This was conducted and published in April of 2007. It is by far my favorite interview I've done, as Mike has an unending amount of knowledge to share. For those who don't know, Beltway 8 Records was a Houston-based label founded in the late 1990s made up of students from Prairie View A&M University. Beltway 8 went on to become recognized throughout the country for their mixtapes and albums. This is the most intriguing, informative interview you will read on the formation of, success, and downfall of a label as well as the Texas rap music scene as a whole.
Mike Moe Interview
Conducted by Daniel Thomason
Daniel Thomason: What was your first introduction to music?
: Ohhhh man…you took me back like 30 years. I think as a little kid, probably about four or five years old, my dad was a blues guy. Back when we stayed in Cuney Homes in 3rd Ward [Houston, Texas], he used to have a Cutlass Supreme with the airplane antenna on the back of it. With the boom box in it, back then it wasn’t booming, it was just high. They used to open up the car in the alley and play music. I guess I could dance because all I remember was they used to tell me, “Go ahead and dance little Mike, gon’ dancin’”. That’s how I got introduced to music.
When you were growing up what were your favorite artists to listen to?
My favorite artists to listen to were Run DMC, Special Ed, Slick Rick, MC Shan, K-Rino, Big Tyme Records, Geto Boys. My favorite two groups of all time have been UGK and 8Ball & MJG.
Tell me about what you were doing before the music thing jumped off, before Beltway 8 got started.
I was working in a warehouse pulling parts at Bettis Actuated Control Valve company up in Waller, Texas.
I know that you got laid off from there and you went back to Prairie View A & M. What made you want to go back to college?
I felt like I needed to go back and further my education because I didn’t want to put myself in a predicament where someone could lay me off ever again. So I’m like, “Ok, I’m going to go back and better myself and do that”. But, you know, those plans change real quick.
When was it that you started college again?
I got laid off in 1999 and I started at Prairie View that fall semester of ’99.
Like August / September ’99?
How did you find the students who were making up Beltway 8 on campus?
Basically what we did was we had got together and I was selling tapes, I was just slowing down tapes and selling tapes on campus. And I ran across a guy named Pollie Pop and Pollie Pop said do I have it on CD. So I was like, “No, I don’t have it on CD” so he’s like, “I got a buddy who can put ‘em on CD’s”. I’m like, “Alright, cool, well introduce me to this buddy”. He introduced me to who at the time was my partner, Hasani. And Hasani was trying to charge too much to put the songs on tapes to CD. So I’m like, “Well the best thing for me to do is make him a partner and we ain’t got to worry about this no more. We’ll just hustle this to the death”. So we came together and started doing it and I just started grabbing boys from the South side, boys from the North side on campus and just started going to the trailer house and making music. I had bought a Wal-Mart microphone, a Best Buy mixer, and a double tape deck and just had boys come over there and flow.
Who was the first artist that you got to join Beltway 8?
For like the first year or two it wasn’t anything that had to do with contracts. It was just, you know, we were just boys and just rapping, just doing it for fun. And then finally the light came on like, “Man, we can make money off of this”. So I had to bring the South side boys in separate then the North side because there was always some plex going on. So I had to deal with that. But what I did was I came up with this idea, I was going to come up with this CD called “Your Hood My Hood”, basically, whatever, it’s kind of like unity. The reason I came up with the name Beltway 8 was because [DJ] Screw was representing the South side and [DJ Michael]Watts was representing the North side. But I was from the South side but I had friends on the North side, I had friends on the East and West. And the Beltway 8 [Toll Road] goes all the way around Houston. So I was going to unify the plex Houston had at the time with the South side / North side thing. So that’s how I came up with Beltway 8. And the first one that came to mind was “Your Hood My Hood”, it had everybody from the North side / South side on it.
So that was the first tape y’all put out?
First CD I ever made was “Your Hood My Hood”.
Was the roster for Beltway 8 – I know y’all had a lot of artists that were always featured – was it kind of like an always changing roster, a revolving door, kind of changing all the time?
Yeah, ‘cause it’s like some guys didn’t share the same vision that I had, which is understandable. We were all young and I had never been in the music business so I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, you know I was just kind of guided through God. At the same token I was like, you know if you’ve got 65 people – that’s what we started with – and it whittled down to 15, then hey, you got the best 15 out of the 65, then it whittled down even more to about five. But I expected that, you know, so it worked for me. This game ain’t good for everybody. I always tell folks rap is a contact sport. Once they got some of that contact, you know, they have to move around. Some people didn’t have no hustle in them, others had their own agenda, so I just whittled all that down.
