1) Talk to me about the making of your latest project. What was the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration behind Dynasty is I wanted a way to put my foot in the door in terms of showing people what I can do. I don’t really think I fall under the category of the typical rapper in terms of the messages I write about, or the way I write them.
But I wanted a way to put my messages and emotions into a project that also shows off my skill-set a bit as a lyricist. So expect some serious tones, with a very unique style behind it. Some of it is also inspired by music from Twenty One Pilots and a few other bands/artists.
2) With the music industry tanking and record sales falling, how do you envision yourself earning a living as an independent hip-hop artist?
The music industry in my opinion isn’t tanking, but it’s changing. And my idea is that I’m going to change with it. Of course record sales are falling because of all the streaming services that can make every bit of music free.
No one really HAS to pay for music anymore, which I can’t blame anyone for since who doesn’t like free things, right? But in the same way it’s become easier to get music for free, it’s become easier to sell merchandise in the modern world.
Using online sales for a brand as an artist has become easier. Not to mention promoting yourself as an artist has become easier. So what I envision myself doing to earn a living, is being positive and swimming with the waves of change. Show to show, set to set, get deals and endorsements where I can.
Who knows what will happen? My dream is to be able to do this full time, non-stop. And I’m willing to go through tough times to make that dream come true.
3) From a business point of view, which artists in the game do you think are really pushing the boundaries and changing it up?
Well like I’ve mentioned many times before, one of the biggest inspirations in my music comes from Tech N9ne. Him and Travis O’Guin years ago did huge things to make it known that artists do not need a major label that’s already successful backing them.
That success comes from hard work, determination, and decisions made throughout one’s career. There are so many short cuts but if that short cut takes you to a place that is ALMOST your destination, but not quite, why take it?
Tech certainly took the hard route and has become the number one independent rapper worldwide. So I think that him, and people like him, that don’t take a road but pave their own way through the hills, are people who change up the game. And I intend to be one of those people that makes a name from nothing.
4) What business lessons have you learnt from the music industry so far?
I haven’t been in the industry for long, barely even a year, but already I’ve learned a few lessons. One of the biggest ones I’ve learned, that just might be a personal thing, is communication.
When you’re working with a talent or artistry, like music, you need to have communication with those you work with. If you and whoever you’re doing business with are not on the same page, one of you gets screwed, no matter what. And it doesn’t even have to be something that was done on purpose, either.
5) What do you love about hip-hop music?
The main reason hip-hop is my favorite type of music is because it allows for a certain freedom. Sure, that can be said about a lot of different styles of music, but I can’t think of another genre that has so much free-form expression.
I mean, there are people who rap about what they’ve got, what they don’t have, what they want, what they want for other people, what they like, what they dislike, what they feel, what they wish they could feel. So many different types of expressionism, and what makes it so different in hip-hop is the fact that it’s descriptive.
I know not all songs in the genre have heavy amounts of description in the lyrics but a lot of it does. And that type of feeling in speaking, makes me feel right at home.
6) What still surprises you about hip-hop?
Honestly, almost everything. There’s so many new things that you can hear from it. Once you feel like you’ve heard it all, you go on HotNewHipHop or DatPiff, listen to a couple mixtapes, and realize there’s a new artist that you’ve never heard of that has such a unique style.
Everything is so new, and what surprises me is that there are still so many different flows and styles of this rap thing that haven’t been explored or seen yet. I’m one of those styles, too.
7) If you had the power to change one thing about the hip-hop industry to help independent artists – what would it be?
If I had the power to, I think I would change things outside of the hip-hop industry instead. For example, I would change peoples outlook on what hip-hop is. One of the biggest things that happened when growing up in my hometown, is I’d try to show my friends this new Outkast song, or new Eminem song, and all I’d get is “Rap is just about drugs and money.”
And I wish I could change people’s minds because that’s not all it is. That’s not even part of what it is. The reality is that people rap about what their lives are like, or what they think about, or how they feel. If their life is represented by that, so what?
There are other artists out there that don’t represent that, that you can listen to. Independent artists have so much more to bring than just the “usual” of the rap game. And I love that about it.
8) Who do you think are top 3 rappers doing it at the moment?
Well, let’s exclude people who are obviously legends and already known as some of the greatest people living in the industry, like Eminem, and Jay-Z.
Right now, I think my top three list would be
1. Tech N9ne
3. Childish Gambino
These three are some of the artists I look up to, and I think they’re making some big movements and changes in the game. Especially in terms of making sure it’s known that there is no ONE way of doing it.
9) So what are your plans for the future?
To become established as an Independent rapper from Atlanta, to build my fanbase and eventually create enough hype behind me and my style of music to tour. Down the road a little I’d love to establish my own business, and brand.
Market not only my talent and my capabilities but to help market others talents too. And eventually, create my own record label to build and manage to help upcoming artists get discovered. Also, a personal side goal of mine is to become a favorite home town hero.
Be up there with names like Ludacris, Andre 3k, Jermaine Dupri, and people like that. So, that being said, I have a lot planned for the future. But I’ve got to go for it one step at a time. So get ready for Dynasty.