Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime
Photo credit: GL Askew II
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Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime are musicians who believe that music making is a high stakes game. Or not a game at all on any level. They believe that music is far more powerful than we treat it, and that making music that helps people act on a higher level can change the world.
Declaime is Dudley Perkins, who incorporated singing into his rapping well before it was common. He grew up with Madlib and later became an integral part of Lootpack. Georgia is a producer and a singer who fuzes jazz with funk and prefigured the vocabulary and aesthetic of the neo-neo soul sound. These two have been prolific and inventive, but they're also some of the people whose role in creating culture and inspiring popular music is underreported. We asked them to tell us how they see the world.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I'm Georgia Anne Muldrow.
DUDLEY PERKINS: And I'm Dudley Perkins.
ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: What up, y'all?
DUDLEY PERKINS: Howdy.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Hey now.
ALI: Thank you for coming. We're really happy to be speaking with the both of you. Didn't know we were going to get both of you guys, so that's like a double treat –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah.
ALI: – for our listeners. I'm really excited that you guys are here, although I have only slept an hour and a half.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Right on.
ALI: Knowing that we were going to be speaking to you guys, I'm just so energized. Just because of who each of you guys are to music. Like, you going to give me some love, I'ma give you some love back. The first thing I wanted to joke with and say, yo, where's your Grammy?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh no.
ALI: What's wrong with the world?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I don't think like that.
ALI: But I know!
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I don't think like that.
ALI: That's why – I know that, and I was like, "But she's not even anywhere near that."
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Mm-mm.
ALI: But you know that's just a little haha, because we don't do this –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I mean, if you was giving them out, you know, I'd be like wanting to have one.
FRANNIE KELLEY: There it is.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: But you're not giving them out, man, so it don't really mean much to me.
ALI: Yeah. I don't even want to make the conversation about that. It's just more about who you guys are. I'm charged because I got freedom fighters sitting in my room, so it's an honor.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. Every day. Every day. I mean, likewise. Y'all don't even know that you guys are my – it's like Spiderman. It's like, y'all my superheroes. It was you guys, X Clan, Arrested Development, these are the people that made me feel happy that I didn't have a press out here in elementary school, the people that I could just go to school and be like, "I'm happy to be nappy." You know what I'm saying?
You guys made it really hip to me because at the time I came into you guys' music, my mom's going to African study group at Marcus Garvey School up there on Slauson and Crenshaw. We were going up there for the study group, African Minds United. Now all my friends was going to places like this, but there was a music there, and there was a generation that was above me that we thought was cool, that I could look at them. And so somebody tell me I need a perm I could just laugh in they face and be like, "Ahhhh." You know what I'm saying?
There's a whole world that you don't even know about here. So you guys gave me a culture to hold onto and be proud of, and all the jazz that you guys had -- you know, my father was a jazz musician. It was my world coming back to me in a way that was like, "Woah!" My dad like – you couldn't touch the radio dial, none of that. No. You listening to jazz all day. That's it. So it's like, you guys – all of that stuff, all of the jazz guitar that's in the stuff, that's my papa! You know?
ALI: Yeah. Did you play Tribe for him? Is he up on Tribe?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: He don't care. I tell you one thing, my dad, the only rap verse he ever liked was "The Message." He's like, "That is rap!"
DUDLEY PERKINS: My stepdad actually gave me "Black Is Black" the first time I ever heard it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh my god! That's awesome!
DUDLEY PERKINS: I remember I was ironing my clothes one day, and I remember, "What is this?"
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah!
DUDLEY PERKINS: Cause it was nothing ever like that. Ever. "When black is black is black. Black is black, not brown and purple." There we go. That whole song changed – you knew things were changing right there. I think that's around the time Fresh Prince Rock The House was out. Rock House? Or – what's that album he had where he's holding the toy box?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Those years – golden – those were – it was so much going on.
ALI: I don't remember.
DUDLEY PERKINS: It was a while ago. But I remember that day. I remember that day perfectly.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It was so many things happening.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Yo, so sitting here, it was like, "Oh, man. I remember these guys." If you affiliated with what people consider true hip-hop, you guys are everybody's heroes.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Everybody.
ALI: That's crazy. Especially –
DUDLEY PERKINS: You guys are what hip-hop is, I mean the purest form of the four elements. Pure.
ALI: Well –
DUDLEY PERKINS: I used to be label mates with Phife with my first label, my first deal. I just be sitting there being like, "Oh, man, what the heck is?" He didn't talk to me or nothing, but I'm like, "It's Phife, man!" Rest in peace.
ALI: That's so crazy. I mean, you mention "Black Is Black," and that's like – I remember when we recorded that as a demo. And people may know the story that Q-Tip and I, Mike Gee, and Afrika from the Jungle Brothers went to the same high school, and so when those guys got put on they were like, yo – it was a song in our demo, and they were like, "Nah, that fits the mold of what we doing."
DUDLEY PERKINS: But when you play it, it was dirty. And that's what actually stood out. It was that dirty. But what it was saying and everything, the horn, you never heard nothing like that, perfect music. I remember that. I was changed completely from there. It was no more the weird stuff.
My stepdad was a DJ. He would always give me certain records from Top Hats out here back in the day and Aaron's and stuff. And he used to pull out – some things he would get just for the cover. I think he got that on a white label. I don't think it had any cover on it. He put it on a mixtape for me in the middle of Luther Vandross, The Commodores.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: And then here come this jam!
DUDLEY PERKINS: That's the only part I play. I was only going to play this one. Wow.
ALI: Can you describe your world a little bit more? Your stepdad's DJ. What was L.A. like? You know, you're from Oxnard. A Brooklyn guy don't know anything about Oxnard, so.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Oxnard is where Lootpack, Madlib come from, Anderson.Paak, stuff like that. My stepfather was one of the main DJs when we was growing up. He actually – Madlib used his turntables and DJ Romes used to be on the turntables. He used to help out all the DJs and do clubs. So I was the dude who always carried all the records. That's how I used to get into clubs at a young age, carry the records for them just stand in the back.
After I went into the military, I started hanging out with Madlib, Otis Jackson, cause I felt like I need to do this music. I'm tired of just freestyling. But I've known Madlib since we was kids, like 7 years old. We lived across the street. Our parents knew each other and stuff. But just later on in life we just gravitated towards each other, and we actually created a movement in our city. We were the first ones to actually put records out in our city and stuff.
But it's building up now. You got Anderson.Paak, millions and stuff like that. But it started off with the Lootpack actually. There's other groups in Oxnard. There's many other groups, but we were the first ones who actually put records out, got serious about it. Cause we were studying you guys, Guru and all that. We were the only ones doing that. And we used to be called the Yos.
ALI: What does that stand for?
DUDLEY PERKINS: Cause we was listening to a lot of New York music, so everybody called us the Yos. "There go the Yos right there."
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: The Yos.
DUDLEY PERKINS: We still clown the word. "Ay, yo."
ALI: You talk about carrying records, and that's such a way to usher someone into the world.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Well, most people when they first start, they carrying records for somebody, they daddy or they uncle or something.
ALI: Yeah. Cause you're saying that and it just made me realize maybe that's a disconnect. People should start doing that again, because just carrying someone's records, I mean that's a privilege.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Yeah. Heck yeah.
ALI: Some people may take it for granted, but with that it's like an apprenticeship. You get to see what it means to select certain records and see why certain records are selected, and how it works with the crowd.
