Houston hip-hop act Truly Groovy — made up of Shamon Freeman (Money Mon), his cousin Justin Freeman-Mays (Jai Maize or Justo) and Jamal Rashawn Young (Polo G5) — started creating music together three years ago in a garage. Their freestyle rapping sessions together clicked, so they decided to start a group. I asked them about their name and what it means.
“It’s like a lifestyle. Truly Groovy is our way of saying we have nothing to hide,” Jai Maize explains. “We tell you everything, put everything out there on the table; we don’t rep any colors, we’re not in gangs or nothing like that, we’re more about everybody coming together.”
“To sum it up, one big word, you know back in the '70s, what the hippies did, peace,” adds Polo G5. “Not so much to promote the drugs, or whatever, but getting the world right; us three can’t do it by our damn selves, we need a lot of help, so that’s why we express that in our music.” “It’s a way of life, it’s a feeling and it’s a movement, our movement; a groovement.”
Money Mon adds that the “Truly” in Truly Groovy is there because they always speak the truth in their rhymes and music.
Among the artists who have influenced the members of Truly Groovy are Slim Thug, Bun B, OutKast, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Boyz II Men, Jagged Edge, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, The Hot Boys, Lil Wayne and Geto Boys, among others. “Every time I think about us, I think about Geto Boys; they had a groovy feeling,” says Money Mon.
“They can give you a political song, or they can give you a hood song, or they can give you a song about a nice female — they were very versatile,” adds Polo G5.
Truly Groovy has their influences, but at the same time, they have a sound that they believe is original and that can’t be compared to what others are doing now in the Houston hip-hop scene.
“I did the song “Trendsetters” because I feel all of us are original, we don’t sound like anybody that you hear now; we have a little storytelling edge,” Polo G5 explains. “It’s storytelling, but we’re still getting the crowd hyped,” Money Mon adds. “Trendsetters is basically saying you just start something and you finish what you started,” Polo G5 further elaborates. “You be original and when you’re original, you make sure you’re the best at what you’re doing, no matter what you’re doing.” “I don’t care if you’re doing a 9-to-5 job, throwing paper or raking leaves out the yard — you be the best trendsetter.”
“The song “Living My Dream” is self-explanatory; it’s just us three talking about what we want to do living our dream, how we want to do it, when we get to our dream, which is music and the other ventures we want to set up after the music,” says Polo G5.
Besides the group’s recorded material, including the track “Ridin’ Round,” which is included on the compilation album, Project Anarchy 4503, Vol. III, Truly Groovy has established itself as a live act to be reckoned with, performing at various clubs around Houston as well as at a SXSW gig promoting the aforementioned album Anarchy.
“Every time, the reaction is the same; it’s a great reaction. It’s never dull when we’re onstage because we have a lot of energy, and we’re very persistent,” Polo G5 explains. “Everything’s on time and we always back each other.”
“We get a hype reaction,” adds Money Mon. “Not to be conceited, arrogant, cocky, but we knew we was the ones that actually came to not just be the best, but came to put on the show for the crowd.”
Right now Truly Groovy is working in the studio every week, with plans to release an EP/mixtape titled Never Settle, scheduled for release in late June or early July; the group has plans for two more mixtapes to be released before the end of the year as well. You can listen to songs Truly Groovy has recorded and download them for free at the group's website; check back frequently for new music.
“A lot of guys come in with money, they come in with actual backing; all three of us go to work every day, and we all got families,’" Polo G5 concludes. “We’re just coming out the mud, like people say they do; I just want the fans to know that we’re guys that y’all can actually relate to more because we go through the same day-to-day problems that y’all go through.
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“Our message to the youth — I just lost my cousin last month to a lot of senseless violence — y’all just need to put it down, man, and get things together, really," he adds. "You can do anything you put your mind to, and that is what we’re trying to teach everybody.”
Truly Groovy performs at Numbers on June 26 at 6:30 p.m. with Spoonie, Skeem, The Guy, Young Texas, and Microphone Murderer Mafia. Follow the trio on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all of their latest news.