Welcome back to all of my Faygoluvers Family, it’s time again to take the time to shine some light one the underground’s finest that may not already be on you radar. This time we are fortunate to sit down with the man the call One Man Kru and he literally is. This man has performed with some of the biggest names in our scene and wrestled across the globe with some of the biggest names in wrestling history. We delve into all of this and so much more that makes this man who he is.
So, let’s not delay this any longer…
Johnny O: First off I’d like to welcome you to the Faygoluvers’ Underground Spotlight and thank you for taking time out for this interview. Can you start us off with a little introduction?
One Man Kru: Hell yeah, brother. I’m One Man Kru. I wrestle. I rap. I make beats. And sometimes I act. A lot of other artists, producers, actors and pro wrestlers who do the same things that I do may introduce themselves by saying something cliche like “I’m the best kept secret in the underground” and all that jazz, but I’m simply a fortunate man who has been blessed with the ability to make all of my dreams come true by my faith in God, the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking.
JO: While you are definitely a man of many talents, let’s start with your music. How would you describe your personal style to those who may not have heard your work before?
OMK: I won’t lie. When I started out, I was a straight up rip off of Esham, Twiztid and Insane Clown Posse. Because they were my shit. And I wanted to be just like them. But I knew that I had to change. Because deep down, I knew that I had something different and special to give. I just didn’t know how to harness the energy in a way that people would be willing to receive it. I went through a lot of phases during my early years of development. At one point I was even a full blown christian rapper and put out a christian rap EP produced by Mike Puwal and Fritz The Cat. I even tried to make mainstream music and even went political or anti-establishment at one time. Over the past 15 years I got good enough at writing lyrics to become my own thing. How I did it was I stopped listening to other rappers. I just listen to the beats. I try not to listen to other rap lyrics or hip hop lyrics anymore. Now, everything I create is not influenced by anyone else. Because of that, I am able to make my own original, entertaining art work that I create today. I just enjoy being myself and making music that I like to hear.
JO: You are currently signed to Bloody River Records, how has it been working with the label up to this point?
OMK: Those guys are great to me. I have known Dark Hills Gang since they dropped out of Underground Psychos contest in 2005. It blew their minds that Josh (Kapital Z of Keepaz of the Krypt) and I didn’t get picked for the contest and it blew our minds that they could have won the contest but decided to opt out. Those guys are super talented and hook me up all the time with dope artwork, video work, etc. And they give me the freedom to do whatever I want as long as I rep the label. Which I am always happy to do.
JO: Now you are signed as one half of the group Keepaz of the Krypt, how did this group come together?
OMK: Well, Kapital Z and I were introduced to each other by a mutual friend named Randy Rudy. I had recorded an EP and a shitty mixtape by that point and he had recorded an EP and some one off singles. Randy played Josh’s Scarecrow Sampler EP for me at a party and I immediately felt inclined to meet him. I really liked the fact that he was making his own beats. Because I was jacking them off the internet and buying them from a local producer. So we recorded 3 LP’s and a bunch of unreleased stuff from 2005 until 2007. Honestly though, we aren’t on the best of terms at the moment. Kapital Z is no longer on the label. He actually quits the group and comes back every so often, so that’s why I decided to go solo 12 years ago and treat Keepaz of the Krypt as a side project. He taught me how to use FL Studio and I have since surpassed his skill level at making beats because in 2006 I started recording at Woodshed Studio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and learned from two time Grammy nominee and billboard chart topping producer Sam Peezy, who produced most of my first full length studio album. But to answer your question, it was the fun of making music with someone with the same passion for it that brought us together as group. He actually quit the group again in December back when his son was born.
I’m sure solo work and working as a group both have their positives and negatives, do you personally have a preference when it comes to working on your music? I prefer to work in a group with Kapital Z because it is fun to bounce ideas and concepts off of someone else. But I learned a long time ago that I can only count on myself. So I always fly solo in the big picture. He was never willing to tour or do promotional work or go out and hustle. So I have to do it all alone. Which is fine by me.
