Phillip Morris full bio on HHUG
HHUG: You're notable for your intricate rhymes, your criticism towards socio-political issues in your lyrics, and your invigorating stage performances with "nerdy"-humorous appeal. How does the concept or term "Phillip Morris" emerge to define as your stage name?
PM: Not many people know this but Phillip Morris is actually a lengthy acronym which stands for: Pretty Hairy Ignorant Liability Loving Interesting Prick Masturbating Over Rigorous Rhythyms In Sunlight. I feel this describes me perfectly.
Okay, so...in all honesty...I picked the name Phillip Morris because it sounded really cool and nobody had it, and i was smoking a cigarette when i thought of it. But i needed a cool story so that's why I lied and made up the acronym. I am sorry. That was foolish of me.
HHUG: Who or what inspires you in creating the music that you do?
PM: (In no particular order) Life, injustice, documentaries, movies, my children, parking tickets, shitty decisions by the government, assholes, other dope artists, heartbreak, crappy musicians, the bums that sit on my stoop, Glam Damage, really good beats, reefer, beer.
HHUG: September 26, 2010 marked the released of your third studio album - The Truth Campaign [TTC]. Can you tell us a bit more of its concept and approach?
PM: My approach was to figure out how I could rhyme over these type of beats and not sound like a fucking idiot. The concept of the album is a very interesting story that has to be heard in its entirety to be understood. And if it still doesn't come across clearly, then the concept is that...I like to play with words a bunch.
HHUG: Unlike your previous albums, TTC does not incorporate any production by yourself. Are your producing days over?
PM: I am not quite sure if i will ever go back to producing, but I definitely don't want to rule it out either. I'm sure I'll make a beat somewhere down the line. I'm sure I'll make a bunch, but just in a different format. I'll probably integrate it into live performances. I work with a live band now (Dubasaurus) so we craft beats together in rehearsals as well.
HHUG: French producer Tha Truth Tella entirely produced TTC. How did you link up with him and what marked your decision to have him produce the entire album?
PM: I originally linked up with Truth Tella thru a track Number 2 did called "Freedom Ain't Free" from his Passport Muzik album. Truth Tella did the beat for that one. He heard my verse i recorded, and he liked it a lot, so he actually approached me with the idea of doing an album. I had just released The Process of Addiction Has Its Costs, so i didn't have any projects I was working on. Plus he makes beats like he's from the Dirty South, and i thought that'd be an interesting backdrop for my rhyming style. And so The Truth Campaign was started!
HHUG: There is a music video for the track "Collateral Damage For The Corporation". Can you tell us more about that?
PM: Yeah, it's actually a 2 part video, the first part is for Collateral Damage For The Corporation, and the 2nd part is for my song "Hell Yeah" with Scarlet Monk. Both of these songs are on The Truth Campaign. The video was directed/edited by Oscar A. Rosas, and it's pretty fucking crazy. It's like if a camera was following me around while i had the roughest day of my life, yet i still handle it like a pro. It's 7 minutes long and it goes from political to comedic to sexy. Really sexy. This is the first video where you get to see Phillip Morris' left nipple.
HHUG: Many fans have assumed that you were part of RedPhone Records due to your collaborations with the disbanded Conspiracy Of Mind debut album, and your upcoming features with various RedPhone artists. Will we see Phillip Morris with RedPhone in the future due to your close relationship with them?
PM: Maybe? I am a leaf in the breeze, so i shall end up wherever that wind currents take me. I will say RedPhone has some great artists that I have enjoyed collaborating with, so at the very least I am sure you will see more collaborations between us!
HHUG: You are also part with a live band called Dubasaurus, can you elaborate on that?
PM: Dubasaurus is wonderful. We are currently a 6 piece band (drums, saxophone, trumpet, bass, guitar, voice) that does quite a few shows here in Chicago. We fuse a lot of different elements, drawing from jazz and reggae/dub heavily, along with lots of funk and hip hop and punk and afro-beat...all types of ill ass shit, so i like to think of our music as "Creeping up behind genres and sucker punching them in the back of the head. Then we walk away feeling very good about what we did. That bastard deserved it." That's what we sound like.
HHUG: What is the most unique and/or unorthodox quality of you that fans might not be aware of?
PM: I can karaoke Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart" pretty damn flawlessly.
HHUG: Who are your top 5 favorite artists, and why?
PM: Victor Montanez, Pablo Serrano, Jose Luis Gutierrez (ELGTZ), Anjali Bahl, and Leftist Lounge Chicago. Why? Because they're all awesome individuals and they make great art. Oh wait you meant musical artists? Darn!! (Giggles to himself)
HHUG: What upcoming plans or projects do you have ahead? Any new albums, or collaborations on other artists' music?
PM: I have a mixtape coming out but i don't know what to call it yet. I am doing a collaboration with Matt Maddox over a Ganjak beat! Doing a lot of collaborations with Number 2. I have a new song with Scarlet Monk, who is also choreographing dance routines to some of my songs. I plan to collaborate with her dance troupe, the Laboratory Dancers. They're amazing. Got some overseas collabs as well with Just Cause. Plus i plan to shoot a bunch of music videos. I've been speaking/performing at a variety of schools recently, so I would like to continue that as well.
HHUG: Thanks for taking the time for this interview. Any last comments or shout outs?
PM: You are welcome good sir! Shout outs to everyone who got a copy of the new album The Truth Campaign, thank you much for the support. For those who haven't...please help me eat. I'm skinny.