Longshot! We appreciate and love your true authenticity to the independent Hip Hop culture! Please tell us how many years you been rapping? How did you come up with your MC name?
What up! Thank you for the kind words…I’ve been rapping since I was a kid, but didn’t put out my own music until 2002(A 12″ with Chicago’s DJ Anomaly called ‘Happiness Is Hard 2 Find’). My first full length, ‘Open Mouths Fed’, came out on EV Records that next year.
What separates you from other up and coming Hip Hop artists?
What separates me from ANY other artist, not just up and coming, is that I am me. There’s only one me and I love that and embrace that and hone that every day. I am just trying to get better every day, as a man and artist, for my family, and local and world communities.
Being from Minneapolis, Minnesota how has your city embraced your music and growth so far?
I’m actually from Chicago, born and raised. I moved to Minneapolis in March of 2009 to work on music. The Minneapolis music community has been very receptive to my music ever since I moved up here. I came up here with the focus of sharpening my craft and that’s what I’ve been able to do…and i’m never going to stop.
What is the earliest hip hop memory you can recall?
My earliest Hip Hop memory is my big cousin Greg playing BDP for my first time….and just the boom and magnetism of KRS One’s voice drew me and had me hooked immediately. The first rhyme I memorized was Slick Rick’s ‘Children Story’. It was verse of the month in Word Up! magazine and I really wanted to be able to rap along with him when I heard it on the radio, so i memorized it and recall every word today from that experience. I love rap.
How are you coping with this whole Covid 19 situation? Has it delayed any new music production by any chance?
Covid-19 has not delayed any music for me. Obviously we aren’t able to perform live, so in that regard, I am suffering, financially and emotionally. But I know that this is my life’s purpose: to inspire others with my gift. So for the first time in my 18 year career I invested in my own studio equipment. I did that in early April. That’s how I was able to write, record and mix/master ‘I’m Saying’ in such a short period of time(I wrote and recorded the first song ‘Burn It Down’ on May 29th, the entire ep came out June 5th). Everything that is going on in our society has been fuel for my soul and I just want to do my part in helping with the healing process for us all. Producing music is one of those ways for me.
Tell us about your biggest Hip Hop influences?
My biggest influence in Hip Hop is Tupac Amaru Shakur. I have always, since the very first time I heard his voice, been moved by his passion and messages of Black power and the end of police brutality and systemic oppression. His art is timeless and speaks to generations about being proud but also aware of who we are as people. He has sparked my brain and I only hope that my work has continued his legacy in that same vein. Rest in love Tupac.
Please breakdown the creative process of your new EP “I’m Saying” .
The creative process for ‘I’m Saying’ was really fluid. I was in a state of urgency as far as having to express all of those feelings. The words just poured out of me. In selecting the beats, I knew I needed a wide range of feels as far as the music went because I was feeling so many different ways. One rap flow or style or sound of production wasn’t going to accurately convey how I felt, so picking the production was key. The homey Omen really snapped out and did a fantastic job in crafting the soundscape for that project. And like I said, it all happened very quickly because I felt like we need a soundtrack to what was happening to us in real time. I am just very humbled and blessed to be able to do what I love.
Your honest opinion, out of all your songs on your EP, which is the one song you feel stands out the most!?
I’m not sure if one song stands out on this particular project because they are so unique but so closely tied together, just by nature of the subject matter. My favorite verse is probably the 2nd verse of ‘P.O.P.'(Profit Over People), where I start out: all i hear is/white opinions on the plight of blacks/dont ever try 2 tell how i should act/if you aint living with your skin as a target/trust me/target is good…”
We have to ask, with all this social discourse and revolt, protesting and rioting, exposed police brutality toward blacks and BLM, how do you guys feel about this? We would love your guys perspective on the climate we are living in right now?
Our country, our world, but America specifically has a lot of work to do. All of us. We need to hold ourselves accountable about our involvement in all things anit-Womxn, anti-Black, anti-Semetic, anti-Trans, any other human injustices that are occuring in our society. Systemic racism and oppression needs to end. The police need to be totally re-educated and possibly totally disbanded. We deserve actual restorative justice across the board and the people will not rest until we see it. I am hopeful that real change is underway.
How important is it for you to stay “INDEPENDENT” as an artist? Or are you seeing yourself getting signed to a major?
I will forever do what’s right for me and my family when it comes to my career. I always exploring ways of exposing my music to a larger audience. I’m just gonna keep working, forever, and we’ll see what happens.
If it came down to 1 ALBUM only, what underground/independent Hip Hop album would you consider THE BEST OF ALL TIME!!!???……One 1 album you can choose.
Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.