Who ended up being the core members of Beltway 8?
Core members of Beltway 8 was Moe B., Bubba Luv, A.Y., J.B., Naro, Young Black, and Super Dave.
Who was, in your opinion, the best artist that was ever with the Beltway 8 back then?
The best artist that was with Beltway 8, pound for pound, I would have to say it was Bubba.
Who was the worst?
The worst artist on there was Super Dave.
How many undergrounds, mixtapes, and albums did y’all release?
I got a little over 200 undergrounds out, I got probably about 30 albums catalogued, and my company, Beltway 8, we did 8ighted & Chopped versions of more than 85 albums that have gone through distribution.
What separated Beltway 8 back then from all the other Houston rap artists and Houston rap clicks?
When I started doing the Beltway 8 I did a survey of what people liked about [DJ] Screw and what they didn’t like about Screw and what people liked about [DJ Michael] Watts and didn’t like about Watts. And one thing they said was Watts and Screw would cut the songs off too early, they just got into the groove of it, you know, they missed that whole song. Or it was too slow. So what I did was I sped it up a little bit more and just played the song all the way through so the people could jam the song that they wanted. And it worked, it worked like wildfire.
Why do you think Beltway 8 was so successful?
I think mainly because we had two to three people that was actually smart, smarter than myself. And what they did was where I was lacking in, they had strength in. So what I did was I said, “Well, if they’re smart in this area then I’m going to be strong in this area here”. Which was, as far as business wise, negotiating deals with different labels, being that person to shake that persons hand or whatever the case is. ut what happened was we let everybody have their position. f I wasn’t good on the internet, I didn’t want to learn the internet. Let Hasani take care of the internet. f Jaleel from Wood Figgaz was strong at distributing in the streets and to the retail stores, let him handle that. If I’m great at going to Southwest Wholesale [distribution company] and Gonzales and getting the deals done, then I’m going to handle that part. So that’s what made us successful, because everything was structured as a business. I didn’t want to run a renegade service as far as business was concerned, so I think that’s why we were successful in that aspect.
Do you think that’s why a bunch of other clicks fail, because they don’t have people to specialize in things?
I think that’s a big reason. A lot of times a lot of guys in this business don’t understand what business really is. To me, business is a natural thing. You don’t go to school to learn how to do business. I mean, there are some things you have to know, don’t get me wrong, but business is a natural thing. Business is not based off of how much money you have, it’s actually the relationship that you have with the individual that opens up doors for you, whatever the case is. So a lot of guys in this business, what they do is, they don’t understand that. Or they don’t want to bring anybody into their organization that’s smarter than they are. And I’m quite the opposite. I want you to be smarter than me because if you’re not smarter than me then I can’t use you. I need to learn from you what you’re smart at and vice versa. So I think that’s why a lot of people in this business fail is because they don’t want to be tested in that manner.
Tell me what led to the departure of all the original members.
I still don’t know. I still do not know to this day. I had A.Y. over here one day and Bubba; my business partner I haven’t talked to in over four years. But for the most part, what I gathered from it was that – I think what happened was the guys started blowing up so quick and their name got out their so fast, but the record sales didn’t show that. It was like, “Man, y’all the shit” or whatever the case is, and then I’ve heard rumors that people were going on campus saying they sold 20,000 CD’s when actually they only sold 2,000 CD’s. So you’ve got to do the math. And people in school, they were like, “You sold 20,000 CD’s, why you ain’t got no car?” And then next thing you know, well, who you put it on? “Oh, Mike got the money”. I think a lot of times what people need to do is just be honest with yourself, just tell folks hey man, this is what’s going on. You don’t have to tell them, I mean that’s your business, but if you tell somebody something tell them the truth, that way there’s no pressure on you when it comes down to it. People ask me how many records I sold, I tell them the truth, “I sold 2,000 CD’s”. But the next time I’m going to do this in order to try to sell 4,000 next time. And they for some reason, I don’t know if they felt the money wasn’t right or whatever the case is, but I mean I always had the documents to show that. It was to the point to where people was getting paid money they wasn’t even supposed to. Because I had compilations that was coming out that didn’t even concern them. And that was what the bulk of my money was being made at, right there on the compilations. That was pretty much it. I think it had got too rough. We had a couple of incidents to where there was some fighting going on and whatnot, and I think it got too real for them at the time. Half of it, if not all of it, was caused by me. I was a little aggressive back then, young. If you said anything about Beltway 8 then I was going to go to war with you. Now, where I’m at in life now, it’s like, you know what, that was then. I wouldn’t change anything about it, whatever the case is. But right now I just want to embrace different artists, different labels, and whatnot. Because I’ve come to realize that it’s not about a war, it’s about coming together and making some things happen for what we believe in, which is music.
