Supernatural (the Longest Freestyle Rap Record Breaker) Interview

Widely regarded as the world’s greatest freestyle rapper, MC Supernatural has wowed crowds all over the globe with his seemingly effortless ability to rhyme about any subject off the top of his head. After a series of legendary emcee battles came two albums, a documentary, video game, MTV Cribs episode and countless shows displaying his remarkable talent.

Having torn the roof off at the Chivas New York Fusion Party, we caught up with Supernat on the phone one night before Bangkok got a second chance to see him perform.

BangkokRecorder: How was Samet?
Supernat: Very interesting actually to see a different way of life and to visit the island the day before Buddha's birthday. You know, it was very interesting, it was like going to the country for me, like being in the countryside. It's very beautiful and I got to see both sides: the beautiful and dirty side. We took a scooter right up into the hills. But inspiring as well to be an artist of my calibre to be able come to a place and to actually not only see the touristy side, but also the real part of the island, it was interesting.

BR: Is this your first visit to Thailand? What have been your impressions?
SN:Yes, ma'am. Thailand is a very exotic and interesting place. It's a lot to absorb in a small amount of time, but what I've seen so far is, for me coming from so far away, it's like, every moment is something new for me, just looking at things and signs and talking to people in general. To me, it's something very enlightening. But I like Thailand and I would love to come back and bring my family and show them around the place as well.

BR: How did you enjoy the Chivas New York Fusion Party?
SN:I enjoyed the party very well. I mean, entertainment is entertainment, I had a ball to be able to entertain and do what I like to do in front of a foreign crowd to see how my music affected them for the first time and I was extremely happy actually. I had a ball. I thought the show went off very well and... It was nice to see that people came out to support the party as well.

BR: Were you born with the ability to freestyle or do you work hard at it because it appears very natural, you make it look so easy?
SN:Well, that's why they call me Supernatural because it is natural. I was born with it, but I mean, yeah I definitely practice to keep it sharp to be able to do the things, or anything of that nature takes a certain amount of practice and dedication so you know, I never take it for granted that I have a gift like this. I'm born with it, but it's a blessing from a higher power and I always try to acknowledge that and I also practice, like I said, to keep myself going.

BR: You're hosting the 'Rock The Bells Festival' next month, but is there any truth to the rumour that you're going for the world record for the longest freestyle while you're there?
SN:It's the truth. It will definitely be going down August fourth. It's been sanctioned by the Guinness Book of World Records and it's definitely happening. It is not a rumour. It is the truth

BR: How long is the current record?
SN:It's currently set at eight hours and 45 minutes.

BR: You and Ge-ology worked incredibly well together. How long have you known each other?
SN: I've known Ge-ology since 1993. Ge-ology actually drew one of my first logos for my record when I was signed to East West Records. And at the time, Jerome worked at A & R and I met Ge-ology through Jerome 'cos Jerome hired Ge-ology to draw on my logo and we've been friends ever since.

BR: How will your show at QBar on Wednesday be different to last Friday's show? Can we expect more tracks from your albums?
SN: Um... I don't really know about the tracks from my albums. As far as show, for the Chivas show, it's a little bit different type of crowd. I'm expecting a different type of crowd at Q Bar, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve for the audience. There's a lot of things I didn't do that night, especially because of the language barrier. But I've got a few things that I'll pull out of my sleeve. but every time you come to a Supernatural show, you're always guaranteed to see something different. It's never the same. It's never the same thing twice 'cos it prompts you and it's improvisational. So you never know really what's going to happen until it happens.

BR: Do crowds tend to react differently around the world, and where's your favourite place to perform?
SN: Crowds always react differently depending on where you are and like I said, the language barrier, but if you give a good performance, nine times out of ten, you know, people always understand a good show. They understand a good performance from a bad one, whether they can understand English or not.

And as far as like my favourite place to perform...I would have to say my top three: Africa, Japan and Australia.

BR: What do you like about those places?
SN: Well, Africa just because it's the Motherland, number one. It was an experience just for me to get in touch with the soil of Africa, being a black man and, you know, with people from that part of the world. And Japan because it's funky and they always receive hip hop in a good way. And as for as Australia, they're just wild. The audience always receives the show very well, you know ‘cos they do speak English, so you know...England too. People always love me in England. They always show me a lot of love. I definitely can't complain.

BR: When was the last time you battled an emcee?
SN: It's been quite a while now. You know battling, the one thing I always tell everybody is that I don't like to be pigeon-holed as a battle emcee. I'm an emcee first that battles when necessary. It's been quite a while 'cos that's not my goal in life is to beat everybody up because I know I have a gift. I'd rather lay back and make records, but when the opportunity presents itself or when somebody feels like they want to step up, then I'm always ready to defend myself in that arena.

BR: Who would you most like to work with next?
SN: Production-wise, I'm pretty much self-contained as far as the group of guys I work with out of Seattle, but if I had the opportunity I would love to do a track with Premier or the Neptunes. But for the most part, my team that I work with now, Vitamin D, Jake One, Bean One, you know, I've worked with Muggs from Cyprus... So my whole team is pretty solid in terms of production as well. I plan on producing quite a bit on my next album.

BR: Which emcees do you most respect?
SN: As for as artists are concerned, you know, I would really like to do a song with Pharoah Monche. He's a friend of mine. We're both very busy people so haven't had an opportunity.

BR: In an interview you gave in 1997, you said that hip hop needed a saviour and that Hip-Hop was lost. Do you think it's come any closer to finding its way?
SN: That's a tough question. To a certain degree, I feel hip hop is slowly finding its way back to original music and the gimmicks are slowly fading away. But at the same time, as long as the greedy corporate people are still running the music business, there's always going to be trouble... We just ran a red light! (laughs)... there's always going to be trouble as long as that type of music is around. But, I mean, slowly but surely, I just feel people are tired of hearing the same old thing and it's the people that change things. And if we don't take it upon ourselves to, y’know, not buy those records or support the competition, than hip hop will stay in this state that it's in right now. I believe in my heart that it is changing for the better as long as you have people like Ge-ology and myself, Common, Dead Prez, you know these types of groups.

BR: What was it like working on the NBA Ballers video game?
SN: It was actually fun, it was an enjoyable experience to be working on a video game to all of the characters we had to do just to get a nice game, but definitely was enjoyable... It may have introduced me to a whole new group, to a whole new audience. A lot of the young kids know me from that game now. It was definitely a blessing. It was a good pay cheque too at the end of the day.

BR: What was the last LP you bought?
SN: The last LP that I bought was Ghostface Killah’s Fishscale.

BR: What did you think?
SN: It's dope, that's why I bought it. [Laughs] It's a dope record. I think that Ghostface’s album takes you back to the essence... I dig the stories, the music is incredible. All of the rhymes that he chews...He explored a lot of things on that record. It was a creative record. My hat goes off to him, y’know, I really enjoyed it.

BR: How long until your next album?
SN: We're actually working on it right now. I can't actually say when it will be done for sure. We're hoping sometime by the summer. We've just really started to be honest with you. We're just collectin' beats, but we're hoping to release it next year sometime.


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