Luna Clipse and Jerry Wonda are the dynamic duo, and they’re making music to impact audiences all around the world. The former was born within the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in LA, where Luna’s apocalyptic visions resulted in a panic that had him falsely charged with assault. Luna is short for lunatic, and the recording artist fortunately was able to pivot his madness into rhymes.
The latter, Jerry Wonda is a 15x Grammy-nominated producer, who got his big break as the producer for the Fugees’ 1996 album The Score. Before going on to produce for all the greats including in the music industry, Wonda also played the bass guitar with The Fugees, with Wyclef Jean being his cousin.
In fact, it was Jerry Wonda who suggested Luna use his music as a voice for the bipolar. The result? A whole body of work called LUNAcy, spearheaded by lead singles “Lunacy” and “Twin Towers” and “Minds on Fire”. The project arrives on October 14th, in perfect timing for Mental Health Month.
Sheen spoke with both Luna Clipse and Jerry Wonda via Zoom to discuss their background, experiences in the psych ward, how they connected, the making of “Twin Towers,” and more!
For those who don’t know, who is Luna Clipse? How would you describe yourself?
Luna Clipse was born in the Twin Towers prison for the criminally insane, when I lost my sane identity that I abandoned to be resurrected as Luna. Luna is my alter ego that I took on when I go to rap battles. I turned my “Lunacy” into a weapon in verbal combat.
Where are you from originally? What were you like growing up?
Luna: I was born in NYC. I was a happy kid growing up, studying all kinds of arts. Eventually, I studied screenwriting which led me to LA. I remember being at The Standard Hotel in West Hollywood where they put these half naked women in this glass case behind the front desk, the whole thing rubbed me the wrong way. I was smoking a joint in my room and I was struck like a bolt of lightning in my head.
I started hearing angels and demons telling me that I had to enact the apocalypse in the media to stop the actual apocalypse from happening. My delusions escalated to the bible’s book of Revelation Apocalypse; I thought Peter Guber wanted me to come out to enact the apocalypse in the media.
Eventually the delusion escalated to where I thought they wanted me to play the role of the Antichrist. In the glass case behind the front desk, there was a bottle of champagne and two glasses and I had a flash vision of my raped dead body in the glass case and the woman drinking my blood to toast to the killing of the Antichrist who was to die for the sins of the old generation and to celebrate the rebirth of the Christ who would rise from her womb to lead the new world order. In a panic I picked up a steel case and threw it at the glass case. There was no one in the glass case at the time but I heard someone say when hotel security tackled me to the ground “I saw him throw it at one of us, did you?” And so they got on the same page about that lie to give me an assault charge. I was supposed to remain in the Twin Towers Prison for the criminally insane for six months to await my trial. The Twin Towers prison is rated one of the 10 worst prisons in the country. Not many people know about it because it’s just for the mentally ill, so it doesn’t get a lot of press.
The Twin Towers is where I found the visions of the apocalypse that all of us shared were basically what’s happening right now, but we were seeing a little bit in advance because the world flipped us out a little sooner than most.
How did that affect you? How were you able to make sense of everything happening?
Well, we make sense of it with each other. When you first go in there, they beat you to the ground and they start spitting biblical rhymes that have 3 levels/layers of meaning. They’re testing which levels you understand, and they’re testing have you been to hell? Have you been with the devil? Because they’ll smile at your face when they’re doing it, then you’re supposed to fight them off. Spit back affirmations of not only the first, but the second and third levels of meanings.
Once you get on the same page and they see that you’re one of them, then you try to make sense of the apocalypse that’s happening around you. They put me in an isolation room for the last part of my stay because they were all getting into it. They’re like “yeah, we’re going to cause the apocalypse in the media.” [laughs]
Talk about your time in the mental institution? How long were you there for?
Luna: I’ve been in 8 mental institutions, that was just the first. That was the prison. I’ve been all over with a lot of lunatics from a lot of places. I was in Trinitas in New Jersey. I was in Bellevue, New York, Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, George Washington in Washington, D.C. and Columbia Presbyterian in White Plains and Columbia Presbyterian in NYC.
Really? Because I’ve actually been 51/50’ed, it’s not fun.
Luna: I remember smiling at the guards when they’d torture us. We’d laugh back at them, because that’s the only thing you can do. That’s the only power you have, is to show that you could turn the hell they give you into heaven. It’s like the quote from Paradise Lost where Satan says when he’s thrown into hell, “I can make a heaven of my hell or a hell of my heaven.”
Talk about being banned from social media. What happened there?
Luna: My delusions of the book of Revelations Apocalypse started coming true, when Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel he did it because the militant Evangelicals that control right wing DC Politics told him to because the first prophecy in the book of Revelation is that Jerusalem will go to the Jews, which will mark the arrival of the second coming of Christ who will kill the Antichrist who will have defiled the Temple, and that will be judgement day. The militant Evangelical Christians believe the Muslim’s Dome of Throck in Jerusaelm, built on the site of the original temple is the defliled temple, and they want to topple the Mosque so Christ can built the next church of Christ on it’s fallen rocks. And if that happened, that would be judgement day. I posted a comment in defense of the Muslims which are being demonized by the Evangelicals. America forced themselves on Iran’s oil in 1953 when they raised trade tariffs to starve the country and threw fake protests in Iran demanding to overthrow the Islamic regime to put a secular leader in power who would do business with America for oil. My song Lunacy got a bunch of listens in Iran because the Lyric, “Babylon has fallen because she made all Nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornicaion, Am I whacked or is Babylon in fact Modern Iraq? Do I need medication or did the USA force-fornicate the place into a war-torn nation to drink it’s wine, licking every drip dry?” America is responsible for the Rise of ISIS yet they demonize the ISIS slogan “We love death more than you love life,” all I did was post a photo of ISIS with the comment “We made them love death more than we love life.”
So they took your page down?
Luna: Yeah, they eliminated my Instagram account.
How did you guys connect originally?
Jerry Wonda: That’s a great one. We got connected through a good friend of mine. We were doing some community outreach and fundraising and we go to talking about mental health and here we are.
Talk about the making of “Twin Towers” too.
Luna: I sent you a sound of a prison door going “bam!” [laughs]
Jerry Wonda: You did. I said “okay, now we gonna need that intro,” because we wanted it to sound like a movie. The whole thing started with a great guitar lick on “Twin Towers,” and we wanted the hook to be really melodic.
Luna: We have that amazing chorus, which sounded like the voices of people down the hallway.
Jerry Wonda: But that was the whole concept. When I was going over the lyrics, you know how you always say, “Jerry, this is the lyrics. Whatcha thinking?” Even when we go to the studio, you’d change it around too. That’s musically where we wanted to go, because we always wanted the music as open as possible. It’s almost like a score lyrically. All the music is very open, simple, but really dope and heartfelt. Everything of course comes from the heart.
Jerry Wonda: It’s definitely a good album, I’m really excited.