Mondo Slade exclusive interview

Mondo Slade: «My creativity separates me from a lot of the competition».

The Cleveland (Ohio) emcee, now resident in Atlanta (Georgia), is one of the names among the US underground that most impressed us last year, thanks to the versatility, style and original slang that distinguish him. We asked him a few questions to better understand his story and his character and we discovered several interesting things.

Essential Projects
  • Revenge of the Slade
  • Master Speech 2
  • Long Live The Slade

Peace brother, we are really happy to finally ask you some questions, since we have been tuned into your music for some time and really appreciate what you are doing! You are from Cleveland (Ohio), but you also spent some time between Atlanta (Georgia) and New York City…Correct? What is it like, from your point of view, growing up in Cleveland and how would you describe the city and the Hip-Hop scene there?

Actually, I’m from Cleveland but I live in Atlanta. I’ve spent a lil time in NY, I’m up there all the time. Growing up in Cleveland from my point of view is just like any other inner city, low income city. A lot of street life to say the least. In my opinion, the hip-hop scene is really small and close knit there. Not too many venues or hip-hop related events in the city, at least not enough for me.

When and why did you decide to move to other cities and what was it like to adapt to completely different realities from your point of view? Specifically, what was it like arriving in New York?

I moved to Atlanta once I left high school over 15yrs ago, mainly cause moms kicked me out due to me getting in trouble in the streets. I moved to the A with my pops and have been down here ever since. My man King Rem, who is also my producer who I went to high school with, moved to NY around the same time I moved to the A, so I’ve always had a small connection to the city. Mainly whenever I’m in town I’m in Brooklyn.


Is there anyone in particular who has helped you integrate in the NYC’s scene and what are the biggest differences from life in Cleveland in your opinion? What struck you most about life in the Big Apple? Do you have any anecdotes or stories about your time in NYC?

I would say the biggest person who helped me integrate in NY is my man King Rem. He’s been living here for over 10yrs and put me on to a lot. I guess the most thing that struck me about NY was the amount of different types of people that make up the city. That’d be the biggest difference between Cleveland and NY in my opinion; just the amount of people and different types of people.



One of my earliest memories of walking around NY yrs ago, was when I was just randomly walking down the street going to get a slice of pizza, and saw Smiff & Wesson (Cocoa Brovaz) just chillin on the block. We slapped five and I kept it moving but it was something to remember lol.

At what point in your life did you start taking Rap music seriously? What were your first steps into the underground Hip-Hop scene? Where did your stage name and the use of the balaclava come from?

I dabbled in rap for years as far as recording before I started taking things ultimately seriously. I’ll say once I came home from prison in 2012 is when I started my Mondo Slade journey.

My first steps into the underground scene were dropping my first album ‘Fly Technique vol.1’ and then just being consistent with dropping music with creative videos.

I got my name from the movie ‘Let’s Do It Again’ with Bill Cosby and Sidney Portier. In the movie, the character that they made in order to scam Kansas City Mack and Biggie Smalls was named Mongo Slade. I switched the Mongo to Mondo.


That was because it rolled off the tongue better (pause lol). If you’ve ever seen the movie, the character fits my persona perfectly.

New York has had a buzzing underground scene for a few years now…You seem to have settled into the scene wonderfully and have already made solid connections with several local emcees and producers. What are your connections to the underground scene? And how did they consolidate over time?

Well, my man King Rem knew Rim da Villian from before the music days and once we started pumping out music, Rim was one of the first cats I forged a relationship with and got a feature from on my ‘Revenge of the Slade’ album.


I reached out to a lot of different MC’s and producers personally and I guess real just recognizes real to be cliche. Over time I gained a lot of good partners in this underground scene and we been all pushing forward together making nothing but hits. 

You recently released a new super dope project: “She Loves Me Not”, raw and underground, despite the “gangsta-romance” concept, pass the term to us…Can you tell us more about the concept of the album and how the album was born idea of ​​making an album like this? Where did you draw inspiration from for the lyrics and topics of “She Loves Me Not” and how did the collaborations within it arise?

The concept of the album is just a gangsta romance novel. I just wanted to do something a little different than my peers. I wanted to make an album with only female features.

My inspiration was just to do something different and to be creative and try to create a small moment in time that was a little softer than my usual. As far as the collabs go, I reached out to a few of my favorite female MC’s that I know and they held me down with nothing less than  greatness.

“Master Speech 2” and “Long Live The Slade” were two of the albums that we had most in rotation during 2023. How were they born and what are the different imagery that inspired these two albums? For example, in “Master Speech 2” the cover artwork brings to mind “Ironman” by Ghostface Killah, while not only the artwork but also the interludes and the atmosphere of “Long Live The Slade” recall the imagery of Robin Hood and medieval knights time…So what inspired the different imagery of these two albums and for what reasons?

Again, that was just me using a little creativity when it came to the themes of those two albums.


‘Master Speech’ was an album I dropped in 2021 and it had a rendition of the ‘Supreme Clientele’ cover, so it was only right that when I doubled back and did ‘Master Speech 2’ that I used the ‘Ironman’ cover to seal the Ghostface salute.


When it came to ‘Long Live’, I already had about 3 songs recorded that had a Robin Hood/Medieval sound to them. So I decided to create a whole theme around it with the interludes and skits.


Once I had enough of the songs carved out, I reached out to my man Salvatore from Italy who created the custom watercolor artwork for the cover. It was the perfect cherry on top.

Do you have any backstory on the making of these two albums? Have you received feedback you weren’t expecting?

It’s no real back story to the albums except just locking myself in the studio with my brothers, BlkVngd, and cooking up marvelous shit like we always do.The feedback I received was great, especially ‘Long Live the Slade’. It had a lot of impact for me in 2023.

Your style is impactful, recognizable and unique… how would you describe it and how do you think it differs from the strong competition in the current underground scene? Who do you think are the artists who have influenced you the most during your life and in your way of rapping or approaching Rap?

I think you did a good job of describing my style right there; impactful, recognizable, and unique.

I think my voice and my slang stands out as well as my sense of humor. Also, i think my creativity seperates me from a lot of the competition in this current underground.


So many different artists influenced me along my journey that it would be too hard to name. I started out a die-hard Wu-Tang fan and expanded from there.

What are the next goals and steps you have set for yourself regarding your musical career? And are you working on new projects? Can you tell us something?

My main nearest goals are to get more of my music out there and to capitalize on my engagement. I want to step into larger markets as well and integrate with all types of music. I’m constantly working on new music, I always try to keep an album tucked in the stash lol. For now, I’m focusing on this latest release, ‘Sleight of Hand’ which is a classic by far.

Do you have any ties to the graffiti scene in New York, Cleveland or wherever? If so, can you tell us something about it?

Naw not really, I can’t draw/paint to save my life. That’s a question you would have to ask my man Minister Hyde, he’s the artist of the crew lol.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts