’re talking about our experiences so far in this business, and in life. It has a lot to do with the music business and entertainment and our careers to this point, but also just the story of our lives and how we got to where we are.
Dre Strong: We are also just giving you the business with the album (laughs). The tracks are fire. We also just dropped a promotional EP called “We All Alone: 3010”. You can grab that at www.likeblood.com/dabiness. It’s a free download; something for the streets. “We’re All Alone” was actually the title of the first album we ever recorded back in 2001. This EP is a reincarnation of that album.
Mbea Da 1: And we just finished mixing our next mixtape, “Capital Wasteland.” The entire mixtape is crazy. It’s based on the video game “Fallout 3” and the whole thing is based in D.C. in the year 2277 in post-apocalyptic D.C.
Yung E: The concept for the mixtape is that just like the nuclear war came and destroyed D.C. and just left the capital wasteland, technology has kind of destroyed the music industry in a lot of ways. And so the industry is like a wasteland in a way and we are like the new hope to revive it. Like the Brotherhood of Steel in the game. It’s crazy. We are dropping that one next month.
HHR: How can fans keep up with Likeblood?
Yung E: The best way to keep up with us is to follow us on Twitter (@Likeblood). You can also check us out on our website (www.likeblood.com), join our mailing list, or you can find us on Facebook.
Dre Strong: Also, make sure you check out our videos on youtube.com/likebloodsworld. We have a web series that we are doing in promotion for our album called “#DaBiness TV”. You can catch all the episodes there. Season 2 is us on the Raekwon tour. We are putting those out now.
HHR: Any final thoughts?
Mbea Da 1: Whatever you dream, first visualize yourself obtaining it, then go get it.
Dre Strong: We have a lot of underground videos coming out, too. Look out for that “Work It Out” video and that “202 Boyz” video coming real soon off the “We All Alone: 3010” EP.
We typically perform three of our most current singles. Our sets usually last 10 - 20 minutes.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.