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Maylay Sparks aka Rasheed - Skool Dayz (1st Semester) (2000) (
What's Up Wit Da Maylay? 12 Inch, Bronx Science Records, 2000

The man who coined the saying “Philly should have been its own state” is back again with his new album titled “Flaskworthy,” which is available on iTunes, Hiphopsite and other online retail media providers.

If you aren’t familiar with Maylay Sparks a/k/a Rahsheed then you missed out on one of the best eras in Philly hip-hop. Back in the mid-90’s Rah was setting it off with “Industrypartybumrusha” and then later collaborated with Ill Advised (Lish & Baby Blak) to give us classics “” or as some remember “Open Mic Night” with High & Mighty. Considered one of the best Philly lyricists, Maylay is still an undiscovered gem but hopefully not for long. For more info or mp3s of Maylay Sparks, Rahsheed & Ill Advised please visit our T.R.O.Y. forum (Click Here)

Philaflava: Tell us about the new album Flaskworthy?

Maylay Sparks: Flaskworthy is the quality assurance label of the finest hip-hop. It’s new and ol´ school at the same time. New with the creations but ol school with that boom-bap true hip hop flavor.

Philaflava: Your last album Greymatter was extremely nice, yet fell through the cracks with little or no marketing and promotions behind it. Why do you think that is?

Maylay Sparks: It is the same with every project that has street credibility. If there is no one in the offices supporting and pushing the product it will as you say fall through the cracks. This I think was due to the bigger artist like Jazzy Jeff etc, getting signed before my album dropped, even though I was signed to Rapster/BBE first.

Philaflava: You've been living in Denmark for a while now, do you ever think to yourself if you were still in Philly you'd have a different career?

Maylay Sparks: Yeah, because the culture is all but gone for real hip hop in the city and the rest of the states for that matter, so I’d probably be trying to get an A&R job to sign some really good music and try and change the business from within.

Philaflava: Why did you decide to stay in Denmark rather than Philly? And how did you end up there to begin with?

Maylay Sparks: Well the story goes that Bobitto brought me over on tour with The Roots and Dilated Peoples among others, and I jumped off stage and fractured my leg. Then fell in love with the free culture and the fact that I could smoke weed in the hospital made me want to stay!

Philaflava: Would you say living in Denmark has hurt or helped as an artist?

Maylay Sparks: Definitely helped me as an artist on major label scale that has led to gold record success, Playstation games, tours, etc. Things that would not have been an option for an underground rapper at home.

Philaflava: While under Quake City Records you along with Ill Advised recorded a lot of music that hasn't seen the light of day. Do you think we'll ever get to hear that material?

Maylay Sparks: We had a lot of difficulties with the major labels that were interested and yeah I hope that we get a chance to see it break through. Shit, you (Jason) got more files of that stuff than me!

Philaflava: Exactly how much material do you have out and where can people purchase this material?

Maylay Sparks: Well in total definitely 20 or more. 12 inches, EP’s, LP’s, combined plus features with artists big and small form all over the world., so I guess just go on line and Google me or something.

Philaflava: Do you care to speak on the Cosmic Kev situation--How a lot of rappers in Philly feel like Kev doesn't support them they way he should?

Maylay Sparks: I’ve know Kev for a long time and he has always support my music so really I got no beef. He better play my f#ckin record when he gets it (laughs).

Philaflava: What is your take on the current trend towards mp3 releases over vinyl?

Maylay Sparks: Ass you know my new LP (Flaskworthy) is only Digi for now. We do do vinyl for those consumers and collectors, but as long as people still get it I can’t be mad at´em. Records are everything, its tangible.

Philaflava: The Serato is constantly fighting a love/hate relationship with artists and fans worldwide. While other genres are steadily gaining vinyl sales, hip-hop continues to take a pounding because of this technology. How do you feel about the Serato as well as new technologies that have taken over?

