Emerging Hip Hop Duo Da Foundation just landed their first major feature with Multi Platinum Recording Artist Future. Released this February 22, 2018, the new releases are rising many questions about the collaboration. Meanwhile Da Foundation seems to not show any signs of slowing down, “This is just one of many to come,” says Da Foundation.
The Fleet DJs of Georgia aired their monthly show The Media Pass Episode 5 on March 27th, 2018 that specially featured the upcoming rising stars Da Foundation. They have a new single called “Ammo” feat. Future that Fleet DJs Georgia will consistently promote.
Da Foundation is a hip hop/rap duo comprised of brothers Mustaiin (“Mu”) and Malcolm (“Casso”) Lawrence that formed in summer 2009. Mu considers himself a thinker, the quiet one with an uncanny militant streak that demands attention. Casso, on the other hand, is dynamic, active, and always ready for a challenge. But make no mistake – Casso is an amiable and approachable guy. The pair’s personalities complement each other brilliantly, creating a powerful energy that propels them toward success.
Mu and Casso were drawn to the art of hip hop, an enticing tableau of music, hustle and freedom from debts and destitution. In a matter of months, and with the collaboration of various booking agencies, Da Foundation went from performing on open mic nights to winning showcases to headlining their own shows. “We grind from a state of poverty so we give you our all. The people should know we took no shorts and never considered ourselves too big for any opportunity,” says the duo. The release of “Alleyway to Broadway” encapsulated the hustle and hype that defines their musical journey They moved up the hip hop charts with their award-winning single from the project, impacting radio with worldwide airplay and earning a spot on the Top 50 Independent Artists in the U.S.
Da Foundation released their EP entitled “MoneyNevaSleeps” on April 8, 2016, following the release with a self-funded promo tour of the same name. Despite their rapid rise in the music industry, the brothers remember that nothing came easy for them.
Dedication, faith, strength and talent have formed the rungs of the ladder to success. But one thing is clear: Da Foundation doesn’t care about the fame. They simply want to spread their inspiration.
Follow Da Foundation on Instagram @alleyway2broadway and stream their music at
We return with our newest installment of The Whole 9, and this time we chop it up with East Orange, NJ-bred, Greensboro, NC-based rap group Da Foundation. The group formed in 2009, and consists of brothers Mustaiin and Malcolm Lawrence, aka Mu Smoova and Mile Casso. They most recently dropped a single titled Chu Knoo (You Know), produced by Hellz Yea. Check out the interview below, and for more info on this duo, check them out their website.
the9elements: You are two talented brothers with a big vision for your hiphop career. How do you manage to keep up with the pressure in the industry while remaining true to your identity?
Mu Smoova: The pressure of the industry can affect those who let it. With constant shifts in momentum & different sounds that come out on a day bases. You can find yourself trying to keep up and one may lose themselves and what he/she brings. The key is to stay true to yourself and what you bring, not being concern about what everyone else is doing or how they sound. We’re confident. You do to have to be confident. We find ourselves keeping substance alive. Grounded in what works for us, we don’t shy away different sounds as long as it doesn’t jeopardize who Da Foundation is.
T9E: Where do you think you excel: in the studio or onstage? And why?
Mile Casso: We really don’t try to limit ourselves in where we excel. We put our best foot forward both in the studio and on stage due to the preparation we exhibit. So when we book studio time we come with verses ready hooks ready because time is money. That 3 or 4-hour studio block our time is spend on delivery rather than writing in the studio. We’re able to get more done that way.
On stage as far as being ready for shows. Rehearsal is key. We pride ourselves on being live and so by rehearing our show we make sure every key aspect of the stage performance is on point. As far as movement and delivery. This has less room what error because some time you get the one chance for a good impression. We love making ours a big one. Far from us just getting check
T9E: What would it take for you to sign a record deal?
Mile Casso: In the right situation a record deal would be ideal. A deal that does not limit us, that’s us be how we are. A deal that would bring us out of our current conditions we face nowadays. A record that we can communicate with the signer or a team of people that assigned to us from the label to insure our success. Communication is key in all business dwellings.
Trust also is a key fact in a game where we are told you can’t trust anyone. We follow the money as it comes in as it goes out. Far from us just being cut a check. The expensive are just as important as the profits. We all know the differences in what net and what we gross. The label track record is also key. we wouldn’t like to put ourselves in a situation where the margin for failure is greater than success.
T9E: How did you guys decide to link up with Hellz Yea and was the experience of working with him on Chu Knoo?
Mu Smoova: Working with Hellz Yea has been a blessing. He’s a expert in what he does as a producer and engineer. He’s that extra ear that most of the time heard things in the music that we can’t and won’t acknowledge. As far as “Chu Knoo” the track is produced by Andre Porter also known as Dreez of Global Sound Corp and engineered by Hellz Yea. But the mixture of these two ingredients lay the foundation for a polished product before it goes out. That we take pride in because it’s what we do, it’s our life, it’s how we want to make a living moving forward.
T9E: How do you think the New Jersey state of mind differs from the NYC state of mind?