DUDLEY PERKINS: You get a bigger love for the music, cause you get to hold the vinyls. You get to smell them and stuff like that, when you're young. And that sticks to your head. Most people who do mess with vinyls when they young, they end up being a DJ, a rapper, a singer, something like that. That's the first part of it to me. Cause I know my whole life I grew up with turntables in the house with big old giant earthquake speakers.
My stepdad stick them right out in front of the garage, and it open the garage and blast the neighbors out every single weekend. Al Green, loud. I mean towers with the horn in the middle and then the tweeter on top. And he made his own stand, so it was just like a big old tower of two speakers standing, and he's standing in the front of the house blasting music like he's the DJ for the neighborhood till the police come. Then the police got used to it. Like, "Let him do what he do." But loud! You remember them old school earthquakes?
DUDLEY PERKINS: Man. I think they was – I don't think they was Roland. No, Radioshack ones. No no, not Radioshack. It started with an R something like that. I can't remember the name.
ALI: Yeah, Radioshack.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Realistics?
DUDLEY PERKINS: Was it? The earthquakes?
ALI: Well, Realistic is a Radioshack brand
DUDLEY PERKINS: They were Realistic. Huh.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Mhmm. I remember some of that stuff.
ALI: We gotta look that up. Let's fact check. Let's not –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I miss Radioshack.
ALI: Me too!
FRANNIE: I do too.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Who made the earthquakes? Yeah, I know. Now they got Fry's though.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I got like – but Fry's, they're letting go of all their wires and their capacitors, and the –
DUDLEY PERKINS: The best thing about Radio –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: – you know, the good stuff, so you can make your own stuff.
DUDLEY PERKINS: One of the best things about Radioshack you was able to get the needles from old record players. Now it's hard to find them and stuff. So now you got them old record players just sitting there, still working no needle.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: You gotta go online now.
DUDLEY PERKINS: And then you don't know which one to order, cause the instructions to the stereo is 1956, you know?
ALI: Yeah, I got a couple of bad purchases from Amazon, just cause you couldn't go in and talk to anyone. But I miss Radio – like, that's a real geeky thing to say.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah! But if that's what you went to.
ALI: Yeah, like fuses and solder and stuff and –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: All that stuff man, it's cool to have that stuff.
ALI: It's a lost art.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. I always try to brush up on it, so I can – cause I think it's important to survive too, cause you never know. It's good survival stuff, electronics, just the basics, just to know how to make a circuit. You learn about spirit too, the laws of spirit. It's good stuff. It's good stuff. Active meditation circuits, redboard stuff, I like it.
DUDLEY PERKINS: It must be cool.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: You know about it though. He acting like he don't know about it. He had to fix amps too Dud.
ALI: You make me want to go back to school, seriously. I was just in a session, and they were talking about – I cannot remember this engineer's name – a famous engineer who makes his own speakers and how he went into – was it the record plant? And would go in and rewire just DI boxes and make them sound better than –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: That kind of person.
ALI: Like, that kind of thing.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. Switching out the different sizes and –
ALI: Yeah, so I don't want to get overly geeky –
FRANNIE: Too late.
ALI: – and bore the heck out of our listeners, but it's a science. And what you talking about, like spirits – there's stuff inside.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh yeah. It's moving in there.
ALI: That the energy is – yeah. So it
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Digital too.
ALI: It feels a certain way when you can connect with it.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I mean, these things, they mess with vibration. They conduct it and transfer vibration. They show you what vibration is. You get to wield god in your hand in a little metal electronic box, with the ohms and all that.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: There you go. That's it. C'mon. See. Now he talking.
DUDLEY PERKINS: True though.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It's the truth. Yeah man.
And I think that there should be more black folks beta testing, you know? If you have unprocessed hair, you should totally beta test, cause we go through this stuff. We be going through equipment man. It's not out of not using it properly. I can tell you all the stuff I be blasting through, man. It needs to be more diverse beta testing.
So if you make a product in Germany, you should have all types of different people. You should have people from Southeast Asia that're beta testing your stuff, people from all over the world, not just German people, but all types of people.
ALI: Well, you're absolutely right, and I think there's some companies out there that know that, and they reach out for people. I think there's some people that don't have access obviously, and so you don't even think about something like that, but you're so right.
I remember I used to get frustrated that I had to buy everything. And it's not that I had to buy it. It's just that I'm using these devices and making people a lot of money, because you're using the devices. There're things you wanna do to innovate it, and you don't have the access or the right person to just say, "Yo, I can really help you fix your joint." But who do you call?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah! You have to make stuff!
ALI: Email customer support and then they – anyway, we can go on. That's me.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: For real.
FRANNIE: Do you guys mentor people now? Is there anybody apprenticed to you?
DUDLEY PERKINS: Yeah.
FRANNIE: Casually, maybe.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I wouldn't say apprentices.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Nah. Not like that. Yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I would say these are people we just work with.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: We tend to work with mostly just friends that we actually deal with. They come to see a little bit with the funk we got. We got a little extra funk, so they like that. I don't say it's – cause they got their own funk.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: They got their thing. Yeah, everybody has their own thing already.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But we don't actually go to nobody. Everybody always knocking on our door.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I always try to be helpful for people. We try to –
DUDLEY PERKINS: Like if somebody never ever put a record out, I tell them some things how to put a record out in the underground, you know? I know how to get distribution deals for underground records and stuff like that. Like, if that's the level they want to be at starting off. Some people don't want to start that way from the bottom.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Right. That's the truth.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But I do put a few records out for some people. And then whatever they do with it afterwards – cause I'm like, "Cause I ain't rich and famous myself, but I can help you. I can get that first smile on your face when that box come to your house." Cause I know how that makes people feel after they been trying all they life to try to put a record out. As soon as somebody really cares about one of their projects – even if anybody, just anybody, even if they mom wants to care about they project – it makes them feel a lot better.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Absolutely.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Cause they go through a lot trying to do this music and a lot of people say, "Oh, he's trying to get out of life." I seen it happen so many times. It happened to me. Especially when your dealing with the underground, and you ain't got the uncle that's famous or anything like that. And after the year 2000 when music changed completely, the golden years kind of disappeared where you can get a deal and make some real money, even in the underground.
I actually think I caught the last years of the underground of people making money. Cause I saw some checks one time, and I was like, "Oh, man!" I mean, it was tiny checks, but to me a tiny check is humongous.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. I feel you.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But then after that I was like, "Man, I can't even get this right now. What the heck? I'm doing the same thing even better than before." But the underground got a little slim with their finances – but it was the labels. It's labels being greedy. The label owners always telling the artist, "You ain't selling nothing." As we move into a bigger office. While they're holding their stuff moving it, "You didn't sell nothing," as they move into another office.
FRANNIE: So it's just straight up lying in the accounting.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Oh, robbery.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: You gotta get used to that in the underground. When you putting a record out, and you go ask to put it out sometimes, you gon' get it. You went to somebody, they gon' get you.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: My mom call it jazz deal. She's like, "Oh, this is like what we used to do in '73." Like, ohhh.
ALI: Ain't nothing changed, huh?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: She's like, "You got used." I'm like, "Oh."
DUDLEY PERKINS: But when you do music for spirit, it fixes itself.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: That's right. No, that's the truth.
DUDLEY PERKINS: You can't step on that too long before it get hot, before they burn trying to step on spirit, in music. They try.
ALI: What keeps you guys motivated, because you put out a lot of music.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Well, they keep shooting our family members.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yes.
