1.) Tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
I don’t remember when i first started writing but the first time i first recorded something a wrote to music was 15 years old. As far back as i could remember i’ve loved all forms of entertainment whether it be music or anything outside of it. I was born in 1986 and lived in New Jersey all of my life.
2.) What or who motivated you to become a rapper?
My early influences were Rappin 4′ Tay and Coolio. A lot of early Coolio stuff and Rappin 4′ Tay’s song “Message for your mind” really got me into hip hop. Listening to rap made me realize how much more content can be filled in a song than any other genre of music…pop songs and rock music etc. all stretch out lyrics and often repeat more lyrics than just the chorus throughout a song than rap songs do. This means less “new” words are being used throughout a song and then the aspect of singing it drags it out longer resulting in less content. Basically i liked how much more to the point and deep you can go with creating a rap song over other types of music.
That aspect basically fascinated me over anything else, not to say i don’t like or think other genre’s suck. I listen to everything.
3.) Making it in the music business is a lot of hard work. What’s the
biggest challenge you had to face?
Basically just getting any majors to stick to taking a risk with signing something different rather than sticking with quick cash and commercial music, so basically i set up shop myself in the meantime.
4.) Which artist, were you most pleased to work with and why?
Collaborating with The Mister who produces and also raps. We always create good chemistry.
5.) What motivated you to collaborate?
We work well together as evident from our first project on a remix of “You Oughta Know”
6.) Which accomplishment are you the most proud of?
Probably just the simple aspect of creating and recording my own music, there was a time where i didn’t think i’d be able to even do that. Now not only do I have original producers and my own music but i have at least a humble fan base to start, building my way up.
7.) Which artist haven’t you collaborated with yet, that you envision to work with in a close future and why?
It would be cool to work with Fort Minor. Their latest album excited me and they definitely created a new level of hype in hip hop music with “Remember the Name”. They are the epitome of true hip hop and Mike Shinoda is a genius in his own right.
8.) As a rapper, is there one rapper you pattern yourself after or do you have your own style?
To patterning wouldn’t make sense…now you have to worry about 2 styles instead of just yourself which equals double work. The way i approach each song is different each time, i don’t have any real set way.
If i have some idea that i really want to put in a song..i’ll have a producer help me make a beat that matches what i 100% want to do, if a beat i love is already made..i basically try to bring out what i think the mood of the beat is saying that can co-exist with my life and way of seeing things, and then write from there.
9.) Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still recording my own music, that’s a definite.
10.) What are your thoughts on the underground Hip Hop scene and where do you see it going in the near future?
I’m not really sure where the underground rap scene will go in the future because any signs of what is to come isn’t really apparent. It seems like it’s the era of “anything goes” You’ll see some true hip hop artists amongst the crap we see in mainstream make it big and stay there and it doesn’t make sense how or why, yet at the same time true music is still highly supressed simultaneously and crap overcomes and the few underground artists stay well known but it’s rare and there is no real pattern to it. People who i’m surprised about surfacing to mainstream recognition who are actually good are K-os, The Gym Class Heroes, just to name a few and the fact that Common is even famous is also amazing to me, which is a compliment.
Basically i’m saying those artists listed and artists with the same mentality as them are actually talented, so how did they get on tv?
Trash should be underground and artists like that should be all over television. All over tb without their creativity being compremised
by major labels of course which is also another aspect that thins the herd of true artists willing to stay signed to who gave them fame.
The sellouts change themselves and stay with making money with the same label that is the enemy.
11.) What are your thoughts on today’s mainstream Hip Hop artists and where do you see them taking Hip Hop, in the near future?
Similar to what i said above, i’m not sure where mainstream hip hop will go but as far as my opinions, mainstream hip hop sucks and underground to me pretty much equals true hip hop. That’s not to say as soon as you go mainstream you suck but it just seems like the styles and subject matter in underground hip hop always makes sense and mainstream is always nonsense.
It’s not about selling out to me or how much fame or money you get that defines a mainstream style, to me mainstream just means
you are on tv a lot or are known even to a casual listener of any particular genre. Selling out is when you lie in your music to make
12.) If you could thank one person, for helping get you where you are today…Who would it be and why?
Pretty much myself, i don’t mean to sound arrogant but i saw something i liked..slowly built my way up to constructing an acceptable sounding recording set-up and took everything i’ve ever wanted to do with creating my own music into my own hands. The only other people i can really thank are producers
who helped me make music in the process, The Mister and DJ Houst Dark just to name a few, they were the first from the beginning.
