Celebrated West Coast rhyme-slayer Murs, legendary bassist and Bad Brains founder Darryl Jenifer and ego trip co-creator Sacha Jenkins SHR are THE WHITE MANDINGOS. The band's output combines the collective musical experiences of these three men who hail from three distinct towns: Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York City. Their debut full length, The Ghetto is Trying to Kill Me, was released on Fat Beats/Fontana on May 28th, 2013. The album is broadcast from the perspective of Tyrone White—a fellow from Harlem’s Polo Grounds housing projects who fronts a rock band. White’s struggle for acceptance, success and love is explored throughout this genre-bending LP. In the end, the listener better understands Rakim’s old adage, “It ain’t where ya from, it’s where ya at.”
"As someone who has written about music for years, it's easy for me to try to categorize our music and say that it sounds like this-meets-that, BUT, if you twist my arm, I might say that it's kinda like heavy negro spiritual..." says Jenkins, who, as a scribe, has written for many a music publication. "And I will also say that Murs is one of the strongest writers I've ever had the pleasure of working with in any medium, and his voice can command a thousand armies. As for Darryl,” Jenkins adds, “founder of my favorite band of all time, his passion for, and knowledge of such a broad range of music makes his touch on this project deadly. Few people can bounce from genre to genre with the kind of authenticity and heart that he brings to the table."
Jenkins’ background as a writer and satirist who has focused largely on the subject of race also plays a role in how the soul of the album rings out. “I think a lot of folks will be able to relate to Tyrone and his struggles,” Jenkins says. “He feels misunderstood—by his women, his friends, his people. And that misunderstanding sometimes affects who he is and who he truly wants to be. Should he not be playing this music because he’s black? And who the hell is in the position to tell him what to do anyways?”
Bass, guitar, drums, vox, hip hop, 808s, hardcore punk, metal and dusted R&B comes together to push a debut LP that takes the strengths of the band's members into fresh, uncharted territories. As a production team, Jenifer and Jenkins, via their new partnership with acclaimed Woodstock, New York-based studio Applehead Recording, are poised to continue to bring fresh sonic biscuits to the table. Things are coming together for the White Mandingos. And “random” is a big part of their magic.
“I randomly called Murs because a voice in my head said that he’d be great for the band—I didn’t know him,” Jenkins admits. “Got his number from a mutual friend and asked him if he wanted to be in a band with me and Darryl called The White Mandingos, and the dude said YES.” Jenkins is totally blown away by the opportunity to create with Jenifer and Murs.
"As a fan of both artists, I feel honored to be a part of such a historic project," Jenkins adds. “Making music with these dudes is like a dream come true. Feels like I’m making music with my brothers. Feels like I’m in the Jackson 5! Minus Joe Jackson.”