Fang Su – Death’s Melody [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Mysterious, Haunting, Unusual

Tell us a few things about your new song. What is the main idea behind it?

It’s a song based on a guy who is a psychopath that loves to kill. The main idea behind it is to capture what goes on in the mind of a serial killer

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

My thoughts are morbid

Your music has an old school vibe. Are you into today’s Hip Hop? Or do you prefer to listen to old classics?

I prefer to listen to old school classics, much better than today’s music

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Hip hop symbolizes creativeness within the mind

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say always be prepared for the unexpected and don’t expect everything to go your way

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

I was involved in a police investigation for an assault of two people but wasn’t arrested

Thank you!

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Sigma Defence – b i r d s h a v i n g f l o w n [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

A mixture of sadness, triumph and experimentation.

Tell us a few things about your new song. What is the story behind it?

Birds having flown is about realizing my mortality. Knowing that I could go at any moment and asking for understanding and forgiveness for my past transgressions. This year, I lost some of my closest friends to suicide and freak accidents. These were people so full of life and ambition. These deaths made me realize more than ever that I could go at any time. Without warning. Recorded this on my ipad Pro, then sent it off to Grammy nominated engineer Beauvallis for mixing and mastering.

For which lyric you are most proud of?

I have a line where I say “Soul seeking but the reasoning was girls, how I changed it up so you could get the pearls, if I take it back then its an admission of guilt.” On this I realized how much of my life was about sex with women and how I used that to acknowledge my manhood and importance. I want the listener to learn from my experience that this is not a true route to happiness. And that I shouldn’t feel guilty for the things I did.

Favourite album of the past decade?

I have a few that I play on repeat but Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy would have to be number

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

The biggest challenge would be getting people to listen to my music. Everyone is attracted to the visuals and my persona but they dont take the time to listen to my music.

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

In any state of mind honestly. I have tracks for party for sex for driving for smoking, different things for different times.

You’d give up making music for…

I couldnt give up music for anything. Take my tongue, I will pen songs and make beats.

Thank you!

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Tubbz – Grime kid [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

My sound is Emotional, Grimey and Thoughtful

How many beats do you listen to before you end up using one? Tell us a few things about your creative process.

To be totally honest it has become very hard to get beats due to the pandemic, you can no longer be in the studio with a producer whenever you want. So these days I buy a clutch of beats based on one that I want and go from there.

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

In one of my singles called ‘The Bag’ I get into how irratic life is although everyone paints a nice picture – “I’ve got a craving for p’s, im feeling it everytime I lace up my feet, 12 hour shifts 12 days that’s hustling, home lifes mad now im juggling, martel guzzling” this bar is explaining the irony behind life where we all have a crazy drive to make money but even when u do your personal life becomes undesireable. If you listen to other rappers they will make out like life is great when you work non stop.

Do you think there is a true underground hip hop sound today?

yes definitely, personally I’m still dodging around making “mainstream” music because it all sounds similar. I like to stand out and be me which I think you will only see in the underground scene.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Hiphop to me is free expression, art and poetry. One of my favorite things when writing is to purposely write bars that go over people’s head in hopes that every play shows the song slightly differently.

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

I try to stay active and do alot of things with my family in my spare time as I have a 2 year old daughter. I’m a big fan of combat sports and tune in every sat, and physically I like to skate and play basketball.

What would you say is your biggest vice?

My biggest vice is money just like 90% of people in this world. If only I had someone to fund my music alone I could take it to another level but unfortunately life nowadays is all about bills and it puts a stress on the music

Thank you!

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The Kyd – Napsacks & Kickbacks [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words:

Traditional, boom-bap, lyrical

Tell us a few things about your new song “Napsacks & Kickbacks”. What is the main idea behind it?

It’s a nostalgic track sort of reminiscing about care-free high school-ish days hanging and partying with friends but within that it’s talking a bit about how I got into rapping and what inspired me to get into it and then start taking it seriously. I thought of the line: “What the deally, just got to the Chat, it’s chilly,” which pretty much set everything up from there. Line’s of course a reference to AZ’s opening line on Phone Tap, a rapper I mention as one of my biggest influences alongside Nas in the last verse.

