Elijah Divine is a MC’s MC, hands down. Armed with a machine gun like flow and incredible wordplay, Elijah has established himself as one of the top Mc’s on the local scene and I’m glad to have him part of the machine. With that said, you know the god had to break bread with the brother!
How did you get started in rap? I started out freestyling over a J Feez beatbox on newton hill in high school. We used to entertain parties for hour’s in our juvenile delinquent days, nothing serious, just for fun. From there I got turntables and started spinning hiphop, reggae, and dnb @ what was the marque then.. I would try and work on my flow as much as my dj’ing. In 2004 I moved to Hawaii, I linked up with the Highlander Camp and we formed Me & My Manz. In that time I opened up for DJ Honda, King Yellowman, Ladybug Mecca from Digable Planet’s, Zion I, Tha Alkaholiks, Chino XL, Jennifer John’s, Parish from EPMD, the list goes on. And Each show I would get a chance to take a break from dj’ing and perform one song. One song gradually turned into two, two turned into three, and by then I started to take it alot more serious, and they loved me in kauai. The confidence I got from tearing up crowds in Kauai and Honolulu lit the fire. Simultaneously my lyrical content and delivery began to get out of control, so when I moved back to New England I put the deck’s on the back burner and started to focus more on flows. First show I got booked for when I got back was with Threshold Sound, and the rest is history.
How did you decide upon your name? Alot of people get it twisted when they see the name Elijah Divine. When I say Divine, I say Divine like your Divine, like she’s Divine, like he’s Divine, like we’re Divine. Im not claiming to be anymore Divine that the rest of us. Im just aware. As far as Elijah, Elijah was beleived to be the one God put on earth to rid us of the false prophet’s. Elijah ended the drought, and that’s what Id like to do. Elijah was also believed to be John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus. And, even when I was a kid before I knew anything about Elijah, I always thought it was a dope name. So why not? I moved to Kauai Hawaii and Kauai pretty much created Elijah Divine. It chilled me out, taught me, humbled me and in the two years I lived there it transformed me into Elijah Divine. If you called me Elijah in front of cat’s I grew up with they’d look at you like you were crazy, and if you called me anything but Elijah in front of people I know from Hawaii on, they would do the same.
Who are some of your influences?
I’ve been listening to music for as long as I can remember. Rocking a ripped Stone Temple Pilot’s t-shirt in my 6th grade class picture. I used to sit by the turntable and guess correctly who the artist’s were when I was like five years old. I was hip to Sam Cooke, the coasters, jackie wilson, barret strong, buddy holly, all that, at that age. I was raised on the late 50′s/early 60s when I was a kid, obviously along with whatever current sounds I was catching on tv or the radio during the 80s/90s. So my early influences were all early motown, soul, duop, classic rock. My brain was like a hungry sponge. When I started to get older it was more like Bob Marley, KRS,Capleton, WU, Blackstar, Gangstarr, Rage Against the Machine, all the Marley’s. Ive always been well rounded with the styles of music I listen to. I could go on for hours, But, I would have to say my biggest hiphop influence would be Wu-Tang.
How did you link with HHTT?
When I first met you I thought you were a gospel MC, do you get that a lot?
Not anymore. It used to bother me, but if you wanna get philosophical about it, anyone with a good message, a positive vibe, and a crowd could be labeled a “gospel MC”. But my music for the most part obviously isn’t clean. I try to make that as clear as possible. There’s nothing wrong with being a gospel MC, but I would be a liar if I told people that I made gospel music.
You are one of the most technical lyricists I have come across, where did that come from?
Versatility, Wordplay, and Delivery. I would guess and say from being able to recite verses at a young age. Listening to songs, chanting along with them, after awhile you start to form the pattern. That probably taught me certain rhythms, kinda like a fighter learning different styles. That’s gotta be a contributing factor. A main part of it has to do with emceeing jungle and dubstep as well. Being able to take one verse that you wrote to a hiphop track and be able to lay it down over a dancehall riddim or a amen as well as hiphop beat is probably the biggest contributing factor. Another is my wordplay as well. Im all about the wordplay.
How long have you been spitting for?
Started taking it serious about 9 year’s ago.
Explain the whole “dubbage” movement and your part in it?
Dubbage is basically the dubstep division of Threshold Sound. Dubbage is also a weekly event held every friday night in Hartford CT. Anybody that knows me knows I have a huge connection to CT, mainly Hartford. That’s my fam. Dubbage gives people a chance to check out the sounds, and get the dj’s more exposure. It’s one of the only running Dubstep weeklies in the northeast, and it’s been very successful so far. As far as my involvement, Im the MC. That’s my squad. We form like Voltron.
What projects are you currently working on?
-Right now I’m in the process of 4 project’s. One of course being the “Hot Dog’s and Coke”, mixtape from HHTT. Featuring Cocaine Robot’s (obviously), Prophecy, XXL, Aylienne Hazardous, myself, Skrilla, Cyph, Tony Velez. That mixtape is 100% Worcester emcee’s. Showcasing the local talent, building the army. That should be out soon… Next would be “The Philament’s”, which is a hiphop project im working on. I’m on the rhymes, turntablist extraordinaire DL on the beat’s. Next up is with my brotha Saint Dirty, that will be half hiphop/jungle. Next up is “Divine Intervention”, which is basically my masterpiece. I got so many talented producer’s and mc’s on this with me. Torrential, Joe Blaxx, Tom Brown, DJ Manipulator, Diode, Tone Capone, Thorn Creative, Serious, Jeff Avery, Symetrex, hopefully Cocaine Robot’s. Im planning on “Divine Intervention” being a double disc, one side hiphop, the other side split jungle/dubstep.
The “Brown Bag Rap” video featuring you, XXL Lex Luthor & myself (Brother Menelik) on hulkhatetimetravel.com has been getting a lot good feedback, how do you feel about the added exposure?
I love it. Any exposure is good exposure, and HHTT has without a doubt been helping me get my name out there. I love those video’s from a viewer’s perspective, yall are hilarious.
Elijah, I have known you for sometime now and you constantly stay grinding, I see you all over! Do you still feel underrated?
I’ll probably always feel underrated cause I know me, and I know how much work I put into performing. I will probably feel underrated until being an MC is 100% how I get by. Alot has changed in the last year. Ive been getting love from all over, people know who I am, and I’ve been establishing myself for year’s. So, I dont feel AS underrated, but I definitely feel slept on.
With your music, what are you trying to get across?
I’m 50/50 with that. Mainly what Im trying to get across is unity. I’m trying to write, unite and relate through music. Music is a huge influence on everyone. If I can make music that will not only reach people but influence them in a positive light as well, then I’m on the right path. If I have an opportunity to get through to millions of people, and influence them, the last thing Im going to do is promote the downward spiral of humanity. God blessed me with knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to express myself perfectly. I see it as my job to relay that knowledge and wisdom through the other gift’s Ive been given. The other half of the message would be “don’t believe the hype” and “wake up”. There are alot of shepherds leading the flock astray. Kids are growing up listening to this shit and thinking this is how it really is, and it’s not.
What are your thoughts on the local hip hop scene?
It’s growing (thanks to movements like HHTT). Worcester’s always had “the curse” hanging over it. I’d like to be the one to break that curse. I have love for alot of Worcester artist’s, I just think this city lacks unity.
Filed under: City Of Wor, HHTT Tagged: | brother menelik, ED, Elijah Divine, HHTT, hip hlop, Hulkhatetimetravel, interview, Kinda Dusty, lexx luthor, Local Hip Hop, rap, threshold sounds, worcester, worcester magazine, wortown, XXL