FRIENDS: Mr. Brown aka Lario Emu Iji

Mr. Brown and I have only known each other for a couple of years, but it certainly does not feel that way to me.  Mr. Brown has fallen in love with his art and his music career and I have a tremendous amount of respect for that.  Mr. Brown has put a meaning to the word craft; it is where innovation meets creativity.

JJV: Who are you?

MB: A lot rolled into one.  I am the definition of sample:

sample |ˈsampəl|
noun
a small part or quantity intended to show what the whole is like

It’s because now it’s the mindset I’m in– I’m used to doing everything myself.  Now, it’s “we’re in this together.”  My mom always told me, “everything you do has an impact on everybody else.”  And she didn’t just mean that what you do effects people who you know, she meant it effects everyone.

JJV: What is your ultimate passion?

MB: Not to be cliché or anything, but to be creative, in general.  I have a lot of passions.  Visual, auditory, visual art and music.

JJV: What is your driving force?

MB: You know, I’ve thought a lot about this question.  I think [the driving force] is innate in all humans.  I believe in a higher power.  It’s like what Locke and Hobbes said, “it’s a dog eat dog world.”  It’s something that I think is innate in all of us and I try to be in tune with that as much as possible and work harder…so it can flourish.  Humanity is divine; we have the power to reason.

JJV: What did you eat today?

MB: Coffee, I didn’t eat breakfast.  I wish I did though.  Cobb salad with avocado and blackened chicken with a sherry vinaigrette.

[You fancy, huh?]

JJV: Why are you doing what you’re doing?

MB: I am chasing my idea of success– which sometimes changes.

JJV: If you aren’t doing design or music, then what else would you be doing?

MB: I year ago Freshiam asked me that and it has changed.  It I wasn’t [doing art or design,] I wouldn’t be me.  Too many years have passed that, that’s all I have been doing and I don’t know anything else.

JJV: When do you get your best ideas?

MB: All different times.  5am when I went to bed the night before at 8pm and woke up refreshed or on the other hand, at 5am when I am super tired and haven’t slept at all.  Sometimes, I have to fight and fight and fight for those good ideas to get paid, and other times you have to walk away and step in gum– and that’s it.  How do you plan for an accident?

JJV: Are you proactive or reactive?

MB: Both.  I can be an introvert and an extrovert too.  I can be by myself but I can’t do it forever.  I love being with people.  You can’t react to yourself; you need something else.

JJV: What is the one thing you find yourself wearing the most?

MB: High-tops and Chilly-O tees.  I like buying local and supporting independent artisans.

Click this photo to buy this shirt!

Mr. Brown's customized high-tops.

JJV: If you were to choose the year you were born, what year would it be? Why?

MB: 1984.  The year I was born.  I wouldn’t change it.  I’ve thought about it but, I like my life.  I wouldn’t play roulette with that.  I mean, I could have ended up as one of the Jews during the Holocaust, or in the times of the Black Plague.  It’s fun to think about real cool times, but I think the times we are living in are just fine.  But Americans are sugar-coated; we idealize everything.

JJV: What is your version of breakfast of champions?

MB: 2 eggs– over easy.  Whole wheat toast, turkey bacon, a juice glass of grapefruit juice and coffee.  That way you’re not hungry, but not too full.

JJV: So what’s up with this next project?  When is it coming out?

MB: Spring/Summer 2012

Mr. Brown & Sean Fahie at Patchwerk Recording Studios: putting the final touches on Mr. Brown's album to drop S/S 2012.

JJV: Okay, great!  But why the name change from Mr. Brown to Lario Emu Iji?

MB:  The second name isn’t as important as it is a fresh start.  Mr. Brown is my emcee name, but as KRS-One said, “the first rule of Hip Hop- change your name;” it breaks you off from a past you didn’t create.  Lario is just another facet of me…but I actually feel kind of forced into it.  You have to be so cookie-cutter to be understood but in my experience, some people don’t understand.  Lario is another part of me, not like an alter ego, but just another facet.  Like how Daniel Dumlie is MF Doom, is Mad Villain, and so on.  All those names are just another facet; just another part of him.  I mean, I’m Ryan Brown, I have bills and I have a full-time job.  But I mean, if I’m going to get famous, or even Facebook famous, I’d rather do it under something I’m proud of that I built.  I don’t want to give it away for free.  It’s immortal; if Lario dies, something else will sprout up behind it.

 

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