DG:Now let’s hop right into your latest single / video “DJ’s & MC’s” — Tell me about this particular track? How did it come to fruition?
EP: “DJ’s and MC’s ” is about me listening to Hip Hop for the first time, and what it meant to me. When O-Love first let me hear the track, it gave me that type of a vibe. It’s basically a salute to the times when we all loved Hip Hop, when we all could trust Hip Hop, when Hip Hop was more about the love of the art as opposed to being just a business. The song is kind of like a timeline that starts with me as a kid, all the way up until now ;and the title is a shout out to Rodney O & Joe Cooley. They had a song called “DJ’s and MC’s” that I used to like.
DG:Of course “DJ’s & MC’s” comes courtesy of your new solo collection Like It’s Supposed To Be — First things first, why such a lengthy delay between projects?
EP: The delay between projects came because I started recording music under a new name; Lee Majors…not Dru Down’s cousin. For the people who were not following Lee Majors it seems like a delay but it actually wasn’t, I just was playing ball in a different league. I’ve been doing Gospel Rap at high schools, prisons, churches and black parties. The music that I recorded under Lee Majors is not like Extra Prolific. My flow is different, my style is different ,my beats are different and my message is different. So it wasn’t actually a delay, it’s just I was doing something else…but I’ve actually been rapping the whole time.
DG:How does Like It’s Supposed To Be either differ and / or compare to previous bodies of work?
EP:Like It’s Supposed To Be is a more lyrical album then Like It Should Be. It’s more consciously aware, it’s clean with no profanity and it has principles that you can take with you to help you with life. It’s more than entertainment, and it’s weightier than my other projects. This new album shows me not only growing as an emcee, but, more importantly, it shows me growing as a person.
DG:For those not already in the know…following your stint with Hieroglyphics, you shed not only the Hiero collective but as previously mentioned even the name Extra Prolific for the then newly established stage name Lee Majors — Talk to me about this entire transition of your career…
EP: I was actually working on an EP call The Missing Link, and I was going to put it out under Extra Prolific…then someone in the studio said, ” we’re going to call you Lee Majors on this project, ” and it just kind of stuck from there. Then in 2001, I became a follower of Christ. So after about six months of studying in the Word, I kept Lee Majors and I started recording gospel raps.
DG:And speaking of Hiero — What all exactly caused y’all to part ways? What was the rift even about?
EP: I don’t really get into it too much, but in general I betrayed my best friend. I regret that I did (that). Today I think that having character is much more important than having a personality or even talent, but back then I was young and dumb and I made a regrettable decision like every man has. You wish you could take things back, but that’s not how it works. The only thing you can do is move forward, and make amends as much as possible.
DG:Switching gears here, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so you as an individual, either changed and / or evolved since your whole inception into music?
EP: The industry has changed for the worst, because anything goes! You can kill people, you can be a thug wearing a dress, you can promote prescription pills and all types of drugs, you can say almost anything and nobody even blinks. But there was a time when Hip Hop had a soul. We have songs like “Self Destruction,” Why Is That?” “We’re All in the Same Gang.” But today, it seems like we make music as though it won’t affect the way people think and act, and that’s just not true. I’m proud of Hip Hop for becoming a billion dollar industry, but at the same time what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul? As for me, I’ve changed…obviously being a follower of Christ, I have new morals, a new code I live by and a new foundation that I stand on.
DG:Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?
EP: I attribute my longevity to coming out in the Golden Era for one…for two, to being authentic and, three, to great fans.
DG:What do you want people to get from your music?
EP: I want people to get encouragement from my music. I want people to get wisdom from my music. I want people to see the unseen things in my music. The things that really matter. I want people to understand, but you can follow God and still keep the same personality; it’s your character that’s going to change. People often say, “don’t blame the music,” as though the music has no influence on impressionable minds, but we’ve all been influenced by Hip Hop. And if I’m going to influence someone through my music, I want to influence them to go in the right direction and not the wrong direction. If music is going to be part of what influences them to go in a certain direction, I want people to get out of my music that it helped me to go in the right direction. I want to show how cool it is to do the right thing.
DG:Is there a hidden meaning / message in any of your music?
EP: Yes, “Under Water” is about living under the protection of God, “Game Room” is about the game of life (and) “Let’s Ride” is not just about cars, it’s about riding through life. But, yeah, they’re hidden messages all over, and some not so hidden.
DG:As a songwriter, where do you actually draw inspiration from?
EP: I usually draw inspiration from the music; the production. When I hear a beat that inspires me, then I’m inspired to write something. I also get inspired by nostalgia. Thinking back to those days when I would just go to the store and grab a rapper’s tape that I didn’t know, but I grabbed it anyway because there were so few rappers at the time. I make music for those times, because those times really inspired me when I was a kid.
