F.S.M. Okay we know you’re asking “what exactly does that mean?” Basically it’s a group of talented, enthusiastic individuals that came together to make a combination of snappin’ rhymes, infectious beats and thoughtful lyrics into very enjoyable music… It also stands for Flight School Music. The group consists of four members: The Mecca of Rhymes (@meccaofrhymes), Hendrix Law (@hendrixlaw), Young Rush (@yrushit), Jones Andrews (@iamjonesandrews). Now we asked ‘em a few questions just so we could understand the dynamics of this down to earth group. Follow FSM @FSMonline
Every great band has a beginning, what is FSM’s story?
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): I started FSM in early 2009 after I decided I needed to start my own brand after being in a previous group since a teenager. I wanted it to represent where I was from and figured since North Carolina was First in Flight, we were kinda like the Flight School so I took that and flipped to Flight School Music, making fly cool music and representing NC. It was kinda funny because when I thought of the name I had googled it to see if anybody worth mentioning was already using it as a label name and there wasn’t any now there’s tons of them. Only other person using Flight School for anything was Wiz Khalifa and he actually was still working on the mixtape at the time. I still used the name though because ours was a totally different meaning from what he was doing.
What does music mean to you, if you were to define that word, what is your definition?
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): Music has gotten me through almost every situation I’ve dealt with in life. I can always reference back to a song or song lyric to reassure me that I’m not the only one who has dealt with a certain situation before. I feel like music is my life, music can be used to communicate to all people. Even if its not through the lyrics, if can be felt through the rhythms and melodies.
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): Music is the tool that I use to deal with the stress that I go through on a day to day basis and to also deliver a message that may not be received as well using another medium.
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Music represents the soul of culture. It’s amazing to me that no matter where you go in the world or what time frame examine every culture has some unique take on music. For me music gives me the ability to communicate everything I feel, in a way that I can also be connected to my people.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you have been subjected to due to your career?
Hendrix Law: Financial. There are so many times that it would be easier to just quit. But if it was easy everybody would do it.
In what way has your community had an impact on your development as artists? * Not only in terms of people, but also in terms of place, culture, etc.
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): Being born in New Jersey and living there till I was 11 it forced me to grow up rapidly. I was an only child staying at home alone because both of my parents were working long shifts. That really created the void that music would soon fill once I moved to Roanoke Rapids, NC which happened to be a complete 180 from the lifestyle and culture I was accustomed to. The rural and slower paced lifestyle really took a toll on me and forced me to just lock myself in my room and just work on music.
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): I use where I grew up to try and encourage others who grew in the same situations that you don’t have to live your life this way forever and it will get better. I literally had a graveyard in my backyard so my lyrics may sometimes be a bit more darker than usual but seeing pain and sadness just became my reality so thats what I talk about and like I said I use music to help ease my stress so I want to be the person who can ease the stress of someone else as well. I’ve had people tell me that my music has done that and it makes me feel good.
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Greensboro, NC is a unique city. Very much in the South and is divided socioeconomically between the East and West side of town. However, we are all united by a common grind to do better and want more. I think the music from our city reflects that.
So are there any special rituals/traditions you have before a show? *We don’t judge*
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): haha….I have a few traditions and I get bored with things quick so I change them from time to time but I always have to eat a bag of “Tom’s Bacon Cheddar Cheese Fries” before a show. Also I go in the bathroom and say a prayer to the man upstairs that I may perform to the best of my ability. Lastly I always call/text my mother so she can wish me luck because she is my number 1 fan.
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): I usually just say a quick prayer to myself, grab a bottle water, give everybody in the crew dap and say lets rock.
Which artists influence you/your music?
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): In no particular order… Little Brother, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Joe Budden, Andre 3000 and Michael Jackson
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): Nas, AZ, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Common, Tupac, B.I.G.
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Cee-Lo, Nina Simone, Biggie
What are some unexpected influences that affect your music style, that fans would be surprised to discover?
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): Alot of R&B influences me as far feelings and emotions being felt on a track and even tho I don’t really like the music sometimes I will listen to the lyrics of a country or blues song and hear something I may feel or agree with as well and get inspiration.
