Mercy Gang entered the local music scene in 2012 with a hip-hop and mash-up style.
Since then, the group has released two albums and plans to work on a third this fall. It plans to perform at the Electric City Music Conference, set for Thursday, Sept. 13, to Saturday, Sept. 15. More dates for shows in Pennsylvania, New York and Canada will be announced.
Mercy Gang emcee Jermaine Kroon recently went On the Record about the group’s performances and its first album without Mario Lozada, aka Hefty Metal, who died in 2015.
Q: How did Mercy Gang form?
A: Mercy Gang started from a collaboration on a song between Maine the Medicine, former member Sway and the late Hefty Metal. Paulie Bagz joined the group shortly after, while DJ Merc would later join Mercy Gang in 2014 after doing a show with us.
Q: Where does the name Mercy Gang come from?
A: The proposed name was “The Mercenaries.” We didn’t really care for it, so we started saying Mercy Gang for short.
Q: What does a typical Mercy Gang show look and sound like?
A: A Mercy Gang show is very energetic and in-your-face. We love to engage with the crowd. We often do a mash-up with the band Clever Clever. The crowd really enjoys it. One of our big hits with crowds is our version of the classic song “My Girl,” which we call “Your Girl.” “Your Girl” is featured on our bonus mixtape, “Brothers Keeper,” with guest vocals from Nowhere Slow on the chorus.
Q: What do you hope audiences experience at your shows?
A: We want them to experience our passion for the music and the love and appreciation we have for our fans. We really want to leave it all on the stage, microphones smoking.
Q: Tell us about your newest album, “M.E.R.C.Y.,” that came out in September.
A: “M.E.R.C.Y” stands for “murder every rapper coming at you.” Hip-hop is a very competitive sport, so we wanted to welcome all challengers, all in the name of fun. Working on this album was very emotional. This was the first album we worked on without our former group member Hefty Metal, who passed away on Sept. 11, 2015. We got back in the studio not only to honor our brother Hefty but also to begin the healing process. “M.E.R.C.Y.” was released on Sept. 9, 2017, in remembrance of Hefty. Hefty would definitely want us to keep banging out music, so we put all our blood, sweat and tears into this project. We have two unreleased tracks by Hefty on the album that are amazing. The album includes features from Jay Preston of Esta Coda, Ed Cuozzo of University Drive, Lambo Lo of Animal Planit (and) Aaron Ferranti, formerly of Clever Clever. The music is produced by JL Studios, Holla Da Scholar, U.G. and many more. All records are mixed, mastered and recorded by JL Studios in Olyphant.