The Realness is an album that has stood the test of time. Created over fifteen years ago, Cormega was carrying a huge burden. Released from Def Jam after his debut album, The Testament, being shelved and no longer a member of The Firm, to say Cormega had something to prove on The Realness would be an understatement. There was the label that didn’t believe. A group that cut him loose. And fans that were waiting, some questioning if he could do it on his own, others knowing and waiting with anticipation.
The Realness was the answer to everyone and everything. The classic debut, released through Landspeed, showed that not only could Mega rap his ass off, but he didn’t need a glitzy crew that was more show than prove or a major label’s budget and backing to be successful. The Realness was an instant classic to fans and proved that Cormega was not only better off as a solo artist, but that he had the potential to build a strong independent career, relying on himself and not needing a cosign from anyone.
And while plenty of artists and fans can attest to Cormega’s legendary status today, remember that he never asked for it nor needed it. It’s great, and he’ll tell you himself he appreciates it, but it’s not what drives him, fifteen years later, to continue creating introspective and lyrical hip-hop that withstands the test of time. In this interview, Cormega speaks about the impact of The Realness, his artistic perspective, and much more.
It’s the 15 year anniversary of The Realness. Congratulations. When you look at that today, does it even seem possible?
Nah. Time definitely flies. It doesn’t feel like it. But I’m happy. (more…)