Mighty Joseph: Gorilla Unit
Vast Aire and Karniege discuss their Frankenstein project, New York Hip Hop revival and dead the Cannibal Ox banter.
Musical experimentation in Hip Hop has been historic at times. Prince Paul and RZA fooled around and spawned Da Gravediggaz. Kool G Rap moved from Queens to Arizona and made Roots of Evil. Cee-Lo Green and Dangermouse made a basement project that became a Gnarls Barkley slam dunk. In line with these successful diversions, longtime New York emcees Vast Aire linked up with Vordul Mega and Cannibal Ox's Cold Vein resulted in one of the crown jewels of underground rap's legacy.
That was over five years ago. Having linked up before with DJ Mighty Mi and others for one-off projects, Vast Aire and longtime friend, hype-man and collaborator Karniege have evolved as Mighty Joseph. With scorching beats from J-Zone, Madlib and the duo themselves, this project is a gorilla rampaging on the side of Hip Hop's skyscraper; punching in windows and eating up witnesses. Although on a limited budget, the two brothers who encompass all boroughs of New York based on lifetime residences made an album that's more New York than Marbury coming back to The Knicks.
In a discussion with HipHopDX, Vast Aire is a slow, purposeful speaker like KRS-One, who clearly enjoys words when the microphone is off too. Karniege is quiet, but clearly shows his hunger, with a album in tow for later in the year. Whether this gorilla will be a one-time sighting or not, it's going to be hard to strip off of that skyscraper - or your earphones.
HipHopDX: How did Mighty Joseph come to be?
Vast Aire: In 2003, I started going full-blast with my career. If you