Article/Interview by Persiah Alcorn
Sifting through different music websites I noticed a new artist. Well, not exactly. Incurious to the new artist, but more so drawn in by indie lyricist Blu I began to listen. “Polaris” was the name of the rap song I unknowingly found myself immersed in. Though I am not a fan of those “poetic” descriptions that led astray from the actual music it may be the only genuine way to describe this specific musical encounter. An eerie voice floated slowly and softly as if to set the mood for an alternative love song. The kind of teen-spirited love songs that end up in Honda commercials or Levi’s ads. Nonetheless as soon as it came it left. Leaving a slightly sour taste in my mouth, but immediately an unfamiliar voice penetrated the instrumental. “Before I watch it all vanish/Like the lost city of Atlantis/I’m taking advantage of the mechanics that I was handed.” Pausing the song mid-bar I found myself in shock. Who was this emcee that left me in a puddle of confusion and revelation? His name was ANTHM.
The feeling of finding great quality music is reminiscent of Christmas morning. A gift wrapped in run-of-the-mill paper, but upon opening proves to be an awe-inspiring endowment. ANTHM was my musical present. After listening to “Polaris” I found myself almost four songs deep and still wondering who exactly this was. After some light Google searching I came across ANTHM’s official website and just as every rapper, every person, he had a story. Not the typical story, though. As a Duke University graduate and a new trader for an undisclosed Wall St firm ANTHM’s story is unlike anyone’s in Hip-Hop.
Growing tired of vapid number crunching in Manhattan ANTHM decided to pick up where he left off and reunited with his passionate counterpart, the microphone. I couldn’t be more thankful for his decision. No longer a suit-and-tie prototype ANTHM is working his way through the Hip-Hop circuit and gaining respect on every level.
The name your mother gave you?
Does your name have a significant meeting?
The name is representative of where I want to go with my music. My ambition is to create thoughtful music that both sounds good and relates to a wide audience.
What makes a rapper legendary?
A timeless catalog of music and a lasting influence on the art form.
Your G.O.A.T. list?
Jay-Z, Pac, Nas, B.I.G., and Kanye.
When did you first fall in love with hip hop?
My Mom only allowed Gospel music in our home growing up, so I relied on my Uncle’s collection. I fell in love with three albums: Tupac’s “Me Against The World,” Scarface’s “The Diary,” and Big Mic’s “Something Serious.” Pac is still my favorite rapper.
If you could create a super group filled with producers, rappers, singers, and musicians, who would you select?
Quincy Jones (executive producer), Sade (vocalist), Andre 3000 (rapping), Ne-Yo (song writer), Kanye (co-executive producer/rapper/production), JMSN (vocalist), Jeff Bhasker (co-producing with Kanye), The-Dream (songwriter), John Legend (vocalist), Stuart Matthewman (production), and Drake (rapping/songwriting).
First word or sentence that comes to mind:
Baduism: On & On
Life’s A Bitch: Visualism the realism of life and actuality.
Swag: A word with 9 lives.
Tupac: The hate you give little infants fucks everyone (T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E.)
Maybach O: I’m not one to doubt Rozay’s ear.
What should a listener expect from Joy & Pain?
I’m really proud of Joy & Pain. It’s a concept EP that represents where I was in my life at the time of making it. The sound is pretty eclectic and the content is personal. It’s definitely not a conventional Hip Hop project. If you know me from When We Were Kings (previous mixtape) it will probably come as a surprise. It’s a great representation of my range artistically. I’m all about being true to my creativity while keeping the lyricism and content intact.
Check out ANTHM’s Joy & Pain Here