13.) How much time daily, do you spend in the studio and what does an average day consist of?
It varies, i’m my own boss so since I am not signed majorly, I slate my own projects. I’m currently majoring in music recording so i’m a bit busy.
14.) Being so busy in the studio, you rarely get free time. Tell me what you did the last time, you had free time to just hang out?
I went to Las Vegas recently for four days during early February on vacation.
15.) Do you ever struggle creating new idea’s?
Creating new ideas is easier for me but sometimes bringing yourself to write can be dampered.What kills it is people paying too much attention to terrible music and in the process you realize even if you make it to your personal best in a song, the zombie music fans of the world will never even give it attention. That kind of dampers the spirit because you don’t even feel like the community you are in is exciting, like it’s a ghost town. The only other way i struggle is just your regular problem every human goes through during writer’s block which is the fact that you are simply not in the mood to create. So my ability to create idea’s in a song concept actually comes very easy to me, but you need to build on the concept of course.
16.) When I first heard your sound, your style reminded me of a young
Eminem.Would you agree or disagree with that statement and why?
I would have to disagree, now maybe my voice to some people sounds similar when i speak certain words kind of like what Guerilla Black is to Biggie but no person in the world can help that. I think no matter what my style is those who think that i sound like him are simply misled. The reason i disagree is because if you lock Eminem in a room alone and lock me in a room alone, give us both the same beat and tell us to make a song out of it, they will be drastically different.
Eminem’s concept of the what to write to a beat will be completely different from what i lived, what i write, the way i think and even the way rapping styles sound and flow over the beat. I guarantee that people would see just how different we are.
Now some may suggest i take a beat he already has a song to and just do a remix but for this to make sense, it would have to be a completely new song of course.
People don’t have many mainstream rap artists to look at so the lack of creativity makes their brain automatically click to Eminem simply because of the white
way of rapping and a different white person rapping and the concept as a whole.
If you gave a black person or any other race oustide of a caucasian person to rap my lyrics they would easily sound completely different from Eminem. So what is similar? Is it my style or simply my race and maybe my voice that makes people compare?
Because of the fact that there are obviously way more blacks in hip hop than white people…people never have trouble thinking of them as just individual people because there are tons of rappers of the same race to back up hip hop’s integrity hence you would never say Ludacris sounds like Kanye West, that just doesn’t make any sense.
So the only time you see someone black be compared to another black rap artist is when in a rare case…their voice and voice alone sounds similar. Therefore referring to my Guerilla
Black v.s. Biggie arguement even though they both have their own style.
People still aren’t used to it yet so basically being a white rapper in this day is still more accepted than before but still very hard to understand certain concepts.
If you are an honest rapper and just happen to be white, I consider you a pioneer.
17.) Do you currently have any projects in the works, for 2007?
As I said earlier, being a little busy with my Major i’m just starting to begin a project.
I post-poned in 2006 and should be done sometime this year. It may hold a few older but more recent songs on it as bonus tracks that may have been heard. I’m also on my second Homegrown Productions Mixtape circulating around MI, who’s creators consist of The Mister and DJ Crafty.
18.) In the beginning as a journalist, it is hard to have your talents recognized. Have you ever experienced that and how?
Yes, I’ve had many incidents with major labels and talent scouts working for them liking my stuff as well as their staff. Somehow i am still not signed majorly with all of this support, it just shows how many times you have to interest a person higher up just to make sure that the one time out of the million is finally struck in the way that you want it to go. I interest plenty of people in a positive way but never get signed from it. This shows how hard it is to take a risk with the “non-ghetto” or just rapping based on truthful skill and not image. The only rappers i can think of who really aren’t the kind of rappers that people usually think of when they hear “rapper” is Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Fort Minor and especially Fort Minor. The Gym Class Heroes are amongst that kind of style to..people in my area or genre of rap music are finally starting to get fame but it’s not exactly in yet.
19.) If I had to describe myself, I would sayâ€¦I’m a leader not a follower.
How would you best describe yourself?
Well something that definitely describes be is that i’m very obsessive compulsive with my work.
20.) If you could invite anyone to dinner tonight–dead or alive–who would it be and why?
Opie and Anthony along with comedian Jim Norton, they are comedic radio and entertainment
Related Eastwiq links:
www.myspace.com/homegrownproductions517 wiq.dmusic.com (yes the link is that short, no www)
Copyright 2007 by Donna Kshir and Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved