A member of the famed Jurassic 5 hip-hop group, Zaakir Muhammad, stage name Fullee Love or Soup, has deep roots in music, but his interests span much further into the realm of film. Currently, he’s working on both at the same time, about to head off with the Jurassic 5 family on a European tour, while working on launching a YouTube series called “Fullee Movie Love” where he’ll discusses and reviews movies he loves. Throughout his travels Zaakir loves going to VIP movie theaters, checking off over 100 different theaters around the world, a list that’s ever-growing.
Fullee Love: Born and raised in LA, my neighborhood was more of a what people would deem, I hate to say it, but it wasn’t the best of neighborhoods. I knew it was rough, but it didn’t bother me like that, because it was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun, I had a lot of friends, but you know the neighborhood was deemed not the greatest of neighborhoods. At that time growing up every neighborhood was almost like that as far as my perspective was. I had a really good time, I do remember, this will tell you a lot about my neighborhood. I used to ditch school because of girls and would tell them to come over my house. They would go, “Yeah, where you staying?” I would tell them where I stayed and they be like, “Na, I don’t think I can make it over there.” I was like, “Jesus, is it that bad?” That was my neighborhood.
If you come to LA on a tourist’s mission then you know usually people like to go straight to either two places, Hollywood to see the walk of stars or maybe they’ll think they will run into a celebrity, but most likely they are running into some four-freight dude that’s in a spider-man costume. You could run into Chewbacca, Wolverine, or anybody, but you ain’t seeing Eddie Murphy down there that’s for sure. They also want to go to the beach, usually Venice Beach. If they come and I’m taking them around, I will take them around to those spots because that’s what LA is basically known for. But, then you know gotta see the other neighborhoods of whats going on and take them to some hole-in-the-wall fast food spots that you know you can only eat every two years, because it’s so greasy, but good.
MO: Yeah, that’s my favorite part about traveling. Getting involved with the culture and seeing what the real side of the city, rather than what’s in your face on TV. Describe the excitement leading up to releasing your EP “Still in Fullee Love.” I was gonna say “Surfboard Cali” is awesome, I picture California right when I hear it.
FL: That’s dope, appreciate that. The excitement, it was a combination of excitement and fear. The fear was because it was all me, so they both ran the same course. I was more willing to do it now and I wasn’t back in the day. Now, that I’m a little older, you kinda stop worrying about people’s perception of you or what people think you should be. You stop worrying about their situation and just go on your own and that’s what it was. I was excited about it. I have to pay for everything, that’s tough. That ain’t no joke Mike, I’m telling you man it’s no joke. I scratch off lottery balls, but it ain’t working for me man. I gotta pay for everything.
MO: I can only imagine! What are your favorite United States cities to visit and perform music in?
FL:New York, just because it’s the birthplace of the type of music I fell in love with, which was hip-hop, so definitely there. There’s so much stuff you can do in New York, there’s always something happening. Chicago is another spot. We always got love in Chicago, and the food out there is incredible. They’ve got some nice areas in Chicago. I would say San Francisco would be my third one, I like San Francisco. It kind of reminds me of a littler and more expensive New York. It’s really cool and you get a hell of a nice breeze there. I love that.
FL: They go hand and hand, especially with what I’ve been blessed to do. The only thing about it is that you get to travel and see a lot of stuff, places that I definitely didn’t think I would be able to see. It’s kind of hard, because you never really get a chance to see the place, because you’re working. Most people think you’re traveling, but it’s work man, it’s not just me traveling to the beach. It’s work, so they go hand-in-hand for me. Nowadays, I don’t care where you go, it feels like everybody is just overtaken by music. It’s all types of scenes, all types of music, all types of people. So, they go hand-in-hand.
MO: What is your favorite part about experiencing a new culture?
