1. Tell us about your craziest touring experience?
Torben: I am trying to create those now!
The Mic Smith: SXSW would most definitely be the craziest adventure so far. The streets were like Mardi Gras, Slaughterhouse stayed in our hotel, there was a huge protest & we saw Kanye West. So dope.
Anagram: Craziest touring experience was definitely this years trip to SXSW & not just because of it being something of an Artist’s playground being able to brush shoulders & mingle with so many stars but just all the trials & tribulations it took for us to get down there including our 15 passenger van getting impounded, then paying an stranger to take us the rest of trips destination to catching several cabs and eventually taking a 40+ hour Greyhound trip about the only things we didn’t travel in were boats and planes…lol.
2. What type of college class would you’d most want to take and why?
Torben: I actually recently graduated from College. My favorite classes, while in school, were one on Beat Generation art and another called “Language, Most Dangerous of Possessions.” They were interesting to me because, as a hip-hop artist, I see both a connection with us and the poets and artists before us and the one ultimate unifier — language.
The Mic Smith: I would be most interested in graphic design, primarily because I’m self taught and it would be nice to further my talents.
Anagram: I would love to take some art classes because it’s another art/craft I always had a knack for but never had the chance to build on or improve on.
3. What city in America is the most fun to visit and why?
Torben: I love a lot of American cities, but it’s always exciting to be in NYC. There’s something about the energy of an entire city collectively hustling that gives me adrenaline and a surge to be better and do better.
The Mic Smith: New York City, it never sleeps.
Anagram: New York City because the city just seems like a place where dreams are made & it’s like you can feel the city breathing.
4. What’s some of the best advice you were ever given?
Torben: My mentor, Alex Caldiero, a Sicilian-born poet and the subject of my first documentary, once passed on the wisdom of one of his major influences. He told me: “Do your work. The rest is in the lap of the Gods.” If I can sneak another one in, it would be “You can shorten the long, but you can’t lengthen the short.”
The Mic Smith: My mother told me I could be anything I put my mind to. I put my mind to this music and it led me here.
Anagram: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box or go against the grain – My Mama.
5. What’s in heavy rotation in your MP3/CD player right now?
Torben: I personally have extremely eclectic tastes. This week alone I’ve listened to Andrew Bird, Nina Simone, Kendrick Lamar, Clams Casino, Jai Paul, Outkast, and Jay-Z.
The Mic Smith: Kendrick Lamar & Big K.R.I.T.
Anagram: Kendrick Lamar & whole Black hippy crew, Danny Brown, Black Milk, Slaughterhouse & still loving the Adele album.
6. The last good book you read or TV show you’re addicted to?
Torben: The last good book I read was “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop” and “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle” by Murakami.
The Mic Smith: Last book I got into was “48 Laws of Power” as far as TV I’m hooked on The Walking Dead & Fringe.
Anagram: What Is The What by David Eggers. TV show’s Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Game Of Thrones, The Walking Dead.
7. What’s the first concert you ever saw – how was it?
Torben: The first concert I saw was my own, when I was 14. It was nerve-racking. I was in a group with Anagram, called “Faceless,” and we wore masks and Adidas suits. The whole thing is hilarious, in retrospect. Since then, my favorite concert of all time is when I saw The Roots and Lupe Fiasco. They had a bigger band than usual, because it was right on the heels of “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” and it was incredible. It’s, by far, the best show I’ve ever seen.
The Mic Smith: First concert I remember attending of a known artist was Aesop Rock x Mr. Lif at The Magic Stick in Detroit. It was amazing and inspiring.
Anagram: De La Soul & Biz Markie show was amazing!! Start to finish classic after classic.
8. What are three items you can’t live without on tour?
Torben: Laptop, phone, and a pen or pencil.
The Mic Smith: iPhone, MacBook and trees.
Anagram: Ipod, Kindle, backpack.
9. Who are your major musical influences?
Torben: It is honestly a pretty long list, but off the top of my head: Andre 3000, Stevie Wonder, and Nas. I like Andre’s ability to communicate his personality so well in deceivingly simple flows, Stevie is the master, and Nas is the hip-hop journalist, giving you a look into his world by sitting and looking out the window with him.
The Mic Smith: Michael Jackson, Snoop, Dre, Biggie, Pac, Nas, Jay-Z…need I continue? lol
Anagram: Outkast,E-40,Common,Devin The Dude,Redman,Twista too many more to name.
Any random messages or tips you’d like to give to mtvU watchers?