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.
It is safe to say that all the hard work and long hours from writing and studio time is doing some good to Da Foundation. The rap duo Mile Cassoa and Mu Smoova still have tons of work to do if they are considering pleasing the world as a whole. Lately, Da Foundation decided to put their music to the test. They are trying to expand throughout the social media including Instagram, twitter, Facebook and much more. They came across TuneCore, a site where they can provide music of their choice and receive reviews such as ratings and comments from fans and commentators.
TuneCore is a Brooklyn, New York-based independent digital music distribution service, founded in 2005. TuneCore principally offers musicians and other rights-holders the opportunity to distribute and sell or stream their music through online retailers such as iTunes, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, Tidal, and others. TuneCore also offers music publishing administration services, helping songwriters register their compositions and collect royalties internationally.
The company currently operates out of its Brooklyn, United States headquarters with offices in Austin, Burbank, Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Australia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
As mentioned before there were good reviews and of course there were bad reviews. It’s a start for them, allowing them to know what they need to work on most and how they should approach the studio when they are recording. With in mind they want all good reviews, so paying close attention to the bad reviews will help.
One thing the duo has to keep in mind is who are the target audiences. Do they want to rap for everyone or one specific group. TuneCore categorize specific age groups and genders and it helps a great deal as to what they may be looking for.
There are people who love them and people who do not. There people who think they can do better and has what it takes and there are people who feel they should give up. It is all motivation to them. This group is not one minded, they will venture out of their element to challenge themselves. They feel the love from fans and they know the fans want more. They will give the fans what they want and that is more.
Da Foundation would like to show their appreciation for all of the support from family, friends, and fans from everywhere.
They are giving away Alleyway 2 Broadway T- shirts to anyone who wants one. Follow the Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages for more information.
It is now the top of the summer and Da Foundation is working. Brainstorming future tour sites and dates as well as new music. Da Foundation is still here. In the meantime continue to check the videos by Da Foundation if you have not already done so.
Doors left unlocked and Da Foundation is just walking right through. As they proceed with their tour in March, they are dressed comfortably, doing photo shoots with their newest collaboration of clothing line, Mercy Clothing, by Rakeem Kelly, of Newark, New Jersey. Da Foundation have been looking for a clothing line to represent in their process and one finally fell in their lap, in the perfect of timing. One thing about this duo is they do not mind supporting other independent businesses. They understand it is a process and the only way up is through networking and supporting other industries. This is a big step for the group now that they are not only representing themselves they are representing another business.
Rakeem Kelly is the founder and C.E.O of Mercy Clothing since 2013. MERCY means Make Every Road Count YOLO (you only live once). Rakeem has over 19 years in entrepreneurship, rightfully earning his nick name (Preneur) in the city of Newark. Rakeem owned businesses in Plainfield Nj, Newark Nj, Bloomfield Nj, and Long Beach California, the businesses he owned were restaurants, beauty salons, clothing stores, and 1 barbershop. His passion for clothing comes from Hip Hop. Under Rakeem’s leadership MERCY has grown from just t-shirts & hats, to coats, jackets, sweatshirts, sweat suits, socks, leather Varsity coats, kids apparel, women apparel, and more to come. Rakeem (Mercy) also donates shirts to some of the high school basketball teams in the city of Newark, Rakeem & the Mercy family voluntarily supports cancer & lupus associations in the city every year, Mercy also has an AAU boys basketball team, the name MERCY comes from not just his, but people he knows life experiences,
Da Foundation is Making Every Road Count. The MoneyNevaSleepz Promotour is just around the corner as the month of March takes off. Ripping up the streets of Orlando Florida and again in Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Jacksonville. It’s time the deep south finally get an ear full of Da Foundation.
Countless nights, listening to instrumentals, writing and erasing, and more writing and more erasing, repeating and replacing for better sound and better worth, Da Foundation, with every chance they get has taken this part of their life devotedly. On top of working their other jobs for income, Mile Casso and Mu Smoova been working diligently and industriously in the recording studio. This 6-year commitment is starting to pay off as this new year begin to move along. Despite having the ups and downs throughout the years Da Foundation completed 2016 on the right foot.
