This interview is long overdue. One of the first East Coast artists I ever heard. I have always been a fan of Cormega. Ever since I heard him on The Jacka’s first album I knew this emcee was special. To me special means authentic or real. Now it’s 2020, real is hard to find today but thankfully Cormega still delivers some of the best music available. Queensbridge, Bay Area, Houston, if you’re from the hood you gotta read this one. 

An EP released a few years back titled “Mega” as well. What’s the difference between that one and this one?

I dropped it last year, it came out last year. I put it out as a tribute to my fans and tribute to my friend Jade who had just died. That’s why the cover was jade green. And it was like limited. Let’s say I got a movie coming out next year and I just say fuck it and I say I’m a jacket the movie right now, all the while, before it’s fully done. So I put it out, people rock out to it. I also promised my fans I was gonna give them some music. So I said fuck it and I put it out. Then I removed it from all platforms. So when I removed it, I didn’t realize how many people were feeling it. I started getting messages and messages, people kept asking me when you putting Mega back? So that made me happy about the project. Then I added additional music to it. And I added the permanent artwork for it. The artwork it has now the official artwork. I added more music and I added another feature. Then I was finished with the project. I also wanted to get it out because I’m definitely coming out with another project this year so I didn’t want hold off on it in and it affects me putting out something else. 

Besides the normal digital routes anyone could take, how exactly did you put this EP out this time cause you have many different methods of dropping music?

Well this one I did it mostly on all digital platforms this time and I have a team that’s working with me to get me on YouTube and monetize it on other platforms as well. I’m also gonna have vinyl and cassettes. So basically I did this one independently as I always do. But I have a stronger team with me now. When I put out Mega before I didn’t even promote it. It was like just something for the band. Now I got everybody involved, got my publicist involved. I have my friend Dog involved and I have my man named Cito involved. So we just workin’.

Because if you look at any new young generational artist. Any of them that’s winning it’s because of the OG veteran on the team. There’s somebody with experience on the team. 

Speak on the experience you’ve had as an independent artist. What is your advice today?

My advice today is to try to own your music. Cause you can be independent and still not own your music. Try to figure out what your formula is that makes you successful and try to be consistent with that formula. Listen to your fans, listen to your fans cause they are those dictators of your career. I listen to my fans. Let’s just say I make a song and I notice a lot of people gravitate towards that song consistently. I tell myself ok that’s a song I definitely have to perform. When I make new music I try and make songs similar to that vein of that. Stay consistent with your sound, don’t abandon your sound because you build a core audience off your sound. Once you lose that sound you lose your audience. That’s what they’re there for, your sound.  

That is so golden what you just said. Cause a majority of today’s new young generation of artists, they all have the same sound. I believe the Industry at the top purposely did this on purpose. This is what they’ve always done. By dangling a carrot in front of everyone having everyone believe they can have It, when in reality, they can’t. Nope,  there’ll be very few people that will ever reach the plateau of (and I won’t mention any names) I’ll just say the top 15%. They’ll never reach that. It’s a facade. And if you ever do understand the sacrifice you’d have to give in order to have it. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it. This is why you’re on my front cover because you’re the epitome of an example of success in Hip Hop. YOU are.  I am honored to hear that. I appreciate that a lot. It doesn’t matter how many gold or platinum plaques from whatever fucking service or distributorship that you’ve received in the past 5-10 years. That’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is the fact you still put out music that’s still better than most.  Thank you I appreciate that. I was definitely taken back by people’s responses to the EP. I was blown away and like I said I stayed with my signature sound. I try to give them jewels in my music also. One thing as an artist when you grow, it’s not too much different in being a rapper and a rap artist. Either you’re trying to grow as an artist or you just gone do the same thing over and over again. I wanted to grow, I wanted my fans to grow with me cause they are growing with me. If I’m in the game 20 years, that means there’s some people who was 15 and they was fans of me and they’re 35. So we all grow and we seen life different. I didn’t have kids when I started rappin’. I now have 2 children. So it’s like I waited to grow as an artist and people grew with me. It’s the thing that I’m happy about. They gone be very happy when I come out with that second version, the sequel to The Realness. I’m working on that so it’s like I naturally came 360 on them.