DUDLEY PERKINS: They keep messing with our food.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yes.
DUDLEY PERKINS: They keep being backwards with war.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Mhmm. Mhmm.
DUDLEY PERKINS: The separatism. The bankers still exist.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yup.
DUDLEY PERKINS: They children exist. The war infrastructure still exist. Crooked cops still exist.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yep, yep.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Ain't no peace on Earth, I don't care what nobody say. Only peace you can have sometimes is within, but outer peace is false right now when you got a war machine on Earth.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: You said outer peace. That's really real.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Barbecues is cool and everything, and going to Magic Mountain and having fun, graduations and weddings and stuff, but there's a war infrastructure on Earth.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Absolutely, absolutely.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Like, literally that can wipe continents out. You got people wondering if the Earth is flat or round, all that. That's what keep us motivated to keep writing truth, but you don't get paid doing that.
I be warning people too. In my heart I be warning them, when I hear somebody doing something real spiritual on the radio. "Welcome to our world, cause your checks going to be cut in half." You don't get paid for speaking out against the system.
ALI: I would think – I mean you guys know. You're telling me. It's just, I would think that with such the rawness and the realness and the passion that you both put into your music, and with a world that's hurting and people in all corners of the world that's hurting and looking for someone to give them that anthem, that you guys could travel to – the tip of my tongue is Palestine, but I know how difficult that is.
DUDLEY PERKINS: We've been to Israel.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, they wanted to know.
DUDLEY PERKINS: They shut the lights off on us there.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, they did.
DUDLEY PERKINS: They turned the power off on the whole block.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: And we just started to –
DUDLEY PERKINS: As soon as the "No more war" popped off. "Peace on earth. No more war."
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Everything turned off.
DUDLEY PERKINS: We had the whole house yelling at us loud as they can, cause we knew what was going on. Ah, that was crazy. That's pretty messed up.
ALI: It is.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. They turned it off. We kept going.
DUDLEY PERKINS: And these cats is doing it because of propaganda.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yup.
FRANNIE: Wait. So the audience shut you down, or the venue shut you down?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: The venue.
DUDLEY PERKINS: No, the police.
FRANNIE: And the audience was trying to hear it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: They shut it – yeah, they shut – like the house lights, everything came off.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Yeah. We was walking around outside that building –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: They were like –
DUDLEY PERKINS: They shut it off.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It went, like, mute. It went mute channel.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But we still kept going. Cause we knew where we was at. We knew where we was at, and we didn't feel right being there.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh, lord no.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Performing there. We didn't. But we was like, "Oh, we got rent and all this. We gotta go." So what we did – when we go to certain situations like that, we don't hold back on what's going on.
ALI: Yeah. That's what I mean. I wouldn't think that you would hold back, and I would think that especially if the people that are there, they can see the enemy physically just shut it down, I think that would unite people more.
DUDLEY PERKINS: A lot of the youth in Israel – some of the youth in Israel, especially the ones that's hip-hop orientated, they know what's going on. They ain't sleep to it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. Oh yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: It bugs the mess out of them. If you sit there and have a drink with them or have a meal with them, they'll tell you the truth. "This ain't us. It ain't us. We don't even believe in this mess."
Most people when they got the hip-hop situation, it's universal. It's a spirit. I call it a religion. It's a religion that actually works. That's why they try to taint it that much, you know what I'm saying? Like, anything that works they taint it. Pure water works so they taint it, and they lie to you. But they do put it on the shelf still, but they just tell you, "Don't drink that one, just use that for pots and pans," when that's the one that works.
So just like with the music, they going to taint it right now, because they know right now if the sun might be closer to us our spirits is strong right now, so they really trying to shut us down with the vibration. They lowering the vibration so they can keep doing their little sneaky little demonic things and stuff, but music plays a huge part of it. It's part of the unseen, like water and air. It's vibration. It's one of the purest vibrations.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, man. It's special.
DUDLEY PERKINS: That's why they taint it. That's why the FCC still exists. It's for programming. The radio station is made specifically for programming like television. We just think they're shows that we enjoy. But beneath that, down to the subliminal situations they put in the radio, the frequencies that they mess with, how they change the Hertz of the music and everything –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Absolutely. Come on.
DUDLEY PERKINS: – that messes with your lymphatic system.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh, c'mon.
DUDLEY PERKINS: People don't realize that. That's a medicine. It's more powerful than medicine. Why you think they charge you for music? And Top 40 is Top 40. They don't want higher vibration. War don't exist during higher vibration.
That's why in the '70s when John Lennon and all of them, Bob Marley and all of them were speaking out, and Marvin Gaye and them, when they was really speaking out their heart, notice how either they fall off the planet or their music changes.
Remember after Stevie Wonder's record, the flower album.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: The Secret Life Of Plants.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Remember that? What happened after that?
ALI: It got a little busy.
DUDLEY PERKINS: His music changed, cause he became fully enlightened with sound, so they changed it. "Part Time Lover" popped off. C'mon. This dude was speaking as the plants, on wax, on record.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: He is there. He's there.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Meaning he was completely in the spirit of music.
FRANNIE: How do you protect yourself if you've reached that level, if you've hit that relationship with sound where you become sound? Do you have to just walk away from public life or from – or is there anything that you can do –
DUDLEY PERKINS: When you sing for the spirit, you sing for the spirit till you die.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: That's what it is. Cause that's the spirit singing through – that's a spirit, a certain spirit. There's many different spirits, you know what I'm saying? In music, a lot of cats encompass – even the ones that do the dark music. At one time that spirit, for some reason, they created umbilical cords, they connected to the divine, so they're artistic.
Right off the bat cats started getting rewarded for ignorance. That was purposely done.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Mhmm.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Paris! I used to –
DUDLEY PERKINS: And Sister Souljah and them, you know what I'm saying? A Tribe Called Quest.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Tribe Called Quest.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Positive music. To where you get the word positive in abstract and all that, meaning art.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Abstract.
DUDLEY PERKINS: And then they diluted that real bad. Right now it's – to me – a lot of people be like, "Oh, when're you going to do another record?" I might just sing. The rap part though, I don't even know if I want a part of that. I've done this all my life. I've got like 26 albums out. I've been speaking truth all my life, raising the vibrations of every single word.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: For real. For real.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Every single word on every single record.
ALI: When I asked you what motivates you, because obviously you just said you've done 26 records. You've done a lot. And you're sounding off the alarm constantly, just smacking people with the things to make them aware. And you see that maybe a small amount of people are getting it then, but everyone else is still just – the drones in their head.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Well, I mean, it take time.
ALI: So what do you think will be the key moment or thing that's really gonna snap that cycle, that's going to make people really wake up?
DUDLEY PERKINS: It's already starting right now. But you see there's been cats who consider themselves awake for many years, and cats, there are some. They ain't talking too much. But it's like, once somebody wakes up on this earth, it's just a matter of time before everybody does that's supposed to. The devil ain't. The devil exists in the form of man, and it ain't gonna wake up. They gon' stay they way and do what they do, cause they already think they got the knowledge of the ancients anyway.
But once cats start really realizing some of the real history of sound – and the eating, cause look at all the vegans popping up everywhere right now; that's part of it also – eventually sound will raise its vibration again. Nature has a way of defending itself, and there's cats coming out the woodwork right now to help nature right now. Cause we gotta combat that, especially with our melanated brothers and stuff. We really have to check that.
