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Discovered by The Blastmaster, KRS-One himself, East Orange, New Jersey‘s own Hakim Green and Vincent “Tuffy” Morgan, collectively known as Channel Live, are largely known for their Billboard Hot 100 premiere offering, “Mad Izm,” taken from their March 1995 major label debut, Station Identification [Capitol Records].


First things first, last year (August 11th to be exact) marked the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop — What exactly does that mean to and for you?

The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop is special. You never think that you’re gonna live something out for 50 years. You know that 50 years went by very, very quickly; you know thinking all the way back to the very beginning, growing up in a culture before the culture even had a name, Hip Hop Grew Up and I was there to grow up with it.

To quote the late, great The Notorious B.I.G., “You never thought that Hip Hop would take it this far!” — Was this something that you ever could’ve imagined?

No, we didn’t think it was gonna get this far. We also didn’t think it was gonna get this commercialized either. Hip Hop started out as something that was ours, and now belongs to the world, and unfortunately belongs to people who don’t necessarily need to have direction of it.

What are some of your fondest, most stand-out moments / memories during your lengthy tenure in this thing called Hip Hop?

Man, growing up Hip Hop some of the fondest memories I have is of watching Naughty By Nature form; like literally formed from The New Style at my high school talent show in 1986 East Orange, New Jersey, EO Panthers, to being the dancer when they were New Style before Naughty By Nature. Production assistance on Classic Concept video shoots. Like “Back to the Grill” by MC Serch, Chubb Rock, (Nasty) Nas and Red Hot Lover Tone, who is half of the Trackmasters. “Ex Girl to Next Girl” by Gang Starr, “Blow Your Mind” by REDMAN…you know these are like some phenomenal figures in Hip Hop culture, and to get a chance to work with them it just adds to the flavor of what I would eventually do. New York City Club Life from 1986-94, you got to see a lot of people in Club Life that would go on to be superstars and legends in the culture and industry. I saw Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick perform “La Di Da Di” at The Fun House Xmas 1984. I saw Large Professor, Nas, Joey Fatal and Akinyele perform “Live at the Barbeque” at the Red Zone. I’ve seen a lot.

That said, what are your future plans and / or goals throughout the remainder of 2024 and beyond?

I have a lot on deck for 2024 and beyond! I’m launching my own cannabis line called Mad Izm of course, following in the legacy of our hit record “Mad Izm.” Starting in the state of Michigan, and then branching out from there; also continuing on building 24 Hrs of Peace, which is an annual “peace” festival I produce in partnership with the city of Newark, New Jersey. We’ve been doing it since 2010, and this year our event is dedicated to women. The theme is women for peace. It takes place August 23rd / 24th. We’re having an entire female lineup. Lady Luck, Rah Digga, Roxanne Shante, Sunshine Anderson, Lady Of Rage, Monie Love, Yo-Yo, Lil Kim, Asian Doll, The Baddies, Lola Brooks, Nikki D, Honey Bxby and some of Newark’s best local talent literally 24 hours; 6 PM on Friday through 6 PM on Saturday. We do it in partnership with the city of Newark, New Jersey, Office of Violence Prevention and Brick City Peace Collective. We provide educational services, health and wellness services and other assistance for the community.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

Simply put, what I want people to get from my music is Hip Hop! Boom-Bap, bars.

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

If I could collaborate with any artist dead or alive, I have to go with Michael Jackson. The GOAT.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

If I could choose any venue in the world. I would say 24 Hrs of Peace and Central Park; a world peace festival where Hip Hop is executed 24 hours straight – peace, love, unity – safely having fun at Central Park. I think that would be huge. I remember Diana Ross having a concert at Central Park, and it was just a big deal so replicate that but for 24 hours and people from all around the world going to Central Park to be Hip Hop in Peace, I think that would be amazing.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?

Am I happy with the current state of Hip Hop? Absolutely! Hip Hop is bigger than selling records. Hip Hop is in everything we do, and has touched every corner of the Earth. Unfortunately, most places appreciate Hip Hop more than the US but even in America Hip Hop is tremendously influential; from the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the food we eat is pushed to us in a Hip Hop package. What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity? The key to my longevity is my love of the culture, and how I express my individual form of Hip Hop. It’s mine.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?

I guess my number two focus is entrepreneurial-ship; selling this weed because all we do is Spark Mad Izm!🤣🤣

What’s an average day like for you?

An average day for me is taking care of house chores, going to the gym, recording and just keeping my ideas organized.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I interact with people, whether they’re fans, friends, associates, acquaintances, same way, with respect. I don’t like the word fan. Fan is short for fanatic, and I don’t think it’s cool to be a fanatic over anything. You know Hip Hop is Hip Hop; if you appreciate Hip Hop and you appreciate my music, my live performances, I respect that. Come with respect, you get respect right back.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part about my work is that I literally do what I want to do. I work for me and my family. I get to use my art as a form of commerce, support myself with it and that provides a certain level of freedom; being able to speak your life into existence is powerful, it’s liberating; that part. The worst part is that the money is up and down, you know…it comes in, it goes, so you have to be strategic on how you approach things; know a creative art world is known for security. So you gotta steady hustle.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

The advice that I would give to any creative is stay true to the art form, stay true to yourself. Make sure your business is right, but don’t lose the love of the art form.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

In five years, I’ll be 60 collecting millions from Mad Izm, settled down somewhere on an island enjoying life.

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

Yeah, everybody out there reading the interview, I want you just to look out for Mad Izm; of course it’s Weed, but it’s also an entertainment company, Mad Izm Inc., under which I have Mad Izm Sports, a weekly sports show I do with some friends of mine, including Kay Gee of Naughty By Nature; we have special guests, basketball coaches, professional, college, football coaches, professional college platform players, NBA athletes, just a round table discussion with some friends chopping it up over sports. Also have the Mad Izm cipher, which is an open mic event with Cannabis commerce private sessions, etcetera. Just my way of branding Mad Izm. I’m also in the process of launching OSNSR, Old School New School Rules: The Podcast, with Legendary Super Producer, Ron “Amen Ra” Lawrence. A platform where we can focus on unifying the culture through discussions with Old School and New School influencers, artists, tech experts and celebrities.

Any “parting” words for our readers?

My social media:


WEBSITES: hakimgreen.com  24hrsofpeaceinc.com


Hakim Green [Channel Live]: Growing Up Hip Hop #HH50

Hakim Green [Channel Live]: Growing Up Hip Hop #HH50

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