Rid of any distractions around you and sit still. Close your eyes for a couple of minutes and let your mind run in whatever direction it chooses while following your breathing. If desired, repeatedly say a phrase or word. Open your eyes’¦ now, light some incense, fix a cup of green-herbal tea, and watch kung-fu theatre, read Bruce Lee literature and The Art of War. Mix it with a dose of heavy hip-hop and talent. ‘Careful not to take in too much at once’ this concoction is potent, even deadly to the foolish or naÃ¯ve and automatically, utterly destroys wackness.
You have now entered into the dimension of Shambala. Born Infinite and Agua ascending from Washington, D.C. bring discipline, humbleness and nature with fire to hip-hop. Possessing wicked rolls of nouns, adjectives and verbs off the tongue-the dynamic duo place a piece of hip-hop back to a time when it was worth purchasing music. The beat production causes all the more of damage to your system with a sound of it’s own. It resembles a mix of Wu-Tang and Fugees with Africa, Asia and Soul with vicious bass.
Halftime has now accessed the spiritual mobility to enter into the world of Shambala.
Tell us about the name Shambhala.
Born Infinite: For some people it’s the holy city, for other people it’s the underground city and for others it’s the highest peak in the universe. The name Shambhala comes from Tibet.
How did you two meet up?
Born Infinite: About two years ago I started hosting events in a spot in DC. It was me and my man DJ Underdog, we were running that for a bit. Long story short Agua came and performed at the spot. It was my first time seeing him onstage and I was mad impressed. I was hosting that shit but at the time I wasn’t listening to no hiphop. I was listening to straight jazz. Nothing anyone was dropping was interesting to me at all. So when I saw another nigga who had that same approach to hiphop I got his math and just kept hitting him up. I wasn’t getting no response at first so I just started leaving verses on his answering machine on some show and prove shit. He got back to me eventually and it just grew from there. It was very fluid after that.
Agua: I was doing my thing on the circuit for a minute and Sister Moonshine was our connection. She was pressing me about him. She know I don’t mess around with brothers unless they come correct. I’m not perfect but I try to make sure my shit is intact. In any event she said check the brother out and after the second or third time I was like aiight. We ran into each other and certain things kept happening. He was like let’s connect and I was on some whatever but I kept hearing rumors about him. There was a joint at George Washington University and I heard he killed it and there were mad rumors about that. That was the confirmation.
Tell us a little bit about your background and interest in Buddhism.
Aqua: Daoism is mainly what we deal with. Daoists deal strictly with more detaching themselves from everything. There is no Buddah said this or such and such said that. Buddhism is the root of it but Buddhism is Islam and Christianity. I would say Buddhism is my elementary thing that I would present to people. It’s just like Tai’ Chi. I don’t think people should just jump into Tai Chi they should first practice kung fu and get your body broken down for the whole harmonious stage. You won’t be able to embrace heaven unless you’ve been through hell. I don’t mean America’s version of heaven and hell I mean suffering and bliss.
Born Infinite: My mother introduced me to Buddhism and Yoga when I was six years old. I believe in past lives so I think everyone in the universe is continuing a stream of lifetimes. I went on to practice many things as I grew older. My mom stopped practicing Buddhism and I got my parents into Christianity at a point when I was real big on going to church and getting baptized. I was studying the bible for dolo and not going to church at all and I was thinking church solidifies you as a person that believes in the bible. I figured it out and the way I know its crooked is that I felt the crooked vibe. I went on to study Islam, 5 Percent Nation, Back Israelites, etc. all the natural things to study. With the coming of my daughter I just saw images of the Buddha everywhere, it just brought me back to what I had begun with my mother, and the practice became a lot more fluid.
The inside booklet of your album is pretty unique. Instead of having it filled with liner notes and shout outs you chose to list various techniques on meditation. What inspired you to do that instead of the norm?
Born Infinite: My family is family I don’t need to say ten thousand things, the whole album is a testament to them to a certain extent. I owe more to god than to anyone else so why not put in a way to get to it. You shouting out all these people that nobody knows. That’s selfish why not give something.
The albums has some really nice beats how did you connect with the producers on the album, were they already fam?
Agua: We were working with two solidified producers apiece. I brought Munch and Raven to the table. Please look out for Raven, brother Jamaal!
Born Infinite: Look out for Raven, Damu, my nigga Easy I.B.
Aqua: Also look out for the producers the Kimono Dragon and the Koala Bear they coming out.
I heard it didn’t take that long to record the album, what do you attribute that too?
Agua: It was well thought out and well planned.
Born Infinite: Everything I wanted to do my whole life in music was manifested real fast.
Agua: There was no concentration we were both free. Everything just connected righteously. Even the engineer was very spontaneous working with two intricate cats.
What were some of your favorite songs on the album?
Agua: “Enlightenment” because that breaks down exactly what we are about in the first couple of lines when I say ‘What we brought to the table was unable to be denied’ and ‘ Sometimes you must hold your opinion on how many hoes you’ve been in because that shit means nothing to me!’ ‘Kithikai’s Song’ [is the other] and that is not Agua or Born Infinite. The reason he sounds like me is because he respected me a lot and he is a disciple but he is his own man. ‘Siddhartha’ is my ultimate joint on the album and for the record most women feel the same.
Born Infinite: ‘Kithikai’s Song’ is my favorite song on the album. That’s when the album becomes a classic piece of work to me. For me on Shambhala when you hit track number nine it transforms the whole experience after you hear that song. I think that was his first time ever in the lab. That was him at his purest form and he laid that shit.
Agua: Every line is a quote.
Born Infinite: ‘It’s awkward beautiful like earth and night quiet yet soul probing’ and this nigga said ‘Love is not just mere word, love is action infinite / when I pen it as rhythmic as the planets in orbit / may take a lifetime to find it wouldn’t mind searching for it.’ I’m gonna continue to fucking jock. Then he said ‘Unseen but heard left to shepherd words through flocks of concepts thoughts graze in my pastures.’
Agua: ‘They say to know god is to know self to know self is to know man / when the flow stops that’s when the learning begins.’ You just gotta listen to it over and over.
Born Infinite: Nuff respect due to sister Deborah Bonds blowing up the R&B world too. Respect to all the sisters that got down with us and provided the femininity on the album. All that rock hard dick shit niggas be doing that shit is gay. Shambhala is recruiting the most elegant earths and you don’t have to be a Badu chick with it. There is a recruitment going out right now. There are no auditions, if you feel it go to 199records.net right now and contact us.
Agua: And keep them moodswings home.
When I was listening to the album I remember Agua saying you try to be at peace but there are certain times where you have to step outside yourself. When you said that I didn’t feel so bad about flipping on this guy at work.
Born Infinite: ‘You can be but so civilized in certain circumstances’
Agua: That song right there is paying homage to the whole rah rah side of us if we get caught up and we got to bring it now. If people really want to get us study Bruce Lee.
Born Infinite: And Gordon Liu. Watch Gordon Liu and read Bruce Lee. Kung Fu is the mental art and if you translate it in the body that’s cool but some people translate it into philosophy. Since we cannot train twenty-four hours a day its very much mental Tai Chi and mental kung fu.