Cause that's us. C'mon. We're the melanated people. We're the antennas on the planet, and they tainting the mess out of us. And we could heal ourselves. We could stop all of this, right now. We're smart enough to right now, you know what I'm saying? We've seen the power of one artist, if you say something. That's power.
ALI: On that, I'm just gonna say: Georgia, you're my Jay Electronica.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: What? Alright.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I don't know about Jay Electronica
ALI: Well, I say Jay – look, I'ma – no no no no no.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: If I have any book of reference in Ali Shaheed Muhammad's libraries, then it's cool.
ALI: Well, I say him because I think lyrically he goes to a place, and it's charging, and there's a lot of information. It's not always there, but he goes to a place. You keep it there.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Thank you, sir.
DUDLEY PERKINS: And it's real.
ALI: Yeah, that's what I –
DUDLEY PERKINS: Completely.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Thank you.
ALI: Completely. You got bars. You got styles, crazy styles.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Thank you, sir. Oh my god.
ALI: And it's so fluid. Just listening to your music, I was joking about the Grammy thing, but it's not about the Grammys, it's just like, I don't understand why you're not highly celebrated. And we could –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I feel highly celebrated in this moment right now. You know? You don't know what you do for people. You just do what you supposed to do. You do what you supposed to do, and you follow the gifts that you were given. And following the gifts that you given, the answers come to you and the ways to get through it come to you, because that was the gift that you was given. But some people get given gifts and they don't ever open up the box.
For me I'm trying to always look. I'm so thankful that we've been given this gift to do something, and I want to be effective to better serve the giver of the gift, because I find that when I'm doing what I'm supposed to do, I'm happy. I have joy. I'm a better mom. I'm nicer. I'm more considerate – if I'm in the flow of what I'm here to do.
So all those things tell me – just like if you eat a salad vs. a baby back rib, it's the same thing. Same thing what he been saying about the music, the vibration, it's all vibration. So if you get an opportunity in this lifetime to be able to come in contact with your proposed vibration this time, like if you can really actually get in contact with that, first of all, that's, like, one in a million, so I don't treat it lightly. So for you, you're a person that's like that, and when you say that, I feel highly honored. I mean really. And it's just really cool to be here.
And what you were saying, how do you go outside if you know if you're this sensitive and you feel this stuff, well, it seems to be that everybody is not there yet, so that can be your armor. It can be something that protects you, so that you can do the work of the few. Because there's some people thats really wicked, and it's a few people. So I guess we're the few too, us and people that's doing this. And I think that we are more than that few people.
FRANNIE: Yeah. I don't remember where it is, but I think you gave an interview where you said that you wanted more of the people around you to be on your level, cause it can get lonely.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: You know what I want? I want people to find who they are and just to jam, and I think the phrase for that is called self-actualization. I think that's what that's called. But I think there's a better word than that. It's probably in some type of African language or something where it's just like, "Pnuh." Or a Teddy Riley jam. They can find they jam.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Jam.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Cause that's what it is.
FRANNIE: I mean, it's generous and selfish at the same time cause –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: If you're not jamming, you're going to be depressed. If you not jamming – I mean, you got astrophysicists that jam. You got people who build structures that jam. Mathematicians that jam. These people, the ones that find in tune with they self and just can be, then that's your work. It's laid out for you. And then the world can't distract you too much.
Cause I mean there were some other times where Dudley had to bring home some congas to get me to snap out of it, and then I'm like,"OK, I can learn this instrument." He helped me. He helps me with all this stuff. This is my guide.
DUDLEY PERKINS: She would make me do beats too. That's too much. I ain't got time for that.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. But it seems to be in the experience that we share that when you walking in alignment, the things come to help you. There are certain things that happen that protect you and hold you, and even you can stand outside and the breeze hits you a certain way and you feel embraced. And I want people to feel that. I want people to feel that, instead of miss it every time – and then have to just completely defile this planet or completely defile somebody else. You know what I mean? In order to get another hand bag.
And this is still on the vibrational thing we saying. If music is vibration here, and if our ears are so special – they process things instantly. It doesn't say – there's not no guard at this gate here. Right? So we're talking about this. And so this world's in a different place now, but I hope for people to have moments like that where they can be like – feel the air. And I know some people be like, "Oh get that out of here." I got beats for them. They can have the drums, and then they know I'm like, "Oh, yes. Yeah, yeah."
But it's like, seriously, if you can't have those kind of moments, where will you be safe? Where will you not have no fear, cause if you don't have no moments like that, you going to be afraid of everybody, everything. And that's the thing. Fearlessness doesn't have to be always like coming from "I ain't scared of you, chump!" If that's going to be the only means of fearlessness we can get, it's not sustainable.
A fearlessness means fear-less, so it means you feel embrace. It's a feeling of you belong where you are. You are passing through energy. You are the energy you're passing through. You're not having no fear. And then you feel humble, not humble like putting yourself in the ground, not humble as in beating your ego with a baseball bat, but humble as in honored to be somewhere, like these kinds of things. That's why we're alive. That's why we're here.
And we have to organize cause we're social creatures and this and this, but if we realize how organized we already were, we can feel more comfortable. We can feel more at home, and that's what I hope for, not for people to think like me or Dudley – even though I love the way this person thinks. This is my favorite thinker, him and Sun Ra too. I like Sun Ra a lot.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Sun Ra.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I know a few thinkers that's really cool, but this is my favorite thinker.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Sun Ra will be considered a god. One day.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, Sun Ra's one of my favorite thinkers too.
DUDLEY PERKINS: He's going be written down in the books as some very spiritual dude.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I like Sun Ra a lot.
DUDLEY PERKINS: It might be a thousand years from now.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I hope it's sooner.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But one day when we come back and if we can remember –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: But yeah, I just want people to not think like us but to appreciate where they are, and to make the most of it, so that it can improve moment by moment. All we got is the moment. We don't have nothing, but woop, there it go. That's it. It's all we got, and it's a gift. So we have so many choices.
So I really hope for people, instead of just to replicate how I think, do they own jam in their head, because the brains is – we all literally are all the same brain, so we have to assume our different posts in this giant collective awareness that we share. I just want folks to be efficient at playing their part in it. That's what I want. You know what I mean?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I just want people to feel better. I don't want people to feel like they just not enough. There's so much of that. And it sucks cause it's like, man, it's not right.
FRANNIE: Are there specific things that you do every time you sit down to either make a beat or write a – that make this happen?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yup.
FRANNIE: What is it?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: First I go outside. This is the first thing I do, cause I'm solar-powered. So I go outside. This one is a nice one I like to do. It has to be during the day. First of all you gotta wake up in the morning. OK. Hello. Anyway, I go outside, and then I feel the sun on my face, but I consciously feel it on my face. I feel it graze my nose, and it's funny cause when you close your eyes and feel the sun on you it moves on your face.
It's not like it's just like, "Oh this is a big old beam on" – no, it's not like – it's really deep. The more you get in tune with it, it's like, "Wow. Look at all this love. Look at all this fathering. Look at all this fathering to the earth the sun's doing, and I'm taking some time to say thank you to what grows all the salads I love to eat and all of this and regulate the temperatures."
And people can interpret that as so much – no! It's being present. It's taking time to be present with the foundation of this planet. So I do that and then after I do that and I feel loved on. Somehow the sun is kind of like my mind sanitizer. Does that make sense?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Whatever build-up comes from walking through the world, and then I do that and it cleans me out. And then what I do to further flush it out is I go (inhales and exhales) a gang of times till it feels like I've gone swimming or I've taken a good run. So you get new vessels in your nose. When you run and you feel like, "Ahhh," and then something happens in your head where it's like, you thinking a lot better because you need oxygen in your brain. We need it.
