Easy Lee (Charles Peters) and Tre (Treson Scipio) are MOJOE, a duo that has often described itself as "The Roots meet OutKast over dinner with Marvin Gaye at D'Angelo's house." That's a party that anyone in their right mind would want to attend, a free-form jam with only the tastiest beats, rhymes, and harmonies, not to mention words and emotions that truly echo the barometer of urban life.
"Mojoe has a couple of different meanings," explains Easy Lee, who was born in New Orleans but moved to San Antonio, where he attended high school with Tre. "More than the average joe is what it stands for, but it also means that we've got something spiritual and magical," he says. "It means that the best of what we can do is the foot we put forward. And there's, "Got My Mojo Workin," an old blues term and song. So it alludes to the fact that we make old school music with a new school style.
"We also hope to bring some light to the fact that San Antonio has a rich blues history and not just a Tejano history," San Antonio native Tre adds, citing by way of example the many recordings that legendary blues artist Robert Johnson cut in his home town.
Years before they made music together, Easy Lee and Tre shared a foundation of loving music, riding around while listening to the classics of soul and blues as well as the raw hip-hop that was bubbling up from the block. It was a space where the likes of Curtis Mayfield or Frankie Beverly and Maze could get down and get funky with the struggle rap of street poets like Geto Boys and UGK or the uplifting beats of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Not yet full-fledged performers at the time, the friends nonetheless developed the open-minded musical outlook that they express now back then.
"We are inspired by a lot of older music because back then they weren't typecast in as many boxes," says Tre. "That inspires us to try and follow in their footsteps."