Interview: Henny L.O. Discusses Emergency Raps Vol. 2
Almost a month ago, Henny L.O. along with another Mutant Academy member Tuamie dropped Emergency Raps Volume 2. I managed to conduct an interview with Henny as he opens up more about the project personally.
J: What was the focus of Emergency Raps Volume 2? I personally feel like the opening track Exhibit M defines the project but the focus could be something bigger. -
Henny: Tuamie’s vision was more about just putting pure rap to beats. I took it a step further lyrically and treated it like I was making an album because I haven’t dropped a full tape in two years. So I tried to stuff every track with as much as I can.
J: The last track Always Learning was a twenty-second instrumental. Was it done like that so Tuamie getting off his own version of a quick eight bars through the beat? An example of this would be Joe Budden’s Three produced by ArabMuzik when the transition of the instrumental came on and there were no vocals for over thirty seconds. In the past, Budden said that it was done like that on purpose so Arab can have his own version of a sixteen bar verse through the beat rather than rapping. So would you say that Always Learning was Tuamie having the last word on the project?
Henny: Shit, I honestly don’t know bruh. That's a dope way of looking at it I guess. I think it was just to honestly give the project a moment to breathe if you ask me, I don't think anybody just wants to hear raps today I think people want pure music, ESPECIALLY from Mutant Academy, we’re setting a standard.
J: One of the tracks that stood out to me was Light Years. Everything from the flow to the production to the vocal sample that appears in the instrumental makes it a heavenly track. Can you explain the hook and specifically the last line of it “…welcome to the jungle/night came in light years.”
Henny: The hook was basically about being caught up in nostalgia the environment created for us. From dope boys, lusty women, fly cars, fly clothes, jewelry, we idolize those things. And it all kinda has its underworld to it. “Welcome to the jungle, Night came in light years” basically means welcome to Richmond where the nightlife can be fast if you know, see, or hear about that fast life. It's a jungle.
J: This project is filled with sharp lyricism, if you can, can you give some of your favorite bars from the project?
Henny: that’s a wild one, only cause I love the whole project. So I can’t really pick lines, I don't hang on to a line because I'm not just a punchline rapper or nothing, every word is placed in the way it is for a reason. Not even being funny, I’m not too cool to not play my own tape, but I guess it depends on the day for real. Lately, my mood has been more of the track E.S.H Greene because I’m back in the area more and remembering all the wild shit I did growing up.
J: This is a question that relates more so to yourself rather than the project, but do you see yourself more towards the side of battle rap or do you see yourself doing music more? You’re battling in School Daze July 6th and also have battled in several events within the past year such as Ides of March and Legends Never Die 3 to name a few.
Henny: I’m not on either side, I’m an artist and though I’m young I understood and followed the rules of if you rapped you battled. Granted my generation didn’t battle much at first, we cyphered; but I always wanted to be first up and last leaving. Anybody that knows me knows I have verses for any given moment. I really hone my skills and take my craft seriously, I don't just rap because its dope or fun or I see somebody online and picked it up as a hobby. I literally started at 8 and never thought about quitting. As far as battle rap, it went from just having a super hungry feeling to constantly aiming to keep me sharp. Battle rap has done a lot for me since I stepped in artistically. I don’t think the same, I was already calculated but now I’m literally trying to think 10 steps ahead at all times.
You can stream the project below and catch Henny L.O. at the RVA Lyricist Lounge Saturday and at School Daze July 6th. Both events are at Strange Matter.