There's a lot of the things that we don't think we need because we so caught up in intersectionality and da da da da da and all these political things. It's like, are we getting enough air and water? Are we getting enough sunlight? Are we getting enough rain? Are we getting enough of these things? Are we getting enough wind? Are we getting enough of these things that we're made of. We are these things. We're like some weird mutt of these – I don't know – we still don't even know what we are, but I know for sure we depend on these things.
So if we depend on them, our relationship with them is important.
ALI: Yeah. It needs to be one.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: So that's what I do before I go and make music, and I don't make music till I get there. Cause I try. I try but it don't happen. So it's not to say I'm like, "Oh everyday she levitate up five feet above her bed y'all." It's not like that. I wish, but it's not like that.
But it's more like, say, if I'm feeling it and I'm feeling the pressure and I got all these gigs I gotta to do – like, we work an EP a week at least. I mean, we're working on a lot of collaborations everyday. We collaborate for a living. So you gotta get there. It's true. All over the world internationally.
But there are some days where I'll be like, "OK. I gotta get this done." And I try to go straight to the studio. Mm-mm. I'll be sitting there. I'll be breaking a sweat till seven p.m. It won't happen. And I'll be like, "You know what? Cause I didn't take the time to really hook up or sanitize." It's like going into surgery with dirty hands. You can't do it.
So that's what I do. That's the thing I do. If everything else change, even if I'll completely experimental and try a whole new thing when I get up there with the sounds, that's the part that don't change.
FRANNIE: I want to ask about something that somebody wrote about recently, and I totally understand if you're tapped out on this subject.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh yeah.
FRANNIE: But I just want – I'm not sure if everybody – don't laugh at me, Dudley.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It's OK. No, it's OK cause that was a young brother. He went in. It was like about four different phone calls. I was like, "Lord, have mercy."
FRANNIE: I just want people to go read his article.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It's fine.
FRANNIE: Elijah Watson in OkayPlayer. But it's a fact that I don't think people know enough about. People are really engaged with that word and the concept of woke, and I don't think they know your role in it, which is that she wrote "Master Teacher." She wrote it differently from how Erykah recorded it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Well, nah, I think she came pretty close.
FRANNIE: Pretty close?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: She really really – I mean, she found the melody of it. She did that. They did that, man. It turned out to be something really beautiful. I mean, I've heard it with a new pair of ears. We was in Oakland, and I was on a panel there, and they played it. And I'm like, "Wow. This sounds completely different than how it used to sound."
DUDLEY PERKINS: Yeah, cause I ain't heard it in a while either. I was like, "Ah."
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I was like, "This thang funky." Cause I used to feel so self conscious, like, "Oh I was in such a" – I was in a texturizing state, man. I was really a raw nerve, and so those moments feel kind of like – it kind of – you might feel triggered by that stuff. But I realized that hearing that song that time made me know I was grounded now, and it was fresh. Cause I was like, "Ooh! This is kinda funky. Oh, look at that." And I could just like – I really tipped my hate like for the first time this year, so that was tight.
FRANNIE: I'm glad.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: But yeah, as far as the woke thing, woke, I did not make up woke.
FRANNIE: Right. No, I know.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Woke is from Harlem. No. Woke is from the Carolinas or Tennessee or somewhere. I always say woke is an example of Africans bending time in their language and doing things to the English language so that it suits their needs. Woke is a perfect example of that, and we have a few things that we do that bend time. Cause we need that in our syntax. Cause we eternal, so it happens. We just tryna kind of hack the English language so it can serve our purposes, so you know.
FRANNIE: Yeah. I was thinking about it in the way that you do what you do, and who knows how it's going to be received or, like, when or when it's gonna flower in what form.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I like that word, flower.
FRANNIE: Yeah, and then it shows up in "Red Bone" and it's the radio all the time and people just have to sort of like –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It's great.
FRANNIE: Now my aunts have to think about it.
DUDLEY PERKINS: It was on Jeopardy.
FRANNIE: Yeah! Bro! I forgot about that.
DUDLEY PERKINS: The questions they have for it were funny.
FRANNIE: It wasn't the same.
DUDLEY PERKINS: It was something like, "What do you do when you sleepy?" Or when you wake – or something stupid like that. Like, you guys are really trying to dilute this like that.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Are you serious? I see. I never –
DUDLEY PERKINS: They dilute – I call it: they gentrified the stay woke movement.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: You know what? It's like stay woke is like the –
DUDLEY PERKINS: They gentrified it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It's like raise the roof, right? But yo, I raised the roof the other day it's still tight.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Cause you gotta think about it.
FRANNIE: I believe it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yo, raising the roof. You raising – like, yo, raise the roof right quick. It's like, woop, you feel – you still gotta do it!
DUDLEY PERKINS: Most conscious artists have told their fan base to wake up, just like Brand Nubian and stuff like that. They was straight up wake up people.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I love Brand Nubian.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I think one of the first songs I ever heard was called "Wake Up" from Brand Nubian.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Love Brand Nubian.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But cats were just – the beats – they weren't really catching – some of us did.
FRANNIE: Right. That's the thing.
DUDLEY PERKINS: In fact, a lot of us did.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Of course. We needed it.
DUDLEY PERKINS: When the gang banging and colors came out and everything like that, that's when the vibration downfall happened.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh, man. That's bad.
DUDLEY PERKINS: People with money, rich cats with money wanted to dilute the water. I always say they pissing in our water, and then they gon' make us drink it. And then they going to give us a choice of other water. "Here. You can drink this or you can drink this one with the doo doo in it." And that's the only thing I got, piss and doo doo. That's what they give you now. Where's all the spirit?
And the wake up movement, you've got this one cat on the radio singing it all day. People don't realize regardless when you say the word, you gotta go check it out. What does that mean? Even if you don't, your water in your body is going to actually start trying to figure it out itself, "What was that?" When they said that, when a person said it to me, the whole body trip, like, "What is that?" That's called planting seeds, you know what I'm saying? And that's a powerful seed.
Look at what's going on in music right now. A lot of cats is going to wake up. A lot of cats is eating, trying to eat right. It's the vibration. It's the music vibration that's doing that. That's why they didn't want us to do that. That's why they diluting the stay woke movement. I don't even know if that's a movement, stay woke, cause a lot of cats are saying that and then they go eat some fried chicken.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Ooh wee.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I don't know how woke that is if you eating flesh. How woke is that? Leave them chickens alone. If you woke, leave them suckers alone. Let them live. They like your pets. They nice to you. They cool. They'll come up to you. Have you ever seen those little chickens?
DUDLEY PERKINS: They come up to you.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Little chickadee.
DUDLEY PERKINS: They don't know you gon' eat them.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: The baby! It's the baby.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Once they find out, they be like, "These evil bastards. God! What's going on?"
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Trying to nip you.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Drinking the cow milk and everything. That's woke. Leaving them animals alone.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: How about it? Just for a year. How about it?
DUDLEY PERKINS: And to become woke, you gotta leave the animals alone. You can't get no spirit off of eating dead flesh. You can't get no higher vibration off of that. Your body's got dead stuff in it, that's just what's in it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Well, yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Ain't no sunlight in there, and that's why people die from that stuff, you know what I'm saying?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It's twice removed.
