The Mighty Quinn is… well… pretty damn mighty. His original production skills and 'self-expression over a banging drum line' make him a serious one to watch for the sample tiring, sound repeating, soul flattening producers of the mainstream. As he cracks his knuckles to pound out some more ingenious instrumentals, Quinn is also opening his arms to any decent, equally original and pure MCs and singers out there.
So Nino figured she would ask him a few questions to prove why you need to start throwing your demos across the sea…
Nino: So then, the Mighty Quinn, tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
Mighty Quinn: I’m from New Rochelle, New York. Otherwise known as Now Rule or New Roc city. The Brand Nubian who is from New Rochelle started calling it Now Rule. Now, I live in San Diego California for the last five years.
Nino: What do you do?
Mighty Quinn: I produce beats and artists in any spare time I can get. My 9-5 is a Technical recruiter. I get hi level, computer people jobs. It pays the bills.
Nino: How did you start?
Mighty Quinn: I grew up in the 80’s and when hip hop was so fresh and new, it was on everyone’s radio and head’s was always either breaking, bombing pieces or freestyle and I was happily sucked in.
Nino: Why did you get into hip hop?
Mighty Quinn: The passion and positivity. I was always an artistic kid and hip-hop became a street respectable way to express yourself.
Nino: Who inspired you and helped you along the way, and who are you working with right now?
Mighty Quinn: I grew up a few buildings away from Lord Jamar of the Brand Nubians so I would kick it with his brothers Reality and Wise and learn about the industry. Sha Quan Allah from the Invisible Men is my homeboy from way back when and he’s one of the nicest, creative, intense emcee’s I ever met. Every time I chilled with him it sparked me to think and create. My best friend Zach who started it all off with me… from running all over the streets, free styling, to financing our first analogue studio.four track Tascam. Thank you very much. If it weren’t for him I would have never wanted to try and be myself and relate that to my music. Also, my boy Angelo (Paully Pills) taught my all I know about software production.
Right now I’m working with the extremely talented miss Asia Alpop. She’s from Poland but is now living in the U.K. She sings, writes, and produces beats. But best of all she gets my vision on my more experimental beats…
Nino: Do you plan to visit the UK at any point in the near future?
Mighty Quinn: I want to hit up, the U. K. in the next year or so but the American dollar is so weak now.
Nino: Are you aware of the UK scene? Any artists you’re feeling?
Mighty Quinn: I most def am aware of the U.K. scene. I luv it.
My all time fav U.K. heads are Tricky and the Streets but now a days I reach out to a lot of new Grime heads in the U.K. through myspace.
Nino: Are you aware of our grime scene? If so what do you make of it?
Mighty Quinn: Yup I really dig da grime scene. I like the ruff vibe to the music and its not all commercially watered down.
Nino: Would you ever work with any more underground younger artists on the UK scene?
Mighty Quinn: I’m always down to work with any one despite their age or whatever, but they have to be for real about what their doing. I’m tired of motivating artists to create if they have their minds on other bullshit.
Nino: What’s the youth involvement in your local scene like?
Mighty Quinn: Very big scene out here in San Diego, California… Kids are starting to have break dancing battles and beat wars on the reg out here. Its chill.
Nino: Would you say your underground scene is much stronger and purer than the mainstream stuff?
Mighty Quinn: To me it has to be underground, mainstream ain't saying nothing and everyone is afraid to take the journey into just being creative and taking chances musically.
Nino: What do you think of Nas’ new stuff? From ‘Hip Hop is Dead’ to ‘Hero’, he seems to be giving in to his own nauseas. Is it just about what sells now? Is there any consistently genuine talent on the mainstream at the moment?
Mighty Quinn: I luv Nas, always have and will. He is still relevent. And people must be real scared to stop and listen to some real rhymes.
Nino: Do the DJs get as much respect as they did back in the day?
Mighty Quinn: Yeah DJ’s get a lot of respect today, but its different. I’m a big believer of having to go through trials and tribulations to make and understand music.
Nino: Are there a lot of DJs in your local scene? What kind of style nights tends to sell out the most?
Mighty Quinn: Yeah there’s a lot of DJ’s working out here. It’s a toss up between commercial hip-hop, reggaeton and house.
Nino: What six tracks would be on your ultimate hip hop mix for someone who does not get hip-hop at all?
Mighty Quinn: Jeru the damager's Ain't The Devil Happy. Brand Nubian's Slow Down, Boogie Down Productions' My Philosophy, Tribe Called Quest's We Got The Jazz, Slick Rick's Children’s Story and Eric B and Rakim In The Ghetto.
Nino: Do you think that maybe we should change the name? Like underground hip-hop should go under new management and be called Street Hop or Top Hop or something to distinguish ourselves from your G Units and Flo Rida’s…
Mighty Quinn: Good question. Yeah anything to save time from listening to crap.
Nino: Are you a Timbaland fan? Do you think his Flo Rida, Justin Timberlake stuff is anything compared to his old school work? Can he still be seen as a hip-hop head?
Mighty Quinn: I have to say I really dig Timbo’s beats, but as longs and he stops singing I'm good on his music.
Nino: Why the name the ‘Mighty Quinn’?
Mighty Quinn: My middle name is Quinn. My pops named me after the Bob Dylan song the Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo).
Nino: If hip-hop was a food what food would it be and why?
Mighty Quinn: For me it would have to be like wine. Many different vintages and tastes.
