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Interview with Montu Miller, June 1, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:19 - Early life / Dreaded Mindz

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Partial Transcript: Are you originally from Athens?

Segment Synopsis: Miller talks about transferring to the University of Georgia from Minnesota, his view of hip hop as his culture, and the origins of the Dreaded Mindz organization he helped start. He describes hosting early Dreaded Mindz events at his apartment, and mentions how these events were the beginnings of many rappers who have since grown to prominence in Athens, such as Ishues, Tony B, and Budda.

Keywords: Dreaded Mindz; hip hop cypher; poetry

00:08:44 - Expanding to downtown venues

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Partial Transcript: So once you got out of the house, what was the first club?

Segment Synopsis: Miller talks about expanding Dreaded Mindz events to downtown venues, the first of which was Tasty World owned by Murphy Wolford. He discusses hip hop's initial difficulty in finding receptive venues because of its misrepresentation as being violent, but also notes how the genre has become more well-received over time.

Keywords: Athens' Finest show; Murphy Wolford; Tasty World; hip hop culture; misrepresentation

00:20:05 - Waning hip hop scene

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Partial Transcript: What happened? Why do you think it shifted?

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes how the hip hop scene in Athens waned after the "golden era" of the early 2000s, a phenomenon which he attributes to market saturation and decline in music quality.

Keywords: decline in popularity; market saturation; music quality

00:23:07 - Dreaded Mindz members

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Partial Transcript: Tell me like--you speak of us and the Dreaded Mindz.

Segment Synopsis: Miller mentions some of the original members of Dreaded Mindz, and the important role of its female members in supporting the organization. He talks about waning membership over the years due to a high turnover as a result of its members' graduation from college.

Keywords: membership; student organization; turnover; women's role

00:29:56 - Bridging hip-hop communities

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Partial Transcript: How were you received by the locals?

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes the limited reception of hip hop in Athens overall, as well as the limited collaboration between different hip hop styles. He discusses his effort at bridging those gaps by creating mixed-style events and promoting the diversity of hip hop styles.

Keywords: collaboration; creativity; event planning; respect

00:34:45 - Regrowth of hip hop scene

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Partial Transcript: About what time did you start seeing the scene pick back up?

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses factors for the recent growth of the Athens hip hop scene. He describes the need for a "meeting place" for different hip hop artists, noting how the Athens Hip Hop Awards has served that need, part of a longer tradition originated by Dreaded Mindz events.

Keywords: Hip Hop Awards; growth; interaction; new artists; performance

00:40:12 - Emerging hip hop artists

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Partial Transcript: As far as right now on the scene, who are some of the artists that you think can possibly take Athens to a more established level?

Segment Synopsis: Miller highlights current hip hop artists, and talks about the need for more female M.C.'s. He also makes a distinction between hip hop hobbyists versus career-performers.

Keywords: career; dedication; female performers; gender; grit; music scene; potential

00:43:57 - Role as hip hop ambassador

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Partial Transcript: Outside of the Hip Hop Awards, you're part of a lot of movements.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses his role as an ambassador for hip hop in Athens, by way of working with different organizations like AthFest, Slingshot Festival, Hot Corner Festival, and the public schools, to increase the representation of hip hop.

Keywords: collaboration; education; partnership; representation

00:49:34 - Vision for diverse music collaboration

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Partial Transcript: So, is there anything else that I didn't cover?

Segment Synopsis: Miller shares his vision for an equal collaboration between Athens' diverse music scenes to harness the momentum of the different movements.

Keywords: diversity; future; prosperity; unity; vision