17 Apr UNITED STATEMENTS SERVE UP RAZOR-SHARP REALISM WITH DEBUT ALBUM TRUTH HURTS
I ceased listening to (the majority of) mainstream music when I grew bored of its lackluster lyrics and frustrated that an overabundance of songs sounded strangely…well, s i m i l a r. By embracing indie music and speaking with a number of emerging independent artists, I’ve come to learn that the greatest disparity between mainstream musicians and their indie peers (across multiple genres) isn’t necessarily a matter of talent but a matter of WHAT is being created. While many mainstream artists are molded to create only what their managers, producers, and labels believe will sell, their indie counterparts simply create what they want to. And this creative freedom independent artists feel yields a vast variety of sounds and an inherent richness of lyricism that’s gravely absent in today’s mainstream music.
I believe indie artists to be some of the finest storytellers of our time. Eon MC Etc. is one of my favorites. Although, when we first met, I had no idea he was such a vibrant wordsmith. (I just loved hearing his stories.) Like other go-getters, Eon seamlessly weaves in and out of several secret identities—partly why his creative pool will never dry up. If you’ve been following the blog, you might be thinking, You’ve covered him before—aaand you’d be right! (If you’re an MMM newbie, you should check out these other Eon MC Etc. interviews a little later: Southern L.O. EP (2017) + “Thunder Up, Yeah!” music video (2018))
This interview isn’t *just* about Eon, though. It’s about the United Statements, four brilliant minds—Adduci, Bamboo MC, MC Learic, and Eon MC Etc.—destined to collide MANY winters ago in New York City, form an unbreakable bond, and (eventually) release their debut album, Truth Hurts. (Listen while you read.) While this one-of-a-kind, eclectic indie hip-hop album possesses several praiseworthy characteristics, perhaps the one I admire most is that they’re not selling a false fairytale; they’re serving up intimate details of their lives with razor-sharp realism. And these boys stack lyrics with Tetris-like precision. Here are a some of my most-loved lines:
“Sometimes I feel like I’m a star about to burnout, a picture exposed to sunlight, that now can never turn out”—Eon MC Etc. in “Everest”
“Y’all some pranksters. You don’t know me. Pull a soliloquy from Shakespeare’s sonnet, raise the bar so high that they gonna vomit”—Aducci in “Bored To Death”
“We don’t need to be validated by fame and riches, paparazzi takin’ pictures trying to capture your soul, I’d rather leave this generation with beats, like Jack’s On The Road”—MC Learic in “On the Road”
“It’s all good, we in the Facebook age. Deadbeats raising their kids through their Facebook page. Like, he posted on my wall, I don’t know him at all…He shows up uninvited, I’m supposed to be excited, ‘cause he bought me a bike, but never taught me how to ride it. Time-line supervisin’, like, tryin’ to put me in time-out. You never put the time in…”—Bamboo MC in “Outta Control”
“Open your opus and see, the flow is increased with the soul of the streets, and it smells so sweet. The beat chose we”—Aducci in “Time”
“Our rivalry was just a game to me. Obviously, your success was something that I aimed to see. Don’t ‘t know how it came to be that we don’t even holler or kick it, kinda sick that we were so thick as kids, but now we’re so distant” —Eon MC Etc. in “Big Bang”
“She traded in a broke scholar for the almighty dollar. Though I didn’t see it then, now it all makes sense, I got the taste of happiness to know what heartbreak meant”—MC Learic in “The Difficult Part”
“Just a Spanish kid with a rapping gift. My teachers found out that I was talented, they didn’t know how to handle it. I made music, the neighborhood was fans of it, of course I had my haters and family was never advocates.”—Bamboo MC in “Truth Hurts”
“Haven’t got an answer yet? Maybe you asked it wrong. Or maybe they can’t see your face while your mask is on. Tryin’ to establish our own identities, when half the happy people know that’s something they pretend to be.”—MC Learic in “Truth Hurts”
In this chock-full-of-stories interview, you’ll learn: how a chance encounter at a Chinese restaurant changed EVERYTHING; what would (more often than not) be consumed before breakfast during their college days; why Eon occasionally needs to step in as mediator; all about the newly released, 18-track Truth Hurts album (including which track is a really a parody); why Adduci sometimes misses his ex-verses; the advantage of having an accidental trial run; why it’s best to be sober in studio; what prank the boys played on their recording engineer; how Eon neutralizes negative vibes; and what’s next for the members of the United Statements.