DUDLEY PERKINS: They gotta go to the hospital and all that. They want to wake up, wake up for real.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh yeah. You know that.
DUDLEY PERKINS: In fact, really wake up too. Stop paying attention to those rich mugs. Stop doing what they do. Turn your back on them. They'll disappear. All of them. All them bankers and everything, turn your back on them, meaning don't buy their stuff. Don't use their banks. Don't eat their food. That's woke. I don't really think too many people walking around woke right now on Earth right now. Not right now.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Nah. It's a cool thing to say.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, it's great.
DUDLEY PERKINS: And it's a good seed that's been planted, but you see everybody grabbed on to it. You got so many woke terms now and t-shirts and everything. Like, oh god. I used to ask her, "Georgia, grab that. Own that."
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It was a t-shirt.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I said, "Please own this."
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I wrote it on my shirt.
DUDLEY PERKINS: She wouldn't do it. I was like, "We could get rich right now, off the 'Stay Woke.'"
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: So now it's like, it's crazy.
DUDLEY PERKINS: People copyright the word and everything. Stuff like that.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: It's deep, cause during those days people used to kinda laugh at me, cause my style was kind of different. I would be into painting on my clothes, make my own thing, cause of y'all. Y'all messed me up. I was into just being abstract and making art everyday. It's like a martial art, making art. So even on my shoes, I be putting tassels on my shoes, pay root to the second power, all this kind of stuff. So that when I walk, yeah, I'm jamming when I'm walking.
But I wasn't thinking like, "Oh, Afrofuturism." It was like technology. What's art technology? So I do this kind of stuff. And so my homegirl Kecia, Lekecia Benjamin, what up, girl? What it do? She's the one that we be building and talking about stuff, and we became really close friends because we always talk about our people all the time, just talking about our culture, and talk about things that have – pertaining to how the world receive you when they think you militant or when they know you militant. We would talk about these things, and she be like, "Man, I'm tryna stay woke but I'm tired." I was like, "Girl, I gotta hang up."
So we would always be thinking on these things about how to get out these things that we feel through the music, and get it through the music – get it out through the music. So "Stay Woke" was really literally like trying to stay up and play the stuff. It wasn't like, "Stay woke." But when she would say that, I was like, yo. And I remember I was about to go somewhere, I had a t-shirt, and I just took a little marker and put stay woke right here to remind myself.
FRANNIE: And this was like '01, 2001, 2003.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, this might have been '03, maybe '03, maybe '04, '03, '04. Like, a new drop out, out of the New School. I went to the New School, and there was certain things that they hadn't fixed there yet. I'm sure they fixed it now, but I remember just getting into certain types of discussions with some of the professors when they started talking about jazz history, and it's like, "I didn't hear it from my uncle Eddie like that. I didn't hear from my dad like" – he would talk about Monk and bebop.
So when he say, "Dizzy Gillespie invented bebop," he'd be like, "Nah man. It's a whole lot more than that." You gotta get into Eubie Blake. You gotta get into all the things that are coming into this. You gotta get into Monk. You gotta get into Sun Ra. You can't go to bebop without passing through these people. You can't get to bebop without passing through Duke and Mingus. You can't get there without passing through Mary Lou Williams. You can't get there. So these are the kind of things that would happen.
I'd be like, "Monk! Monk did it! He the one that did it!" But when I listen to Monk now, I go like, "Well, Sun Ra did it. Eubie Blake really kind of" – so it's like, taking time. You can't be telling people stuff like that. You gotta be telling what bepop did for these people. Why they was playing like that. That's more important. So you can see somebody's emotional intelligence, how they dealing with so much inequality.
Look at this emotional intelligence of a person, at least in this one faculty. Maybe they family was tore up for them to even find that there. When they getting lynched out in the open for them to be able to find that. This is the kind of conversation I have with Kecia. We be talking kind of like this, you know? And how we gonna hack it. How we gonna hack music to – and this is with all my peoples. We always talking about this. How we going to be able put in how we feel to the point where we are music, and that was the whole point.
So you know, the stay woke was like a shoutout to Kecia. It was like a tribute. I used to always do that, just shout out to all my people on my clothes. And that's how that happened, the stay woke thing. So for it to be – I see other people having "stay woke" t-shirts, sometimes I imagine if they was in that state of mind I was in when I put it on the shirt. And if that's what happened, then, yeah, this might be kind of fun. But then I say, "My state of mind might not be the best state of mind." So those moments had a lot of rage, to put it lightly, and I think I still have lots of rage inside.
ALI: There's greatness in rage though.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, I think I have lots of it, but now I find – you know like a hydroelectric dam or something, that's how I use my rage now, to power something else. Before it just was raw rage. Now I try to use it to power everything. There's a growl in everything.
But yeah, I think the people that put stay woke on a shirt they feel that. I think the people that wear it I think they feel that. There's something that when they wake up in the morning, especially if you an African person here, you have to wake up and remember that everyday about how you got here. There's a lot of different ways we got here. A lot of us immigrated for real. A lot of us did a lot of different things, but that's many people. There's a lot of disinformation going saying that that didn't happen. I'm here to tell you it took place. We were kidnapped.
Sometimes you think, dang, I'm up here with a Scottish last name here. I got a Greek – I mean, when you do the research it's all African but then at the same time the people that gave me these names was not thinking African aesthetics. They was thinking about respectability and these kind of things. But for somebody to echo that in the world like that made me see the power of vibration, so it was just a personal experiment that came true that I like. Does that make sense what I'm saying?
ALI: Yeah. Totally.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Cause a long time ago, I was a youth. I was like 17. I was making beats since I was like – like, really making, got the MPC and I was official – I was like 17. I got approached by some bigger opportunities and stuff, but when I saw what their level of conversation, wasn't doing it for me. I said, "I can't make it two weeks in this kind of conversation like this. I ain't going to make it. They inspecting me like a slave here." "We love your look and da da" – I can't take this. I'm not going to be able to do good.
So I realized that I just have to go with vibration, and that this is a spiritual thing. And whether I learn or have to experience things, I'd rather do it by my own grit and see how far the vibration can magnify. That would be my job. Instead of seeing how famous I can become, I'm thinking about how efficient can I make my vibration. That's success to us both. We care about that, how efficient is our sound.
And when we play a show, we think about the radius of our gig. We don't just think about the turnout. Even though the turnout's starting to help, it's starting to match, which is cool. But we're hoping that with the people that come, the radius of what we're doing becomes wider, cause we like to have interactive shows. So that's what – we're thinking like that. It's more militant, what we talk about. A lot more militant.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Well, we at war. It's gotta be. Like you said, ancient war.
FRANNIE: I'm so glad you guys came here.
ALI: Me too.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I'm glad to be here.
ALI: Nah, it's an honor. I mean, to listen to your music is definitely invigorating as if it's '88, '89, I'm listening to Public Enemy.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh my god.
ALI: And so to have you here, where in a place is always – how do I say this? There's this adoration and level of respect that's always given to men, you know what I mean? And you go as hard as Chuck.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. I don't think nobody go as hard as Chuck though. He's the man.
ALI: Well, you have different tools, and so you operate in a different time.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Thank you, sir. Oh my god.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I think what it is is like, a lot of revolutionary artists, they're down here on the ground only sometimes, so what's going here in the immediate, what the news tells us, what's going on, we fight that. She go outer space a little bit, and go underneath a little bit too, the whole spectrum of everything that's going on, and really care about it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh, Dudley.
