Music:rapper Guilty Simpson (Hub Com article)

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Detroit MC raps about real life in the Motor City

Christian Czerwinski | NOISE

Guilty Simpson knows the ghetto.

He understands the misconceptions about it and the reality too.

The 31-year-old MC from Detroit, who has a debut album ready to drop in February, possesses a penchant for writing about real life and a lucid view of the Motor City.

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Born Byron Simpson, the rapper who shares associates with Eminem (who he calls Marshall), plans to share tales about the ghetto, his father and everything in between when Ode to the Ghetto drops.

We caught up with him on the phone from his home in Detroit.

You say you’re inspired by the streets? How did they inspire you?

Just how I came up and different things I would observe. Just my everyday environment living in Detroit. I didn’t listen to a lot of CDs or a certain rapper. Sometimes, I would hear instrumentals and just go outside and write in my car. Literally look out at Detroit and write about what I saw. Not necessarily the ghetto, but Detroit.

What’s so inspirational about Detroit?

The will of the people. The growing economy now and knowing in general about how Detroit is and how other people have misconceptions. This sense of struggle and the underdog angle we take on makes the underdogs feel close because it’s like this “us against the world” mentality.

Describe your style.

It has a hardcore edge to it, but it’s honest and versatile. I want to be known as an MC that has a vocabulary and I don’t have to rely on expletives to get my point across. I want a younger person to listen to me and to (be able to) tell I’ve been there.

Do you use a lot of samples?

When you sample heavy, you run into a lot of legal issues. I like original beats and sample beats. I don’t really get into the history, but as I grow as an artist, I have to be more strategic with the beats and stray away from the sample-heavy stuff.

What are the misconceptions of the ghetto?

It’s the people. When people think of the ghetto, they tend to think all the way across the board it’s bad. I’ve met some of the most genuine people in my life in the ghetto. And some of the nastiest people I’ve met have large bank accounts. The situation may be bad, but there’s good people in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. Bad situations bring out the best or worst in people, it depends on the type of heart you have.

Quick questions

• Greatest rapper of all-time: Rakim.

• Favorite rock group: Nirvana.

• Favorite football team: Baltimore Ravens.

• Have you ever solved the Rubik’s Cube? Only one color at a time.

• What was your favorite board game growing up? Monopoly. It prepares you for real life.

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