Who is Mutant Academy?
What is Mutant Academy?
Fly Anakin: Before, we called it the Mutant Academy, we called it Out of the Ordinary. Then Henny came up to me with [Mutant Academy] and then I was just like, “Aight cool”. At first it was just [Henny and anakin], and then my brother Ray, my man CJ, and then we organized our management with Locals Only. It’s like a big ass umbrella—it went from just rapping to almost a lifestyle and a family.
I just came up with the name as an ode to the X-Men.
Henny L.O.: Anakin and I just grew up together but we kinda lost contact with each other. But then, he hit me up after we graduated from middle school. Next thing I know, he comes to my crib with a beats CD and just started getting busy like every weekend. I just came up with the name as an ode to the X-Men. The “mutant” just determines what we are as unique individuals and the “academy” is just everyday life.
How would you describe the characters in the group?
HLO.: At the end of the day, I respect both of them the same way and I feel they feel they respect me, but I think they see me as the leader of the whole s**t. I kinda spearheaded it at one point until anakin started going nuts this year. Anakin has been brining a lot to the table for this group and for himself too. If anything, I would be the head, anakin would be the arms, and Kons would be the legs.
FA: We capitalize on being individuals. I don’t have anything wrong with being in a group but we should all have a voice outside that group so that everybody can remain a force on their own. But if anything, me and this n***a [Koncept] are the troublemakers—we are the “ain’t s**t n****s.” But, we all come together as family and love each other to death.
How did y’all reach out to Koncept?
FA: Well Henny hit me and asked me, “Yo, what do you think about adding Kons to the group?” I was like, “I’m with it,” because Kons and I work a lot together anyways. But, then I was like, “Naaa, he’s already with MYT and we don’t wanna intrude.” So, it wasn’t us trying to push him to join us but rather it was a conglomerate thing.
It’s almost like we are a Raekwon, Ghostface, and Meth.
HL: I mean I’m a visionary—I look at it from a big picture standpoint. Can’t nobody head up with us in terms of creativity and even business at this point because we learn from our mistakes as a family. We continue to lay our foundation so we don’t lose our way. So when I saw that Kons and anakin meshed so well, I thought we should make it official. He meshes so well with our style, flow and beat selection. It’s almost like we are a Raekwon, Ghostface, and Meth.
FA: It’s crazy, “Game 777” is the first time I’d seen [Koncept Jac$kson] in person. He emailed me the joint and was, “Yo, let’s work together.” I almost played the n***a to the left—I’m glad I didn’t. Literally, we’ve been cool since we did that song together. It wasn’t even a year ago but this n***a is like my brother now. N***as just had a weird ass chemistry—I still can’t explain that s**t.
Koncept, was it tough making your decision to go to Mutant Academy?
Koncept Jack$on: I wasn’t really a hard decision—I didn’t go to Mutant Academy thinking ‘F**k MYT.' I had already worked with anakin all the time and I was cool with Henny too. Also, n****s’ drive matched mine and I f***ed with that heavy.
When did y’all start rapping?
FA: The summer of ’08 for me. Literally, as soon as I got out of middle school, I linked up with Henny because he was rapping before me. Henny actually taught me how to rap. Of course I could put together a verse, but I had to figure out song structure and what the f**k 16 bars really was. He taught me the mechanics of being an MC, but I had the s**t in me. But, I’ve been rapping since I was like 9 but it was always like a dream and s**t and didn’t take it serious until the summer of ’08. I dropped my first mixtape in April of ’09.
KJ: I’ve been rapping since I was like 9 or 10. I made my first song when I was like 11. Of course, it was real bad quality but hey—I made it. I would say I took it seriously probably my 8th grade year, so that was like ’09. From then on, I was like, “I wanna do this s**t.” Even then, I didn’t know it was gonna be as real as it is now. I didn’t think Richmond was a place people were really paying attention to. But now, people are starting to pay attention.
How did y’all come up with your stage names?
FA: My first rap name was Deuce cuz my dad was the senior and I was the junior—I thought it was creative. Then, three songs I changed it to Nathan Hale—the guy from the game “Resistance”. Then, I broke than name to Inhale. Then, I got tired off that name and one day I listened to Tray Mart the Sky Diver and he’s got a song called “Dead Fool”. In one of his lines, he said, “F*****g anakin, fly author…” Then I took “anakin” and “fly” and switched it around to fly anakin. But I hate the “fly” part now, so I’m thinking about switching it.
KJ: It was just Koncept--I was 15 when I came up with that. I added “Jack$on” to it because I felt a lot of people had variations of that name. I had made that name like two—three years ago.
