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Stacking The Deck with Super King Armor
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

If you’ve been in NYC’s indie hip-hop scene anytime during the past decade, chances are you’ve bumped into Super King Armor … or lost to him in a battle.

A true luminary of the scene, something kind of unbelievable about him is that for all his time on various stages – he has a legendary live show that is pure, unbridled energy – he only has one full length album, 2015’s Gone is the Illusion, which followed his lone EP, Werewolf Lullabies.

He explains the inspiration behind his full length effort, saying, “I wanted to tear down illusions I had of my own self, and the perceptions other people had of me as an artist,” adding that temporarily being homeless during the writing period for the album doubled as an incredibly creative time for him.

Once back on his feet, he felt a great faith in himself, noting, “I felt like I went through that, that whole ordeal, it made me feel like, OK, you survived that. You didn’t get everything you wanted out of it, but you survived it, you’re still here, you came out on the other side, there’s nothing that you can’t do.”

Super King Armor then went to work on creating illustrations based on the music of Gone is the Illusion, and all of that artwork has become a book. Funded by an Indiegogo campaign, the book is currently in the printing stages before receiving its official release.


I caught up with Super King Armor while we were both waiting to catch trains at Grand Central Station, and we opened up some packs of MusiCards. The artists we found sparked conversations about Tupac’s prison pen pals, a band with a very unfortunate name, and how A Nightmare on Elm Street led to his love of a band.



Madonna

Let’s start with Madonna, because a lot of us had a thing for Madonna in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s.

Here’s the thing … in the hood you always have these myths about everything. There’s urban legends to everything, and apparently there’s an urban legend about Madonna in the ghetto that she ruins black rappers careers.

Big Daddy Kane at his peak, he was in a video with Madonna and Iman, and they were doing all this sexy shit, and then after that it was downhill for Kane. So the whole hood, no matter where you go, if you ever bring up Madonna – and she has a lot of heat in certain environments because people say she stole a lot of stuff to add to her career – there’s kind of this superstitious vibe that if you’re somehow associated with Madonna, and you’re African-American, and an entertainer, it’s not too much of a good look for you.

It didn’t help Vanilla Ice either.

There you go. That’s like one of those things I don’t think she even talks about.

She had a friendship with Tupac. She was like his pen pal when he was locked up.

That was strange.

Did you ever hear the story about how Tony Danza was his pen pal, too? If you look up interviews, he talks about that.

But there was this thing about Madonna actually coming up to see Tupac, and it was this big thing inside the Clinton Correction Facility, so they tried to make everything really special for him, but she never showed up.

Late for her set time again.

{laughs} But I fucks with Madonna. Madonna’s an O.G.



INXS

As a young kid, watching the video for “Need You Tonight” was just like wow.

I always thought Michael Hutchence was very hip, and very cool, and he kind of reminds me of a vampire. He gives off like a vampire seductive kind of vibe.

Like “I am sexy, but I will kill you.”

Exactly.

There’s this show called Being Human, and in the UK version the vampire was actually based off of him. Especially later, in the final season, he was dressing exactly like him.



Lynch Mob

Let’s go to the Lynch Mob, because I think they look a little different here than we remember them.

{laughs} Yeah.

Would Ice Cube have run with this Lynch Mob?

Nah. I can’t even imagine what their music sounds like.

Let’s see … according to the back of the card, “After leading The Boyz, a Southern, CA, band, George Lynch and Mick Brown joined Don Dokken in ’81 to form Dokken. When they broke up, Lynch and Brown enticed Oni Logan to leave Ferrari, and Lynch Mob was launched.”

You know my fondness for Dokken, right?

It was the breakup of Dokken that gave birth to Lynch Mob, and the name of the band has to do with he fact that one of the guys’ names is Lynch, so I’m a little more at peace with that now, and the four long haired white guys named Lynch Mob. But let’s talk about Dokken …

Dokken, I grew a fondness for them after I found out they did the single on the A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 soundtrack called “Dream Warriors.”

I started listening to a lot of their music, I wanted to see what else they would do. They had the terrible ‘80s hair metal shit, but to their credit their lead guitarist was not to be fucked with. He was serious.

Was that the guy who formed Lynch Mob? Yes, George Lynch, guitar, so there you go. Someone in that photo is the guy you’re talking about.

Shouts to Dokken. I like their shit. I like very weird shit, too.



Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson isn’t very weird. The only thing weird is that she’s standing next a horse in this picture.

She can stand next to whatever she wants … except for Justin Timberlake. That’s the only thing she can’t stand next to.

So, we all love Janet.

We all love Janet, right? What I love about Janet the most, I have a thing for really rebellious women, and she wasn’t supposed to be the star that her brother was. Her family didn’t anticipate her becoming what she did, and I think she really broke out with Control.

Then Rhythm Nation.

Yeah. Looking back on it, looking at Rhythm Nation now, some people might slam me for this, but I wasn’t as thrilled with it looking back on it now. Anything she did after, or before, that I’m like yo, this is some dope shit.

For me the Janet album was my favorite.

Then The Velvet Rope, and she was just nasty.

And she worked with Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam (over the course of her career). They were pretty much responsible for her early success, and what I found out later, after Prince had passed away, was that Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam were in his band in the early stages, and Prince fired them because he told them anybody who works for him does not work for anybody else. He found out they were, low key, working with other artists, and was like OK, that’s it, time to go. Then they became who they became.

They did pretty alright for themselves.

You couldn’t avoid them in the ‘90s. They were everywhere.

Then, of course, Janet and her relationship with Pac in Poetic Justice.

Another Pac relationship in this interview!

Yes, that’s the guy, still. Her family wasn’t too thrilled because they had the whole Jehovah's Witnesses thing – which is the background of my family, too – so they weren’t exactly thrilled with the things that she was doing, and saying, in that film, but whatever.



Lynyrd Skynyrd

I have no idea why you ended up picking this one.

I picked Lynyrd Skynyrd because, going back to Prince, when Prince was doing his residency in Vegas he had a journalist that was sitting there watching everything play out during rehearsals, and he goes over to the journalist as the band is going through their set and everything, and he says to the journalist, “I’ll give you $20 if you say, ‘Put on some Skynyrd, man!’” {laughs}

Of course, “Sweet Home Alabama” is legendary, and I always think about (legendary pro wrestling tag team) The Fabulous Freebirds when I look at Lynyrd Skynyrd. Always the parallels, man.

I can’t get into the Confederate flags, but who can, really?

It’s weird, because we watched The Dukes of Hazzard

And it was on the roof of the car, bro.

And we didn’t even think about it.

Remember when they came out with the new movie and it wasn’t there at all? When I watched it I was like something doesn’t feel right … but you know what, fuck ‘em. {laughs}


For more Super King Armor, check him out on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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