The conversation from our interview is chronicled below in a pure Q & A format.
Q & A:
We’re familiar with your past work, but not with the United Statements. Can you introduce us to the other boys, and maybe yourself, too, for those that don’t already know you?
Eon: I’ve never met anyone in my life who loved hip hop more than LEARIC. He’s like a HISTORIAN/ NERD—any artist you name, he knows of them, and can probably kick a few lines of theirs. He’s really a technician. He used to write a verse like every day when we were in New York, and they were ALL good. He’s also a pretty accomplished slam poet and battle rapper.
BAMBOO is also an accomplished SLAM POET. Bamboo is the embodiment of that gritty, New York State of mind. He brings that energy and that flavor to every record. He has a passion and an attitude that’s contagious and you really feel his soul when he raps. He’s crazy good with the wordplay, too.
ADDUCI is like—if his childhood had played out differently—he’d probably play multiple instruments. But he learned how to use his voice *like* an instrument. Adduci is our MELODY. He’s got a wide range of musical influences that he kind of transcribes into rap. Not to say he’s not hip hop because he definitely is. He’s just something else.
Me (EON), I don’t know how to describe myself other than I have stuff to say and I find a way to get it out. Probably the least hip hop of the group. I dabble in different genres but HIP HOP IS MY FIRST LANGUAGE.
How did the four of you first meet?
Eon: Learic is from Vermont. Adduci is from North Carolina. I’m from Oklahoma. Bamboo is from New York. And we all met in New York. Me, Learic, and Adduci were attending college there.
I met Learic at this little Chinese place, West End Cottage, that used to have these large carafes of cheap white wine they’d bring to you with dinner. (Lots of people from our school would go there.) I had moved up to New York without knowing anyone. One night during my second week in school, I was sitting in the restaurant eating my Chinese food and drinking with strangers when someone at the table told me about this guy Learic who raps. So, I go talk to Learic later about it, and he says, “Yeah, Yeah. I do. Do you, you know, rap?” And I was like, Should I say something or not? After a little hesitation, I finally replied, “Yeeaahh, I meeean, you know, I may do a little somethin’ or whatever….”
I met Adduci at a party. He came up to me and said, “Man, I can look in your eyes and I can tell you SEE what’s going on with all the people in here. This is some crazy sh!t, right?” I replied, “Yeah…it is.” And the way he’ll tell the rest of story is that I told him right afterwards that we should both take our shirts off. (But I don’t recall that part, because it didn’t actually happen!) Adduci and I hit it off right away. We kind of have similar backgrounds, upbringing, and views.
I met Bamboo the first time I hung out with Learic outside the Chinese restaurant. The first time Bamboo and Adduci met, they had a little rhyme session—which they STILL argue about to this day. Adduci will say, “Yeah, I ate him!” And Bamboo will say, “Nah, he’s on some bullsh!t.” Regardless, we ALL had an instant connection with Bamboo, and began hanging out all the time. Bamboo had a whole Hell’s Kitchen crew he rolled with—four other dudes. One was his cousin, two were from his neighborhood, and the last was a rapper from his neighborhood, Mr. VainLane—who used to hang and rap with us a lot. Bamboo brought that whole New York vibe to our group right away.
Soon after we all met, Learic, Adduci and I (and several other people) were in Learic’s room freestyling. We lived in the Stratford Arms hotel—partially a regular hotel, partially our pseudo-dorm, and partially elderly housing. (Yeah, it was a wild assortment of people.) Bamboo showed up after Adduci called him, and that’s the very first time we heard everybody do their thing. It quickly became an unspoken competition, with all of us standing in a large circle. The guy next to you would take his turn and freestyle, and then you’d think, Awww, man! I gotta do BETTER than him! It turned into a regular meet up. We’d have a lot of people come watch us, and it was quite the event. That’s kind of how it all began.
How did the United Statements come to be?
Eon: We kept hanging out and freestyling ALL THE TIME. To be honest, there was probably a string of two months, where Bamboo would come by early morning to wake me up. He’d roll up a blunt, and we’d smoke it. Then we’d freestyle a little bit and listen to music.
BEFORE you’d eat breakfast?!