FL: When I’m traveling I didn’t close my mind off to anything. I just kept my mind open, whatever I saw I don’t diss it, I’m just gonna open up and take it all in. Coming from LA and going somewhere totally different out of state. It’s cool to see how calm the people are. There could be a [bunch] of people somewhere and there ain’t no body hollering, yelling or arguing so that’s dope. Every now and then you’ll see it, but I was in Amsterdam and even a damn dog wasn’t even barking at me. I was just like I need to be here. They ride bikes, that’s another thing, so it’s not like if you got it going on you got a nice bike. Out here, you got everything if you got a proper car, people who get’s to trippin on you. But, out there its about the bike and I’m like, “Damn, I love bikes as well and they mad cheaper.” It’s dope a lot of people are calmer and polite. They’re not stressing.
MO: I would have to say the same thing, I was recently in Texas for the first time and I was just blown away by the people. I’m actually from New York so you go to the store here and they just take your money and you walk away.
MO: People from there are like, “Thank you so much for coming to our store.” Was being involved in music something you always wanted to do or was it just an evolutionary process?
FL: Evolutionary, I always loved it don’t get me wrong. I was a super big Michael Jackson fan when I was younger, but then my father got me to Otis Redding and Al Green. So, I got into the soul music and was a super big Prince fan, I was bummed that he passed. Super big Prince fan. I wanted to act, that’s what I wanted to do. I used to go to auditions and never got the damn job, but I did show the effort. I got an A for effort. I used to do that, but then music just kind of slid in, because I met some people who were into it and it just kind of happened.
MO: That’s great, tell us about the upcoming web series “Fullee Movie Love.” I’m also a big fan of movies so we are definitely looking forward to seeing that.
FL: It’s basically just me doing more retro movies than anything for right now. Not so much on the newer releases, unless there’s just something that I really dig. Say for instance there’s this “Ex Machina” I definitely would have reviewed that, because I thought that was an incredible movie. There’s another horror flick called “It Follows” that was really dope to me and I thought it was one of the best scary movies to come out within in the last five years probably.
MO: That’s awesome, I will definitely have to check that out. I haven’t heard of it.
FL: Have you ever seen “Ex Machina”? That’s really dope too. Those two joints if you watch them you’ll be like, “Okay, these are pretty dope!” It’s just me kinda going back grabbing movies, because nowadays people’s attention spans are so quick, they may not know about “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” or “Last American Virgin”. Stuff that when I was younger, were titty movies and I liked titties back then Mike, real talk. You know just kind of retro movies. People can see my personality come through and I’m a big movie buff. That’s my thing when I travel. Everyone knows that whenever we’re on tour and I’m not around, people will be like trust me, he found a movie theatre. That is my bag. I will go to any theatre I don’t care where we at. I’m looking forward and I’m going to do it. I just love them. Whether people dig it or not I don’t care, its just something I really like.
MO: Have you been to any really cool theatre’s around the world?
FL: Yeah, I went to one with one of the guys from Jurassic 5 and it was a really nice theatre. When we walked in there were couches, like little mini couches, and tables in the theatre. I was just like, “This is awkward!” Because, I told my man I ain’t gonna be sitting next to you on a loveseat in the dark. It was cool that they had some other spaces empty, so he went and sat in another spot. It was literally a love-seat couch. It wasn’t a recliner, It was a couch with a table. It was like a restaurant and movie all-in-one. They had to be some of the dopest stuff in the world. And, I thought the food was great.
MO: If you were to record a project in another country where would you choose?
FL: I’m going straight to Australia, straight to Australia! I’m going there. I love Australia. It’s of my favorite spots, if not my favorite. Australia and Amsterdam, which is up there too. Australia just has everything that California would have. Beaches, places to go, nice eating spots, the people are cool, I would definitely go there.
MO: I heard their crowds are really lively and the people are into music out there.
FL: They love it, they don’t care what you look like Mike. You could be missing teeth, have a black eye, but if you sound good on the mic, they’d be like, “Bring Mike back!” Don’t have him smile, but his music is good. Its dope man, it’s really dope out there.
MO: Lastly, what’s the next trip and what for? Any tours or shows coming up.
FL: I‘m still working on some stuff. I’m actually in the studio right now working on a full-length album that I’m hoping to drop this year to keep the momentum going. But, what I have coming up now is a tour in July with Jurassic 5. We’re going overseas to United Kingdom, Switzerland, all the basics. That should be fun.