You saying that you were young, I always wondered how old were those guys when they were doing Beltway 8?
Oh, man. It was 18, 19…17, 18, 19. Bird was 14 back then. They was fairly young and it was a situation that I had to grow up real fast because I was dealing with grown man business.
Do you think that’s part of the problem, that they were so young they just kind of didn’t know how to handle it all?
Yeah, and they weren’t dealing with the business aspect of it, they were dealing with the entertainment side of it. When it came to better their business I was the one that was doing all that. But I also put Moe B. in a situation to where I left Prairie View and gave him a record store and a car and everything, and he cracked, he broke. His whole thing just came apart because I put too much pressure on him and he wasn’t ready. They were just young back then, man.
What has made you want to get this new clique together?
Neo Click has been a clique that I’ve been promoting and getting together for four years now but it was never nobody, I just believed in this Neo Click. And so – I know it’s weird [laughing] – the distributors like, “How in the hell can you promote a group that doesn’t exist?” And I’d say, “Man, just watch, it’s going to happen”. I just kept promoting it or whatnot. But every time I come across somebody they didn’t have that sound that I was looking for or they didn’t have the work ethic that I was looking for or they didn’t have the rubber band – you know, some people don’t like to be stretched. So I feel like I’m in a position where I know what I’m talking about most of the times.And if I don’t’ know then I have enough nerve to ask somebody what it is whatever the case is. So when I heard these guys I’m like, “That’s the Neo Click”. That’s the sound, that’s the work ethic, that’s the loyalty, that’s the everything. So it was like, “I’m through with everything else, everything else got to go”. This is what I’ve been looking for the last four years.
From your viewpoint, how is this group going to stand out from all the others in Texas?
We’re going to work man. We’re going to work, we’re going to do things different. We’re going to embrace other artists, we’re going to embrace other labels. We’re going to work for other labels and artists and vice versa. If I want to work with someone and they don’t want to work with me that’s fine. But that’s mean I’m going to work triple time so you have to come back and see us again. But I think these guys here are going to stand out on their own because they’re that good. And I’m the kind of person that if it’s something real good I’m slightly cocky about it. I can walk into an office and grab my dick and say, “Hey, that’s the Neo Click” versus tucking my tail saying, “Hey, I want you all to listen to these guys”. So that’s my attitude. And I think a lot of people, when it comes to major record labels, if that’s the angle that we’re pursuing or whatever the case is, that they will accept that because people like cocky. But at the same time you’ve got to know when to turn it on and when to turn it off.
What made you choose each of these members specifically?
Well, I chose [Young] Kountry because he can rap and he doesn’t sound white. When you hear him, I’ve let people hear their songs, it’s like, “God damn, that motherfucker jammin’, who is that?” I’m like, “His name is Young Kountry, and he’s white”. They’re like, “Man, get the fuck out of here”. And the thing about it is that that’s what made him, I mean he really can rap. Bird is a natural, I mean it’s like when he’s doing it, it’s like, “Damn”. I seen Pieco, which Pieco is not necessarily Neo Click, we haven’t discussed that just yet. But Pieco is Pieco, it’s Neo Click and Pieco or, you know, whatever. But Pieco, I’ve seen Pieco destroy two groups – I won’t say their name – but I’ve seen Pieco destroy two groups and each one of these groups had at least five members in their group. I’ve seen him run through about two or three individuals and mind you he’s Hispanic. He say Puerto Rican, I still say he’s Spanish. But he destroyed all of them so I’m like, “Damn, look at this esse up there killin’ all these niggas!” So right then and there I’m like, “That’s the one”, whatever the case is. And so we’re working with him. Sometimes the bolts come loose but we got to tighten them back up. But other than that he’s a good kid, I mean, he can rap his ass off. But I mean it’s just the respect that we have for each other.