Eon: Yes, Ivy. Before breakfast. (He’d also drink Bacardi before breakfast sometimes, too.) After that, the two of us would go see what Learic was doing. Learic had a couple of roommates; they’d usually be chilling and listening to music. Of course, Learic would always want to smoke, too. So, he’d roll up a blunt and smoke it. Bamboo would frequently take off around that time, because he had a girl he was talking to and would want to see her. From there, Learic and I would go and see what our other friend Tom was doing. (Tom was more or less “Mr. professional weed-smoker”—he had all the legit tools and somehow found a way to get his weed shipped in from California.) We’d sit with Tom, play video games, and smoke. When Adduci showed up we’d freestyle for a while more and then *eventually* go to class. At the end of the night, me and Adduci would listen to music and smoke some more.
And that was our routine for a while. We united over music and marijuana. Of the whole crew, I was the lightweight when it came to smoking; I actually quit after those first couple months. We’d be having all of these freestyle sessions, and every day we’d say we needed to record something. Of course, since we were smoking a lot of weed, that never happened. But we did manage to come up with some concepts, including the hook for the Truth Hurts title track—which is still the SAME hook you hear today. We always knew we’d make a song with that hook and that it’d be awesome. You know, it took a while, but we eventually did it.
We actually had a meeting, which is funny for us to think about now. We all got together and decided that since we were a crew, we needed a name. Bamboo had decided in his head that we were going to be the United States, since we were all from different places. At that time we also had another cat from Chicago, Warren, and another dude, Twan B., from Detroit. (Twan B. was pretty good.) Adduci, in true Adduci fashion, had to go bigger than Bamboo, and said, “What if we be Universatile?” He’s got this whole play-on-words thing he’s tryin’ to do or whatever, so I’m sittin’ back, thinking about it, and I say, “I like the United States idea, but I don’t like the sound of it. I’m thinking maybe we try a play-on-words with the United States concept—what do you think about the United Statements?” And everyone pretty much thought it was dope. It only took a month to land the name that stuck.
Rumor has it the Truth Hurts album has been many years in the making. Are you willing to address that AND tell us about the group’s rich history?
Eon: Well, I’m not going to tell you *exactly* how many years it’s been in the making, but it’s more than fifteen. So, there’s that. The group itself has a pretty short history. We had, maybe, one year where we were all together in the same place. Like I said before, we smoked a lot (of weed), freestyled a lot, and recorded pretty much absolutely nothing. We wrote songs that we never recorded. I don’t know if anyone knows where those are now. Everyone kind of went their own way, doing their own solo thing with their separate crews where they were from; but, we always had this idea that one day we’d circle back and get this thing done. In that sense, you could say it’s a pretty long history. We’ve been friends for a long time. And this is the first album we’ve ever done as a group after all this time.
Adduci: Well, the rumor is true. We all met at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York when we were attending acting school. In December of 2000, we came together as like-minded hip-hop heads that found out we had a knack for rapping. And we were all each other’s biggest fans. We were sitting around late-night in one of the commons areas, and we thought, You know what? We’re dope! We need to start a group or something. So, we passed around a paper and each of us wrote one line on it. We came up with the hook for the title track “Truth Hurts” after passing the paper around only once or twice. And that was something that had unintentionally stuck with us over all these years.
Since splitting up after school, we naturally went about our own careers and prospective artist projects, be it solo or with other groups. Yet, we all kept in touch, and every once in a while, one of us would bring up the “Truth Hurts” hook. Finally, after more than a decade or so of emailing back and forth and contributing verses, we decided to get a little bit more serious about it, and say, “Hey, man. Let’s stop playing around and actually put something out.”
Can you break down who plays what role in the group?
Eon: Technically, we all have the same role. Everyone writes their own lyrics and is responsible for their own parts; but, I’m kind of like the de facto manager. You have to have one when you’re dealing with multiple people. Otherwise, nothing will get done. Someone has to say, “You do this. You turn this in. Where’s this at? This song needs another verse, etc.”
How do you manage the writing process?
Eon: Typically, somebody comes up with the first verse, which sets the tone and the concept of the song. Then, everyone else is supposed to follow suit. That’s really the only way to make it work with four dudes. We’ve tried to have group calls and group texts in an attempt to plan and set agendas, and it never worked. No one really does anything until one person just writes something. And then everyone else realizes, Oh. So THIS is what we’re doing.
After that, I kind of have to go back, see if it’s actually done, and also be the person that asks things like, “Hey, can you write another verse that’s a little bit more on topic?” For the most part, every member is their own guy. They do what they want to do. It’s just a matter of the first guy doing his thing, and then everyone else falling in line.
