JSB – Good Time Lib [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Lyrical, smooth, Bassy

Tell us a few things about your new single “Good Time Lib”

Good Time LIB is a song that talks about how despite the economic downtown in Liberia, there is still a lot that is good about Liberia. Liberia is on the coast has a lot of beaches and nice tourist attractions, so this song was about highlighting all that is good about my country.

You grew up in London and you returned to Monrovia in 2018. What do you love and what do you hate in each place?

I love the hustle and fast pace movement of London. It taught me to always think on my feet, and always have 2 to 3 options on my next move. London made me who I am today, taught me how to hustle and grind anywhere I go. Although it has evolved my one critique about London was the lack of opportunities for my type of music, i love music with meaning and lyrical content and at the time music with a more simple sound was popular. And also the weather, don’t miss that lol

Can you describe the vibe of Liberian street parties using just one word?

Vibrant

Favorite Afrobeat song ever?

I don’t have an all time favourite but one song i never get tired hearing is Amorawa by Wande Coal Ft Burna Boy

What would you change in the music industry?

I feel the industry now is built on what’s hot now rather than music that will stand the test of time. When I look at the UK Charts or Billboard Top 100, I think how many of these songs will still be relevant 5 years from now. I might sound old lol but there are so many albums from the 90’s and 00’s I still go back and listen to now. There are also albums from this generation that will still be played 5 to 10 years from now. But I think we need to praise the body of work and quality over what’s hot now.

Best film you watched during the last year?

Bad Boys For Life & Judas & The Black Messiah

Future plans?

I am working on my EP. It is more Afrocentric. Moving to Liberia has opened me to new sounds and experiences and this will tell in my music. I also still have songs that speak to the music that first inspired me, which is Hip Hop. I worked with many different Liberian artists in order to showcase the talent Liberia has to offer.

Thank you!

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Kobenz – Gothbxch (ft. Spaceman Zack) [Interview]

You have mentioned that you have been inspired by a previous tumultuous and toxic relationship. Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

I would have to say the sentence that hits me the hardest is probably one from my new song Sour Lemon, “Counting all the days I’ve been trapped inside your cage, clipped my fucking wings then you told me I was saved”, This one is just so true, after my first crazy ex I got back together with another one. I was really vulnerable at the time and I couldn’t eat, drink, or do basically anything at that point. At first she came across as if she was my white night swooping in to save the day, however I would soon learn, despite the false promises she was the same controlling, manipulative, toxic person she was when I first broke up with her. Even though we weren’t right I will still always appreciate her being there for me and wish her no bad blood. We have always made great friends.

How to support someone who feels suicidal?

Oof, well everyone is different, all I could recommend despite being there for them is to really listen to what they’re saying. If they are serious and are confiding in you with that type of trust, don’t just nod your head or try and make their feelings seem invalidated. A lot of the time someone is suicidal, a big part of it is usually that they feel alone. Isolation can really tip someone who is on that course over.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion? And what emo rap brings to the game?

To me hip hop symbolizes poetry and a cohesive way to tell a story. I chose hip hop because I felt it was the easiest way for me to tell my personal truths in a way that just structurally made sense. As far as emo rap? I don’t consider myself as part of that genre, I feel that the genre is very general in terms of being an umbrella term for all of the different genres of alternative hip hop. I know artists like Lil Peep and Ghostmane are usually referred to as emo, but I wouldn’t call it that. If anything Peep is more grunge/pop-punk and Ghostemane is metal. I’m usually referred to as a “goth” and while I definitely have some goth influences in my style and sound, I definitely wouldn’t say I’d fit in that one category.

Why sexism, and even outright misogyny, is so pervasive in Hip Hop culture?

I couldn’t answer that question to be honest. If I had to take a guess I would say its the seeing attractive women as trophies. I’m not about it. I get criticized for my song gothbxch once in awhile, but I don’t think many people really analyze lyrics as deep as I do. Gothbxch is actually a satire on the modern festishization of mental illness and E-culture. I really find the whole “simp” “liltiddygothgf” bullshit cringe as fuck.