Nino: Do you get a variety of dancers as opposed to just breakers and poppers at your shows? Is it something you think old school heads would appreciate or frown upon?
Mighty Quinn: I always luv breakers at my shows… I used to be able to do some shit back in the day, but now I'll stick to sitting in my lab…
Nino: If you had to throw any recent hip-hop track at George Bush which would it be and why?
Mighty Quinn: Public Enemy’s Night Of The Bass Heads.
Nino: Are you a bhangra fan? Do you think it has a place in hip hop?
Mighty Quinn: Sure.
Nino: How fast can you say the alphabet backwards? Really?
Mighty Quinn: Shiiiit… I’m blazed right now…
Nino: Do you think drugs are a major part of hip-hop? Why is that?
Mighty Quinn: People like to be deviant.
Nino: Do you think hip-hop, as a foundation will always be an unsteady one?
Mighty Quinn: Yes. That’s part of what attracts people to it. You never know what gonna be said or done.
Nino: Is your local scene easy to break in to?
Mighty Quinn: Yes.
Nino: Where can we check out your work?
Mighty Quinn: www. myspace. com/mightyquinnproductions.
Nino: Questlove or Q-Tip?
Mighty Quinn: 100% Q-Tip.
Nino: Busta Rhymes or P Diddy?
Mighty Quinn: Busta Bust.
Nino: Carrots or Chris Brown?
Mighty Quinn: Carrots.
Nino: Bgirls or rap video girls?
Mighty Quinn: Bgirls!
Nino: MC Lyte or Erykah Badu?
Mighty Quinn: MC Lyte!
Nino: LL Cool J or a burnt tongue?
Mighty Quinn: LL.
Nino: Do you personally see the environment as an important issue? Do you think hip-hop heads feel it will lower their street cred if they address it?
Mighty Quinn: Yes I very much see the environment as an important issue. Yes I do think it will fuk with their street cred if they're up and coming.
Nino: What needs to be addressed more in general in hip-hop?
Mighty Quinn: Saying something worth saying. Lets hear some dope lyrics.
Nino: What major differences do you see from what you see and hear between the US and UK hip-hop scenes?
Mighty Quinn: The U.S. is much more commercial and the U.K. uses a lot of garage beats, which I dig a lot.
Nino: Five people hip-hop could not exist without?
Mighty Quinn: KRS One, Africa Bambaataa, Rakim, Cool Herc and Grand Master Flash.
Nino: If your music was a plant what plant would it be and why?
Mighty Quinn: Cannabis Sativa – It helps put the day to day into perspective.
Nino: What are some of your all time favourite hip hop lyrics?
Mighty Quinn: Anything by Slick Rick, or early Wu-Tang.
Nino: What are some of the worst lyrics you’ve heard recently?
Mighty Quinn: What’s on the radio now.
Nino: Are political rappers always going to be MI5, FBI targets?
Mighty Quinn: I guess. But it’s so dumb.
Nino: Is it about making enough money to live or making enough money to flaunt?
Mighty Quinn: Making enough to live and be happy enough to do your thang.
Nino: What would you like to achieve in the next five years?
Mighty Quinn: Signed to a decent label and produce a variety of artists.
Nino: Have you heard of this whole Hip Hop Chess Federation thing? Trying to raise the intellect in hip-hop. What do you make of it? Do you think it could work?
Mighty Quinn: I have not heard of it, but I think its great.
Nino: Who is responsible for lowering the intellect in hip-hop in your eyes?
Mighty Quinn: I'd rather not hate, but its easy to now a daze. Just look and see.
Nino: What would you eat to do a track with Chuck D?
Mighty Quinn: Lima beans.
Nino: Is KRS One and the Self-Destruction movement doing enough to combat violence in hip-hop?
Mighty Quinn: He’s fighting a tuff fight but he’s the man!
Nino: Do you feel hip-hop crowds can be quite hostile?
Mighty Quinn: Oh yeah. I almost got slashed back in the day at a Super Cat show.
Nino: What is your favourite thing about hip-hop?
Mighty Quinn: Man, there's a lot. After I make a beat I dig driving in my car with it blasting to the world. I know I must bother some regular folk driving along, but it sure sounds good.
Nino: Your least favourite?
Mighty Quinn: The selfishness.
Nino: Are you into remixes or are they just lazy?
Mighty Quinn: I like remixes.
Nino: Who were some of your greatest influences growing up, outside hip-hop?
Mighty Quinn: My neighbourhood.
Nino: Who would you really like to influence?
Mighty Quinn: My children when I have some.
Nino: If you had to write a book about one person in your life, who would it be and why?
Mighty Quinn: Myself. Cause it sure has been a long strange trip.
Nino: What really inspires you on a day to day basis?
Mighty Quinn: Making beats.
Nino: What really gets you down in the mainstream media at the moment?
Mighty Quinn: It feels like people have lost touch with staying positive in music.
Nino: Have you got any words of advice or some Mighty Quinn motto's for us?
Mighty Quinn: Keep underground music alive, stop and listen…
Nino: Any final shout outs?
Mighty Quinn: Peace to Asia Alpop, looking forward to all our new tracks, Pravini (PDIVA), Angelo (Paully Pills), Bonifide designs, Zach, all the chill heads in Now Rule and San Diego (Ocean Beach) my fans and my the most supportive women a man could have – Cari!