What, in your opinion, is the state of the current Texas scene? What are your thoughts on it?
I think what it is, is that Texas is…we are…we’re doing good, but at the same time I think we’re dying slow. And reason being because I just recently came from Kansas back in October. And I remember one time in one of the stores up there, Seventh Heaven, they used to have a whole row, just nothing but Texas music. Now we got one little piece of that whole row of just Texas music. And slightly because the majors came along and slid everybody contracts and wiped the independent market smooth out of Texas.
Do you think it’s an over saturation of the mainstream market with Texas?
I don’t think it’s over saturation, I think it’s not enough releases that has caused Texas problems. That’s why I came up with the album title “Black Tuesday”. Because every time Tuesday comes around, the retail stores have nothing to sell. Back when Southwest [Wholesale was around], when everybody was independent, “Tuesday such and such come out, Tuesday such and such come out”. Now it’s like retail stores almost have to live off mixtape material. So that’s been the surviving key in the South, is the mixtape game. And I’ll be honest with you, I don’t necessarily like mixtapes, but it’s necessary. It’s necessary to the fact that, you know, you can’t produce enough quality albums enough to keep the market going. I think that independent artists and labels need to realize that trying to get a major deal right away is not the key. Because if you get a major deal right away or whatever the case is, that means you got no money. So my thing is that I’m not chasing a major deal. They can call; if it’s fair, fine, if it’s not, fine. I’m going to get some of this independent money, because I always feel like this: if I got the artists with the work ethic, I got the producers that’s going to knock it out, oh, we can pop out albums. People will tell you, I used to come out with albums once a month. Whether they good or bad, I was coming out with them. But I think that Texas needs to reorganize and say, “Ok, this is what’s going on, how do we come from that?” But at the same time people have got major deals now and they can’t swallow their pride and get back out their and grind it out again. That’s hard to do when you’re sitting at home and you got a $100,000 check coming in the mail versus, say, going out there in the streets and go peddle for two grand. But to me, you know, I swallow my pride for nuts. So it don’t matter to me.
Now when you said Southwest, that reminded me of something I wanted to ask you about. Talk about when Southwest Wholesale went under, what it did.
It was a sad day, man. I lost $152 [thousand].
Why did they go under?
There’s two or three things, but I was inside Southwest real strong. It was…Robert [Gabriel, owner] [inaudible], to me, didn’t know how to say no. And then the way he was doing business as far as paying folks, when the CFO was looking at the books or whatever the case is, he was like, “Man, this is awkward kind of business”. So he closed the books and reported them to Citibank. And Citibank withdrew on their loan. So I’d say it was somewhere around $25 million that Citibank gave Southwest, and Robert told me he had paid back something like $10, $17 million within a year. So I was like, “Well, why would someone even close on someone that had paid back $10 to $17 million of a $25 million dollar loan?” It just went to hell. Like I said, it was a sad day, because Southwest was actually the distribution company that built Houston as far as rap wise. When it fell apart everyone went running or whatever the case is. It’s like the majors were like, “Ok, here’s opportunity” like vultures to go down there and scoop them up. And we had never seen deals like that come before. So everybody was signing deals and when one person signed a deal he couldn’t be outdone by another person, so he signed a deal, and then he signed, and before you know it everyone’s like, “Damn, we signed this damn deal”. So it’s kind of one of those things where sometimes it’s best just to be patient.
Now I want to ask you – you know, I’m from Dallas – why do you think Dallas has not enjoyed the success that Houston has?
I’ll be honest with you, I really couldn’t answer that. But I will say this right here. I don’t think Dallas extends themselves into Houston enough. I don’t want to seem like Houston is the Mecca, but in a sense it really is. But Houston’s one of those kind of markets where it’s real tricky. Even to the point to where we’ve got people in Houston that sell our CD’s, street team, promotions, whatever – we do real good, don’t get us wrong – but it’s a different market. Houston is the kind of thing where once you blow they love you. Other than that, most people you walk up to, “Hey, I rap too, I don’t give a shit”. It don’t matter. But I think that Dallas, the fans of Dallas accept the Houston, then I think the Dallas rappers, artists, entrepreneurs need to find a way to, you know, invade our market also.