With four group members all (more or less) having an equal say, how difficult is it to take a single song from concept to recording to agreeing it’s finished? Does anyone ever need to step in as mediator?
Eon: Super duper hard when you have four grown men. Everyone has their own ideas and ego. You kind of have to balance that, and say, “Okay. I totally understand what you are saying, but just as part of the group, this doesn’t work.” Sometimes, everybody is totally cool. Other times, it’s more complex. One person might say, “Nah, man, ‘cause the thing is _________. You know, see…what HE did!”
Inside the group, there’s a couple members who regularly butt heads, and you have to talk to them separately. The first will say, “Man, f**k that dude.” And then the second will say the same about the first. I have to hear each of them out and find a way to get them to meet in the middle. It’s about respecting everyone as an artist and as a human being. Managing egos is completely exhausting. Everyone has one in varying degrees, and it’s a delicate thing. If there’s any perceived slight, someone won’t cooperate and that will hold up progress.
Adduci: Yeah, you’re dealing with different artists. All of us have our individual voices, styles, approaches, ideas, and certain things we view as important. When we come up with a song idea, it usually sparks from a beat we’ve been throwing around. Then we get into the intricacies of painting the picture of what the beat was in general to us all.
I think I particularly had an interesting time with the process. When I say “interesting” I don’t mean it was negative OR positive—just different to me. When I’m creating music on my own, I consider myself a little bit more avant-garde and a little less specific. I paint a poetic picture that’s easily relatable to whatever the audience wants to put to it. I mean, it’s specific to me, but it doesn’t really transfer specificity to another ear.
With this particular project, Eon served as musical director, helming the ship. He had somewhat of a vision from the start of how he wanted certain songs to go. We’d run into situations where I would submit a verse, get good feedback from some of the group, and then hear Eon say, “Yeah. That’s really dope, but it’s not on subject like Bamboo was on subject.” We’d end up with some people on subject and some people off subject, and those of us that were off topic would need to get more specific and tailor our verses to better fit the songs.
There are multiple tracks on this album that I had written three or four verses for before everybody was like, “Ah, yeah. That’s the one!” Usually the first verse I write is the one I’m most emotionally attached to. (The others seem more like something I had to craft to appease the group.) And that’s why it was an interesting process for me. Ultimately, I do think it helps you become a better writer and a better collaborator if you can revise your work. This was the first time I had to deal with that. It was frustrating at times, but I took it on as a challenge I’m grateful for.
Looking at the final album, are you pleased with how it turned out or is there a part of you that wishes you had your initial verses?
Adduci: You know, I think it’s hard for every artist to kill their darlings. When I listen to the final version that’s out there, I think about the other three versions that could have been versus the one that IS there. And I wonder how that would have played out. But I am very happy with ALL of our songs and how they turned out. Eon did a great job piecing the track list together and formulating this loose web of, Hey, we’ve been doing this for a LONG time. We’re not going to hide that fact. I didn’t expect all the interludes to be a part of this project. When I heard the whole finished Truth Hurts album for the first time, I was like, Oh, wow!
Has there ever been any epic beefs that lasted more than a couple days—like a big United Statements rift?
Eon: There HAVE been a few. Usually they end within a couple of weeks. I mean, it happens just because of chest-beating, knuckle-dragging dude stuff. Each member wants to feel like he is receiving the proper amount of respect at all times. When there’s an issue, I need to step in as mediator.
How do you know when a song is finished?
Eon: A lot of our songs have a pretty basic formula. It’s hard to explain how you know when one is finished, though. Sometimes, you listen to a song and you’re like, OK, that’s it. It’s done! Other times you might listen to a song and think, It’s pretty good, but something’s just *not* where it needs to be. And I’m usually the dude that has to say, “I like it, but I don’t LOVE it. It needs something.” Then, I have to sell that opinion to the other members of the group. Sometimes we’re all in agreement and sometimes we’re not. It’s not exactly a science; it’s kind of feel-based.
Let’s dive into the 18-track album itself. Can you briefly touch on each interlude and track?
Eon: The “Intro” sets the mood. It’s a beat and three iconic movie clips highlighting scenarios where a person addresses either having to lie or the truth being inconvenient or painful, which is the theme of our album.