What is the main topic of your lyrics?

It’s just reflecting type of stuff really but also fun. The first verse is just setting the tone and talking about getting back to Chatham, the hometown, hanging with the old crew you always hung with and getting back into the zone you were in when you were younger, before the reality of life hit you and you suddenly couldn’t slog beers til 4am and do shit you used to do anymore. It sets up the other 2 verses. The second verse starts off by me talking about how they “done doubted this, etc.” because that was definitely the case. The time period I’m talking about, when I discovered rap and first got into it, I didn’t really have a niche like people I hung with did so I was kind of aimless and my self-esteem wasn’t the highest and I could often come off as painfully timid. So I was defined as that by a lot of people and written off as some sort of hapless, feeble person that probably wouldn’t do anything and that was going to me. Not to say I’m dwelling in the past at this point, but I think one of the underlying reasons I often rhyme the way I do and go as hard as I do is the chip on my shoulder that inevitably comes from all of that. I think other artists could probably relate to that.

The verse then transitions into talking about becoming the artist and how that has made me more certain of myself and what not. Third verse is basically summing it all up and saying that rap is what I want to do and forget all the BS, this is what I should be doing.

Your music has an old school vibe. Are you into today’s Hip Hop? Or do you prefer to listen to old classics?

I mean, when it comes down to it, I gotta say I prefer the classics. They’re what got me to fall in love with hip-hop in the first place, what I studied when I decided to really get into rap, and what I go back to the most when I want to get inspired to write something. But that’s not to say I just dismiss everything out now. I love Griselda, Freddie Gibbs, Pro Era, Earl Sweatshirt, and this new artist on Shady, Grip, is also great. A lot of other artists as well as who are doing dope stuff that stick to the fundamentals of good lyricism and flow and can bring it to a modern audience. I’ll even rock to some Denzel Curry or Bryson Tiller when in the mood. But the thing about the classics in the late ‘80s and ‘90s that makes them so good is that they came out in a time when your place in hip-hop was determined or measured by how dope you were, not all the other bullshit that labels and executives seem to emphasize now. All that shit was secondary. So you had to keep your sword sharp because there was so much competition. The level of competition there was back then is still missing a bit. You see evidence of that coming back now which is great but there’s a lot of bullshit to overcome if you want to be an artist sticking to that essence.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Oh man, great question. This one topic could take hours. It represents a very significant cultural achievement for the Black community, which they should always have pride in. It went from Kool Herc’s parties in the Bronx to being dismissed as a fad or “ignorant gangster ghetto music” by an ignorant establishment, to being the most prominent genre and culture at the moment. It’s consistently proved everyone wrong since it started and continues to, I think. It also emphasizes competitive creativity more than most other genres, since it’s usually more based on individual effort and style and setting yourself a part. It’s unique in that way, as you’re always pitting your style against someone else’s and trying to push boundaries with how you flow or use words to stand out as the best. What it has symbolized for me and many others as well is building one’s individual identity and solidifying it. Not to sound hokey, but it’s been a passion of mine, a dream, and a hobby or whatever you want to call it since I love the artform and enjoy creating it. But it’s also been an outlet for people like me who otherwise probably wouldn’t have one and a big part of my personal development. It added a jolt to my confidence that wasn’t there and probably never would have developed had it not been for rapping. So it’s for a while now been the one area where I’m completely sure of myself. And I’ve noticed that sort of confidence has eventually found its way into other areas of life, too.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Probably when I was told “just put yourself out there and go do it. You have the talent now.” Simple, but helpful.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Probably when I hosted a party at my parent’s house where some property was damaged. Not sure I’ve seen the old man that hot before.

Thank you!

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Shaq Bruce – GoodNight&GoodLuck [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Soulful, Emotional, Conscious

What is your creative process like?

I like to have the beat on loop so that I can catch a vibe and figure out how I want to approach the song. I then start coming up with melodies and flows that I can use on the beat.

