By Morgan James
Hip hop group, MDH Affiliates have recently made their way to the CV Open Mic Competition, competing over the last few weeks and showing the audience just what a cohesive group can achieve. Winners of week #12 and moving on to the Semi Finals on May 17th, these rappers exude passion for their music and for the way in which they perform it. The group consists of Michael Simmons aka “Moonshine,” Ramon Chahia aka “Bounty,” and Sergio Teran aka “Reign.” Although they are from different cities, and with different backgrounds, the three became quick friends forming strong bonds over their music which they now produce themselves. As the group prepares to compete this week and show the judges what they’ve got, I spoke with MDH Affiliates about their music and background, as well as their future goals.
MJ: How did your group form and what does MDH Affiliates mean?
MDH: “We are called MDH Affiliates because we have a MONEY DRIVEN HUSTLE and behind the game of life what you deal with is MONEY DRUGS AND HOES. The group formed about two years ago. Reign and Bounty know each other from the streets, and Moonshine became Reign’s neighbor. From there it was a wrap. A good chemistry was quickly reached and the rest fell into place.”
MJ: Who are your musical influences?
MDH: “Influences for the group include: Dr. Dre, Snoop, Method Man, Mob Deep, Guns N Roses, Metallica, as well as The Doors, Pink Floyd, and Bone Thugs.”
MJ: Where did you each grow up and when was the moment that each of you decided to pursue music/performing?
MDH: “Moonshine grew up in Moreno Valley, Bounty grew up in Coachella, and Reign grew up in Indio. For Moonshine, the moment he decided to pursue music was when he was the only black kid in his accordion class, that was in elementry school. For Bounty, it was about 20 years ago, he actually hated rap until he started doing it himself. For Reign, he decided it in middle school, and his friends laughed at it saying ‘yeah someone we know is a rapper.’”
MJ: What is the Hip-Hop community in the Coachella Valley like for you?
MDH: “It’s just picking back up and getting back to how it was when The Fifth Sun could be heard on Pocos Pero Locos on 92.3 The Beat every week. Chingon, which is Bounty’s brother, was in The Fifth Sun.”
MJ: Tell me about your recent albums and where our readers can find your music?
MDH: “We have completed a mix tape album called Varrio to the Hood Vol. 1 check out Moon Lit, Inc. on YouTube.com and jangoradio.com. We are currently working on Vol. 2, which is an original production.”
MJ: What’s next for you as a group? Will you be playing shows or producing new music?
MDH: “As for MDH, just bigger and better opportunities. We don’t know where we’re headed, but we’re having fun getting there. We are going to make videos for “Nothing to Prove” “951” and “Varrio to the Hood” and we now produce all our own music.”
MJ: What would you say are consistent themes that you all write about?
MDH: “We all write our own lyrics. Our lives, our families, and our struggles are what influence our music.”
MJ: Tell me about your performances and what sets you apart from other groups? What can our readers expect to see from you at a live performance?
MDH: “Our stage presence is about reaching out to the people. We speak for every hood in the nation. Our audience will hear the melody and rhythm of the music we compose.”