Still a Bad Boy: E. Ness (Formerly of Da Band)

Q: What’s been E. Ness latest hustle since “Making of Da Band” broke up and shit?

E. Ness: Basically just the mixtape game I came out with two mixtapes. I put out my own series of mixtapes called “Rhyme or Crime”, Volume One was called “The Leak” and eight months later I put out another one called “Hate Mail” that was “Rhyme or Crime” Volume 2. Basically it just people seeing me in my own light without a group and representing with the homies I grew up with. I from southwest Philadelphia’s Bartram Village Projects 54th and Lindberg Blvd, so “The Leak” was just a little outlet to see me in a different light and how grimey I can get if I had the people that grew up with me and actually knew how to vibe with me as opposed to a group with five other people that don’t even know each other. Now what I got going on is the album coming next year first quarter it’s called “Nessessary”, I got a lot of hot producers on there like Chad West, Will I am, 9th Wonder, Just Blaze all types of people it’s going to be a well rounded album.

Q: So you be in the studio a lot grinding?

E. Ness: Definitely man, I definitely got a large catalog of songs and rituals. I definitely can write songs, I’m song maker I just don’t freestyle and for the people that love freestyles I got plenty of that on the way too. I got a “Gangster Grillz” coming out in a week and a half it’s called “The Ness Best Thing” hosted by DJ Drama famous for his Gangsta Grillz. DJ Drama is about to come out with a whole album, you know he from Philly our hometown, we went to school together so we linked back up. That’s basically warming people up for the album and showing people what “The Lockness Monsta” is all about. I ain’t Ness no more I’m the Lockness Monsta, that grimey east-coast cut throat cat that everybody love. I’m universal now I had a lot of experience traveling a lot being on tour with “Da Band” and coming out with an album that’s certified gold. It was history being part of that show, it was one of the biggest shows on MTV, so I’m just taking back to the streets man, the mixtape grind is what I been doing cause I love hip-hop and you going to see me in the near future.

Q: Do you miss anything about being with the “Da Band”?

E. Ness: Yeah I miss being on the road doing shows and just the recognition you get when you got an album out performing while people want to see you. I miss the money and I miss the traveling, I miss being with my comrades because even though you seen a lot of drama on the show we all had a good relationship with one another. Everybody still doing their thing music wise and I still keep in touch with them, but I still miss the experience of being on the road with five other people that share the same dreams.

Q: So if you could change anything about that whole experience what would it be?

E. Ness: Man I just would’ve given us more time and get together as a group and vibe with one another. We was put under a lot of pressure and we didn’t really have enough time to put a solid project together, but it was accepted well by the public and we was the biggest thing when we was out and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Q: Are you still signed to Bad Boy?

E. Ness: I’m definitely still signed to Bad Boy/Warner Bros. Basically when we was on “Da Band” we was under Universal that was our distribution that we had. Were not with Universal anymore were with Warner Bros so it’s a whole different marketing team and whole different staff over there. Basically Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles are Puff’s bosses and Puff is my boss, so Puff just brings the project to them and they press it up. Only thing it got to be a hit record and that’s why it’s very important for people to keep they hear to the street and DJ’s be real influential by getting these artist heard, because we got a lot to say. It won’t happen overnight, so I’m being real modest taking time and pacing myself. I got like a 150 freestyles that’s about to be everywhere, got a joint coming out with DJ-Enyce he’s from New York and drops a mixtape every month it’s called “Return of the Lockness Monsta”. Got a another joint coming with DJ J-Prince out of south Florida repping Miami/Dade County, so I’m just hitting all the regions man from the south, to the Midwest to the east coast to the west coast. Just trying to take it on another grind man “The Lockness Monsta” that’s the new thing.

Q: Whatever happened to that album you and Babs was supposed to drop?

E. Ness: We was supposed to drop an album, but what happened was we found our own identity so the label thought it was best if we come out with our own solo efforts. I’m up first and Babs still got a lot of material in the workings, she’s putting together a solid project, but we recorded a lot of music so a lot of music didn’t get used before they dismantled the band, but we got a lot of music recorded. So whenever I pop off and she pops off it’s going to be a good look for both of us.

Q: I heard you on the radio a couple times here in Philly too, so why they showing you so much love?

E. Ness: Basically because of where I been, they know my struggle that I came from nothing and I got an opportunity to do what I always wanted to do and make money off it. I want to share my music with the world and sell records, so they support that and Philadelphia is a big market. It’s not a real big city compared to other cities like Atlanta and New York, but it’s a real big market and we take hip-hop serious. They know I’m one of the new faces up and coming, so they support me and get behind me and I give out the love while they show it back.

Q: So what’s your opinion on the music coming out of Philly right now?

E. Ness: I think it’s real battle oriented, it’s real competitive and it’s real talented. Shout-out to all the other upcoming artists Reed Dollarz, Joey Jihad, and a couple others doing they thing. Shout-outs to all the other signed artists too, Roscoe P, Ab Liva, Sandman cats like that, Freeway, Peedi Crakk, Beanie Sigel. I was asked to be a part of his new State Property mixtape whenever he gets his situation together that will be something to look-out for also. I’m in a movie also, I did a movie with Freeway and Chris N’ Neef it’s called “What They Do”, so whenever Freeway drops his album you will see more of that. I play a character where I’m on of the henchmen on it and Freeway, Chris N’ Neff are some little rider boys doing they thing.

Q: So what you liked about the whole acting experience with the movie you did?

E. Ness: I mean I had a lot of experience being in front of the cameras so I feel comfortable and that’s one of the advantages I got over a lot of people. I’m not afraid to be myself so when the character is given to me for whatever period of time that I needed to be. Bernard was only a reflection of me which is Elliot Ness which is only a reflection of “The Lockness Monsta”. Everything comes with time and as I get more opportunities with the acting I’ll be able to open up my wings and you will be able to see me in a different light, different looks and I’ll let the streets be the judge of that.

Q: No doubt, so are there any artists in Philly you would like to work with in the future?

E. Ness: Yeah man, like I said shout-outs to Beanie Sigel we supposed to be getting up and doing some music. I would like to work with a lot of the Neyo-soul artists that came out in the last three years like Musiq, Jill Scott, The Jaguar Wright, I’m a real big fan of the Roots, I like all types of music not just hard-core hip-hop. I would like to work with all Philly artists that got they own sound and be holding Philly down.

Q: What would you think it would be like if all the artists in Philly got together and did one hot-ass song together, video and all that?

E. Ness: I think that would be a good look, it definitely would bring a lot of light to the city. We definitely got a lot of talent from rap to R&B and if we start doing it like these other cities been doing it maybe we would have our turn and we’ll get it a little sooner than people expected. That’s why Houston is real big right now, that’s why Atlanta’s real big right now because all the artists from these places support one another and you see them in each other’s videos. It’s almost a movement, until the world see the city of Philadelphia as a movement and all the artists is on the same page then we will get our turn too, but until then I’m going to be one of the people on the front line trying to get it back where it needs to be.

Q: I feel you, so you do think it’s possible?

E. Ness: Yeah.

Q: Thanks for showing www.hhnlive.com love, any shout-outs to give with something to say to our readers?

E. Ness: Shout-outs to the city of Philadelphia, Bad Boy. The whole myspace thing is crazy fans can hit me up on www.myspace.com/thelocknessmonsta. Just keep communicating with me, check up on ya boy. Shout-outs to the Philly radio stations Power 99, 100.3 The Beat for supporting me and playing my music, Cosmic Kev and everybody else.

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