You’re into a lot of stuff. What are all your musical business ventures that you’re in?
Oh man, I can’t tell you all of them, but I can tell you some of them. I’m involved with probably about three labels that I’m invested in – I won’t say names. But I do the air fresheners because I’ve seen the demand that people need air fresheners because they ride around smoking drugs. Shit, I had to whip up me a formula. I’m a risk taker, man. So any time I see something that I can invest in or partner up in or whatever the case is, that’s what I’m going to do. So a lot of times you have a lot of good record labels and a lot of good things, it’s just that they need just a tweak or something. At the same time I’m like, “Hey, let me do this right here and I’m going to pull out. Y’all do your thing” or whatever the case is. I enjoy doing that. And the thing about it is I like when people are talking about those different labels that I’m associated with and they don’t know it. I’m like, “Oh, ok, well, let me make a phone call as soon as we get to talking to you, and this is what’s going on” or whatever the case is. But I enjoy that, I mean that’s business. So it’s fun for me.
What is the biggest misconception people have regarding BCD [Music Group] [Note: At this time, BCD was the subject of much discussion for putting out mixtapes under an artists name that were supposedly not approved by the artist]?
BCD is a monster. And the thing about it is if you don’t know how to deal with monsters then of course you retreat and go tell the villagers, “Hey, that monster’s whoopin’ our ass”. The people at BCD are strictly business. I mean, there’s no kind of bullshit you can walk off in there with and say, “Hey, I got this” or whatever. They’re going to look at you stupid or they’re going to hit a button on you, turn the computer around and say, “See that, that’s where that’s at”. They’re strictly business. Me and Harald [Blakeslee, managing director of BCD] have went neck to neck for probably about two years. Good guy, I love him. He love me also, I know he do because my bank account shows he does. But he’s a great guy. But I always tell folks like this, there’s a lot of people that don’t like me because they don’t know me. It works the same way for BCD. They don’t like BCD because they can’t get in there. Or they listen to someone else and what they say or whatever. Because I always tell folks go take the bull by the horns yourself. First time I hear people say, “Oh, I don’t like Daniel” or whatever the case is, I want to know who Daniel is. Why are you saying this about Daniel? And most times it’s that that person doesn’t know how to deal with Daniel, but I do. BCD is a great company. It’s done a lot for me, still doing a lot for me, and I do a whole lot for them. I’ll never turn my back on them. No matter what I do as far as where I may go down the streets, I will never turn my back on them.
They’ve done a lot for everyone. I walk into a Best Buy, I walk into a Hastings, and I see all this Houston, all this Texas stuff that all says BCD on it.
They picked up the slack where Southwest fell off at. If it wasn’t for them then we’d be in a bigger, bigger, bigger trouble picture far as music wise. You’d have a lot people being signed and put on the shelves and never ever releasing an album through majors.
Where did you get your good business sense from?
I don’t know. Well, I’ll say this, I won’t say I don’t know. I got my good sense from the man above because it was prophesized for me to do this. So whenever things happen, I don’t know why they happen, they just happen. So I don’t question things. When problems come about I never question it, for the most part. Getting it from him, it’s natural. I always believed that business is about relationships. Even if I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about but we got a good relationship between each other then you stand to correct me. So, cool, that’s fine. To me it’s a people thing, not so much as business. I don’t know, it’s natural. I never took a business course. It’s just natural.
Do you see Beltway 8 reaching a mainstream status on BET or MTV, something big like that?
Oh yeah, no doubt. That’s one of the many goals. But that’s not a thing that, “Hey, we trying to do this to go to BET”. No, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to get people to love the music, respect the label, and the rest will follow.
You see that as a long-term goal in the future?
I won’t use the word long-term, but that’s a goal. Whether it comes in a year, two, five, whatever the case is. That is a goal, it’s just that that’s not the reason we’re doing it. We want to give good quality music. And that’s why I’m at where I don’t want to put anything out there bullshit. Not just because about money. If the budget says we’re looking slim, then guess what, we’re ain’t putting out no bullshit album. We’re going to put out quality music and going to have to suffer.
