Week in Pop: 2Mex, POW!, Religious Girls, Sheers

Sjimon Gompers

SF/LA;s everlasting champs POW! discuss their world of wow; photographed by Cara Robbins.

2Mex

The strength & unflappable resolve of 2Mex; press photo courtesy of the artist.

You probably already know the iconic emcee from his program at KDAY. Perhaps you were there for Project Blowed, live from The Good Life Cafe, and a plethora of legendary open mic opportunities that abounded with in the Leimert Park neighborhood. The artist/icon in question is 2Mex, who returns with this first album after a seven year span with Lospital available August 15 from LA imprint Water the Plants. Featuring appearances from Slug (of Atmosphere), Eligh (from Living Legends) along with the impeccable Ceschi Ramos—these real life legends support one of Los Angeles’ cult figures battle with a severe bout of diabetes that his claimed his right-side leg (which was amputated below the knee), nearly his mind, but not his spirit. Emerging with the aid of a prosthetic shin & foot along with a new lease on life with a little help from local friends, family & more; 2Mex keeps the flames of life pursuits burning bright with a persistence & spirit that inspires us all to do as much as we can with the gifts & life that we have.

Presenting the title track video for “Lospital” featuring Sophia Pfister & directed by La Marbella; 2Mex takes us directly to a self-made video of the artist speaking to the camera 45 minutes before going in for amputative surgery. Asking for prayers & positive energy, 2Mex illustrates the entire painful process from anticipating the loss of a limb, confronting an illness that nearly killed him while reminiscing over loved ones lost too soon before their time. The visual for “Lospital” features a variety of family, friends, artists & more visiting 2Mex while in the hospital where we see things from his perspective, occasionally switching over to selfie mode while being greeted by an overwhelming array of supportive souls & sweet faces. With Sophia Pfister providing a hook that is predicated upon the importance of loved ones & their camaraderie; 2Mex makes the healing process along with all the endearing visits part of the main motif of the video where the emcee expresses a love for all those who have looked out for him with hopes for far a happier & more enlightened future. The Lospital concept that is tackled amid restrained rhythms, Latin accordion atmospheres & 2Mex’s own gritty & expressive self-styled SoCal delivery & woke expository rhymes revolves around the crazy conundrums that we together as a global people are embroiled in. Everything from the nine to five grinds, stress, duress & all the things that break a family or human being down are dealt with head-on where severe life & death extremities are met with a new sense of hope & purpose. The gospel of 2Mex is one that revolved around self-preservation, self-reliance but above all emphasizes the importance of loving one another through life’s high notes & low notes. The big takeaway from the book of 2Mex is that when life gets rough & tough; the way a community responds together & helps one another during times of need is the only way to prosper & flourish together as a society. 2Mex introduced La Marbella’s visuals for “Lospital” with the following insights:

This video and this song is dedicated to all of us struggling. My loved ones and my fans brought me back. Your love brought me back. Sometimes we push away the loved ones who love us the most when we struggle…but love fights back. It’s what heals us. Thank you for the love and support.

Give us stories from Project Blowed, the Good Life Cafe to your radio work at KDAY that inspired and impacted your creative and personal visions.

The Good Life was an amazing experience, what really impacted me was just the format, one song, no cursing, no disrespecting women, hostile crowd ready to boo you, it was a trial by fire every week. One week your the darling of the night, next week you’re almost booed off if you slip up. I saw many magical moment, from Freestyle Fellowship to Jurrasic 5 to lesser known artists that affected my growth as a songwriter and performer. I saw Charlie Tuna from J5 battle VOLUME 10 that was awesome.

From the traumatic health scares that informed Lospital and the powerful title track and video—how has this brush with mortality furthered your own purpose and resolute drive & all around passion for life and others?

What happened was traumatic, but honestly my outlook has never really changed, I’m as optimistic as ever. The personal struggles I have with depression come from having my best friend die in my arms at age 20 and having the feeling of never wanting to say no to anyone or anything, that got me in a lot of stressful situations that I had to learn to let go of.

An intimate moment of introspection with 2Mex; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Interested in hearing how contributions from Ceschi Ramos, Eligh, Slug, etc also informed Lospital.

I admire Ceschi most of all, remember him coming to my door at age 18 with his brother and without my knowledge, them just moving in with me and Xololanxinxo to start a project, very talented guy, toured with him and I’m a huge fan. I went to him for a track that had depth. Slug and myself were way overdue for a collab and the beat I got from J the record Turner sparked that vision. Eligh I’ve been begging him for a track for years, actually one of my fans bought that beat from him and just gave it to me. thanks Sam!

Other LA artists and icons that continue to move you?

Open Mike Eagle, Pigeon John, Curtiss King is a star. Sahtyre, just to name a few.

Important activism and causes in the LA area that you would like to draw attention toward?

Obvious diabetes awareness and honestly my real mission is the advancement of critical thinking, I have spent over 25 years in this music world and I see the agenda to promote ignorance and I try my best to keep my brain stimulated, I’m hoping to continue to release art that is more about honesty than about fantasy fulfillment.

2Mex takes on the “OBEY” hype; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Through all of life’s trials and tribulations; how have you feel you have been changed both inside and outwardly in terms of perspectives and feelings about those around you and yourself?

I lost my leg not my mind. I have always known that I was a blessed individual. The love of family, fans, strangers, my label Water the Plants, and the many supporters in the light and in the shadows have guided me to this point and the lessons learned are starting to become clear to me. Life is short, art is long, I chose art over having a family and over personal wealth, I made the right choice because the art I make satisfies me and the people who I share a wavelength with.

Next moves for 2Mex?

Get up every morning, put on this fake leg and step into humbleness.

Hopes for our shared world in 2017, 2018, etc?

My hope for the world is for us to listen to each other, really listen. I feel thats all the people of this world want is for someone to listen and care about their stories sometimes.

2Mex’s new album Lospital will be available August 15 via Water the Plants.

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