Today on our Hot Seat we have Abu Rahss and Jefe of Forest Hills Tenleytown Music Group (FHTMG). They have recently released a track “Search My Bag”. Lets have a chat with them.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of FHTMG? Who or what inspired you to start the group
FHTMG : I and many friends and acquaintances in DC have been making music for a long time but in 2013 when we launched our Kickstarter to go to North Korea we put a name to it and called it Forest Hills Tenleytown Music Group (most of the original people involved are from those neighborhoods or went to Wilson HS in Tenleytown)
Twist Online : Our readers would like to know about your band members and their role in the band?
FHTMG : We are more of a collective than a band so we might do solo stuff or we might collab in different forms or fashions depending on the song/video/project. Our artists (mainly rappers but also comedians, writers, and singers) that have released public work are PacMan Slim, Peso, Abu Rahss (me), Jefe, iLL da Artist, Coach, Nine Five, G Wang, Bruva Hollow, and Predatah but we actually have many more artists that will probably be releasing stuff in the coming year.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent release “Search my Bag”. What’s the inspiration behind this track?
FHTMG : We have been meaning to make a trip to Palestine for a while (I’m half Palestinian and have some artist friends in Palestine that we wanted to work with). Search My Bag was actually a spur of the moment song that we made after being interrogated and hassled on our first night (I wrote an article about it for Mondoweiss https://www.google.com/amp/mondoweiss.net/2017/02/releases-inspired-interrogation/amp/?client=safari)
Twist Online : What kind of response it has received so far?
FHTMG : The feedback has been great. Many people who have had similar experiences at Ben Gurion and other places with Israeli security have said they really loved it. And people who don’t know about the situation or anything still like the song a lot and say it’s catchy. It’s gotten great coverage in the Palestine-related news world and we are working on some different things to get some more exposure for the song/video so hopefully we can keep the momentum going
Twist Online : Was it a difficult task filming the video on location such as Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Palestine?
FHTMG : Not really, we always film very guerilla style so we can shoot a video anywhere pretty much. We actually had just finished the song on our last night and just went out and recited it from memory when we recorded the video (which is how we do most of our videos). We had already edited the video when we went to record and we showed it to our audio engineer Nick Wood, I think it’s the first time someone came in to record a song with a full video for it already done.
Twist Online : Have you set some goals to achieve?
FHTMG : Just keep getting better and better and going harder and harder.
Twist Online : Are you working on any new project?
FHTMG : We have videos coming out that we filmed in Istanbul, London, Germany, and also another one in Palestine. We are hoping our next big trip will be to Africa, where we have some different friends we’d like to collaborate with.
Twist Online :Are you active on social media? What’s the best way to follow you online for updates ?
FHTMG : Yes we are at @fhtmgdc on Instagram and @realFHTMG on twitter