DG:Please explain your overall creative process…
EP: I usually hear the beat first, and then the hook pops into my head…and then I write my bars around the hook and the concept. The track usually tells me what I should talk about, and once I get the message or the concept I start writing from there.
DG:Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?
EP: Yes, I preach sometimes…I have my own telecommunications business. I’m writing a book. I have an EP out with my wife, Lee Majors and Regina Chavon, and it’s called Beautiful Life. I also rap with a brother named J White, and we have a album out, J White and Lee Majors, The Good Life. So I have a lot of things that I’m doing, but what’s most important is me being a great father and a great husband. It doesn’t matter how well I rap if I’m not good to the people God has blessed me with.
DG:What has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?
EP: My greatest achievement used to be the two movie soundtracks that I’m on; A Low Down Dirty Shame and Die Hard with a Vengeance, but now my greatest achievement is my new album Like It’s Supposed To Be because it’s a contribution to Hip Hop that has eternal value, which means much more than a platinum plaque that will one day be dust.
DG:What’s an average day like for you?
EP: I wake up, thank God I’m alive, kiss my wife, get my three sons ready for school, go to work, come back and try to be the best father and husband that I can be.
DG:Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…
EP: I’m always gracious to fans because not only am I an artist, I’m a fan myself. I remember when I was a kid, one of the groups that inspired me was Whodini…one day I got a phone call from them, and they told me how much they liked my project. So I know what it’s like to come in contact with people who’ve inspired you, so I always want to be good to the people who I have influenced because at the end of the day people are just people and no one needs to be put on the pedestal…but GOD HIMSELF!
DG:What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?
EP: My favorite part is an idea being created in my head, and then ultimately being in people’s cars and being appreciated. My least favorite is the politics. Sometimes you’ll have a rapper who’s not very good at rapping at all, but they have a lot of followers. And other times you have rappers who are great at what they do, and yet they’ll be overlooked.
DG:What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
EP: Make music from the heart. Don’t try to be like someone else just because they have a lot of people following them. Don’t compromise your artistic integrity. And, don’t be afraid to do the right thing. Anybody can make a bubblegum Pop hit overnight and later be forgotten about, but a fanbase is grown organically when the artist is consistent, authentic and excellent.
DG:It’s coming up on the 26th anniversary of your heralded debut, Like It Should Be — What are some of your fondest most unforgettable memories / anecdotes during the creation of this now classic LP?
EP:Like It Should Be; I made it in a way that would sound good to Hip Hop heads, and to those who really weren’t into Hip Hop that much. Although I was in Hieroglyphics, I wasn’t trying to do things exactly like everyone else. I was trying to blend the street side with the Hip Hop side. Kind of like OutKast did or Tha Alkaholiks did or the Luniz did. At the time some people thought I wasn’t complex enough and some people didn’t like the album initially, but over time people started to see the vision and the album aged very well. It’s very slept on, but I like it that way because the most precious jewels are always rare and hard to find.
DG:In your heart of hearts, do you ever foresee a Hiero reunion happening; whether it be on stage and / or wax?
EP: I don’t know. You know “reconciliation” is always the highest goal to aim towards…but it’s not always possible. I still talk to some of the guys, and some of the guys I don’t talk to. At the end of the day music is secondary…what’s most important is being a peacemaker, restoring relationships, if at all possible, and being a man of integrity. On my side l, I’m always open for reconciliation…but I can only speak for myself.
DG:And, lastly, what’s next for Extra Prolific?
EP: Man, I wanna be behind the scenes helping my sons, helping my wife. I see a lot of rappers, and they get older and they hold onto the mic as though that’s all they have in life…and I don’t see it that way. I believe at some point even the greatest of all-time, Michael Jordan, takes off his uniform and he puts on a tie, because he realizes there’s a new season in life. That doesn’t make him any less of a player, that just makes him cognizant of his world and the world around him. So I don’t want to be rapping forever, even though I see a lot of OGs do it. I want to grow…I still think it’s a young man sport, and it’s not the only thing that most rappers know how to do but I think people are scared and don’t know how NOT to rap. But I’m more interested in the studying of God’s word, and the teaching of it.
DG: Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?
EP: Just the greats that are on my new album…it starts off with Masta Ace speaking, which is someone that I looked up to. Myka 9 is on the album. Chuck D is on the bonus track talkin’ and Swelly Swell. Shout out to Pete Spray, O-Love, Scott Thrill, DJ Fresh and Joe Gamble, for the production.
DG:Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
EP: Yes, don’t waste your time chasing riches because even if you were to finally get rich you’ll soon find out the riches don’t satisfy you.”Get rich or die trying” is stupid advice! True riches is knowing GOD and being content, and allowing HIM to add to your life as HE sees fit. You’ve never seen a U-Haul on the back of a hearse, and that’s because you can’t take it with you. God bless. You can reach me on Instagram: @Dleemajors. Peace ✌️