Music Q&A:
The Mothership Connection

The Manchester hip-hop group – Cheech, Dubbul O, Goshin, Legion, and Mankub – like to challenge themselves lyrically but also love the word 'yo'

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What informs your music and songwriting?
We’re relatively lucky in Manchester as there are plenty of creative people working hard in their field whilst always looking to collaborate with others to expand their ability and that’s what we’re involved in. We have the pleasure of working with skilled producers in Manchester like Mankub, Dro-P, Kydro, Pro P and many more to gift us with musical gems. We do write separately to the same beats at times but do tend to set a concept that everyone can write to but not consistently. We always seem to have overlapping themes in our lyrics anyway but that’s just a result of us chilling together.

How has the band evolved over the years?
Our sound and style is forever expanding. As a group I don’t think we have strayed that far from our original sound, but I think it’s a lot more polished. Every time we work with a new producer it will usually bring something new out of us. We’ve branched out in this respect and enhanced our rap styles.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
We have just released our new EP This Train Goes to Junkleberry Junction, produced by Mankub. It’s available on 10ins vinyl, tape cassette and digital download. We have plenty of gigs coming up over the next few months in and around the North West. We also function as solo artists and collaborate in other crews such as The Mouse Outfit. Voodoo Black and The Bluntskins. Stay tuned for releases from all these sources and the Room2 family tree.

What’s it like to operate in the music industry today?
We’re pretty blessed in Manchester because as mentioned there is a real collaborative vibe. Its been amazing for us to release a project on Room2 Records with all the trimmings. Writing and recording songs is easy. Marketing, promoting and building a brand is not what many musicians make music for. For us to create the full package as a group of artists and set a template for future works is inspiring.

What’s on your rider?
Number one essential shout is 7oz of ice. That’s that frozen water thing, not the stuff that gets you high or hangs around your neck. Plus all the obvious tipples and mixers that get you where you need to be after a heavenly day on Planet Earth.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Cheech’s 21st birthday celebrations. We don’t even remember what happened and we never want to know.

What song do you wish you’d written?
There are a few we could mention, but on the spot, anything by Parliament/Funkadelic. We are heavily influenced by a lot of music. The Pharcyde and Souls of Mischief early on but we love music in general and dig artists like Tom Waits, Jim Morrison, Zappa – many greats and underground cats. Manchester is always on the map when it comes to great music and lyrics too. To answer the question though on a hip-hop vibe, Mos Def – Ms Fat Booty. That tune is One Step Ahead. See what we did there. Do your homework if you don’t know.

What’s your worst lyric?
Don’t be ridiculous. This is hip-hop. Without confidence and gusto in this game, what do you really have? We believe in one’s self. Be confident, be humble, have fun. Don’t forget why you were inspired to pick up a pencil or digital audio workstation in the first place. Challenge yourself. Try to tell stories and write to concepts. It’s something we neglected for years but wish we started doing it earlier because it’s a great way to improve. On that note though the best lyric in rap music is the word “yo”. So “Yo!” Jump aboard The Mothership and take a trip to Junkleberry Junction. The worst lyric from us four on the other hand is up for debate.

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