Rusangano Family (God Knows, MuRli and MynameisjOhn) are set to release their highly anticipated debut project, Let the Dead Bury the Dead, April 8th. After just returning from a visit to SXSW, we got a chance to catch up with God Knows for a chat about the album and more:
First off, how was SXSW?
“It was absolutely incredible. We had spent so much time working on the record and seeing it unfold somewhere like South By after going it so hard on it, it just fit. It was rejuvenating.”
Are you nervous at all in the lead up to the album drop?
“Not as much as I am excited, I think that’s the same for the other two lads as well.”
What would you say are the main themes of the album?
“Let The Dead Bury the Dead is about a lot of things. One of them is definitely moving forward despite what’s happening around you. If you know anything about that quote; I know it’s in To Kill a Mockingbird, but it’s a quote from the bible, where one guy wants to go and live the rest of his days with his father so he can bury him, but then Jesus says ‘let the dead bury the dead and follow me’ because if you stay, you’re just gonna be regular and live out the rest of your days, but this is what you were called to do; to speak to people about their souls. That’s what we feel like, not in a scriptural sense, but we do say things that are relevant and that are going on right now. I could stay in my local pub and have a few drinks once a while, or I could go tell the nation what’s happening around us. I think we’ve been given the gift to make the music that suits the times.”
What was the hardest thing about recording the album?
“You know what; I want to take this moment to shout out MynameisjOhn. He went so hard on this album and for me, it was truly inspirational because someone deep and near to him passed away and he still managed to knock out the record during that time. To me that was the hardest part for the three of us, just knowing we had a goal in mind but at the same time some parts of life aren’t that easy to deal with. But if you’re as passionate or as focused on what you have to do as we are, you encourage and build each other up to continue on.”
Is there a sense of friendly competition between you and MuRli when writing verses?
“To be honest, I think we make each other better. MuRli’s my brother, we’ve shared lives together. There’s friendly competition but not to the point where I get concerned or angry or vice versa. We actually work together so much so that I think I’m MuRli. Whatever happens, it happens naturally. It’s what’s best for the song. I think if we were trying to be better than each other, we would make really great rap bars; but we wouldn’t have the best songs. I think our goal and ability is in writing songs and I think if we’re gonna do bars we’d just do mixtapes.
What has been your proudest achievement so far as a group?
“Our friendship, man. Bringing three different people from three different countries together to gel and make music, I’m just happy that I can make jokes with these guys and learn from them.”
Which 3 emcees helped shape you the most?
“Right now I’m giving it to K. Dot. He was a combination of the years I grew up on. I know he’s got Kanye in him, Lil Wayne in him, a bit of the 90’s boom bap era, Nas, Dre, Em. Looking at Kendrick is like looking at your childhood in one person. Then I’d pick Wiley. The reason I’d choose him over Skepta is there was one stage where he had a new mixtape every two months. That’s so much music. Imagine having that much music. After that it’d be Beenie Man, a dancehall artist, just because everyone I grew up around was a huge fan of him because at one stage he was known as king of the dancehall.”
Will the Rusangano Family podcast become a more regular feature?
“We just have fun with that and do it when we can. Sometimes it’ll be frequent, sometime it’ll be sporadic.”
Have you got any festival slots lined up for the summer?
“One we’re definitely going to be at this year that has already been announced is Body & Soul.”
Also catch Rusangano Family’s album launch at The Sugar Club Dublin April 9th.