Mu Smoova: We can’t really speak on the New York state of mind given the fact that we are not from there and have spent that much time in New York growing in New Jersey. But we think the common denominator is that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. The New Jersey state of mind, by any means, does not take no for an answer given the circumstances. There’s also the emphasis on family and sticking together.
We question/questioned those outsiders coming in because you can never be too careful in the regard. We hustle to get where we are because no one else is going to do it for you nor just give it to you. There’s no fear in our risk taking… only strategic placement in positioning one for the far best outcome. So much wave and a lots of the trends come out of New Jersey even though our brothers and sisters are right across the river and we see you but we do it a little differently out here. Pride to call this place home, East Orange, New Jersey Essex County South Maple Ave. Home of the Braves.
“We are no Rae Sremmurd” 12pm Central Time Da Foundation went live with Dj Malone of Fleet DJs on Chi Town Urban Radio. In depth Da Foundation discusses the future but first where it all started and came from.
Who is Dj Malone ?
Fred Malone, known as DJ Fred Malone, started Deejaying at a young age. Born & raised in the inner city of Chicago Illinois, DJ Fred Malone witnessed a lot of things. As a child of only 12yrs old, seeing gangs, drive-bys, & the crime rate going up and up, he somehow was determined to avoid the traps and pitfalls of the environment in which he lived. Instead of heading to the courts or hanging with “the boys” after school you would catch him in the basement mixing on his turntables. Mentored by DJ Stormy he made Deejaying a major part of his life. DJ Stormy took him on as a student, teaching the ins and outs of the trade. In 2009 he took his Deejaying service and made it into a full scale production business. He works with underground rappers and emerging artists in the production of songs, beats, and mixtapes………. READ MORE @ www.fleetdjs.com/fleet-dj-staff/
Get in tuned w/ Da Foundation
Da Foundation is gaining some heavy attention from the Chicago market. Their single Alleyway 2 Broadway was just World Premiere by Heavy Hitter Dj Malone. Dj Malone, Fleet Dj and also own as Chicago Hardest working DJ BLASTED the new single all over 88.9FM this past Saturday. As Chicago becomes a potential major market for Da Foundation, they are also receiving some attention from the Deep South and West Coast. MoneyNevaSleepz PROMO TOUR in full effect .
The duo’s different styles complement each other with massively powerful energy as they continue towards success.
“Alleyway 2 Broadway!” a good start for a better finish. Da Foundation went from open mic’s to winning showcases to headlining their own shows in a matter of months working with various booking agencies.
Realizing their foundation must be strong they focused on their surrounding areas. Performing in Greensboro, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Charlotte and Durham just to name a few. The unique style they bring to the table fed their audience(s) leaving no bitter taste as their targeted audience identifies 100% with their music……………..
As Da Foundation moves up on the Hip Hop Charts with their award winning single, they are currently impacting radio on various stations such as WRSV-FM, WZFX-FM, WCCG-FM and many more, earning them #49 in the top 50 independent artist in US.
“As we grow we learn” says Casso
Da Foundation released their EP entitled “MoneyNevaSleepz” on April 8, 2016. They have what it takes to make a major impact on the music industry today.
Da Foundation “MoneyNevaSleepz” E.P. ,is the latest from the North Carolina rap duo. Mu Smoova and Mile Casso go back and forth really complimenting each over these Dreez slappers. On the soulful “FYI” Da Foundation enlist the assistance of Jimi Morgan and Danelle. Despite a few set backs and hurdles, Da Foundation, “MoneyNevaSleepz” E.P. has arrived! And they will make sure y’all hear them… Loud and Clear.
North Carolina spitters “Da Foundation” is back with this new banger…”Loud N Clear”! That’s EXACTLY what it is…This turn up record fa sho goin get the club poppin something Crazy!!! Look forward to hearing much more from Da Foundation!!!
#samecloth – See more at: WeTheWest.com
“Living in a world where negativity is broadcast and few aspirations are held above the surface, we find our biggest inspiration to be our parents. They worked hard and pushed us to be great despite our rebellious stages. They never gave up on us.”
Check out the interview with Da Foundation exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
“Da Foundation: 2009, that’s the year we decided to change our fortune. One day the thought of taking freestyling and beat selection to another level crossed our minds. We realized that we were both on the same page and it was time to put the plan in motion.
The Entertainment business is a hell of a life to step into especially at the underground/up and coming/local level. We’ve had ups and downs, failures, and moments when we shined the brightest. But it comes with the territory. It’s something we’ve gotten used to.”
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
“Our biggest advice for the kid seeking to go into the same business or any business is to keep your head on your shoulders and never let your ego get ahead of your stature. Be real with yourself going into every situation in good faith until you have reason to suspect otherwise.”
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
“The difficulties of being an artist in our position is actually getting people to take you, your movement, your goals, and ambition seriously. Some individuals think because you’re local or up and coming that you don’t like things done in a timely fashion or your shit is somehow not so important. In many situations you can be judged based on past experiences that person may have had with other artists. It’s hot until you prove yourself to be warm.”
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
“Best way to promote and advertise your music is with various promotions and advertisement. Some of the things we did was street promo like tagging wooden poles with fliers, post at the different gas stations, handing out hand bills one by one, greeting people and introducing ourselves letting them know what it is that we do.”