Which song of the EP is your favorite?

My favorite song on the EP is ‘Heartbreak Kid’ because it is a song that anyone can relate to. I feel that love is complicated and that you first have to work on yourself and love yourself before you can truly love anyone else.

Favourite rapper, lyricist and producer?

My favorite rapper of all time is Jay Z, My favorite lyricist is Andre 3000, and my favorite producer is Dr. Dre

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Hip Hop to me symbolizes expression, heart, and soul. I feel like it is one of the few genres of music that allows an artist to be themselves unapologetically.

Favorite music related film?

My favorite music-related film is straight outta compton

You’d give up making music for…

I wouldn’t give up anything for music to be honest because It is my life and my everything. I couldn’t imagine living live without making music.

Thank you!

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Mr Sunshine – Full Force Mixtape [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Real underground hip hop

Tell us a few things about your new mixtape.

I worked on this tape for around half a year. I collaborated with some amazing artists like Chedom, iNTeLL from the 2nd Generation Wu, Dogman Rukus and more. It turned out really great and it’s my favourite project that I made so far.

Which song of the mixtape is your favorite?

It’s hard to choose, because I had great fun making most of the songs. But I would probably have to go with “Rescue You” because I have been listening to iNTeLL for many years and it’s a big honour to have him on my mixtape.

Do you think there is a true underground hip hop sound today?

There is underground hip hop today for sure. You just have to look for it. I’m always happy to find some new real hip hop.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

It’s a culture. I met so many great people around the world through hip hop. I never experienced anything like this with other music genres. It’s one love.

Favorite music related film?

Ghost Dog is one of my favourite movies ever. RZA made a classic with this movie. I have watched it so many times.

What is the most useless talent you have?

I am very good at Fall Guys. I don’t know if it’s a talent but it’s useless for sure.

Thank you!

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Luccii – Beam Me Up [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Vibey, Eclectic, Focused.

How many beats do you listen to before you end up using one? Tell us a few things about your creative process.

I usually make all my own beats so my process really depends on where I’m starting with the song. Like for this song I started off thinking about some old Kanye beats, found the samples I wanted and then was off to the races. Sometimes it’s not that simple and it can take months to craft something the way I want it to be, but usually it comes out as one big idea.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

Songwriting for me is usually a pretty lonely process. I would say 9 times out 10 I’m just holed up in my studio working by myself, but I have collaborated some. I’ve worked with artists like Your Neighbors, Jaxxon Wynn, and Alex Jackson on past projects.

Do you think there is a true underground hip hop sound today?

I think hip hop and music in general is going through this weird phase where everything is underground and nothing is underground at the same time. Everything has influences of something else in it and with the way the internet is we can go extremely deep down the rabbit hole that is any given genre. So what is super mainstream to some people is super niche to others, but there’s not many household names coming out anymore so to put it all in one word. Both.

Is Spotify the music industry’s new Gatekeepers?

Yes. 1000%. Social media too.

What was the best film you have watched during the quarantine?

I really haven’t watched a whole lot of films while I’ve been in quarantine, but I think the best new thing I’ve watched in general is Black Mirror, that show’s crazy as hell.

You’d give up making music for…

Nothing, this shit is my therapy and I don’t think there’s anything on earth that would make me want to stop creating

Thank you!

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BKR – Dirty Money Clean Hands [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

authentic, unique, lyrical

Tell us a few things about your new EP.

All the beats on my new EP are made by an amazing boom bap hip-hop producer named K. Pizzle. The tracks on this album have a range of vibes, from grimy to uptempo, while having a common underlying gritty feel about them. I had fun experimenting a little more with some singing on this one, but I’ll always stay true to myself and make sure the bars are on point no matter what.

Which song of the EP is your favorite?

My favorite songs vary day to day, but I’d say at the moment Neutered In Neutral is my personal favorite.

Do you think there is a true underground hip hop sound today?

