Magno – Ya Heard
Interview By: Tyrone Davis
Magno, aka Magnificent is an artist from Houston, Texas (Greenspoint to be exact). The ex partner of Mike Jones is still repping Swisha House, and is now working new projects.
Magno Ya Heard!!! What’s been going on fam?
Nothing much bro. Just now dropping my new solo project, “From Good Times to Good Rhymes”, and working on this group project under Swisha House, F.A.M. 420.
You and Mike Jones started off as a duo, correct? How did you two meet and how did the Swisha House situation happen?
Mike Jones and I been knowing each other since we were freshman in highschool and played against each other for the Greenspoint YMCA. We didn’t come to the Swisha House together. I was actually there a few weeks to a month prior; T. Farris discovered me while we were both attending N. Harris. I remember Watts and Farris both telling me they were scouting another young cat named Mike Jones, but the name is so common it didn’t register. I hadn’t seen him for a few years because he had transferred from Nimitz our sophmore/junior year. We had always been cool so when we got in the lab, clicked.
The life of an entertainer isn’t always gravy. What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to go through and over come?
The decline of the underground. From retail, to distribution, to the expectations that everyone puts on us. The life of an entertainer is hard, off top, but then being independent, is even more rough. Dont get me wrong, I love being independent. I love the grind. But, when stores close, distribution one-stops fold, and fans get fickle, that definately creates obstacles. I overcome those by just continuing to drop. I just keep spitting mayne. This is what I love, this is what I do.
On your 2004 mixtape “The New Print”, you rapped about your split with Mike Jones on a song called “Before I Move On”. Please explain what happened between you two.
Basically, like the song states, he got greedy with the shows and show money. When we first started doing shows, we were breaking the money down 50/50. Within a few months time, he started wanting a bigger slice of the money. Fine. He was the hotter artist, so I played my part. Then after 2 or 3 shows of him getting the bigger half, he decided to just wipe me off the show all together. Thats where the dispute came. The shows were coming from the buzz of “First Round Draft Picks”, so naturally, I felt entitled to performing and getting paid fairly. He knew how much work we BOTH put into that album. But, I didnt trip, I was still busy too. “The Collection Plate” came out that October, and instantly started me a fanbase. So, I was hitting the road doing solo shows as well.
In your opinion, what are the proper ingredients to starting a movement and what keeps it going?
I feel if you have originality, the streets behind you, and a good team (manager, publicist, bookin agent, etc.), you have a pretty well-oiled machine that’s going to move on auto-pilot, real talk.
The Texas Movement had a strong following for quite awhile. Where do you think things went wrong?
I don’t think anything went wrong, we just didn’t keep bringing new acts out. All of the other regions kept coming back with new artists while we alternated between 5 or 6. Then, I feel our fans kind of gave up on us too. Fans nowadays feel like you ain’t sh*t if you aren’t on TV or radio. All I hear is “When you think you’re going to get a deal?” It’s usually from some nosey a*# lame who doesn’t support me anyway. Fans are more worried about who’s cutting you the check, whether than checking for your music. I have a feeling it’s going to come back because other regions are stealing our swag anyway. You hear a lil “Texas” in all of these ni*#as music.
Your support system has always seemed to be on point. Name one of the craziest experiences you’ve had on the road.
It wasn’t too crazy, but it was an experience for me. In ‘03, I flew out to Cleveland, OH with my Wildlife click for a show. My boy X (shout out to X), who is from there, was showing us around, just flipping thru hoods. He kept telling me that “Collection Plate” was real popular out there. I thought he was just sayin that because I thought they knew me more from the “First Round Draft Picks” album. But, when we stopped off in a hood out there and just posted up, so many folk was showin love, quoting bars and whole songs! Even the show was thoed! Total crowd participation. I had been rapping probably only a year and a half at that point so I couldn’t believe somebody from a place I’ve never been before, and so far away, could actually know my music verbatim. It was a rush!
Who influences you musically?
The Original SUC and the Original Swisha House. Throw in some throwback No Limit, and you got my music collection. MAC from No Limit was a big influence to me back then. He was east-coast lyrical, without compromising his southern style.
Give us a random fact about yourself that most don’t know.
I don’t think people realize that I’ve been putting my own music out thru my own label for the past 7 years! I’ve only worked in conjunction, with other labels or Djs. Yet, Its always someone like, “So……who are you with now?” Wildlife Records/Greens Rd Industries, LLC buddy.
What happened with the Desert Storm South situation?
We were right at the brink of a distribution deal with Jive and something just didn’t go through. Everything was going smooth and then the ball dropped. The only explanation I was given was that they decided to pass. It had me strackin a little bit because I nailed the meeting/showcase. They were saying how impressed they were with the catologue I already had and even did their homework, asking various retailers in different regions about me. Plus, I came with like 6 or 7 different “big name” magazines I had been in (despite being underground), the whole 9. I got word that it was a discrepancy concerning the finance. Who knows. Thats when I decided to fall back for a while. I was getting caught up in thinking, “DEAL”. I just wanted to get back to loving the art-form again.
What’s up next for Magno?
I dropped “Greens Point of View” with Tosin from thescrewshop.com, earlier this year. I followed that up with “Inspectah Magno…atcha Service” (online-only). Be on the lookout for the “Whut it Dew” album It’s sick! Then me and F.A.M. 420 got a project in the works! Shouts out to Coota Bang, OG Archie Lee, and Konan. We’ve been getting real good feedback from our tracks on Watt’s new mixes, “In the Game 4 Life 2k10” and “Swisha House Summer 2k10”. That “Mayhem” on been making a few waves, be on the lookout for the video coming soon!
If anybody wants to contact you, how do they go about it and any last words?
firstname.lastname@example.org, www.myspace.com/magnopage, or www.facebook.com/magnopage or www.twitter.com/magnopage. I’m not only a street-grinder, but also a cyber-hustla. I check all of them everyday. Also, I want to thank everybody that’s been holdin me down, real talk. That’s who I do it for. I’m talking about the people that don’t worry about whether I got a deal or not. They just want to hear Magno talk that shit. They ain’t worried about if I’m on radio. They HATE radio. The ones that rewind my sh*t back and explain my punchlines to they partners and argue that I’m top 10 in Texas. I appreciate their support.