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
“Greensboro, NC is the location where the movement was born. East Orange, NJ is the location where we were born. Greensboro is a great city where everybody has a hustle. The artists here are talented and often overlooked, but there are some dope artists that produce and work hard and the vultures work even harder. The fans play you from a distance as well as support you.”
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
“We’ve been going hard for some time now and it’s been a rollercoaster. A year from now we see Da Foundation with an increase in fans, in web presence, and in other major markets. Plus if everything goes our way as planned an increase in revenue. But we’ll take progress where we can get it.”
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
“Living in a world where negativity is broadcast and few aspirations are held above the surface, we find our biggest inspiration to be our parents. They worked hard and pushed us to be great despite our rebellious stages. They never gave up on us. Our pop-warner football coaches instilled pride, discipline, and self-respect.”
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
“Music, where we manipulate energy and emotions. Nowadays it’s more focused on the beat rather than what the artist is saying. The artists used to make the beat come alive, it’s the opposite now. We listen to a lot of OG’s of the rap game like Jay Z, Nas, Ross, Max B, etc.”
Where can we contact you and find you online?
“Thanks for having us. Thanks for your time in getting to know us a little better. It was a pleasure. You can reach us at any time via www.alleyway2broadway.net. Look out for MoneyNevaSleepz and Loud N Clear is out and available now. Thank you for your support.”
Live with Kaye the Truth & Dj XXL on The Truth Talk Show. #VoteORDie .
Broadway Entertainment LLC
A&R of Broadway Entertainment
Da Foundation “MoneyNevaSleepz” E.P. ,is the latest from the N Carolina rap duo. Mu Smoova & Mile Casso go back and forth really complimenting each over these Dreez slappers. On the soulful “FYI” Da Foundation enlist the assistance of Jimi Morgan & Danelle.Dispite a few set backs and hurddles,Da Foundation, “MoneyNevaSleepz” E.P. has arrived! And they goin make sure yall hear them… Loud & Clear for anything from Da Foundation visit: http://www.alleyway2broadway.net/
How did you decide to become an artist?
Well becoming an artist, artistry has always been in our make up. Mom was a dancer, ballet to be specific. The art of dance. Dad was a boxer. Some would say “the art of boxing.” Growing up we played football, running the ball, the art of the tailback position, in which we excelled at. We always enjoy writing poems,short stories etc. But the art of rap came about just kicking it freestyling with the homies. With the thought of “what if we took this seriously” & the rest is history . Rap is just the art we chose or maybe it chose us. But the arts of life have been there.
“We would say it came from attorney Jeffrey. Which was, “Take your time. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Quality over quantity. Develop a solid project and work hard to give it the legs it needs to go and ride that until you get to where you need to be. Dropping a whole bunch of music is pointless if no one is paying attention. One step at a time.” So April 8th MoneyNevaSleepz ….Ep. “
What about concerts? Do you play live?
Yeah, we’ve perform live mostly open venues, open mic’s, showcases, and upon invite. No hugh concerts yet but it’s something we are shooting for in the near future.
Best punchline you ever wrote?
Mile Casso : N/A
Mu Smoova : “They say diamonds are forever but legends they never fade away, Leverage over defenders go at them instead of fade away”- Da Foundation
What are you currently working on? Did you release something in the past?
We’ve had a number of releases but on a small scale. We dropped five projects in the streets North Carolina that we sold out the whip (car) for $5 a piece. Bigger release include “Alleyway to Broadway .1Moneyball” via Coast2Coast Mixtapes. “Loud N Clear”, the first single of our debut Ep MoneyNevaSleepz. Dropping April 8th be on the lookout for that and more work up the pipeline. But for now we focused on MoneyNevaSleepz.
But not the least: Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Yeah, signing a major contract is always a consideration based on the resources and knowledge to gain in the business moreless. Being independent is not so bad, it’s just the master of figuring this whole thing out from information gathered along the way. Some useful some trash. Cons of going major : losing some ownership and/or control of your music, Debt with the Label, being shelf. You hear those stories of the label wanting the artist to rap about certain topics or they won’t put them out. So we hope the route we have taken puts us in the best ideal situation.Any last words?Let’s shout out the City of Greensboro. As a whole for the support we’ve gain. Being in the streets with our mixtapes, hustling, the people that gave us time weather they brought a copy or not. Dreez Productions for the ill production for .1Moneyball & MoneyNevaSleepz. Shout out to Skymount Studios, Chop Houze Studios for the work to come. Thank you Joe Comick. Family, friends for support & encouragement. Last but not least the City of East Orange where we were Born & Raised. Can’t forget Attorney Jeffrey for advice & to past management for fueling the fire. Itz Still MB!
The duo feels they have what it takes to make a major impact on the music industry today. Nothing came easy to them, not even the 2,000 units sold on the streets. With dedication, faith, strength, and talent Da Foundation will be successful one way or another.
Broadway Entertainment is going hard with the campaign of Da Foundation with the promo of their new ep coming soon “MoneyNevaSleepz” here is video for “Loud N Clear”.