MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

Jonathan Tate: Greetings MeekMouth, who are you?

MeekMouth: I am the being named Dante' Pope.

What is it you do?

I love it. That's what I do. I love it. I'm a passionate lover.

What was the first thing you did this morning?

Woke up on a leather couch feeling dehydrated so I went to the kitchen and copped some water with crushed ice. Crushed ice is best.

Does J Dilla mean anything to you?

Dilla is God as far as I'm concerned. Dude started his own genre of Hip Hop and he would trip if he could see what he created. Shouts out, Dilla Man. I wish I could have met him. I know tons of people that would say the same.

  MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

Where does the name MeekMouth derive from?

MeekMouth spawned from me taking notice to how humble I was compared to most cats in this realm of cocky ass, flashy people. I feel as if I'm tooting my own horn but hey, it's my horn, right? Basically I'm meek by the mouth and my music speaks for me. I speak too but sometimes words just don't speak loud enough. Might sound corny but it is what it is. MEEEEEEEEKKKK!!!!!

In your own words, what is art?

I think it was Brian Eno that said this, he said: "The artists' job is to create an environment where you can lose the element of control." So art to me is freedom to express your bullshit with no limitations.

How long have you been making music for?

Two and a half years strong.

Is it true you skateboard? Are you any good? 10 years. I'm pleased with the level of skating I'm at.

  MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

Favorite trick on a skateboard?

360 flips and nollie kickflips rub me the right way.

Who is "Dr. Aw"?

Dr. Aw is frozen in a time capsule. He is the reason MeekMouth started. Fictional characters, man.

What was the first beat you made & remixed? Do you still like that song now? The first song I ever made was called 'O U Fancie.' The song is cool, it's just a loop. I'm stoked to go back and hear how much I've changed musically.

  MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

What genre would you categorize your music in? 

Electronic, Hip Hop, experimental, boogie, tribal... But to keep it simple: Electronic is fine. I've been told my music sounds like "film score" music but, like, infused with Hip Hop. I don't know though. I just feel it's some "product of my environment"-type genre. It varies.

I'm a big fan of spoken word tracks. Can you explain what they are for those that do not know?

Thanks, man. Glad you fux with it. Spoken word is reciting poetry over a beat where it sounds like you're rapping in a conversational manner but with a little more rhythm. [/twocol_one_first][twocol_one_last] There's a line in your 'Make A Way' record where you say, "I'm here to stay, and just make my way to make a way. Hope I don't break today." Do you remember what you were feeling when you said that in the booth?

'Make A Way' is funny, man. I feel like I was trying to be cute or something when I listen to it now but when I made it, I was just trying to put the purest thoughts that were present in my mind at the time. I wanted to sound as genuine as possible. I have this music video idea for the song that would show the listener exactly where I was coming from. I pitched my voice up a bit to sound a little more kid-like. The song is one of my more original tracks, meaning it isn't a sample-heavy song. It's an important track to me because it's like trying to instill just a positive energy you can identify with and I really want people to relate with my tracks, ya feel?

  MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

MeekMouth. Photo: Jonathan Tate.

At this point in time, who does MeekMouth like to listen too?

The Smiths, Prismic Delight, Azizi Gibson, Death Grips, OddFuture,Tom Richman, Morri$, Raymond Scott, Voduz, A lot of soundcloud and bandcamp findings, 90's RNB, OLDIES, and almost anything you could think of.

What's a perfect day for MeekMouth?

The perfect day for Meek is any day that is full of appreciation and love. Good food, laughter, sex, and smoking weed while making some beats. Some passionate shit!!

Are there any producers that you draw inspiration from?

To be completely honest, Flying Lotus sparked the flame, man. Dilla of course, XXYYXX definitely influenced some of my newer stuff. My homie Adrian Buruca A.K.A. Prismic Delight is a genius in my eyes. He is the future of music to me. My homie Ylijah Pack A.K.A. Hush makes some bangers. Alexander Spit is dope. I like his taste. Maal A Goomba - they are something to look out for. The Spliff Gvd, and the list could keep going. Just look these few I mentioned up and check out all the related artists. There is so much good music, it drives me up the wall, man. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, Jeremiah Jae.

Can you name your favorite song you've made?

With what I've made so far, my favorite song of mine would have to be this one I'm about to released called 'Let's Get Out of Here.' It is an instrumental that is going to take you on a little journey in a short amount of time. Stay tuned.

How did you get into drawing?

I have been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil or crayons.

Would you ever consider selling any of your hand-drawn pieces?

Yeah, if someone asked me to make something for them I would. Depending on who it is or how I'm feeling, I might just give them away. I like giving away my drawings but yeah, if someone wanted to shoot me some cash for a piece, of course I would.

What can the world expect next from MeekMouth?

Some nice beats, nice visuals, some catchy hooks, some comedic stuff. I plan to make songs that will be remembered for years to come and hopefully I can influence people to open up and blossom, you know? We all need to shine.

For more info on MeekMouth check out soundcloud.com/meekmouth and facebook.com/meekmouth.

Photographs and Interview by Jonathan Tate.

Diane Abapo Founder and Editor-in-Chief at SUSPEND Magazine.