I think what you said about grinding before you get to a major label is necessary. You see someone like [Houston artist] Aztek who people in Texas had never heard of him and he gets a major deal then he gets dropped. I had never heard of him before he was on Roc-A-Fella. Then you’ve got Chamillionaire who had a huge underground fan base. He gets signed and he’s platinum, he has the most ringtone sales.
That’s what I mean by walking in with your nuts. When you’re walking in saying, “Hey, give me a deal, give me a deal!” they say, “Bend your ass over, we’re fixing to give you some of this”. But when you walk in holding your dick they’re like, “Well, shit, here you go, get you some. We ready for you, we heard about you boys”. And that’s how we want to go in. And that way when we go to negotiate deals and they start writing checks or whatever the case is, we say, “Nah, push that shit back, you ain’t got enough zeroes on there”. Because at the end of the day, these people got to eat, my people got to eat, my family got to eat, and my future generations of what this label stands for has to eat. So it’s just that we’re going to take our time. We’re going to give the best product, we’re going to do the best we can, and whatever happens then it will happen.
If you could go back and there’s anything that you did with the Beltway 8 in the past that you could do over, what would it be?
What would I do over? [Pauses, thinking]. I want to say, man, nothing. Because after I evaluated and looked at it all, there was nothing I could have done. Yeah, I would have liked for the Beltway 8 boys to have been successful like these other guys. That would have been my trophy on the shelf, “Look what I produced” or whatever the case is. But it wasn’t meant for that to be. Even to the point to where I reach out to them and say, “Hey, let’s do it”. But the same thing stood is that ok, well, these guys still ain’t ready. They still haven’t figured it out or whatever the case is. So I’m like, ok, I’ll exhale; it’s over with, now it’s time for me to do Mike Moe and Beltway 8. Only person that’s going to build this son of a bitch back up is me. That’s why I jumped in that van and hit that highway and bust ass on them streets and came right back. Because I remember when I was on TheScrewShop[.com], people were like, “Man, I ain’t heard y’all, y’all ain’t done this, y’all ain’t done that” and whatever the case is. All of a sudden that shit done switched up.
Y’all flood the market now with the “Live From The Streets”, “Live From The Bedroom”, y’all got everything.
Can’t nobody do it. We beautiful. And I thank [DJ] Wrecka for a lot of it, because Wrecka gave me vision through music. Like, ok, damn, ok, now we got Wrecka. We got Tosin and Sketch Media for artwork, that gave me visual as far as artwork wise. Now we got artists. Ok, now I already got all the business set up, all they’re doing now is waiting for me to load the pistol up and shoot it. So it’s like I’m ready now.
It’s like everything has come together once again.
Exactly. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t rushing anything. I was going to be patient and let time take it’s course. Now we’re here.
What is it that you look for in an artist that you want to work with or that you want to come join you?
Work ethic, man. Someone that wants to work and work hard and be consistent. I don’t like people that start off fast, because everybody that comes when they start off fast, they run out of gas. Pace yourself. Work ethic. I mean, if I’m doing something or whatever the case is, you do something. I mean, you can be a half-assed rapper in a sense, don’t get me wrong. But if you’ve got a work ethic out this world I don’t care, we’ll make up for that later. Because your work ethic is going to outshine that right there. That’s what I look for in an artist. But an artist at the same token, in the position that I’m in now, is that I’m not in development stages anymore. I need those artists that are ready to get out there. Groomed. And, you know, he may need a buffing a little bit. He got a shine up under him. But just a little buffering when he needs on occasion. That’s why I’m not into the street thing anymore. I am, I’ve got another company we’re about to launch real soon, first of the summer, we pushed it back. We’re gong to have free studio time. We’re going to have guys from the streets to come in and we’re going to work that market. Hopefully we’ll find a shining start out of that and we’ll push them over here. Or Chevis Entertainment ain’t had an artist since [Big] Pokey. And they just ain’t got time to develop these artists no more. So what we want to do is we want to serve as that incubator for the underground. “Ok man, you good, you cold, you’ve been on here on time, you’ve been wrecking, let me turn you onto my partner Chevis over here and bam, let Paul Chevis and them go ahead”.
You could uncover a lot of good artists like that. Some of them just don’t have the money or time to get in a studio, they can’t just do it like that.
And that’s my thing, I want to help guys help themselves.
When you’re gone, what do you want to be remembered for musically?
Oh, man. “He united the underground”.