ALI: That's what I'm saying.
DUDLEY PERKINS: The caring part's – that's what we try to get cats to do when we do music with them.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Just want them to care. That's it.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Care a little bit with what you doing.
ALI: I think the point that I'm getting to is that what sets you higher – and I don't like to use a "higher" – but what really places you in a valuable place is that you always talking about love. It's like every other song I hear you say love. And we hear that word, and I don't think people really understand how much life is in it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. I'm still learning though.
ALI: Me too. Me too.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I'm still learning, like, seriously.
ALI: And your approach, even just the way that you share with us how you just go to making a song, you sanitize.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: You have to. You have to.
ALI: I'm glad we have cameras in here, and we don't show the interview in that way, but just so the people can really see you and feel you and understand. You hearing someone's words, it's one thing. But to have that sort of level of reverence to approaching music through the understanding of universal unity and all things, that may be some sort of intent of some MC back in '87 or whatever, but I've never heard it stated that way. So that's why I say you have different set of tools of war that's different than what Chuck had. And it's incredibly valuable to where we are right now.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Thank you. I appreciate that so much.
ALI: So I'm tripping, to be here.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I owe this to him. You understand what I'm saying?
ALI: Nah, I hear you.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I owe this to this person right here. I used to be so mad. I used to be so mad, so sad. I used to be so mad. I used to be so – just so mad. I mean, I'm still angry, but I was mad, like seeing red mad. And this person introduced something into my life, you understand, the sweetness into my life to help me even get to this mental place here now. I wouldn't be able to see it. I wouldn't be able to learn how to listen. I was just blah blah blah blah blah. I had so much confusion. This is a person that – this is –
DUDLEY PERKINS: I mean, vice versa. I can't front. We linked up it was like, "OK. What is this? This is different." The conversations, everything.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Our mission was the same.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Like, "Oh she understands what I'm talking about." I grew up with nobody spiritual around me, so I had to learn it for myself. I knew who she was when I first seen her too. I was on stage with Peanut Butter Wolf and them, and I knew you was coming, but I never met her in my life.
And then I said, "Oh, that's her." I just knew. Who else would be staring at me that long? Why is this lady on the side of the stage staring at me like this. I just knew, cause she was standing there by herself. The whole crowd out there. I think Prince was in the house that night even. It was at the Vanguard or something years ago. And she was standing. I'm like, "OK." From that day I never left her side. We never left each other's side from that moment. We even got stranded that night.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yup.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I wasn't, but she did. They wouldn't let her in the car. So I was like, "I'ma stay right here with you in this parking lot."
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Even though they asked me – the label asked me to be there and all that, but then there was some stupid stuff. But you know, when I first seen you, I saw the silvery light around you, and I knew that was what was supposed to happen.
DUDLEY PERKINS: That was just a drunk glisten.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: No it wasn't! You always say that. No, I'm serious Dudley. Man, come on now. I'm serious, man. And then I remember when we talked at the house and both of our missions was to unite people through the funk and that's when we –
DUDLEY PERKINS: Raise the vibration.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Raise the vibration through the funk.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Through sound.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Have it funky.
ALI: You guys got a lot of funk.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: And then we both have the same mission like this, have this quality in music be high, but then the message be just as high.
DUDLEY PERKINS: You can say you guys helped that.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Keep it positive. My whole crew was super positive. Their whole thing was positive, because of these cats right here. Like realistically, the positive kick for us, we could've went a whole different way. If y'all didn't exist, we'd be right there with N.W.A and all of them, disgracing ourselves, lowering ourselves.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, man.
ALI: I really doubt that, but I'ma say OK.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Ay, but my crew, we kept it positive.
FRANNIE: But didn't you guys get a lot out of N.W.A too?
ALI: Yeah, we did. Their music was charging. Even though we came from different places, in the way that they expressed it, it was just oppression. We fighting it differently. New York is – it's a different – like, I've never been called a n*****, you know what I mean? So my struggle is different.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Wow.
ALI: Like New York, they do that now, but when I was growing up, my great grandmother was –
DUDLEY PERKINS: Oh, man. I used to catch that all the time, man.
ALI: She was – so I'm just saying the level of oppression –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: L.A.'s different.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: L.A. is different.
ALI: L.A.'s different.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But when they came out too, it got more – cause we're like 40 minutes from L.A., and when Colors and all of that started coming out, we was a breakdance community. We was pop lockers and DJs and stuff. That stuff came out, cats started getting shot.
I remember when it changed. Cats changed they bogarts into Dickies. That ain't too far of a stretch, and they changed they kung fu shoes with the toe to loafers, these little spanish loafers that you can get at the store for $5 and stuff like that, and white t-shirts.
DUDLEY PERKINS: It got bad. "Colors, colors," and all that. "Six in the morning police at my door." I started gang banging the day I heard that. I'm hanging out in the streets with my cousin as soon as I heard that. "What is this?" Go beat somebody up. Do all the bad things you can. Forget my step daddy, everything. Rebel against everything.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Do all the bad things.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Now I'm thinking the music now, how it's got kids. These kids are twisted and confused and upside down crosses and stuff like that. And even though it don't mean – it's the symbolism, but to them it might really mean that they putting the cross upside down on their head. They disgracing a religion that somebody really believes in with all they heart for millions of years, and these dudes is really doing this now. We're in trouble.
ALI: It's a lot of hurt people out there.
FRANNIE: It really has stakes. That's the thing.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But we can fix it. We gotta raise the vibration. Saturate the streets, even if we gotta go hungry. Saturate the streets with sound. Higher vibration. That's what we gotta do. We gotta become – what they say? Prayer warriors?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Joyful noises.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Somebody come tainted inside a church, these old ladies'll come around you and start singing these songs scare you a little bit.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: They're gangster.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But after a while you'll feel that spirit lift up out of you.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, they're gangster.
DUDLEY PERKINS: They get that up out you. That's the true part, the chants and the music.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The technology part.
DUDLEY PERKINS: That's why church – that's why in between the pastors, all la la whatever the heck he's talking, it's that music. He's just like an interlude, you know what I'm saying? Church is music. Church is sound. That's what that is.
ALI: I wanted to ask you – it's a little off topic. But in addition to obviously all of the thought and the intention that you put into the music to heal, can you talk about some of your titles and the art work that you guys both have? Cause you guys have beautiful art on your covers.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Well, that was one of the main things. That kind of shuts the ego down a little bit. Cause when you got an album and your face all on it and stuff, you look at it, "Oh, look at me!" Put some art on there. A lot of the old school records back in the day was art, paintings, real paintings, drawings. A cold one would be – I think it was Barry White's album cover. It was just pencil, one of his album covers, just a pencil of him. The white one I think. One of the coldest things I've ever seen.
But we actually – we like to find artists that's super duper talented, maybe even do a bunch of shrooms so they can see the other stuff, so they can see the psychedelic, they could see the god realm a little bit better. And we just build. We work with them on a few projects. We work with them until everybody else starts working with them, and then we just leave it alone.
Like, we got a cat named Tokyo. He's all through L.A. records now. He got records like the Miles Davis records – what's his name? Jimi Hendrix records and stuff. They do that kind of art and stuff like that. Highly psychedelic art. Stuff when you do super shrooms and – like Flying Lotus – you know Flying Lotus right? People don't realize – I do, cause I've heard it.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Shout out to Flying Lotus.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I've heard his music in my shroom trips. He's learned how to bring certain sounds out of his shroom trips. I don't know if he do shrooms anymore, but I know there's certain sounds on his records that you can only hear in that realm while you're astro traveling. It be like a clicking sound, grinding clicking sounds and circuit board stuff. Cause, you know, we in a big machine or something.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: OK, yeah. That's right.
