Mental Sharp Feature

"Heavy Mental"

The road less traveled is often times the road more fruitful. When you take the worn path it is almost a certainty that those at the end have seen your style a million times over. You come to a fork in the road and there are two ways to go, left or right. But for the formidable lyrical entity,known as Mental Sharp, they went straight. An original sound that incorporates drum & bass and hip-hop into an audible symphony of creative wit and knowledge has people talking. The duo, comprised of the iron tongues of Sharpness and Armanni, has been killing it in shows from their hometown of Philadelphia to all across the world. No stage is safe from the fire these MC's spit.

The beginning of Mental Sharp was a simple one. "We were doing massive parties left and right and everywhere we'd go i'd see him (Sharpness) pop up," offers Armanni. "I use to go everywhere he went and I'd be sizing him (Armannin) up. I knew where he was at and I knew it was like he was already established in the game and I was just coming up in the ranks, so it was like I had to go and listen to this cat and hear what he had to say," adds Sharpness. They hooked up and have had the world on smash ever since.

What makes their music work is that they are not your conventional brand type of MC. "Our style of hip-hop is far from bling-bling, but it's far from backpacking at the same time. We're just trying to be clever with it. With everything we do we got two completely different styles,both angles we hit from any song. You listen to any track we do, hip-hop or drum & bass, it's some different type shit," explains Armanni. Sharpness offeres his take on the issue. "When people hear our CD's a lot of our feedback is always like, 'This is differnt, like something that i have never heard before.' So it's like we're trying to make our own distinctive sound for the hip-hop community and then bring drum & bass along in with it once we set out foot in the door." "The sound truly is distinctive, but doesn't lose sight of the core of hip-hop. The way people look at The Roots and other people that got their own distinct sound, that's what we're going for," Armanni finishes.

But coming from Philly, the road of the MC can be a rather arduous one. In New York, if you got the goods the world is yours. In Philly, the world is theirs. "In Philly if you're nice everybody's gonna try to hold you down, they'll try to hold you way back. And there's so much talent there at any MC battle you go to," conveys Sharpness. According to Armanni, "It's really just like, 'step your fucking game up.' " Sharpness lets in on the path the Philly MC is almost forced to take.

"On any given night the best MC can run through and lose in Philly because there's so many styles. So you got to really be independent on your own or you got to leave Phioladlephia and bring Philly on your back up to New York and meet somebody up there."

Speaking of the MC battle, Armanni is one of the nation's best. His mic is truly his sword. For three months he was the cipher champ on Philly's 103.9 FM. He further displayed his skills at a Ruff Ryder's battle event where he laid waste to Rainman, the winner of MTV's MC Battle. His blood is still dripping from Armanni's blade. His name sends chills up the spine of battle rappers when they search the streets for their next challenge. There is only one thing keeping him from battling anymore, nobody wants a piece.

As to why they aren't yet signed to a major label, the reason is simple, they are smart. They know how to play the game. "The best thing about hip-hop is that we're getting to do it at our own pace. Drum & bass had given us the ability to do that. We don't have to rush around and look for a deal right now," Sharpness conveys. The deal will find them. A few labels have already come calling, but Mental Sharp is waiting for the right one, althought they are currently affiliated with Substitution, MMI, GASM Recordings and Metal Headz, UK/USA, which is owned and run buy the one and only Goldie out of the UK. Until then they'll be setting the world on fire.