Cormega: Street Rap For Purists
Written by: Geo Hagan Photography by: Ben Ferrari

Cormega is one of the Last Mohicans standing when it comes to raw, undiluted street rap music. He came up in the early nineties era with other Queens rap legends like Nas and Tragedy Khadafi. Mega was actually one of the founding members of the shortlived group The Firm that comprised of the aforementioned Nas alongside AZ, Nature and Foxy Brown. Over the years, he has consistently put out a steady stream of classic underground LP’s that have showcased his sharp, verbal wizardry and deep knowledge of the murky street life. His dedication to his craft has earned him an extremely loyal fan base, and his supporters are quick to add his name as one of the top lyricists to ever rock a microphone. 

On July 22nd, Mega drops his new album entitled Mega Philosophy which is entirely produced by his friend and mentor, The Large Professor aka Extra P – another rap super-hero hailing from the land of Queens. We caught up with Cormega last week at the Alife Rivington Club on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to talk about his current state of mind and the musical direction of his new album. Read on …

“Hip-hop needs to be represented correctly …”

First off, what’s good with you? How’s life and what’s your current state of mind going into you new album Mega Philosophy?

I’m good! Life is life and my mind state is like a man on a mission for this Mega Philosophy album. 

What have you been doing in the interval between your last release and this new LP?

My last solo album was 2009’s Born And Raised. Since then, I’ve been trying to be the best father I can be. Going through changes in life some good, some bad, all essential to growth.

You have an extensive body of work all through the years – What makes Mega Philosophy different from all your prior releases?

What makes Mega Philosophy different is the content and the motivation. Hip-hop needs to be represented correctly. 

Why did you decide to have Large Professor as the only producer behind the boards on this album?

I think every artist has a producer they’d love to do an entire album with. I just got lucky that it was possible with Large Professor.

The song “Rap Basquiat” is quite amazing – what was your angle for tackling that joint?

I just wanted to show that I’m a lyricist who should be taken seriously. 

Any other standout cuts and features you think your fans will be really excited about on the album?

The fans will dictate what they feel is standout. I can only hope and/ or assume, (Editor’s Note: At the photoshoot, we heard another heater on the album called “MARS” – featuring verses by AZ, Redman & Styles P. – pure fire!)

You recently did a track with Roc Marciano – who are some of the newer artists on the scene that you think are carrying on the tradition of quality street rap?

I have to sit back and absorb new artists so I can give an accurate list of who I feel is representing the right way but I’m proud of Big Pun’s son, Chris Rivers 

You are no longer living NYC – where are you based now and why did you decide to make the move?

I moved upstate for the fresh air and a fresh start, so I’m refreshed 

What does Cormega do to unwind and refocus? Do you have a favorite drink, do you smoke some kush or perhaps just a favorite vacation spot?

To unwind I like peace, quiet, and a calm atmosphere. I like to travel too. To see the world. Recently I went to Uganda. What a life-changing experience to visit Africa.

You are one of the rappers with a really dedicated and loyal fan base – why do you think these listeners have stuck with you all these years?

I have been fortunate to have loyal fans. I need them more then they know. They keep me afloat in so many ways. I feel connected to my fans.

Lastly, after this album drops, what else do you have coming up on the horizon that we can look out for?

After this album I have remixes and more Cormega albums near completion. As I said earlier I’m on a mission.

Make sure to follow Cormega on twitter at @realcormega – And you can pre-order the new album Mega Philosophy on I-Tunes here: 

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