How did you come up with the name 5ELA?
5Ela: Well its actually 5 Elementz and my boy IQ started calling us 5 ELA. Elementz just represents the 5 different changes we went thru as a group.
Not everybody is aware of it, but RIP Big Proof was a full member of 5ELA. How did you guys meet and decide to collaborate with each other?
5Ela: When I was about 15 I had a DJ named DJ KEVO and he worked with both of us Proof and myself but Proof and I had never met. One night I was doing something that I shouldn‘t have been doing. The next morning Kevo came to pick me up from some young ladies’ home and he had Proof with him (Maximum at the time) and Max had toothbrush mouthwash and other stuff for me. He said he’s in that situation a lot. We’re kids spending the night over grown ladies’ houses! So Kevo introduces us then said there is a talent contest he wants to enter us in; We decided to do it as a group and not solo. The rest is history. We added Mudd about a year later.
What inspires you most to write your music?
5Ela: Proof, Mudd and my family.
Which accomplishment are you the most proud of since the start of your career?
5Ela: No particular accomplishment. I can say that to be viewed by a lot of people as legends is sometimes overwhelming. We have respect in Detroit! We want the world!
Rhymes and verbal dexterity do matter to you, as the music tends to fully prove it. Could you take us back to the years of the Hip Hop Shop and St Andrews and tell us a little bit about the rap battles and challenges that took place in the 90’s in Detroit?
5Ela: Those places turned out some of the best MC’s in the world if you’ve heard of them or not. That’s all I am going to say about that.
What defines your music best?
What are your main musical influences?
5Ela: Alternative Rock, The Beatles, Outkast, Run DMC, MC Ren of NWA and most of all Proof and Mudd.
What are your current musical projects?
5Ela: We have a song on this guy Finale’s album. H’s dope as hell! Mudd and I both have solo projects we’re working on and a new 5ELA album. We’re pretty much looking for a new management and a booking agency so we can show the world what it feels like to be in love with hip hop again.
Besides Proof, who have you been collaborating through the years?
5Ela: Slum Village, J Electronica, Bling 47, J Dilla, Frank N Dank, Korona and more to come.
Which artist would you envision a collaboration with right now and why?
5Ela: We’re open to almost everything because that’s what hip hop is about. So if anyone wants to hook up we’re open.