Meru Muad’Dib (right) and Chill – aka 3KNGZ – have been firm regulars on NEW LEASE MUSIC, always challenging us to seek out serious messages in a string of out-of-sight tracks. Their single, Unload, Explode, Reload was named Song of 2015 by this blog…and it’s about time we got to know these conscious emcees. So are you ready? Good!
NLM: Who’s speaking on behalf of 3Kngz?
It’s Meru here.
NLM: First of all, congratulations on your track Unload, Explode and Reload – it was named the Song of 2015 by NEW LEASE MUSIC. What’s the reception been like on this track?
Meru: Thank you Tracey!! It’s been cool. People dig the beat. Most of the feedback has been that we still have it. We’re old school cats. The beat produced by Dro by the Key(Alejandro Rivera) is newer school. So we had to mos def be on point with the flows. So people saying we still have it means we brought it. That’s a nice compliment! They recognize we have different flows and rhyme patterns based in the beat. They’re listeners which is another compliment because they listen. A lot of people don’t listen very well.
NLM: So tell us how did 3KNGZ come to life?
Meru: A guy I used to rhyme with bumped into one of my old producers. I hadn’t seen him in almost 10 years. In those 10 or so years, he went on to receive a few Grammy awards. He is Sham of the world-famous ‘Trak Starz.’ We used to do Christian rap in the late 90’s together. His claim to fame is producing for the rapper Chingy. ‘Right Thurr’ put those guys on the Hip Hop map. They’ve sold like 20 million units worldwide. So we ended up in the studio at Sham’s house and the 3KNGZ were formed. Initially everything was produced by the Trak Starz. Eventually Sham went on to do other things and we’ve kept it going. That was in 2010 when it was formed. We’ve gone through a couple of line up changes but we’re still here!
NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?
Meru: It’s almost like new age gospel music. Hard beats. Trap beats in some cases. But uplifting hard flowing lyrics being delivered. Definitely poetic and prophetic. Soulful!
NLM: You have pretty neat discography. What’s your proudest work and why?
Meru: An unreleased song called 50 Bullets. It’s our most poignant work to date. Chill is writing the script for the video and it’s going to be a very important statement. It speaks to the heart of what most deem the problem with hip-hop today.
NLM: Who are your musical or non-musical influences?
Meru: For me it’s Saul Williams, Public Enemy, X Clan, Midnite, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye.
NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?
Meru: J Cole. He is soulful. He is socially conscious also. He has great heart-felt songs. Or Saul Williams. That guy says some of the craziest stuff. He’s always raising the bar.
NLM: What are your plans for 2016?
Meru: We are continuing our diaper drive and stop the violence movements.
NLM: Do you have any upcoming gigs/projects?
Meru: We are working on our next mixtape and original album.
NLM: How can potential fans reach you?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what other profession would you do?
Meru: Conducting writing workshops for children. It’s actually my job. I work with different non-profit organizations. All of them benefit children in some way or another. I teach poetry, creative writing, and hip-hop. I’ve been doing it since 2007.