HLO: My name was also another ode to X-Men—it was Henry McCoy. It started off as a joke cuz I had a lot of facial hair in middle school—people thought I was like 18. It started off as a joke but I kept the name. Ghostface went through what he went through when he was the “Iron Man.” One of my favorite artists that I worked with, Nickelus F, couldn’t get the rights to the name Nick Fury. So, let me just take this as a sign and not use this name. Then one day, I just came up with it on the fly. So through my research I found out that “Henny” means “leader” and the L.O. is an acronym—it stands for “live and observe”. So, my full name means “live, lead and observe.”
What do you think of the Richmond hip-hop scene?
KJ: I think it’s progressing—I respect people that do what they do. I f**k with people like Dr. Milli[onaire] because he’s him and I’m cool with him outside of rapping. A couple years ago, I was thinking, “We are the only people doing s**t in Richmond.” It’s like a gateway—people could pay attention to us then we could blow up. Then, other people in the city could blown up in their own certain way.
I mean we want to make sure everything is gucci in our backyard but the Internet is our main stage right now.
FA: It’s crazy—there was a shift when we stopped trying to chasing conquering Richmond and then we started to focus on the Internet to get some kind of presence and s**t. As soon as we started to not give a f**k about our presence in Richmond, that’s when Richmond started caring. Like when you push to make that s**t happen, it never materializes. It’s funny I’ve been getting this line like 13 times this summer, “Oh, you’re fly anakin?” Essentially, what I’m saying is, the Internet is the f*****g move. I mean we want to make sure everything is gucci in our backyard but the Internet is our main stage right now.
KJ: It’s real because before I was involved with anakin and Mutant Academy, I wasn’t big on the Internet and I was focusing on the Richmond music scene. I knew everybody in Richmond and got connections that way. But when I started f*****g with [Mutant Academy] I started branching out and getting that Internet presence and like now a lot of people f**k with Mutant Academy.
FA: That’s why I f**k with New York—all that stuff is historic as f**k. That’s what I’m tryna do with Richmond, I wanna make this s**t special. I want people to be like, “Yo, this is where anakin and them were from.”
How did you put elsewhere ave. together and what does it mean to you? Also, what’s your favorite track on the project?
FA: It’s funny I had an interview with Neo Pro right after Epic Fest and I had talked about doing an EP, but I wasn’t that serious about it. But when I said it in the interview, I was like, 'Damn…I’ve actually gotta deliver this s**t.' After I recorded “Get Down,” 3 hours before Epic Fest and I played it for my manager at the time and he was like, “Yo, you’re performing this s**t tonight and dropping it tomorrow.” Then, I was like, “Aiigghht.” So boom, the first single is out and then I had to put the whole project together. I started the day after I dropped “Get Down,” that was the 27th of June. Dawg, I don’t know what happened, I started pressing some buttons and putting some beats together and the muf****g project done in like 20 days. The s**t ended up coming together perfectly. I thought the s**t was gonna song like a bunch of songs put together which I tried to stay away from. But it’s funny, honestly elsewhere ave. started off as a quick project—just to get a body of work out there. But the more I got into it, it started becoming something bigger than what I imagined it to become. It ended up being a prequel to mirrors_episode.1. During mirrors, I was going through some depression and I was kinda f****d up mentally. But, I literally switched the s**t around it literally ended up being a day of my life for the summer—that s**t bugged me the f**k out. I didn’t appreciate [elsewhere ave.] until it came out. I didn’t realize what I was doing—I was just pushing buttons man. I think I’m gonna go with lovebug as my favorite track too.
What did OPERATION: LIV LAV mean to you? Favorite track off the project?
KJ: I felt like that was like my debut s**t. It already meant a lot to me and when I saw that people had really accepted it, OD, I was like, 'F**k!' When my story is told, that’s what I’m always going to go back to because that’s when people started paying attention to me. My favorite tracks are either “What I Need”, “Hieroglyphs”, or “Livin Lavish”. “Game 777” was a classic too—the people really f****d with that one.
HLO: Ghostface, Mos Def, Sean Price, Styles P, and Joe Budden.
FA: No particular order cuz this s**t changes everyday. But I would choose Curren$y, Wu-Tang, Nas, Outkast, and Cudi.
KJ: No particular order too—I’ve got Jay, Nas, Eminem, Big L, and Biggie.
Where do y’all see yourselves as a group or individuals in about 5 years time?
KJ: I think being on tour, people f*****g with our s**t and living off of the music. Maybe a nice place in Cali or something like that.
FA: For me—on top of the f*****g world. It gets bigger every year, bruh. 5 more years is more than enough time is what I think.
HLO: Spaceships and flying cars. But, if this s**t gets to be too much pressure, I might come through with a new thing or something—imma definitely be mad inconspicuous.