Georgia Anne Muldrow: Thoughtiverse Unmarred
Georgia Anne Muldrow is on the hunt for universal truths and with the release of her fluorescent LP, A Thoughtiverse Unmarred, the L.A. bred artist awakens consciousness and directs attention towards civilization and human introspection.
Gaining a broader presence since the May 19 project release, Georgia, the daughter of acclaimed jazz guitarist Ronald Muldrow and singer Rickie Byars-Beckwith, channels freedom through art.
Revolutionary in content with a silk delivery over gritty drum patterns and abstract loops, for the artist, Black is a state of mind and the issues of repression – current and ancestral, are on the agenda to address and push toward a positive land for she, children and future generations.
JET caught up with the singer-songwriter/producer to dive deeper into her conscious, mainstream interest, and the role L.A. streets played in developing her craft.
JET: What’s your earliest memory of hip-hop?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: First time I heard rap was Krs-One and it was at our advocate study group at the Marcus Garvey School on 6th and Slauson and for real, that there molded my life. They showed it on a projector. It was a big deal. We were like, What! He looked like us. And to be able to go to school with my nappy hair and love my nappy hair in kindergarten and getting hated on and loving it – I had my ‘happy cause I’m nappy pin’ right on my heart. All of that music, all of these beautiful artists, Arrested Development, X-Clan and Boogie Down Productions, that stuff …Sister Souljah – these people who were just fierce and that whole warrior aura, it makes you feel a way!
JET: Yes, so true! You’ve been putting out music for minute, mostly singing on your previous projects. What made you decide to put rap at the forefront with Thoughtiverse Unmarred?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: I’ve always been rapping, maybe on a verse, a 12-bar maybe. It’s something that I’ve always loved to do, you know. So it’s kind of like just bringing it all together this time. Dudley [Perkins] gave me the nudge. He’s like the glue of my creativity. He told me, “aight you gotta rap this time!” (laughs). He’s the one that brings focus in my work. If it wasn’t for him, I think all these different sounds would be on the same record and end up so unfocused. He’ll give me some type of parameter to create upon and it works as wire frame and then I get to bring it to life.
JET: Are you still getting comfortable going fully in the emcee space or just flowing and rocking with it?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: It’s something I love to do! I feel like I do have a lot to learn. I won’t be just a jackass about it. I don’t feel like I’m lost on the microphone. I’ve done a lot of live shows with Dudley and I was his hype woman – so it’s like I gathered what it means to be communicating in that way. It’s kind of like a gentle theme to my expression because I feel like rap is like this jazz thing. It’s just like the rhythmic intensity and swing of it, all of that stuff, when somebody’s really rapping well, it has something to do with jazz. And I just love that.
JET: Yeah. And, I think it’s definitely felt in your music. My introduction to you was Great Blacks. Maaan, it’s definitely a vibe that you’re giving off with that record. I made note of your lyricism and the messages of human growth you’re putting out there: (rapping) My direction has been shifted from being ignorant and gifted, suicidal and explicit to being humbly committed and prayerfully submissive to the source of all existence…”
Georgia Anne Muldrow: You ‘betta go head! (laughs) You did that one!
JET: (laughs) I was like waaait a minute! So, as I’m listening to the album, I’m hearing gems throughout and the concept of the mind being the throne and the power within that. Being from L.A., can you talk about how those observations and the hip-hop art form aide in sculpting your music and delivery?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Ah, yeah the easiest answer to that is at the artsy writing workshop, The World Stage. I think I had to drop a record first before I felt comfortable presenting there. These are like gangsta poets. I can say that [for] some of the friends that I really miss, I can attest to the fact that we were the kind of people that weren’t really into checking out a movie. We were trying to check out poetry night. We were young…16, 17 checking out poetry night. All of that ambition, youth creatives and paying attention to elders…that kind of molded me. My mother is a songwriter and all of those things factor in to each other. Leimert Park, Los Angeles, that’s where we was at, you know!
JET: Ah! That’s so dope. There’s a level of intellect that comes along with the art of poetry and rhyme and to then present to the world and have people pay attention to the lyrics and the vibe that comes along with it. The sound bites on Thoughtiverse Unmarred really captured my ear. It seems like you’re charging the vocalists and transition of hip-hop with being an agent in sending Blacks to jail and being lost in a sensational maze. Can you talk about the importance of presenting those ideologies?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: I made this record about three years ago and was really coming to a place where the anger and rage inside of me was beginning to simmer on a level that I could handle. I’ve done records where I was just flowing with rage and you could tell [that I was] really going through it. I felt like when I turned 28, I almost could feel my brain thinking. It’s like when you can tell your mind is seeing things and you’re able to step back and see where you want to place yourself within what’s happening around you, it makes you think! There’s a lot of food for thought that you don’t miss. Being from California, this is where the most prisons are. I think that’s partly the reason why the West Coast has a hard time getting through on a mainstream level, because we’re the sons and daughters of revolutionaries, you know. Somebody in their family really has some war stories about the struggle and families trying to make their hood a better place. I just see honor in that and want the West Coast to claim that and I’m seeing more of that happening and I’m happy about that.
JET: We talk about the mainstream platform and the stories coming from the West Coast and we have artists like Kendrick who has grown in his content, but hasn’t shifted from the core ideals of his material. Your content can kind of fall in line with those giving their ear to him. Are you at all pressed about radio play and mainstream recognition?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Exactly! I think if they heard it, they’d like it. I don’t feel like I’m any less of a Black person than they are. We’re all black. We’re all here together and hurting together. If I was played on the radio, I know it could really help my royalty checks (laughs). I think that would inspire a lot of kids to think how they really want to think. But really, I have to say I almost fell out thanking people on Twitter because the people that do care and show their love, spreading the news about the music…that’s special to me. If that’s what the universe planned for my life, I embrace it. It’s all good! But if it’s not there, I can be thankful for what’s happening right now, which is people getting hip to it in the most unlikely way possible. That’s awesome. That’s a blessing to what Dudley and I have been working on for so long. It feels like it’s gaining a certain momentum and people feel like they can reach out to us and I love that!
JET: On the record “Worthy [Never Live A Day In Vain]” you sing “when we feel worthy to receive, the universe opens up for you…” In your life and throughout your artistic endeavors, when did that feeling of worthiness present itself to you and you felt ready to take on what the universe had in store?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Yeah! That’s an awesome question. When I wrote that on the piano, I was almost 18, but basically at that time, I was a youth and sounding like an old lady, you feel me. So it’s like that stuff was coming through for my future. The way that I got back at myself is through the music. That’s the only way I could give advice to myself. But I had to get older to kind of see that. I even fell in to the whole “worth nothing” thing. That’s a whole different life. I’m still on that path of evaluating what it is that I am to bring. But I tell you, it gets better with the more gratitude that you bring to your life, that’s how you start feeling it. It’s not waiting for someone to thank you, it’s about this other energy that has to occur within your mind and I’m in the middle of that right now! I really wanted to make a human record. For me, what I’m trying to put on the human condition is that we’re all growing.
A Thoughtiverse Unmarred is available on iTunes.