DUDLEY PERKINS: You go deep enough, it's circuit boards; it's singing; it's music; it's vibration.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: That's it.
DUDLEY PERKINS: When you go deep deep into the inside, when people be talking about how to meditate and all that, when you really go past the meditation part of it, it's music and sound. You can go to a point where it sound like two old giant ladies singing church hymns and stuff up in there. Whatever that is –
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I know what you're talking about. I know what you're talking about.
DUDLEY PERKINS: – it be deep. I used to psychedelic trip a lot.
ALI: I never have.
FRANNIE: He has no idea what you're talking about.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Oh man. I did until I got what I was looking for.
ALI: I've seen the movies.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I did it until I got what I was looking for.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: He's seen the movies.
FRANNIE: Yeah, I get that.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I haven't touched it since then. And it's an organic thing. They charge you more when you get busted for it for a reason, cause that's a tool to actually go see the divine. That's the inside, what Stevie sees everyday cause he's meditating forever. He seen all that good color up in there that we don't see no more. When we was kids, you see the color when you close your eyes and you can play with the stuff in the sunlight. And you notice all the toys are the colors of the chakras.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh! Man.
DUDLEY PERKINS: So that way you play with it outside instead of inside.
FRANNIE: That one hurt.
DUDLEY PERKINS: You don't entertain no more. It's just enter-taint your spirit. I'm glad Toys R Us is off the shelf now, cause cats are going to start playing a different way now, but they got Target for that now.
ALI: They got a smartphone for that.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: OK!
DUDLEY PERKINS: Yeah, exactly. But they teach the kids to play right away with these colors and stuff, so they can stop messing with the chakras.
DUDLEY PERKINS: So you can be closer to the divine. That's another trick to keep you away from being closer to what people call god. It started when we was kids, cause I remember those colors and stuff like that.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: I do it every day. I can't live without that. Need that.
DUDLEY PERKINS: I remember seeing animals and everything real clear, triangles and circles and stuff like that coming at you, to where you would jump when you was a kid. Remember that? When you close your eyes and you jump a little bit? People forget that. I remember that stuff. Do you remember sitting Indian style automatically in the sunlight when you was a kid?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yup.
DUDLEY PERKINS: We all did that stuff. They took that away from us. They didn't want us to – cause, come on, everything blooms eventually. We ain't blooming for a reason. I think we even got shorter, tinier. They used to say giants was on the Earth. I think the lesser spirit in your body the smaller the human form is.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: That's interesting.
DUDLEY PERKINS: The more spirit the bigger the form is.
FRANNIE: I've heard that.
DUDLEY PERKINS: That's what it seems like. They do be finding them bones and stuff like that, and they saying these cats is intelligent. Anything intelligent ain't about war. So they be trying to scare us with aliens and stuff. "Oh the boogeyman will come down. They gon' get us." I don't think them cats is coming. I think you guys is already here. You guys are already getting us. That is the boogeyman, in the form of man.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Nah, I feel that. It shouldn't be having to get no worse. This shit be bad enough
DUDLEY PERKINS: It's because they know something else that we don't know. That's what it is. That's what the military is for. It's to keep something hidden from us. So even if we did try to get it, they'll blast our whole situation away. You really think you need a jet that much to kill off people with no guns?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Thank you.
DUDLEY PERKINS: You think you need a battleship that's 30 miles out of sea to solve a conflict? That's for something else. They just practicing on us. You know what I'm saying? They protecting theyself from something else. They know something. That's why they got NASA and the airforce and all that.
NASA? If you do your research, NASA is ran by a family called Goddard. G-O-D-D-A-R-D, like god. NASA. What is it for? They just show us fake moon landings or to hide something from us. They hiding something. The insignia that they wearing, the queen and all that and stuff like that, c'mon, what is that?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: What is that?
FRANNIE: Have you guys seen the stencil that's around L.A. that just says: "NASA lies. Ask why?"
DUDLEY PERKINS: I do.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Are you serious?
FRANNIE: It's all over my neighborhood. I'm dead – I was about to show you a picture. I can show you a picture.
DUDLEY PERKINS: There's a comic book called The Fantastic Four if that ain't telling you something. A lot of things come from the movies anyway, cause they put the little things in there to mess with you cause they know a movie will reverberate and keep staying in your head. It becomes a memory. Movies and songs become memories, so it'll automatically keep doing it. So if you put something on a TV screen you can put something – flash it on there.
We ain't even seen half of the spectrum. We ain't seen part of it. To the point you can even try to look at it, and you will. You can see the veins in your eyeballs if you look hard enough.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: C'mon.
DUDLEY PERKINS: That's just one level of the shit. We ain't even hearing half the shit. We're shut off. And that's one of the ways so we can be more powerful with what we're doing – keyboards and guitars. Why you think guitars no matter what the shape is they still do the same thing?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Through the years.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Drums still do the same thing. Them things is from outer space or something. Them's weapons. Those are weapons. Those are tools.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: From the heavens.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Just because it looks cool, and we dance to it. Cause our bodies does this thing. They modernize things to dull it, so it ain't have as much impact and power. They make everything so familiar that there's no more magic in it.
FRANNIE: Oh yeah.
DUDLEY PERKINS: So the all the magic is gone – when everyday is just magic. But they put us on a repetitive situation to where we don't even see the small magic anymore, new things that happen, new parts of language that happen. We create languages everyday.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Absolutely.
DUDLEY PERKINS: But we don't take it like that no more. We wait until it's in the dictionary now, where it's in a Webster, or Funk & Wagnalls dictionary or something. But we done created all this whole thing everyday. You see the dictionary grows every single other day. That's us through hip-hop.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Man, it's through parenthood. If you have a child, man, Kwave gave me so many new words just from being a baby. We have a whole language just in the house. When your mom say something certain –
ALI: You know what it is.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: – you know it's y'all theme, so it's like yeah, I hear you on that one.
DUDLEY PERKINS: The magic'll be back though.
ALI: Thank you so much.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh, thank you.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Thank you, man.
FRANNIE: Thanks, you guys.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: You don't know. This feels like a – it's heavy.
DUDLEY PERKINS: This is even way way beyond, because somebody actually that we respect is finally – we get to talk to somebody that we respect right now.
ALI: Thank you. Thank you both so much for sharing your time with us.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Hey, thanks for having us, man. This is dope.
ALI: We'd love to have you back.
FRANNIE: Oh yeah. Anytime.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Oh, man.
ALI: We didn't even talk about the two records.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah, man.
DUDLEY PERKINS: Oh, man. When you hear Georgia's –
ALI: Thank you for the vinyl.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: When you hear Young Spirit. You're going to have fun with the record.
DUDLEY PERKINS: This is her – out of all the records she's done, I love all of them, this is the one I wanted.
ALI: What's it called?
DUDLEY PERKINS: Overload. Overload.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Overload.
ALI: Are you ready to release that? Are you ready to speak on that?
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Yeah. It's going to be on Brainfeeder.
DUDLEY PERKINS: It's on Brainfeeder with Flying Lotus.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW: Flying Lotus's –
ALI: OK, OK.