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): I try to do the opposite of what’s trending. Basically, I don’t want to be the 10th guy to hop on a BMF style track.
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Myself and Mecca were in the school band together when we were kids. I played the saxophone and Mecca played the drums. It helped me get a deeper understanding of the music.
Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Angry to write an angry song? Sad to write a sad song?
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): Not exactly. I have experienced all those emotions previously so I can channel those experiences over and over, but it’s nothing like being mad, in love, or sad at the exact moment you go into the booth and start working on those type of songs.
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): You don’t have to be but it becomes more natural when you’re able to do it while you’re actually feeling whatever emotion it is you’re writing about.
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): I do. I feel like get across the true emotion is the most important part of a good song.
How would you describe your genre?
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): Mirror Image Music: I write so if I were to die today and a complete stranger listened to my discography they could write my biography. It is a complete reflection of who I am and what I have been through. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. I can help relieve some of stress I go through and at the same token someone else can relate to it when they listen so I am able to help them at the same time I help myself. It’s a win-win situation.
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): I just use the term reality rap. I prefer to write about my real life.
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Hip-Hop, nothing more nothing less.
Some say creativity and originality in music today is dead, what are your thoughts on this?
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): I disagree and I feel like it is making a strong comeback. Although it would definitely help to get some FSM music out to help make the push.
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): I disagree because I create something new and original in my eyes every time I make music.
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): I think there’s always something new being created even though we may not always like it.
What do you feel sets your music apart from other artists in the industry?
Jones Andrews(@jonesandrews): That it is driven by raw emotion and not any type of gimmick and isn’t manufactured in any way by those who aren’t artists.
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Maintaining a strong lyrical base while still commanding the crowd with interesting subject matter and originality.
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): I don’t have any gimmicks really it’s just good music.
In 10 years where do you want to be with music?
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): I want to be well off enough to take care of me and my family and not want for anything. I don’t need to be famous or filthy rich just well enough to continue to do music, shows and not have to ask anyone for financial assistance.
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): I want to continue to make timeless music and be financially stable. I want to continue to grow and hopefully become someone else’s influence to want to make music.
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): I got asked this same question 5 years ago. I’m still trying to catch up. Short answer, I want it to be my full-time job.
Now a few silly questions….
Micheal Jackson or Prince?
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): MJ all day!!!
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): Micheal Jackson
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Prince
Coca Cola, Mountain Dew or Fanta?
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): Gotta go with the Fanta, orange specifically…gotta be orange! (Doesn’t this just remind you of Kenan and Kel?)
The Mecca of rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): Coca-Cola
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Don’t drink soda. But I might chase an occasional shot with Coca-Cola.
Who were your favorite artists as teenagers, especially 13 (don’t be shy?)
Hendrix Law(@hendrixlaw): Biggie, The Fugees and Wu-Tang.
The Mecca of Rhymes(@meccaofrhymes): At 13 I think I was still a huge Nas fan, I was also a fan of Cam’ron, the whole BadBoy and Wu-Tang
Jones Andrews(@iamjonesandrews): Mase was that dude to me! When I was coming up I used to bump “Harlem World” religiously and I was big on Pac too.
Aren’t they some humble, soulful, and intelligent men? Now all we have to do is wait for FSM to get big, because they are definitely on the way there. It might sound like we’re boosting them up (and we are), but they truly deserve it. We recognize their hard work and we want others to do the same as well. They have a couple gigs coming up so if you’re in the area you better be there, no exceptions. Nope, not even because it’s your best friend’s birthday, hell you can bring ‘em too.
Sept. 9th w/ Yelawolf’s Slumerica Artist RITTZ Greensboro,NC
Sept. 12th The Pour House Raleigh, NC
Most of you probably didn’t read the whole interview, we do have to admit it is a tad bit lengthy, but these guys just have so much valuable insight that we didn’t want to leave out one bit of it. If you didn’t read the entire thing you can always make it up by showing them lots of looooove, from Facebook to Twitter to Youtube.
Check them out www.wearefsm.com
Follow them @fsmonline
Make sure to check out some of their individual websites too