“Being business owners and owning our own label and having such talent on the roster is the best. The real thought of us being musical entrepreneurs is the best thing to happen to us.”

Check out the interview with A Mankind Complex exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
A Mankind Complex: We (iLL-Omega & Trino) have been doing music together as Cap City Entertainment artists since 2005. We had a lot of projects that we worked on with others but found that creatively we clicked incredibly well and thought it best to become a new age emcee/producer duo.

iLL-Omega has produced projects for NGF of Atlantic City, NJ that were played on DJ Kay Slay’s radio station, touring artists such as Raymond Strife and Roebus One, and came in the top three at an iStandard Producer Showcase held in Philadelphia, PA.

LV Fee is the artist and NGF is his crew. The CEO is Freak and they are from Atlantic City. The tracks were played on DJ KaySlay Drama Hour on XM Radio and DJ Envy

What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
Don’t be afraid to give other artists shout outs and share their material, especially other artists that are just trying to make a name for themselves. It’s too much of a dog-eat-dog world and we do believe in respecting the competitiveness of the music industry. It takes a bigger step to recognize sometimes. It’s better to put the ego aside and tell the people that are watching you, “Yo, ya’ll are going to love this from such-and-such. They did the damn thing.”

What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
Sustained. Isn’t that what everyone wants to become? To do what we love and be able to live off of it enough to support our families, for sure. But some of us, both within AMC and the rest of Cap City Entertainment, have some ideas that can really bring people together on a larger scale than just music. Ultimately, to share those ideas, hear like-minded ideas, and again, find the path to sustainability from it all would be the absolute best.

What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
All of the “F’s.” Finances, failing, falling, trying to fall forward, figuring it out, falling more while figuring it all out, working through the feelings of it all. We really could go on, but that’s the main struggle of it all as is with any business really. It’s truly emotionally draining sometimes, but at the end of the day when you do reach that moment, no matter how small of success, you can feel grateful for fulfilling.

What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
Promoting your music is the hardest part of the music industry. Making the music is easy but getting out to hands, phones, and ears is difficult. It takes a lot of sweat to hustle your product out there. Just putting your music on the internet is not going to give you a buzz. Networking and meeting people while passing your product out to gain fans is trying sometimes, but if your music is good you will definitely gain loyal fans.

What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
Trenton is a pretty hard to pin place. Sometimes it’s amazing out here with different movements going on and different names taking off, like the art culture. Then sometimes it’s just as rough as the next city with violence and so on. People have said and felt that Trenton really isn’t as well receiving to people on the music scene, but once we got up with Artworks and some other great people as well, things started to run a little smoother for us honestly. I think it has to do with content and delivery a little, but living here we’ve really learned and grown a lot.

What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Don’t fall for the eff ups. Jokes aside, and as cliché as it sounds, fail forward. I think Will Smith said it maybe. We’ve seen artists that were rising right with us make some incredible moves all on their own and others with teams smaller and way larger than ours. Regardless, if you really want to come up as an artist you will, not because you want to or need to but because it’s who you are.

What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
Meeting the rest of Cap City, our label, and just knowing them. If I didn’t know them, I couldn’t imagine following this as hard as I am. Being business owners and owning our own label and having such talent on the roster is the best. The real thought of us being musical entrepreneurs is the best thing to happen to us.

What is your inspiration?
To make kids new to hip hop or growing up through hip hop music or music in general, to get the same feeling of inspiration and creativity like we did listening to Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan, J Dilla (RIP), Eminem, Madlib, MF Doom, Little Brother, Jay-Z, Kanye West, LL Cool J, etc.

Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
It would take a lot of work, but I do feel like there’s room for anyone to be successful in today’s music. The main thing of what I’ve seen is standing behind what you do, taking it as your own, and really going all out for it.

Where can we find you on social media?
Official Website: www.capcityentertainment.com/release/dreams
Instagram: @mankind_complex
Facebook: @Cap-City-Entertainment
Soundcloud: @teamccr

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