SAS
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SAS

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
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Leanne Petersen recently caught up with brothers Mayhem and Mega, known to many as rap duo S.A.S, at east London's Cargo to talk Dipset, fashion, and urm…Nando's?

TWU: So, let’s start off with what everyone wants to know. What actually happened with the Dipset and Roc-A-Fella situation?

S.A.S: Dame [Damon Dash] came to England looking for UK rappers to sign to Planet Rock; which was a UK division of Roc-A-Fella. That folded, as him and Jay-Z’s relationship split apart by the time we were about to do the contract. We were already Diplomats anyway and they were all going independent and signing to different labels. Around this time we had a legal situation, so we couldn’t be in the states from 2004 to the end of 2006. So while the Diplomats had their rise to fame, we were in Europe and by the time we did get back in the states Cam’ron and Jim Jones were not talking or seeing to eye. It was at this point we thought that we should forget the co-signers. We didn’t really need them in the first place; it’s just that America wants you to have some co-signer to say that you’re official. We didn’t really benefit from none of it, because we were actually never signed! Paperwork was never given to us; we never had a machine behind us, never had a music video funded by a record label, never had a song plugged on the radio through a record label or promotion company, we’ve never had any management. We’ve had PR, but that was all through us.

TWU: So what have you taken from that experience?

S.A.S: We’re not going to go under another rapper again. That’s never going to happen. Like, rapping CEO’s that’s not the one [laughs].

TWU: So as one of the first to break into the US, what do you make of the UK artists that are making this transition now?

S.A.S: I think it’s a good look. It’s not like fake deals, its deals where people are actually signing contracts, so it makes sense. They’re charting, like Jay Sean was number one on the billboards over there, that’s a big deal. We didn’t really have those kinds of outlets. It was like UK was UK and America was all separated. But now they’re actually seeing that the UK scene is building.

TWU: Who are you listening to at the moment?

S.A.S: Jeezy, Drake, J.Cole, Rick Ross, Ellie Goulding, The Script and Chiddy Bang. Chiddy’s our dawg; he’s cool and Nigerian as well so we just hit it off, like distant cousins. He’s doing big things at the moment and we also have a track on the album with him.

TWU: Do you listen to grime at all?

S.A.S (Mayhem): Yeah, Scorcher and Wretch 32 are our dawgs. They’re the ones that made us get into grime, them and Wiley.

TWU: Growing up, who were your musical influences?

S.A.S: Pre-teens to early teens we listened to West Coast rap mainly, like NWA and Ice Cube. Then by the time we got 16/17 it changed to New York, so artists like Mase and Puff Daddy. We moved out there around the time Jay-Z and DMX were popping off! We never had garage influences, because we missed it; we caught the beginning of jungle, left, and came back towards the end of garage.

TWU: Who would you most like to collaborate with?

S.A.S (Mayhem): Slick Rick and Clipse.

TWU: Unbeknown to a lot of people, you’ve actually collaborated with Nicki Minaj. What was she like to work with?

S.A.S: We weren’t stupid enough to wait until she blew up before we hollered at her. If you saw her on the ‘Come Up’ DVD it was mad, Juelz was going mad for her. So we went and found her. He could have had her in his circle if he had been smart at the time, but everyone just waits until a person gets crazy. The people, who she got her skills up with, were our friends in Queens, so she was easy to get too. She’s cool, she’d walk around doing this Mel B accent, she’s a joker.

TWU: What do you think make S.A.S stand out from the rest?

S.A.S: We like to make the kind of music we like and we don’t have to answer to anyone. We don’t have to say, ‘Do you think we could put this out?’ I think we’re good at what we do, we do us.

TWU: What is the best concert you have performed at?

S.A.S (Mega): Kanye West, although it had the worst, most hostile crowd. Everyone was throwing things on to the stage, but we came out on a real bad man ting. We were jumping in the crowd and everything. That was Kanye West’s first UK show.

S.A.S (Mayhem): My favourite was when we did our release party with Damon Dash. We tricked him into coming and he didn’t know we were getting paid for it. So we were in this other club and told him we had to go and do this performance. We got there and it was road block.

TWU: With endorsements such as Lyle & Scott and Maharishi, how important do you think your style is?

S.A.S: Very important. We talk some fly s***! So we can’t talk about it and people look at you like ‘Dawg, you look a hot mess!’ It kind of has to go hand in hand. There is a whole new trend now with everyone talking about being fly, yet they’re in a dirty tracksuit with some Air Max’s on talking about how their fly and their swaggers hard. How can you be fly with no trim? [Laughs]. Before clothes, it’s grooming.

TWU: So is fashion something you’re interested in getting more involved in?