JO: Do you have any music currently in the works that you can let us in on?
OMK: I’m working on a new solo album that is coming together slowly, so I have been releasing the tracks one by one upon completion. It is a self-titled album in the same vein as Metallica’s black album. So far, three songs have been completed. One song features Seed of 6ix. It is called “Oxycodone”. Another song I did features Kapital Z and Bizarre of D12. It’s called “Diaries of the Whack Emcees”. It was supposed to be part of a new Keepaz of the Krypt album which got cancelled. The third song is called “When I Die” featurinf Lil Wyte. It also features Kapital Z on the original mix, but it will probably feature a different artist on the album version due to quality issues. Mars had actually agreed to be on it. But I haven’t received his vocals yet. I’m waiting for him to rexover from a stabbing incident. I produced all three songs by myself because I want to challenge myself to make an album that is 100% me.
JO: Besides this, you actually shot a music video in South Korea of all places, what was this experience like?
OMK: I came to South Korea to take a break from Japan, to audition for a TV show called Show Me The Money 6, work some host emcee gigs, work some wrestling events, and record in a studio in Busan. While staying in a hostel, I met a guy from Kazakhstan who likes to make videos of his travels, so I challenged him to make a music video and he was up to the task. It was a fun effort and a blessing. He hooked me up.
JO: Where can the family check out more of your music online?
OMK: I recommend onemankru.bandcamp.com because it has almost my entire catalogue. But I am currently working on a global digital distribution deal that will offer my music on every major digital outlet in the world. I’m also working on a way for people to order physical copies without me having to personally ship them out. I am one of the few artists who actually go out and grind and make sure my music sells. I have personally went out and sold over 20,000 physical copies of my last album. I’ve been very fortunate.
JO: You’ve also been fortunate enough to work with some big names in the underground scene, such as Lil Wyte, Seed of 6ix, LARS and more. Is there one collaboration in particular that stands out for you?
OMK: Working with Esham was a dream come true. That is probably my favorite collaboration simply because I bought the Repentence album when it came out and vowed to myself that one day I would make a song with him. And I did! Esham is my favorite underground rapper. He gave me 36 bars worth of vocals for a very reasonable price that I promised never to disclose. Just know that he showed me love.
JO: Staying on the collaboration note, if you could reach out to any artist for a dream collab who would it be and why do you think you would choose them?
OMK: I would like to work with Insane Clown Posse because I met Violent J when I worked for their wrestling company (JCW) at the 2011 Gathering of the Juggalos. He was super cool to me. He and Kevin Gill allowed me to work with Sabu. Which was another dream come true. I feel a personal and spiritual connection to what they do. And I truly admire and respect them both as artists and as people.
JO: Switching gears a bit, you actually spend a majority of your time wrestling in some major organizations throughout Japan and Mexico, but have also found yourself in some big names like JCW and TNA. I’m sure we’d all be interested in knowing what it’s like to operate such an intense wrestling schedule alongside a music career and normal home life, so can you tell us about this crazy balance?
OMK: My secret is that I live like a nomad. I don’t have a normal home life like most people. I live off of gigs and album sales and merchandise sales. I just keep moving so I can keep living. It’s a very non-traditional lifestyle. But it is very rewarding in many ways. Sometimes I wish I could live a normal life. But if I did, I wouldn’t be as free and as happy as I am to be able to make a living doing what I enjoy.
JO: Do you have a preference on any particular organization or country that you really like to work in?
OMK: Japan. I love working in Japan. I have worked for 25 different promotions in Japan. I am currently on my 13th tour of Japan working for Taka Michinoku’s promotion Kaientai Dojo and also headlining some concerts in Tokyo. I love it here.
JO: I’m sure the fans would also like to know where they can check out more of you in your wrestling career, so where can we find more of that aspect of you?
OMK: YouTube has most of my notable work. You can see me in matches featuring Sabu, Damian 666, Psicosis, Buff Bagwell, Hardcore Holly, Butterbean, Brutus Beefcake, Tommy Rich, WWE Hall of Famer “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, The Great Sasuke, Hijo de Dos Caras, Jun Kasai, Tomoaki Honma, Ricky Fuji and so many more legends and veterans of the business.
