Sunday, May 21, 2023

M.B Network (Mindless Brothers) - The Lost Demos EP

One of the latest episode of No Tv Raps Radio Show recently aired on Radio FSK, Hamburg (Germany) played this M.B Network 's track "C.O.N.N.E.R.Y." and it reminded me this Lost Demos EP, remastered from a demo tape and released by Blunted Astronaut Records in 2012.

Connery & Cillo - Promo Photo courtesy of Sean Conn

M.B Network a.k.a Mindless Brothers was a Queens-based duo which was comprised of 2 MCs named Connery and Cillo. Between 1995 and 1996, they recorded some demos which have been buried for years until Blunted Astronaut Records gave them a proper vinyl release. All the Demos were produced by DJ Doom from Brooklyn, NY, the same DJ Doom who released an album with Napoleon Da Legend on Chopped Herring Records in 2018, or who dropped a few records on Blunted Astronaut Records including the excellent "Deep Breath / Passive Aggression" with the late Blacastan (RIP) and O.C. 

Photo courtesy of DJ Doom

The Lost Demos EP is composed of 11 tracks including 3 skits. The EP features Geoffrey Domma, Kat Daddy and the legendary female emcee Marquee who, I'm sure you will remember, featured on Lord Finesse's classic track "Speak Ya Peace" with Diamond D and A.G. in 1995.

- Connery, when did you start as an emcee exactly ?


Sean Connery : "I started writing at 16 years old. That’s when my emcee journey began."

- Where does your name Connery come from ?

Sean Connery : "The name was giving to me by a dude named Mathematics since my name was Sean he was like why don’t you call yourself Connery and it just stuck with me till this day."

- Is there a meaning behind it  ?

Sean Connery : "I go by Sean Conn a.k.a Connery and it fits my journey I became Hip Hops Secret Agent and that’s who Sean Connery was 007 a secret Agent."

- What were your hip-hop influences at that time ?

Sean Connery : "Redman was my biggest influence at that time. He made me want to write rhymes. But before that Rakim and L.L. Cool J where emcees that I would listen to all the time."

- Could you tell me how the connection happened between You and Cillo ?

Sean Connery : "I grew up on the same block in Queens as Cillo, knew him since 8 years old."

Cillo & Connery - Promo Photo courtesy of Sean Conn 

- When did you form M.B Network ? 

Sean Connery : "In High School 10th grade me and Kat Daddy used to hang out all the time and even wrote out first raps together and formed Mindless Brothers that is also know as MB Network. Kat Daddy took his focus off rapping at the end of High School and Cillo ended up joining me in the group."

- Could you tell me how the connection happened with DJ Doom ?

Sean Connery : "I met Doom right out of High School, I did a security job that he was working at as well. He saw me writing a rap one day on my break and told me he makes beats and that’s when I started going to Brooklyn to his crib to work on music."

- Where did you all come from exactly ? 

Sean Connery : "Me and Cillo are both from St. Albans Queens (North Side). I grew up 5 blocks from L.L. Cool J and would see him all the time as a kid and was inspired."

- Where does this name "Mindless Brothers" come from ?

Sean Connery : "It’s funny the name came from a old song from Onyx before they got Big with the style we all know them for. Song is called 'Ahhh and we do it like this', they say Mindless Brothers in the verse and my boy Fuzz told be that would be a dope name for a group so I used it."

From left to right : Cillo, Connery, Biggs & Fuzz - Photo courtesy of Sean Conn 

- Could you give me more info about the guests Geoffrey Domma & Kat Daddy featuring on "Make Moves" ?

Sean Connery : "Kat Daddy was my first rap partner and after school we would go to his side of Queens Linden boulevard (Also part of St. Albans Queens around the block from A Tribe Called Quest) and write every day and Geoffrey Domma lived on his block and was also a emcee so we all made it routine to write together and sharpen our skills. After high school when me and Cillo were working on the demo tape I asked if they would hop on a beat Doom did, that had a crew song feel."

- How did the connection happen with Marquee ? 


Sean Connery : "Funny thing is the original Demo-tape did not have 'Death Game' on it. That song was recorded about 2 years later. I met Marquee from a friend of a friend and she was signed to Trackmasters already, she heard the demo and took a liking to me and said I was talented. She kept in contact with me and started inviting me over to write with her and sharpen my pen game. She would also bring me around so many legends including Lord Finesse who was her boyfriend at that time. So just going to his house to write with her was amazing and I met Big L there as well as her taking me to studios with Queen Latifah and so many others. 

DJ Doom had a beat for me and wanted me to get her on it and I did and, years later when he found the old recordings Blunted Astronaut Records had added it to the demo. If you listen to 'Death Game' I was more of a skilled Emcee at that time due to the training I did with the great Marquee and also pointers from Lord Finesse."

- Why did you never release the demos officially in the mid-90s ? what happened ? 

Sean Connery : "We made the demo so we could mail it out to record labels for a deal. Back then it was the way to go if you wanted to be seen and heard you had to get with a major label. We sent it to about 10 labels. And got letters back from a few. 

SoSo Def passed on us and Jive had interest but was not signing acts at that time. To know that is getting so much love so many years later shows it was official. Might be ready to set up a tour if the people want it."

Mad Props to Sean Connery. Check his website here .

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