There aren’t many hip-hop heads in Louisville that are quite as steadfast in their commitment to the local scene as Virgil Cash, aka the one and only, the mighty Methodical Wun. Meth has been part of the picture for just about as long as there was a canvas, not only as a fan, but through his contributions as a superlative emcee with some great work under his belt including his work with EMDW.
This Friday, Meth is dropping his latest and greatest, the soon to be legendary .definition of Wun Nation. You can listen to the first single from the record, J/S (feat. Mr. Goodbar) below, and catch him killing it at Kaiju this Friday (12/29) supported by Marvin & The Odyssey, Jordan Jetson, and E. Dash.
To get you properly hyped on Meth’s new album and tomorrow’s release show, we reached out for an interview to which he graciously participated in…
Never Nervous: You’ve been at hip-hop in Louisville for a while now. Can you give us a little history lesson between where things were and were they are?
MW: I have been in the game for a long time since like a decade and to be honest Louisville hip-hop has kind of always been about the curve. There has always been a crazy amount of undiscovered talent on the scene. You can basically state Father Jah as the grandfather of hip-hop in Louisville. When I came into the scene I watched the groups like Grimey Rhyme Regime, Skyscraper Stereo, Bird Zoo and artist such as James Lindsey were pushing hip-hop forward into hip-hop artist was not allowed to be in the city. I, how ever, will not to take anything way from what others such as the Villebillies, Nappy Roots, B. Simms, and HurraSeason were doing in the underground scene nationally. I have watched artist grow and become something much different then the world has ever really heard.
Currently, the next generation is full of monsters in the making. The Space Campaign, Pronoun, Peter Wesley, Dirty Flannel Dave, Louisville’s Red, Boleyjack, Jack Harlow, Dom B, Tez of 2Deep, Sasha Renee are a few of the next generation of greatness. We have vets such as Amore King, Smoketown Knave, Bonez, Bobby Kennedy, Bird Zoo, Scott Ashburn, E.Dash, and so many others. The biggest difference to be honest is the multifaceted talents that these entire artists possess. They are great writers, producers, social media personas, and movement starters. The amount of talent that is in our city is more incredible then it has ever been.
NN: In particular, what drew you to the scene? How did you get involved?
“My entire hip-hop career was basically started because of peer pressure.”
MW: I am going to be straight serious with this answer and it isn’t anything amazing at all. My entire hip-hop career was basically started because of peer pressure. My day ones wanted to rap for fun and I was like nah I’ll stay behind the boards and next thing I know there was a mic in my hand and boom here we are. So again folks, Peer Pressure can make for some great life changing stories. Give In!!!
NN: What can you tell me about the production of your new record? I understand that you handled a lot of that work. Is that accurate? What did you learn along the way?
MW: I want to clear up that I did not do any of this production on this album. I wanted to do a project with producer Vheritas and this is what occurred. I’d love to take credit for his work but I just put the songs together engineered the entire project. That man rightfully deserves all the credit for the amazing production he supplied me with on this project. This project taught me what it feels like to be stressed on another level when you are literally trying to write, engineer, and be the ear to the streets.
There are a lot of mistakes made on my part and I wont do that again, especially there was a change in studio gear almost 3/4ths through the way of the album and I can tell when I listen to it. It is all to make me a better artist though and I wouldn’t change any of the stress or sleepless nights at all. I feel like it is required to grow and get better as an artist and engineer.
NN: What is the Definition of Wun Nation? Tell us a little about the concept.
MW: Definition of Wun Nation is simple. It is everything that makes up who we are. On the album, I talk about pieces of life that define who I am. Sometimes they are failures and sometimes they are wins but they are the moments that create who we are. Now as Wun Nation as a whole, we should be using these defining moments to bring us together to be a singular force of humanity. Wun Nation is just a movement of creating unity though love and even failure and coming together as well Wun!!!
NN: How did you find the right collaborators? How do you know who might enhance a track while adding to the message? Is it about the clout of the emcee, or some special skill set?
MW: There are so many people who I always want to work with but I have always had an ear for music. When I hear a song, I can almost envision who has a matching voice based on rhyme cadence, rideablity, technical skill, and even tone. Most of my choices were based on what the music was saying to me. My understanding of tones and keys in music definitely come into play when choosing a great collaborator. It is never about the clout of the emcee for me. It is usually I am a fan first and they will fit the track. I would never force a collabs or anything like that. I will take an artist completely out of their element just to create something different.