JO: Now since you have this variety of work in your life, who would you say have been your biggest influences in both wrestling and music?
OMK: For pro-wrestling I would have to say Bam Bam Bigelow was my biggest influence. As an artist I think Esham and Insane Clown Posse are probably my biggest influences.
JO: As far as wrestling, who do you see, in your eyes as the best in the business currently?
OMK: Depending on the size of the athlete and their style, in WWE I would have to say AJ Styles or Brock Lesnar. In Japan I would say James Raideen or Kenny Omega. In TNA I would say Sami Callihan or Bobby Lashley. On the indy circuit, I would go with “Mr. Fitness” Slim Trimmons or Cooley K aka Buffa.
JO: On the opposite side of the spectrum, who do you find yourself enjoying the most musically?
OMK: Crowbar, Eye Hate God, Down, Metallica, Megadeth. I’m actually a metal head. But whenever a new Esham or Insane Clown Posse album comes out, I always listen.
JO: Since you have such a massive schedule that’s constantly on your plate, I’m sure you have tough moments that almost feel like they are too much to take. In this tough times, what or who keeps you pushing forward?
OMK: Remembering the fact that a lot of people would trade their left nut or even sell their soul to be able to have the same opportunities that I have been blessed with. Being grateful is important during those times. Always be thankful and humble and enjoy life.
JO: Before we officially bring this thing to a close, is there anything you’d like to add or say to the Faygoluvers family?
OMK: Yes, there is. I’m proud to say that I am an OG juggalo who happened to have created my own niche outside of the juggalo world and was able to make my dreams come true without capitalizing on the juggalo movement. However, I humbly and graciously invite any fellow juggalo or juggalette to walk next to me in my journey if they are open minded enough to accept me as part of their lives.
JO: I always like to end all of the Underground Spotlight interviews on a high note, so how about a few shotouts before we go?
OMK: Shout out to Faygoluvers.net for hooking it up. Shout out to every person who ever bought a CD, a download, a shirt or a ticket to see me perform. Shout out to everyone who ever asked my for a picture or an autograph. Shout out to Bloody River Records and Dark Hills Gang. Shout out to Kapital Z all that he has down with me and for me. Shout out to Linzette The Ninjette for giving me my first radio interview. Shout out to Jose Cabello for giving me my first professional photo shoot. Shout out to Jack Lord, Reese Cloud, Bobby Doll, Danny Roland, Will Owens and Mike Jackson for giving me my start in wrestling. Shout out to my big homie Dylan James aka James Raideen. Shout out to Sami Callihan for doing his thing. Shout out to Kevin Gill and Tracy Smothers for helping me get booked at the Gathering in 2011. Shout out to John Meyer and Tom Eilers of Got Faded podcast for always booking me and hooking me up. Shout out to Butterbean for giving me national exposure. Shout out to Tom Stedham, Sam Farmer, Fugofugo Yumeji, The Great Kabuki, New Jack, Diamond Dallas Page and everyone who ever taught me anything. Shout out to Buffa for taking a punch for me. Shout out to everyone who has ever supported me. Shout out to my son AJ, my mom and dad and my brothers Nick and Jesse and all my aunts, uncles, cousins and my Grandma Kayser. I love you all. Thank you.
As much as I always hate to say it, that will close the book on this Underground Spotlight interview. I want to give a big thank you to One Man Kru for taking the time to give us a closer look into his life and career. Thank You to the Bloody Records family too.. Make sure to hit up those links, follow One Man Kru on his amazing adventures throughout music, wrestling and quite literally the world.
Now before I officially sign off, as always if you would like to be featured right here on the Underground Spotlight or possibly a part of the mixtape, shoot me an e-mail at JohnnyO@faygoluvers.net. Make sure to include a short bio, why you would like to/should be featured, a track or two and a couple of pics. Of course, don’t forget to include UGS or something similar in the subject line. So, until next time…