You’ll no doubt have read our articles about Shaheed and DJ Supreme and their music, and what they’re doing for their local community of Birmingham, Alabama. It’s been heart-warming watching their journey, and seeing how they’ve been able to make real change in their hometown. Now we’ve taken the chance to speak to the artists themselves, and have them tell us how it is in their own words.
Hi guys, thanks for speaking to us!
We’ve really enjoyed following your musical journey, and we love the light you’re shining on your hometown of Birmingham, and what the city has to offer. How did you come up with the idea of this and have you seen a positive response towards those businesses (Jones Valley Teaching Farm, Citywalk Skate Park and so on)?
Shaheed: Peace, we came up with this idea working through our foundation with the youth called Knowledge Rhythm and Understanding, and showing them to represent the good that’s going on where you live. And yes, we have seen and received excellent responses. It also shows you can be diverse with your subject matter and make a difference with it.
DJ SUPREME: The response has been tremendous. We’ve been fortunate enough to raise the profile of some wonderful organizations through these partnerships.
How important do you think it is for musicians to be involved in their local community? Do you feel it benefits you as well as the people around you?
Shaheed: It’s very important because most people like to show the bad of where they live and glorify it. We want to show the opposite and show what’s good about where we live and chill at.
DJ SUPREME: It’s very important because that’s how the community grows and the awareness increases. It benefits everyone involved and motivates the community.
What are your other interests outside of music?
Shaheed: Reading and Learning about my way of life, Africa, Basketball, and Boxing.
DJ SUPREME: I enjoy cooking and watching documentaries.
What can fans expect next from you? New music, concerts, etc?
Shaheed: We have a new album coming in August called The Art of Throwing Darts – be on the lookout for that. It features Slug from the legendary hip-hop group Atmosphere, Akil the Mc and Chali 2na from the legendary hip-hop group Jurassic 5, Raheem Devaughn, and the legendary Percee P.
DJ SUPREME: Our long-awaited new album The Art of Throwing Darts is finally dropping in August. It features appearances by Slug from Atmosphere, Akil the Mc and Chali 2na from Jurassic 5, Percee P, and R&B star Raheem Devaughn.
Who have you found most inspiring in your musical life? And what about in your day to day living, who inspires you?
Shaheed: DJ Supreme inspires me in my musical life with the beautiful sound he makes for me to express myself over. The legends inspired me – like Prince, Al Jerreau, A Tribe Called Quest, Dilla, Rakim, Krs-One, Slug From Atmosphere, EPMD, Masta Ace; it’s so many to name. In my personal everyday life, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his family), Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba, El Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), and all of my teachers and mentors who have helped shape me and have always given me good advice.
DJ SUPREME: The work we’ve been doing with our non-profit foundation Knowledge Rhythm and Understanding is so far the most inspiring and fulfilling endeavor we’ve embarked upon. Teaching the youth about the fundamentals of hip-hop culture has been so gratifying. In my day-to-day life, my family inspire me the most. They believe in me and always push me to be the best person I can be.
Finally, what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what is the answer to that question?
Shaheed: The first question would be, do you make music for people to like? My answer is no, I make music that I like and feel and if people like it then that’s great and a plus and we can continue to grow together in life and in the art.
DJ SUPREME: What are your 3 favorite dishes to cook? Answer: white chicken chili, birria tacos and Nashville hot chicken sandwiches.
Watch the music video for ‘S.T.E.M., S.T.E.a.M., and S.T.R.E.a.M.’ below, and find out more about Shaheed and DJ Supreme online on K. R. U. Hip Hop’s website, Twitter, and Instagram.