Eternia & MoSS Jump “In the Mix” [DJBooth Interview Exclusive]
The great Lil Wayne has been able to accomplish many things since the start of his career, but of all the good decisions he’s made, many would argue that signing Drake to Young Money was the best of them. It just so happens that Drake is a package of North of the Border talent, and as rapper Eternia and producer MoSS prepare to take the hip-hop stage as a team, everyone is beginning to see that the farther north you go, the colder the rhymes get.
Both hailing from their native Canada, Eternia and MoSS share a love of good music and are fittingly determined to create the very thing they love – good music. To turn that dream into reality, they have formed an emcee/producer tag team and that's so far proved to be unstoppable in their efforts to deliver excellece into the hands of hip-hop heads across the nation. The DJBooth-approved “It’s Funny” is just a small example of what the duo have the offer on their upcoming album At Last. Make no mistake; Eternia’s airtight flow and MoSS’ high-energy production combine to form a dangerously hot fire.
In this exclusive ten-question interview, Eternia chats with us about when she got started as a rapper as well as what issues she’s passionate about, and MoSS goes into detail about his production influences and what sounds we’ll hear on “At Last.”
It’s clear when listening to your delivery on a track that you’re passionate about the topics you discuss. What issues get you fired up?
Eternia: Used to be a lot! Ha! I’m a 'lil more easy going now, I think my family & friends concur. I care a LOT about the TRUTH. Truth about me, truth about others, truth in life. I often verbally crusade for the truth in any conversation, you know with friends, or on record etc. I used to be offended when falsehoods would be stated, outta peoples’ mouths or online or whatever. Now I don’t let things get to me as much as I used to…. Most of the time! HA! I also get really fired up about womens’ issues, specifically related to violence against women. I believe it was one of my sociology professors in university who broke down that women were the first documented enslaved groups of people on the planet, historically. I think it’s still easy, especially on a global level not just in North America, to take advantage of women. And so many people do: economically, emotionally, physically, you name it. I get fired up about that injustice. It makes no sense to me. Sad part is, in the U.S. a lot of the inherent sexism goes unchanged because most dudes don’t think that they’re sexist at all… when many still are. You can’t change what you don’t see.
At what point did you decide a rap career was something you wanted to pursue?
Eternia: I didn’t have a cognizant "decision" moment. I started rapping around 8. I started taking it seriously around 14 or 15. I’ve been rapping ever since….. looooong time. So it’s literally just something I did that I didn’t stop doing. But I guess when I moved out of the house at 15 is when I kinda flung myself into the Hip Hop world full time. I wasn’t going to school at the time, was moving around every 2 months so wasn’t working…. Hip hop was really the only constant in my life then... So that was probably the “AHA!” moment.
Your most recent Booth feature “It’s Funny” has you cutting down stereotypes about female rappers. Which stereotype would you like to see die yesterday?
Eternia: How much time you got? (Laughing). I take offense to the fact that some people think women in Hip Hop didn’t EARN their position rightfully…. Honestly, most of us did. For example, I’ve been recording, promoting, organizing, performing, touring, working my ass off, etc…for 15 years straight. Any opportunity at this stage of the game that I get, is an opportunity I rightfully earned due to my work ethic and ability… not due to anything else people's ignorant imaginations may conjure up. When I speak to other women in the game, I know they experience the same incorrect assumptions about their success or position. That can be really, really, really discouraging. You know? That Needs to Stop. Furthermore, most of the people that talk that smack… I have at least a good 5-10 years experience in the game on THEM. Stop Talking, Start Listening.
What stands out about MoSS as a producer?
Eternia: He has a sound that can honestly be described as HIS sound and HIS sound alone. Like, just the types of kicks, snares, samples… I feel like he uses more classic rock, crazy weird, psychedelic or foreign samples than most folks. He’ll get a live musician to play like an electric guitar or a dirty ol- church organ on a record. He basically doesn’t stick to the ‘soul sample’ formula, or any other formula out there. He’s very very gritty. Very dirty sounds, doesn’t like stuff cleaned up. Ha. He’s just… MoSS (smiles). I recognize his beats anywhere, most of the time. He ain’t tryin’ to go pop. Ha!
What do you expect people to say after they hear At Last from start to finish?
Eternia: I don’t think anybody can honestly say that I can’t rap, or MoSS isn’t an ill producer, after listening to that album from start to finish. And I’m not big-headed, I promise. I’m not saying I’m the best MC of all time!!! I’m just saying… I don’t think you can talk sh*t on either one of us, musically, if you actually sit down and give the album a listen.
What is it about Eternia that drew you to work with her?
MoSS: I saw her perform live when I was on tour with Marco Polo and EMC. She's very raw live, and I didn't see any hesitation in her performance at all. Basically I approached her and we discussed trying to capture her live performance within a studio environment. That's pretty much how it came to be.
Which do you find more rewarding, working with new or more established artists?
MoSS: It doesn't really matter. Both have pros and cons.
Name a few production influences that we might not expect.
MoSS: I think for me it's hard to pinpoint. I am a pretty big record collector, and I also own a reissue label. I find that I've become addicted to hearing new forms of music or things I've yet to hear, and not for sampling purposes. I just enjoy music, even albums some wouldn't consider music at all. I'm not above anyone, I'm merely suggesting my influence doesn't really come from "hip-hop" at this point.
Describe the process of creating music with Eternia - what was your collaborative process like?
MoSS: It was pretty straightforward. The majority of the creative process was done over email or text message. We didn't really come up with much in the studio per se. We started off with me sending her music I thought she'd sound good on, and she'd create the lyrics. After we completed a few songs we started to form the album, and it became a little more planned. She'd have a song idea, I'd try to create a backdrop for it, or I'd try to create a beat that would fit somewhere within the context of the album and she'd try to write to it.
Did At Last have you experimenting with new sounds or exploring new territory?
MoSS: I did to some extent, but I'm not sure how apparent it'll be when listening to At Last. The reason I say that is because I actually recorded (or worked on) Special Reserve after At Last was completed. During At Last I started to add more layers to my music through live instrumentation, and as a result I did the same with parts of Obie's album. In that sense you may have heard growth in my music when hearing Special Reserve, and this album is similar in that I took a similar approach.