They introduced a few cities such as Chicago and Orlando with hit songs like Loud N Clear and the lady’s favorite, Fyi from their recent Ep Money Neva Sleepz. They also release a hit song Alleyway to Broadway from the Ep Moneyball. These songs are taking space on the charts, moving from internet radio to F.M. This independent rap group will waste no time for nobody.
Casso and Smoova were drawn towards the world of music through the beautiful art of hip-hop and the dedication to the hustle and the determination to be free from life debts through the lucrative entertainment industry. Thus, Da Foundation went from open mics, to winning showcases, to headlining their own shows. All of which was in a matter of months while working with various booking agencies.
All the hard work has opened the eyes and ears for a lot of people who are interested in working with Da Foundation. International Fleet Djs such as Dj NoPhrillz, Dj XXL, Dj Malone , Dj Rio, Dj RL are looking forward to working with the rap duo on future projects and much more. Networking to Da Foundation means well to them. They been on their own and seeking support and Djs are noticing them and are open to partner with them.
Da Foundation has been featured on Hype Magazine, which was a great deal to them. They look forward to working with them in the future. Recently, they came across another blogger Brittany Elyse, who writes for Wordkrush, volunteered to write on their behalf. Wordkrush is located in Orlanda, Florida.
Networking outside the local area is what Da Foundation want to do. They enjoy interviews because it gives them an opportunity to tell their story a Capella. They had interviews over the phone as well as in person at studios. They understand they are no Rae Sremmurd, they are not like any other Rap duo that are known, therefore they have to o things differently by any means necessary.
The duo’s different styles and personalities complement each other brilliantly, creating massively powerful energy that propels them towards success. Mile Casso, known as the eager, risk taker of the duo and the calm, cool, and collective older brother Mu Smoova, been working hard for a long time trying to bring old Hip-Hop back. The hustle, from selling Cds at gas stations and showing up to open mic to working with out-of-town Djs. They struggled with standing out the cold and in the rain, but with the energy of one another they didn’t allow it to slow them down. Casso and Smoova understand what it takes and they will do everything they can to make it.
The grind is just as similar to when they played football, which was the both of them first love. They trained hard, they practice hard and they ate slept and breathed football. Now, they’ve taken that same mentally to Hip-Hop and they are acknowledging the accomplished, they are admiring the responses from people who listen to them whether it is good or bad. They feel they need the criticizing because they received it in football and it made them better so they can use it in booth to make them better.
This duo has music they can’t wait to reveal to the world. Their story is not entirely unique but the way the go about it, individuals can relate to it heart-fully. There was a point in time where they didn’t know whether or not people were even listening to them, they didn’t know if they should keep going, change their ways, or just stop completely. They were raised by a mother who moved by faith, who taught them how to pray, how to ask questions and answers will follow, and so they began to receive what they been asking for. The youtube channel is an example, they went from a few hundred views to a few thousands of views. In other words, it’s a start, they are making progress and despite the setbacks, they are moving forward.
With that said Da Foundation has release a project they worked on with Dj NoPhrillz on January 20, 2017 called Gate City Blvd. This is a mixtape produced by Philly’s very own, that featured artists around North Carolina, from the Meet and Greet in December. Da Foundation is working on a new single with Dj NoPhrillz called ChuKnoooo that will hit the street soon. They are looking at a future that is already near.
Da Foundation Award Winning Single is Featured on North Carolina’s very own Dj Rio Mixtape “You Name It”
Da Foundation is making powerful moves in the Florida market with their new single FYI. On the feature they have Danelle and Jimi Morgan.
Dj RL heard fyi single and was blown away. DJ RL has been airing the single all through out the Florida Market. “I’m going to play it regardless because i like it.” he said. Dj RL is looking to more than just break the record. Recent conversations include BillBoard, Movie SoundTracks and much more.
Da Foundation is making their mark in the industry intensively. Da Foundation awards winning single “Fyi” seems to be one of the females favorite and is a record for radio for sure. They do not always talk about the struggle with life and how to be tough but they do have a soft spot for the ladies. They can switch it up, expanding their fan base by every way possible.
