Connecting with Mohawk Johnson we got to talking about his music and his mission for a brief period of time. Getting into some history and details into his music intent and thought process. Painting a picture of human being going through his woes within his skin and his culture. Alleviating the pressure by fighting for noble causes and ideas through his music and empathetically connecting with listeners in mutual situations.
Within a short period of time from his starting point Mohawk gathered a collection of songs aimed to disseminate social and political constructs and to place awareness on ones mental state. Armed with an EP and music videos he does it again with the release of So Deep. With his words he mocks the typical hotep, breaking down and patronizing their behavior. Over a jazzy and vibrant hip hop beat produced by Shhh, Mohawk’s turns his heckling into a catchy, raw song calling out contradictory artists in his culture.
In our interview Mohawk Johnson breaks it down in a bit more detail with what he means with this song. We also go over his start in music and what motivated him into the industry and how that quickly grew into something different. You will get the idea that he is more ordinary than most artists claim to be, and he speaks it how it is. Connecting effortlessly with and giving voice to the unconnected and the voiceless. Whether it be through his music or social media Johnson fights for his mind and fights for better social conditions with his level and style of awareness.
When did you start rapping/handling the mic?
Do you write and/or freestyle?
I write. I can’t freestyle for shit.
What got you to start releasing music?
I wanted my ex girlfriend to notice me and take me back. It didn’t work.
But you have new songs coming in. Did you figure forget it keep goin, did the music grow on you? What were you thinking then?
After I dropped the first EP some people I knew came out and talked to me about being suicidal and that my music inspired them to get help. So I kept making music. There have been people who didn’t care what I had to say but when I say it in songs they hear me. I have a lot to say and music seems to be the only thing that allows people to hear me.
Your profile on bandcamp says you are black and traumatized and you want to put that on display to help other similar people. Would you say your new inspiration is mental health advocacy through your music?
That and other things
Other things like?
Ending racism, tackling poverty, fighting homophobia, etc…
Your newest release so deep takes on a different persona than your other earlier darker tracks.Any particular inspiration or what are u goin for?
I am critiquing hoteps who pretend to be problack but then engage in respectability politics.
Black men who pretend to be pro black but engage in respectability politics, homophobia, sexism, able-ism, etc… They don’t want freedom from white supremacy. They want the power to oppress black women.
Do you see alot of this in todays hip hop scene?
Yeah, it’s everywhere. Anytime someone critiques racism and then turns around and calls women hoes for having the same sex we been having
How would you say your music is helping combat this?
I attack it directly through satire. I embody the style like I did in so deep but then I rip their ideology apart.
Can we expect a more socially and politically motivated project similar to how your relapse EP is about the mind?
Alot of your work is produced by Shhh. How’d you two meet?
My roommate is friends with him. They came to my first show. Shhh volunteered to work with me after that.
Can we be expecting more funk and jazz influenced beats like So Deep as well?
Maybe a few, I don’t know how I feel about it. I don’t do the genre justice.
I have to disagree! I really liked the new track and I think you flowed good in that genre with your style.
If you say so.
Tellin’ it how it is man appreciate you sharing the new music.