Maylay Sparks: We live in a diverse world. Even though this is a big part of the business we as a culture have to find more ways to get those consumers back. Quality music and collectibilty being important.

Philaflava: When was the last time you spoke with Baby Blak and do you guys plan on recording together in the near future?

Maylay Sparks: I spoke wit Blak yesterday and we are doin the new joint for his LP now! Should be interesting an get some heads stirred up!!

Philaflava: Do you follow Philly releases closely since you're far removed to see who's doing what?

Maylay Sparks: Yeah but really not down with Beanie clone rap shit. Beans is dope and there is only one Beans I want to hear. But yeah cats like Icon The Mic King, Pretty Uglty, etc.

Philaflava: You have an appreciation for liquor like you could say Ghostface has for food. What are you five favorite drinks?

Maylay Sparks: Damn that’s a hard one but I like Guinness, Appleton Estate, Kettle One vodka, & Mojitos. Almost anything that comes out of a beer tap, especially micros, they are wicked in taste!

Philaflava: Who has the best cheesesteak in Philly?

Maylay Sparks: Right now for me it’s Copa on south street, but Accu and Jims were the bomb, Iishkabibbles too!

Philaflava: What other music besides hip-hop influenced you to do music?

Maylay Sparks: Jazz. Of course Philly soul, lots of rock but not def metal though.

Philaflava: What is your album? Favorite track?

Maylay Sparks: Damn so many and I really hate this question, but ill give it a shot. Nation of Millions and Rebel Wit Out A Pause. Damn that’s hard but I got many more not really just one fav.

Philaflava: Who are your top 5 rappers dead or alive?

Maylay Sparks:

1. KRS

2. Rakim
3. Kool G. Rap
4. Black Thought
5. Nas

Philaflava: Time for word association, ready?

Philaflava: RamSquad
Maylay Sparks: Tommy Hill, Kurupt & Joey Merlino
Philaflava: Da Fat Cat Clique
Maylay Sparks: Cool Philly cats
Philaflava: Ruggedness n Madd Drama:
Maylay Sparks: Dope beats and re ya hood
Philaflava: The Roots
Maylay Sparks: Legendary. Black Lilly.
Philaflava: 100x
Maylay Sparks: A lot of niggas from Richard Allen. Bigger than Wu (laughs).
Philaflava: Ill Advised
Maylay Sparks: Dope on plastic. Rahsheed!
Philaflava: The Man They Call Lux
Maylay Sparks: DJ Miz and Hill Top with Steady B
Philaflava: Bahamadia
Maylay Sparks: Queen of Philly rap. Birds nest is where I 1st recorded 53rd and Catherine.
Philaflava: Reef The Lost Cause
Maylay Sparks: I said this so much in the past weeks in interviews. Fire illest new comer in the game. Reminds me of myself when I was coming up. Desire to crush any corny motherfucka alive!

Philaflava: Give me your best European groupie story you got!

Maylay Sparks: No more of putting myself out there. But yeah multiple friends is common.. All my friends and there friends and call some more friends. This can go on for weeks at a time!

Philaflava: If you could eliminate three things in hip-hop that you feel would make it a better, what would it be?

Maylay Sparks: Wack MCs, sucker ass radio DJ’s and A&R reps that sign that shit.

Philaflava: What is on deck for you for the rest of '08?

Maylay Sparks: Family and focusing on the new label "Felix Records," my first group S&M (Sniper & Mad Cune), getting more groups from other music genres. also doin an EP with Sakke Alto from Finland and some other projects that will be out in the fall. Elite Fleept LP too.

Philaflava: Any last words?

Maylay Sparks: Philly hip-hop forever! Thanks to you Mr. Gloss for all the support and Philly love over the years. Jon “Elementree" for all the support on this LP. Soulspazm, Media Foundation for the look-out and every true head that knows what the culture is about. Also Rahsheed and Ill Advised keep this for our children.

Skål (cheers in Danish/Scandinavian). Peace!