1) Talk to me about the making of your latest project – Clone Age. What was the inspiration behind it?
The title of my latest project is “Clone Age”. Its a conceptual album addressing the mind set of a young black man in my neighborhood.
This project takes a trip thru the mindset of young oppressed males in the DMV area and focuses on why they do the things they do, why they make the decisions they make, why they feel the way they feel and how how the ill- mindset affects our future.
I drew inspiration from a friend who has experienced the prison system well before he was even 18 years old. I wanted to dissect his frame of mind and tell his story. I feel he is a representation of a lot of males not only in my area but in this country. Its a “Clone” mindset.
2) With the music industry tanking and record sales falling, how do you envision yourself earning a living as an independent hip-hop artist?
Over the years of studying this HipHop game, I’ve realized that you only get out what you put in. We are no longer in the days where we need major labels to do the promotion for us. The power is in the internet.
I’ve also realized that you can still make a living by staying true to yourself. I think that HipHop fans still support the real artist by going out to buy albums. The key is good music. If you have good music, good networking skills, a detailed plan, that will lead to creating a fan base that appreciates you and your work.
A solid fan base will keep me in this game for a long time by supporting at shows all around the country and even world.
3) From a business point of view, which artists in the game do you think are really pushing the boundaries and changing it up?
The artist that are pushing the boundaries are all my favorite artist. I still think Jay-z has a significant role in shaping and molding the game from a business standpoint.
Kanye West is pushing the boundaries creatively, regardless if you like what he does, I believe as an artist you have to take chances and not duplicate what you’ve already done. The 2 MC’s that are inspiring me with their success today and that is J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
They are representations of staying true and as you can see they re winning over anybody who you hear a million times on the radio.
4) What business lessons have you learnt from the music industry so far?
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned from this industry is that talent will only take you so far. The best thing an artist can do is develop relationships with like-minded people who are on the same path you where you wanna see your career. Your networking skills have to be on par with your actual talent for music.
5) What do you love about hip-hop music?
I always say that Hip Hop music is the most powerful force that we have on this planet, meaning Hip Hop music is a universal language and what I love most about it is that I can reach and connect with so many people based off my individual story.
The people who relate to you the most will become life long fan as long as you stay true to what you believe.
6) What still surprises you about hip-hop?
With the certain artist that are experiencing success by staying true to themselves, Im still surprised that labels still like for artist to compromise their artistic integrity and change what people started to appreciate about them.
Their is some reason why fans like your music but I feel when you want to experience mainstream success, label execs want to convince you that “research” tells them you should be this type of artist.
The disconnect between artist and fan starts when labels want you to sounding like every other artist instead of your own sound.
7) If you had the power to change one thing about the hip-hop industry to help independent artists – what would it be?
I would most definitely create some type of balance in Hip Hop. I like records/artist that are made for radio but when I start to hear everybody sounding alike song after song after song, you kinda wish there was some balance restored in Hip Hip. For every “Turn Up” record that is played, a MC should be played right after. Balance is what Hip Hop needs.
8) Who do you think are top 3 rappers doing it at the moment?
My personal Top 3 rappers doing it J.Cole, Kendrick and Big Krit.
9) So what are your plans for the future?
I plan on never stopping. Music is everything to me, Im not doing this to “Come Up”. Im doing this for the love I have for music. I plan on performing the rest of this year to properly promote my project “Clone Age” and plan on droppin a new project towards the end of the year or top of next year.