“Everest” is really relatable. Many people struggle with, How am I going to achieve my goals and what I want in life *while also* having to work through my baggage and all the issues I have?
“Freestyle Interlude ‘12” features Learic’s freestyling ability. I think this particular one went on for like an hour—dude is a beast. We thought this track might give listeners the feeling that they’re right there beside us hanging out with the crew.
“Bored To Death” describes the struggle of an aging hip hop artist seeing something he grew up with and loved turn into something he doesn’t even mess with at all. It’s also about the frustrations that come with living a normal life and sometimes feeling like you just don’t have that spark anymore.
“On The Road” tells four different REAL stories. It’s kind of a low-key tribute to Jack Kerouac, which was Adduci’s concept. He was heavy into Kerouac at the time, so it’s named after his book.
“Time”, the poem, is also a low-key tribute to Jack Kerouac. And the track underneath it is a song called “Kerouac” by Charlie Christian, so it’s kind of a nod to both of them.
“Big Bang” talks about having a close relationship with someone, and then—for whatever reason—you start growing apart. I’m sure everyone’s experienced that. Somebody you used to be really tight with, and now you’re just not anymore. Maybe you didn’t even legit fall out, but life simply took you in different directions. It can be tough sometimes.
“Ignite Interlude ’07” is a throw-back Adduci track. (All the old interludes are labeled by year.) It’s actually one of my favorite Adduci throw-back tracks. I like the energy on that one.
“The Difficult Part” focuses on relationships gone south, and the aftermath of those breakups. You know, you get with someone you really like, but—when it doesn’t work out—you’re left with all these residual feelings and turmoil.
In “Karma” we’re talking about the concept from difficult angles. Whatever you sow, you’re going to reap it. It could be good. It could be bad. It’s just the way the universe works.
“Chitterlings Interlude ’01” (If you don’t know what Chitterlings is, it’s soul food.) This is a vintage Eon track I recorded with my cousin when I was home from New York over the summer in Oklahoma. We had a whole makeshift booth and computer setup in our home studio. You know, back then we thought we were *big-time* record producers. I think my cousin may have even told a few girls online that he was a serious record producer.
“No Place Like Home” is our tribute to each our hometowns. We chose this concept LONG ago, but never developed it until recently.
“Voicemail Interlude” is a REAL voice mail left on my phone from my good friend, Louis. I thought this inspiring voice mail would make a great addition to the album.
“Keep Pushin’” began, conceptually, as an interlude, and it just kind of became a really looong interlude. It’s all about those positive vibes.
We wanted to have one track where no one had any responsibility except for rapping, so that’s kind of what “Outta Control” is all about. It’s fun.
“World Interlude ’98” is vintage Bamboo from either ’98 or ’99. It’s his Hell’s Kitchen days representing his hometown.
“Truth Hurts”—the title track—is the hook we came up with forever ago. And it’s the only thing we ALL did together back in the day. The song explores the title’s concept.
Our professional weed-smoker friend, Tom, recorded the parody “Sody With A Free Straw” as a joke with a friend of his (who happens to be a legit producer and artist). There’s an obscure reference to going to baseball games in St. Louis, which totally blew over all our heads, but we thought this track was funny. When they initially sent me the track, I thought, What the HELL am I going to do with this? Something you should know about the United Statements, as a group of friends, is that we always have a good time when we get together. We always ‘act a fool’, and we kind of felt like, We didn’t really ‘act a fool’ on this album, so we kind of just let them ‘act a fool’ for us.
Can you address the sound and meaning of the album as a whole? What do you hope listeners will take away from it?
Eon: I’d prefer NOT to put a genre label on the album; but, if someone were to label it, we might get a lot of “sounds like 90s hip hop,” which I’m fine with. It’s the era we all came up in. Sound-wise, I think it’s actually pretty eclectic. I don’t think there’s one style or sound that’s consistent through the album. I think we have a lot of different sounds.
There’s a lot of truth on the album. Many of the lyrics come from a real place. We’re not trying super-hard to be cool or present ourselves as though we’re doing it super big. We struggle, we have feelings, and sometimes we get those feelings hurt. We’re not acting like we are super men. I feel like pretending is kind of an issue in rap in general. The rap we typically hear is all about dudes with bags of money, bazookas on their backs, and the prettiest girls you’ve ever seen in your life licking their boots. That’s not ANYBODY’s reality. We wanted to make something everybody can relate to. You take an L sometimes. Maybe things don’t always go the way you want them to, and maybe you feel some type of way about that. But, that’s alright. It’s real life.
