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High & Mighty- Who Wants to be 35 years old and Still DJing-

Author: Benedetta Ferraro
Monday, December 10, 2001
Dj Mighty Miu and Mister Eon are the producers behind independent New York hip hop label Eastern Conference Records, formed in 1996 and themed around hip hop and American sports. Following a 2 year stint under Rawkus's umbrella, the duo took the label back independent this year and Part 11 marks their return to independence. Featuring 20 new tracks from the label's own artists, High & Mighty, Skillz and Copywrite, the record features additional contributions from the likes of Jurassic 5 and Kool Keith. Skrufff's Benedetta Ferraro caught up with Mighty Mi recently in London. . .

"I used to be a house DJ a couple of years ago and I played in New York clubs but, I don't really like the working hours and the lifestyle that goes with it. I just got more interested in producing."

So says New York hip hop playa Mighty Mi, frontman for High & Mighty and their label Eastern Conference Records. His main complaint against house, however, reflects the fundamental differences in attitude that remain between the two genres.

"It's not a lifestyle that has a long lasting potential, unless you are at the top of your profession and are making lots of money," he suggests.

Skrufff: Your new compilation has been described as your first venture 'without the corporate red tape of a major label' (Rawkus); what have been the main advantages of going independent again-

High & Mighty (Mighty Mi): "It's about owning the music, owning the masters and being able to reap the benefits of owning your music as opposed to just selling it for a certain amount, to the label. And being able to really do what we want to, ie to choose the music we want to make without any interference. Rawkus wasn't too intrusive in that respect, but despite this, we're into doing our own thing without having anyone above us to report to."

Skrufff: As the main producer, how much did you actively set out to create a formula-

High & Mighty (Mighty Mi): "I just make albums and take it step by step. My formula perhaps could be creating a beat that I like, imagining who would sound good on it, going out to get that artist then doing anything in my power to get that particular artist. Obviously, I cannot get a Jay Z, but anything on an underground level, such as Jurassic 5, is within my range. It's a pleasure for me to be able to show my versatility by exposing different MC's and working with different groups."

Skrufff: How did you connect with Kool Keith, for example-

High & Mighty (Mighty Mi): "He's a pretty out there type, but we really connected on a creative tip. He comes from the same school as we do, even though he's been around longer than we have, he influenced us, and he can see, I'm sure, that we are fans of his music. I think it's easy for him to work with us."

Skrufff: Here in Europe the main hip hop people we hear about are characters like Puff Daddy, Eminem and Dr Dre; how much, if anything, do you have in common with these kinds of characters-

High & Mighty (Mighty Mi): "Not too much. I've met them, I've been on tour with Eminem, but take Dre for example; he has a lot more money behind him and a lot more resources than we have. Nevertheless, we both make the same kind of music, he just makes it on a much bigger scale."

Skrufff: Is there no connection beyond that-

High & Mighty (Mighty Mi): "Occasionally our worlds do meet. For example, Eminem came from the same New York underground ranks as we did, Dre heard him, liked him and rest is history. It is possible for the two world to meet, everything is possible…"

Skrufff: What kind of effect has the bombing had on the NY hip-hop community, for example; do you expect rappers to start incorporating the topic into lyrics-

High & Mighty (Mighty Mi): "I think the community has been effected quite a lot. Dr Dre donated a million dollars and has already written a song dissing (disrespecting) Bin Laden. Many artists have been donating money and I'm sure there will be more s