Interview by: Michael Alexander //Photo by @treybarth
From: I’m from Atlanta, GA, and I live in New York now.
Notable Works: My first and only real solo album came out last summer and it’s called, “Anthem.” I’ve dropped a few EP’s outside of that and this fall we have a group album coming out called, “Declaration of Independence” which I executive produced and what not. It’s got the homie Bias and I rapping on every track. And our guitar player, The Living, playing on most of the tracks. We’re really stoked for that shit. It’s the first record where I’ve produced the majority of the music on my own. Fucking pumped.
Influences: I know it’s cliche to say, but I really don’t fuck with much rap music. I have my idols who influenced me to start rapping like my cousin Steve, Jay-Z, TI, and Kanye but besides them I listen to a shit ton of indie and electronic music. I’ve been listening to Sampha’s new EP a lot and I love the Antlers and James Blake. Oh, and BI K.R.I.T. I feel like I would’ve quit rapping if I had never heard, “Children of the World.”
What prompted you to start your career path?
My cousin started me rapping when I was like, six years old. Recording on tape decks to his little keyboard beats, lol. I never really stopped after that.
Who first recognized your talents and what it meant to you?
My homies Devan, Capo, and Ace have always believed in me more than I did myself. Capo and Ace used to help me pay for recording time when I first started and I’ll never forget that. Dev has always been a constant in whatever I’ve attempted to do in my life and he’ll always have my back. As I will his.
First problem you have come across?
To be honest, the different ways in which people dream. Everything’s slower in Atlanta and so urgency is looked upon as an annoyance. That sucked for me because I’ve always pursued music like my life depended on it. Which I truly believe it does. Without this I would have no outlet, no identity. I need this shit. So trying to calibrate and synchronize all of your homie’s ambitions with your own and hit a pace everyone is comfortable with has been the biggest challenge.
As an up and coming rapper what was it that you’ve seen that you needed to improve on?
The biggest thing we came into 2013 trying to improve on was our networking. Not just meeting people but actually turning those meetings into future opportunities. That shit was tough for people like us because we’ve always hated “the scene”. To me there’s nothing more wack than a “scene”. But alas, we realized that maybe our view on the scene was a bit immature and that’s when we started reaching out to our peers in Atlanta and New York and trying to find like minded people we could grow with.
How will you make an impact given a chance? Why should people take notice of your work?
Well people should take notice because my shit is good and I try my best to work really hard. But beyond that, I feel like most rap is totally un-relate-able and I feel like our shit deals with the striving and yearning that most 20 somethings go through on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. As far as what type of impact I want to have, I would like to be a leader of my generation and my people especially. I recently read, “The Souls of Black Folk,” by Du Bois and it struck me how we as a people have been dealing with the same issues since Emancipation. Only difference is now we have so few leaders to point us in a focused direction. So if my people will have me I’d love to help fill that void eventually.