Adduci: We’re in an age where mainstream hip-hop has been watered down over the years as far as lyricism is concerned, and we’ve gotten away from the true art form of crafting a verse and affecting people in an emotional way. There used to be this marriage of the DJ/Producer and the MC—we’ve unfortunately strayed from that over the years. And that’s what the song “Bored To Death” is all about, especially the lyric, “who pulled the plug and let the music just die?” I mean, it’s just not as exciting to listen to the new stuff as it was to listen to the older stuff.
Sometimes I wonder if I turned into that old man that says, “THAT’s NOT music!” You gotta give credit to people who are creating in general, and I hope it doesn’t come across as though I’m sh!tting on other artists. I just prefer a little more thought-provoking lyricism with hip-hop. I’ve been missing that, and that’s what we’ve tried to create with this album—what we like to listen to.
It’s cool when younger people listen to Truth Hurts with new ears like they haven’t heard lyricism like that on the radio. Many of them haven’t heard lyricism like that in general. They’ve mentioned things to me, like, “Oh, wow, you guys are SMART,” or, “You guys are *conscious*.” The fact that some of the younger listeners dig it will hopefully inspire others to craft their verses a little bit differently and put more time into their music.
When we’ve spoken to you in the past, what we’ve loved most besides the music were your STORIES. Can you tell us a story (or two or three) related to the United Statements and the making of Truth Hurts?
Eon: The first thing—it was HELL trying to figure out how to get everybody in the same place to record this album. We actually attempted it in Jersey a couple years prior to when we officially recorded it. We went to Bamboo’s house. I was on a pseudo-vacation with my family, because my cousin was in remission from cancer and wanted to travel to New York. We drove over to Jersey to hang out with Bamboo, and Adduci and Learic met up with us there. We recorded this project, but—for whatever reason—NONE of the files were properly saved. We lost the WHOLE thing. I can’t remember what year it was, but it was actually good. It served as a test run. We needed to work out the kinks, anyway.
On our second run, we got everyone on the same page to record in Charlotte, North Carolina—where Adduci lived. Learic arrived first. I arrived second. Bamboo was the last to fly in. He called me when he arrived at the airport, asking for a ride. I said, “Man, we’re already in studio recording. We’re on a tight timeline. Can you get here on your own?” He replied, “No. I NEED somebody to come get me.” And I was like, WTF! I told the others I had to pick up Bamboo, and Adduci spoke, “Nah, nah. Let’s send someone else to go get him, so we can keep recording.” I think we ended up having an Uber pick him up.
Apparently, Bamboo must have tied one on in-flight, because he walked into the studio and IMMEDIATELY started a fight. We spent the whole first night arguing over who was going to run the session and what we were going to do with it once it was recorded. We hardly accomplished anything that first night. Bamboo passed out as soon as we arrived at Adduci’s house. Since we rotated our sleeping arrangements to give everyone a night in the guest room, I ended up in the guest room the first night. I stumbled into the hallway at 2am, and saw others in the living room on the huge couch. Adduci was wide awake with bloodshot eyes and a murderous look. He exploded, “It’s the snoring! I CAN’T TAKE the snoring!” (I won’t reveal *who* was snoring but Adduci was close to murdering him.)
The second day in studio, we brought in a camera crew to record all day long. We wore our t-shirts with our names on them, because we wanted to make a real nice video, you know, to document the making of the album. About half-way into it, another huge fight erupts. We were bantering on the video, just joking around, and it somehow evolved into a legit, knock-down, drag-out, almost-coming-to-blows in-studio fallout. We hashed it out in the end, though, because we’re all like brothers. We know it’s bound to happen. We’re going to butt heads, but it never gets too bad. Those are probably the main two events that happened when we finally did record Truth Hurts, aside from Adduci showing us some of his fun and secret Charlotte spots.
Adduci: Hmmm, I guess the cool story behind it for me is that it started in the COLD December of 2000. (I think it may have even been snowing in New York City.) We were all actors (except Bamboo, who’s a poet), all from different places, and yet we somehow came together that winter to pen the chorus that ultimately became the title of the album.