NN: Relative to that did you have anyone that you wanted that got away?
MW: Yeah there are a few who I won’t name but because of time constraints and they were releasing projects I missed out. But I’m thinking about doing a remixed version of this album so I can’t tell you who because I need that surprise factor in case I manage to work things out.
NN: Given the turmoil in the world, local or otherwise, how much of that darkness did you see creeping into your music? Or did you avoid it and run the other way, trying to (to quote The Last Jedi) “save the things you love” instead of “destroying the things you hate?”
“No matter how much hate, love will always prevail.”
MW: I see the darkness every single day. It’s cliche as hell, but I am a Black man living in America. It is impossible for me to not be swayed by the darkness on a daily basis. I am not one who is scared of conflict, so I confront that directly on my album. If people have a problem with my views, I don’t particularly care, because they are told from my point of view. You can’t tell me how to feel or how I should view my personal situations. But I never believe in destruction. When I was younger, I often took that route and it never worked. Today it is love is all. No matter how much hate, Love will always prevail.
NN: Tell me about your writing process. Does it start with a beat or a lyric?
MW: My writing process varies from track to track. I usually like to find a beat first, but sometimes inspiration strikes and you write an entire song first and then you find or create a beat that works with the track.
NN: What should we expect at the release show? For that matter tell us about your best and worst show experiences, either as a performer or just a face in the crowd.
MW: We are going to have a lot of fun. We have some great artist on the bill. DeeJay makes amazing music, Jordan Jetson is one of my personal favorite artists doing it out right now, Marvin & The Odyssey’s is my favorite local band, and then and my brother in arms. E. Dash will do most of his project and then a ton of special guest. Best show experience I ever had was seeing Prince after his final concert in Louisville. Being in the presence of that kind of talent was life changing. The worst show are the ones where the artist lip syncing their set. It takes me out of the moment and I feel like I wasted my moment and time going to see an artist who could careless just to save face.
NN: What is the best Christmas food and why?
MW: How can you ask the fat guy what his favorite Christmas Food is? There are so many to choose from but I have to go with are Danish Wedding Cookies. I could literally kill an entire tin if given the chance. I look forward to getting these every year around the Holidays.
NN: You can pick one super power that you can use once and only once for the rest of your life. What is it and why?
“I would just rather show Congress what it looks like to live in the reality of the common folk to show how much damage they have done to this country.”
MW: I would choose the powers to change reality. Think of superheroes such as Legion or Scarlet Witch and you would get the power I am going for. Being able to change the reality of someone who is sexist, or racist and show them how they treat others could easily make the world a better place. Better yet I would just rather show Congress what it looks like to live in the reality of the common folk to show how much damage they have done to this country. I would love to be able to show an individual how their hard work could not only change their lives and others around them but possibly the world.
NN: Have you listened to, watched, eaten, or drank anything worth hollering about lately? Let us in on the dopest non-musical things going on in your world.
MW: Best thing I have listened to is an artist name SYD who is just crazy. I am currently involved in a show called Dark that is similar to Stranger Things but with a little more Twin Peaks. Recently I had the Uncle Disheveled from Mile Wide. Beer has a crazy taste.
A lot of people don’t know that I am an amateur chef. In the beginning of 2018 I am going to start a roll out Big Bruh’s line of seasonings for various meats and veggies at the beginning of next year. After this album I am trying to take my cooking game to peak levels with shows and possibly some dinners next year. Not to mention working to do more for the non profit From Hip-Hop 2 Humanity, and writing for a few local blogs, Ahem!!!
NN: Name your top three albums from 2017 and why they made the cut.
MW: These are not in any particular order, but it goes like this for me this year: Cyhi The Prince – No Dope on Sundays, because of the way it was crafted and how amazing this album is from a production standpoint and lyrically. It touched on some very crazy themes. Thundercat – Drunk has just been in heavy rotation since it was released earlier this year. The 70’s ish sound mixed with the new makes for a great listen. Sampha – Process not only is it a great album but just very touching. I have a ton more but this is a great way to boil down 2017.