Mylo MU is a multi-disciplinary music artist working in performance, painting, collage and video installation. Born in Inglewood, California, he is a graduating MFA candidate at the Parsons School of Art & Design. We talked with him at his “Doors of Perception, Butterflying” exhibition at the Westbeth Gallery, an extension of his “Muniverse.”
So, who are you?
I am Mylo MU, I’m a musician, I’m an artist, I’m a person that wants to spread peace, and … I’m from Los Angeles.
What does hip hop mean to you?
Hip hop to me, means … basically I see hip hop as creating space where there is none. I feel like hip hop is based on, you know, creating something where there is nothing, right? Taking these broken elements or lost elements — sampling, creating, shows in the park — like, the nature of hip hop is do-it-yourself, you know what I mean?
And put it together.
I think that is where I draw from hip hop the most, in terms as a form and culture, like, no matter what medium I’m working in, I’m always going to be hip hop, because I’m always going to make it DIY. I always feel like, I did it myself.
How do you feel that hip hop has treated you?
Huh. That’s a funny question. Hip hop treats me good and bad … On the good side, I feel like, there’s people who like my music, in essence, like people enjoy what I do! And that’s what feels good. In the other sense, I feel like, what hip hop really means is kind of lost in a sense, because … I don’t know, I’m not gonna say it’s lost, ‘cause there’s still people who are doing it, and you can’t ignore all of those still making it, but if you’re not doing what’s hot in the moment, it’ll just blow over. So it’s really like for me, I know it’s a long-term game.
At this point, I finally think I’ve started to accept it, even though I still want to blow up, you know what I mean? But I know that like … Jay Z’s first album got big at 33. Stuff like that … and I’m 24. 24 … I have a lot of time for things to work.
What would you do if you couldn’t do hip hop?
What would I do … if I couldn’t do hip hop, I would be an artist — only a fine artist. I used to like, when I was younger, I would paint a lot … and I was designing clothes in high school here and there. So those are two things I would see myself doing if I didn’t make music. I would be designing clothes or I would be, probably painting or doing sculptures. Video work [too], ‘cause I work on videos a lot. Probably doing videos …
Oh. Like, you film [the videos]?
Film and edit, yeah. So I would probably be doing that.
What’s your favorite part of hip hop?
The 90s, still. I mean, just ‘cause through grad school, I knew what my form is. A Tribe Called Quest to De La Soul, all the separate artists, everyone was interesting then, everything was just beautiful, beautiful …
Lastly, what makes you a Human of Hip Hop?
What makes me a Human of Hip Hop is that I carry hip hop with me as a culture, as a food, and I want to apply that aesthetic or mentality to whatever form or space I’m going in to. It’s all about disrupting. I want to disrupt space … in a good way! In a way that brings people together and also makes people feel good inside.
Okay. Do you feel like you’ve disrupted enough?
I have a lot more disrupting to do. My vision probably is way further left, than where it is right now. Right now, it’s like, over here, but once I really get it out, and I really see it, it’ll be further over, you know?
So what’s next for you?
Next is … more music, more art, more vibrations, stuff like building the community, following through with people I have to, stuff like that can be where it’s all at. That’s what’s next.