Another story worth mentioning that happened years later—when recording in studio—is our idea to start a fake beef in order to mess with Scott Slagle, our engineer. We’re trying to wrangle all of that footage together for a documentary, but we staged a breakup before we finished recording the album. And we kept the joke going on Instagram by crafting these crazy stories about why we no longer liked each other and why the United Statements broke up. All of our marketing and publicity went into this idea of “the greatest group that never was, because they broke up before you ever heard of them.” If you watch our videos on Instagram, you’ll see how ridiculous they are. That was fun for us.
Obviously, making money and garnering a bunch of fans is something we’d love to see happen, but, for the most part, it’s strictly for the love of music that we came together to make this happen. I’m an actor, and that’s what I push as my business; but I’m always going to make music, because that’s my therapy. It’s fun to get together with such talented individuals and create things that will live on past us.
***Something Adduci didn’t mention, but is sooo worth mentioning: He was PULLED over by the police mid-phone interview. (Yup. I heard the sirens and all…and even the very faint “ohhhh, sh!t” escape his mouth.) TRUTH: not as dramatic as one might think, just some outdated tags in the process of renewal. However, a definite first for MMM!
Where was the album recorded and mixed?
Eon: The majority of the album was recorded at that Charlotte session at Asylum Digital. Our main engineer was Scott Slagle, who we worked with on the Fighting Demons EP. The mixing board Scott recorded Truth Hurts on is the same mixing board used to record Redman’s Dare Iz A Darkside album. Being the ‘90s hip hop heads we all are, that was pretty cool to learn.
Negative vibes. Whether it’s family or friends voicing doubt or strangers on social media slinging acidic comments, how do you and the United Statements stay above it?
Eon: Well, I can’t really speak for everybody. I personally don’t take negative comments that seriously just because I don’t take myself that seriously. If I thought I was above criticism, and someone said something to me, it would give me a complex or hurt my feelings. Most times, I just laugh. But, as a general rule, I think if someone goes out of their way to insult you or put you down, there’s probably something about you that they think is good. And, for whatever reason, they feel they have to lash out at you. Maybe they don’t like the way you make them feel. To me, that’s their problem. That’s not my problem.
What’s next for you? And for the United Statements? Will there be any shows to promote the album?
Eon: Well, we don’t have currently have any shows scheduled, but we are in talks about it. Everyone in the group says they’d like to do another project. The other guys joke and say, “Ha, ha. Maybe it will be ready in another ten years.” But I don’t think that’s funny. I legit think if we try to do another project it MAY be another ten years; that’s nothing to speak about now. We’re really just enjoying what we have going on with Truth Hurts, and that we finally did it.
Learic and Bamboo are working on their own respective solo projects right now. Adduci is making movies and television. Music has always been a thing he does on the side or in between acting gigs. Most of the time when Adduci works on a music project, it’s because I grab him to work on one of mine, so we’ll see what happens. Me, personally, I’ve got a couple of projects I’ll be focusing on this year. The first is with a band I’m making an album with. The second is a solo project I’ve wanted make for years, which will feature mostly live instruments.
Do you want to thank and/or draw our attention to anyone?
Eon: I guess I just want to shout-out a few people. Obviously, thank you to anyone who worked on the album and participated on the album, including Scott Slagle, Laszlo, LX Beats, Jay Beato, Moss, C King, Tino Beats, my dude Greg, and Jah Freedom.
I also want to shout-out anybody who wasn’t necessarily in the group, but was in the crew—like Nate, Tom, our friend Jesse Roach who passed this year, Jessie Alagna, Ashley, Jones, Danny, Dap, and everybody who was around, part of our movement, and supported us over all these years.
Connect with the United Statements:
United Statements: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedStatements/
United Statements: https://www.instagram.com/unitedstatements/
Bamboo MC: https://www.instagram.com/bamboo.mc
MC Learic: https://www.instagram.com/leariclife
Eon MC Etc.: https://www.instagram.com/eonmcetc
United Statements: https://twitter.com/statementsunite
Bamboo MC: https://twitter.com/bamboomc
MC Learic: https://twitter.com/leariclife
Eon MC Etc.: https://twitter.com/eonmcetc
Listen to the Truth Hurts album:
Read our recent interviews with Eon MC Etc:
2017: “All About Eon MC Etc.’s Sizzling New EP, Southern L.O.”
2018: “Eon MC Etc. Releases Music Video for “Thunder Up, Yeah!”, His Spirited Fight Song for The Oklahoma City Thunder