S.A.S: Yes, definitely. I don’t think we would do our own couture line, but we’d definitely like to collaborate on something, a bit like what Kanye West is doing right now. Would love to collaborate with one of those super-brands, but a spin-off special range, that would be hot!

TWU: Can you explain the inspiration behind that Nando’s tune/video that you put out?

S.A.S: Cam’ron and Clipse did a track called ‘Popeyes’ so we flipped it for the freestyle on 1Xtra, nothing serious. It was in prompt; we heard the beat the same day and started a hook at the yard. When we got on to the radio everyone went mad for it. Nando’s owes us some money, still.

TWU: You’ve got a new single out entitled ‘Shout’. What was the inspiration behind that?

S.A.S: We wanted to get some things off our chest, as far as our label situation goes and also what we’ve been going through in the last couple of years.

TWU: You've also got an album coming out soon. Why did you call it ‘Galaxy Fly’?

S.A.S: It comes from that cartoon; you know that 80s cartoon Galaxy High? The sound on the album is different, so we consider it out of this world. What we’re trying to do right now is futuristic, what hasn’t been done before.

S.A.S: ‘Galaxy Fly’ – is out August 2010. - MTV - The Wrap Up


Discography

MIxtapes
- Who Dares Wins
- Streets All Salute
- Coming To America
- Where is S.A.S?
- Eurogang Vol 1 - We Built This City
- Eurogang Vol 2 - And Then There Was Us
- Eurogang Vol 3 - The World Is Ours
- Galaxy Fly

Singles
- Top Of The Globe
- Cheerio
- So London
- Shout
- Complete
- So Far
- Selfish
- Ready

Photos

Bio

Born in North London to Nigerian parents, Sean and
Melvin Williams crafted their own version of the “American
Dream” forever making it attainable to the rest of the
world. Shortly after creating the group S.A.S – an
acronym for Streets All Salute- and taking the monikers
Mega and Mayhem respectively, the brothers relocated
to Staten Island, NY. It was here that they became known
as vicious battle rappers putting it down with the best of
the best, from Harlem to Brooklyn.

As they reached their peak they caught the attention of
Industry heavyweights like Kanye West and Jim Jones.
Their undeniable buzz could not be stopped. S.A.S
became the first Hip-Hop act out of the UK to be featured
on American mixtapes since Slick Rick back in the 80s.

With their reputation solidified in America and their status as Global superstars confirmed, the duo rapidly
took their place in the forefront of the British Hip-Hop movement. And soon it seemed like they were well
on their way to becoming Hip-Hop royalty: a 10 minute cross-Atlantic conference call with then Roc-A-Fella
Records co-CEO Damon Dash (the other co-CEO being Jay Z ) officially made S.A.S Diplomats/Roc-A-Fella
recording artists. The deal bought clothing endorsements and cameo roles in movies (including State
Property 2) and three tracks on the Diplomats acclaimed second group release, Diplomatic Immunity.

Sadly, this was only a few months before the most publicized break up in Hip- Hop between Jay-Z and
Damon Dash. Never to sit idly by and wait for anyone to put them on, S.A.S proceeded to release ‘Streets all
Salute’ in the U.K. in 2005. The CD and DVD release featured high profile appearances by the likes of Cam’ron,
Juelz Santana and Nicole Wray. Their movement only became stronger with the creation of Eurogang, a 30
member crew consisting of five rappers, in house producers and a serious support team, effectively making
the troupe self sufficient.

After touring heavily in Europe and Canada; receiving TV airplay on MTV UK and MTV Base Africa, they
partnered with DJ Big Mike and MixUnit.com to release ‘Coming To America’ in November of 2006. The
project became an instant street classic, reminding fans of what London has to offer to the Hip-Hop game.
Self preservation was never more important than during 2007, when the brothers were left to their own
devices after issues within the Diplomats’ camp left them on the side lines. The brothers had to regroup and
emerge waving the Eurogang flag high.

They have recently released Galaxy Fly to the approval of both fans and critics. This follows the released
‘Where Is S.A.S’ in early 2008 and the release of 3 mixtapes with their crew Eurogang - ‘Eurogang Vol 1,
Eurogang Vol 2 and Eurogang Vol 3. They have established their own record label, Black Social Klub. With
clothing endorsements from some of the most prestigious labels (such as Lyle and Scott, Futura Laboratories,
Maharishi and Yoropikomym), the brothers are literally the haute couture of Hip-Hop, hence the
adoption of the moniker ‘The Runway Boys’

The viability of their personalities and their brand is now based on more than just a pair of brothers with
impressive rhyme skills. Mega and Meyhem are now not only ambassadors of Cross Atlantic Hip-Hop culture
and style, but savvy young businessmen whose acumen is rivalled only by theie relentless work ethic.