I think underground artists should always make music they want to make and develop their OWN sound without trying to sound likeother. So, I guess by that definition there can’t be one true underground hip hop sound. With that said though, I do believe the listeners can tell when someone is being authentic with their art, or just trying to bandwagon.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Hip hop is a representation of the people. The good, bad, and the ugly.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to be more patient. Stick with things, sometimes the pay out takes time.

You’d give up making music for…

I have a beautiful wife and 4 kids, so if I ever had to give up making music it would be for them. In a heartbeat.

Thank you!

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ONE:FIFTY – XTC [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Dark, Rich, Atmospheric

Your music has an experimental tone. Should music as a form of art always challenge the listener?

In our opinion music doesn’t always have to challenge the listener. Often the exchange between a song and the listener can be purely a momentary pleasure. In terms of long lasting, impactful music that truly connects with its audience and keeps its cultural relevance over time, the answer would be, yes. In that case the art should challenge the listeners in some way. Evoque an emotion or incourage to stop and think for an instance. What music incorporates those attributes for each individual listener, who are we to say?

What is the story behind your name?

The idea behind it is that our names respectively begin with a “C” for Calvin and an “L” for Lawrence. In old roman numbers C and L stand for 100 and 50, you add those up and you get 150. Thats where ONE:FIFTY came from.

Favourite album of the past year?

Wasn’t released in 2020/21 but Mac Millers “Swimming” has been on heavy rotation ever since its release in 2018. Probably still the album that gets the most plays from us. There is something new to discover every time you listen.

Your also have very cool dark vibe. Tell us a song with an atmosphere, you wish you had composed yourself.

The atmosphere of “On My Shoulders” by Sabrina Claudio is something we would have loved to have come up with ourselves. Amazing song.

Favorite music related film?

Probably “Whiplash”.

You’d give up making music for…

Insane question to even think about.

Thank you!

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LyricalGenes – Trauma

Describe your sound in 3 words

Original, unpredictable, story-telling

Should we always accept our demons? Tell us a few things about your new song.

I think we should be aware of demons, whatever it may be. “Trauma” is the first song and video where I comfortably talk about depression and ways of coping with it, whether healthy or unhealthy. I speak on my demons and how it has affected me throughout life. For instance I state, “I’m not even comfortable with love. Every time I think I’ve had enough. It stays on my mind. Like all the time. It’s just nature telling me that this time. It’s gon’ be alright. I hope so.” Although this line is self explanatory, I proclaim that I am not comfortable with love because I feel like I do not know what love is. Since I am aware of that demon, I actually try to practice showing affection and/or gratitude to my peers, for example.

Author, poet, musician, model , actor, record label owner, college student..How do all these fit together?

Well, being an author, poet, and musician allow me to tap into my deeper emotions by constantly writing. This continuous writing is extremely therapeutic for me. In addition, I am able to hone in on my publishing skills. On the other hand, modeling and acting is more psychological for me. Specifically, acting gives me the chance to show my many sides that I may not show in real life, based on the character. Lastly, owning a record label and being a college student helps with the entrepreneurial aspect of entertainment. By owning a record label, I have the freedom to express myself however I want and do business with whomever I deem a good fit. Moreover, being a college student is good for networking. Overall, these titles are applicable to entertainment and business, one way or another.

For which lyric are you most proud of?

Within “Trauma”, I have a line that says, “It’s just nature telling me that this time, it’s going to be alright.” This line is an indicator that sometimes we do not have control over what happens to us, for example, falling in love with someone or vice versa. Sometimes we have to learn how to adjust based on what is thrown our way.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Being the voice for the voiceless. That’s what it symbolizes for me. Also, music in general allows artists to tap into a deeper consciousness that many other people may feel, but not know how to put it into words like a hip-hop artist, pop artist, etc. is able to. Musicians are like prophets.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Use what you feel to build an empire.

Future plans?

I am working on multiple mixtapes, leading up to my fourth album. I will have proper PR and publicity campaigns for my music, as well as booking live shows, if the pandemic permits. Movie roles and short films are currently in place, so I will still be trying my best to, not only help myself, but others in the process.

Thank you!

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