DJ RL started his career as a Radio DJ/Mixer in San Antonio TX in 2007. Since then he has performed different events, clubs, concerts, mixed for several other radio stations from the southwest, to the Midwest and the east coast of the United States and to the Caribbean. RL has also worked with Cruise lines and other major resorts, which gave him opportunities to perform in Europe and other international markets.
He styles ranges from Hip-Hop, R&B, Top-40, House, EDM, Reggae, Dance Hall, Soca, Calypso, Latin, Disco, Freestyle, and New Wave. DJ RL, in some markets is known as the “opener” or “closer” when it comes to spinning records. Meaning, he will set the tone for the night, or he will give what the people want at the end of the night. His influences are: DJ M3 (his mentor) DJ JC Flores, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Nick James, Beat Junkies, DJ Scratch Bastid, and DJ Mick Boogie. DJ RL is not afraid to test the waters and going outside the box when it comes to presenting music to masses.“I believe in good music” said DJ RL. “And a lot of times good music is not what the trend is at the time, it’s the music that sends a message and tells a story. When I do a set or present a track I always want people to feel the music and hear a story.”
Internationally Known, the heavy hitter Dj NoPhrillz recently took great interest in Da Foundation. After hearing the single Fyi NoPhrillz knew he was working with the versatility of Da Foundation. The Philly DJ has been making his mark around to the industry for years.
Working with Dj NoPhrillz puts Da Foundation at a whole new level. Da Foundation has been climbing for years and it’s paying off. Dj NoPhrillz and Da Foundation will be teaming up in the studio together.
Dj NoPhrillz is no small order Dj. NoPhrillz known for being the first DJ to support unsigned artists and signed artists across his very own city Philadelphia. He’s worked with Freeway to Mac Miller to Meek Mill and many more. He is also sponsored by Fleet DJs. A member of the Fleet DJ Squad and the Coast 2 Coast DJ squad, DJ NoPhrillz has been featured in Hip Hop Weekly, World Star Hip Hop, Sway in the Morning and various blogs and websites. He continues to be a leader and originator in the field, never drifted away from his authentic style of DJing.
DJ NoPhrillz launch Official Street Radio Show and the Official Street Radio weekly radio show has interviewed and featured various artists including Capone and Norega, Gloria Valez, Warren G, and many others. Phrillz has quickly become one of the leading mixtape DJ’s in the country, flooding the streets with records from Vado, Joe Budden, Freeway, Beans, Reed Dollaz, E. Ness, and many more signed and unsigned artists across the globe. He wants to go big or go home. He will be showing his face in North Carolina to increase his network as well as work different ways to unite the southern region and all of its talent.
Chi-Town Urban Radio, Dj Malone goes in depth on an interview with Da Foundation Thursday. Da Foundation are taking over Chicago radio one station at a time. Chicago finds out who Da Foundation is and what it is all about. They went from playing with music for fun to recording in the studio and making a career out of it.
“It’s like the music chose us” Said Smoova, as he speaks about where and how it all started with the making of music.
Smoova came up with the name of the group one night writing music and they agreed to make their group name Da Foundation. Da Foundation tries not to sound like anyone else in the music industry because they want their own sound. They want people to feel where they are coming from and at the same time, vibe to their music. The two continue to inspire one another as the feed off of each other’s vibe, whether they are rehearsing music or creating new projects.
“It’s amazing” said Casso. “That’s what we work hard for and just a simple press play feels amazing to hear yourself being broadcast through those airways.”
Casso could not express himself enough to understand that it takes time and it is a waiting process in the music industry. The young duo continue to learn and they continue to grow and more and more. Thrilled to know that there are people listening to their music. They understand that somewhere, there are people who are going to like their music and people who will not, but they have to keep making it happen.
Da Foundation would like to perform at Madison Square Garden sometime in the future because it is close to home and it is one of their long term goal.
“Money Neva Sleepz on Itunes now” said Casso
“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.