Wow, when can we expect that one?  Next year, but I’m working on it now. 

Speaking on the disconnect between the new generation and the older in Hip Hop.  They don’t even know how to pay homage when it’s time to pay homage, how do they pay homage? These dudes don’t even pay homage. They’ll say oh you a legend, you my big rap bro, da da da and then want you to do a verse for free? They want the publicist to work for free, the video for free. They want everything for free. It’s not like they came up going to the park and rappin’. It’s not like them came up going through the show circuits. They didn’t even get on, they want everything handed to them. If you follow me on Instagram, I connect with my fans in a different way. In a way that sometimes, it surprises me. To see it and it’s spontaneous and real. Like I was saying with the artists, they don’t even want to pay homage to the legends or veterans before them. When I was coming up on my 4th album Born And Raised I had a song with KRS-1 on it. Big Daddy Kane, Grand Puba, Paris from EPMD and Red Alert is on the record. I paid the producer, I paid KRS-1, I paid Big Daddy Kane, I paid Grand Puba. Know what I’m saying and it felt good to get to do that. Cause I was showing love to the guys that inspired me. Only the Paris piece didn’t get paid cause he said basically like I owe him a favor. 

I been an independent artist my whole career but look at the impact I’ve made.  Not from me, I’m talking about with other people. I’m the first person you hit when someone needs help. I’m the one who took The Jacka interdimensional. He was a local Bay artist and I was like yo this the song, I picked the song Barney (More Crime) and I put it on my Legal Hustle compilation. I helped him become an international rapper. I put Maino on that Legal Hustle compilation album and helped him get out there. I was connected with the Bay before it was The Bay and had Artists. 

Ever since The Jacka’s first album in 2001. You were on that album and it was highly promoted so your name was all over the posters, flyers everywhere. You were on his first solo project ever. That solidified your name in the Bay. It did vice versa, it did the same thing.

The Jacka. How did you initially meet him? Was it just a business deal? Or was there some real genuine sparks in the physical flesh that happened?

Well, Jacka and the Figaz was fans. So I flew out to the Bay and once I met them, it was like, we just became family. Jacka is like my cousin. I stayed out there for like a week. I stayed in they house, everything I slept in the same house. We did everything together. We really just had a connection after that. If you look at my Get Out My Way video if you look close enough you’ll see Husalah. Husalah’s in the video. That’s in New York, know what I’m sayin? Jacka and them came to New York and we slept in the same motel room and everything. I brought them to Queensbridge and everything. Course I brought the Mob Figaz to Queensbridge, brought them to the pub. We did a lot. When I was in LA, they drove all the way to LA from the Bay to perform with me. That was my guy. Him passing away really hurt. It hurt me, I took that one hard. 

You know, it took(hit) us all very hard. Every one of us. I’ve known him his entire career. I grew up in the same small city of Pittsburg, California. 


He was a beautiful human being. As you know, he was a good energy. 

Yes he was. I think that’s why it hurt so many people when the news fell. Because everyone genuinely loved him. Like no disrespect to any fallen soldier, but let’s be real. Not everyone loved all these other past rappers that have died. But genuinely everyone loved The Jacka. 

Yeah, yeah that was a hard one. That was hard, that was cold. For sho. 

Any last words?  Be on the lookout for the new project until you ready for the next one.

Absolutely. 1 World Magazine plans to follow you into the next few projects you release. Many people don’t know it but there is a huge need for REAL Hip Hop. Now with so many truths popping up through the internet it’s gonna take many more bodies of work to bring things back to balance in Hip Hop. Side Note: I approached Cormega over a year ago for this interview. He said he could do it, he was still not comfortable to speak on The Jacka. I respectfully waited.

“Well, Jacka and the Figaz was fans. So I flew out to the Bay and once I met them, it was like, we just became family.” 

– Cormega

IG @Cormega
Story By Mr Ceza
Photos By Casa Nina

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