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

Definitely, but you won’t hear it unless you spend a couple hours searching through SoundCloud. Truly underground music doesn’t stand a chance in the mainstream. Everyone wants catchy, simple, melodic, and repetitive. That’s the formula to a successful hip hop song.

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

When I’m not writing music, I spend time plotting world domination.

Best music related film?

I love montage of heck, but it’s all bullshit. Most of the information given about Kurt is stuff Kurt said to mess with people like the ones who exploited the hell out of everyone involved to keep them Cobain dollars coming in. It’s truly beautiful.

Thank you!

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Titus – Closure [interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Relatable, smooth, and Passionate

What is your creative process like?

My song writing always starts with the beat selection. The beat makes the song a lot of the time these days so if I can find a good one, I’m in luck. Then I freestyle on the beat a little to find the subject matter and the flow(s) I’m going to use. Next I go to the studio and make a hit lol.

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

“Wrote a thousand raps in the notebook my own pops don’t know about; Thinking if I tell him ‘bout the vision he gon’ kick me out”

Favourite album of the past decade?

I have to go with Blonde by Frank. I first listened to this album when I was still going through hard times in my younger years and some of the songs on there are deeply emotional for me not only because they bring me back but also because they remind me where I come from. Not to mention it’s a literal classic and a lot of people’s fave.

What would be your dream performance venue?

Somewhere iconic like Madison Square Garden or the Rolling Loud Stage. Somewhere legendary artists have performed before me.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

I would definitely still be in college trying to find something to be interested in besides girls lol. I think I would make a decent psychiatrist because I’m a good listener and like hearing about people’s issues lol.

One last thing we should know about you?

I’m way more than a rapper or singer or musician. I think art knows no bounds and my goal is to create my own world where I can reach people at a global scale to experience different points of view and perspectives.

Thank you!

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Flash J – 2AM FEELs [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Vibes, Passion and Relatable

Tell us a few things about 2AM FEELs. What is the main idea behind the track?

It was based on having past relationships rather long term or for a night. When you know only thing y’all can offer each other is a moments time but you forget that and emotions get involved. Though you want more than that, you both understand that’s all y’all can offer at the moment. But throughout the verse you’ll hear both sides male & female both feeling as if they were victims of a bad connection not realizing it takes two.

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

“I can move on at a “snap” , Poetry in motion, probably would of been on “snapped” with continued devotion,
Then posted you on my “snap” cuhz now you looking ghostly,
For awhile you been empty, a
“shell “ mostly.”

I really tried to dig in with creativity especially when representing the complexity of a woman’s nature/emotions. Snapping is what they do when you recite some great poetry material , snapped was a old tv show, and the last snap is “Snapchat abbreviated. And I brought some anime in it with “ghostly” and “shell” (ghost in a shell). Which is a female assassin I imagine a woman scorn acts in a similar fashion for “the get back” lol.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Human life, constantly adapting to the times even when it doesn’t seem appealing. A lot of time ugly things happen in life and what better way to be informed than through rhythm and sound. Especially one as influential as HipHop you might not like what you hear but it may save you from experiencing it.

Favorite album of the past year?

I have more than a few but if it’s okay I’ll just name two of them.

Nas – Kings Disease
Don Tolliver – Heaven Or Hell

What would you change in the music industry?

Not much I feel like the changes test my abilities as an evolving artist even if Im not directly in the midst of top artist. Ill still make enough noise to be heard for eons and that’s what matters most. When we break through and are able to survive in space I want them to be jamming to my stuff lol that would be epic.

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

Family, meditating , committing to the success of creating my future businesses. And just becoming a better student of life.

Thank you!

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Pharaoh Santana – PLAYBOY [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

West Coast Conscious

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

Playboy is the embodiment of walking the walk and talking the talk. The idea behind it is really just an acceptance of who I am, the people around me, and a statement that none of that is going to change. I am who I am.

For which lyric you are most proud of?

In Playboy specifically? Probably “he think he chosen / he Chris Nolan/ how he stand on his tenets”. I love double entendres, wordplay. Also Tennet was a dope ass movie, and obviously there’s the real definition for tenet that pertains to your set of beliefs etc. You get the point haha.

How do you relate to the Los Angeles music scene?

Good question. I think I relate in the sense that my sound is definitely west coast inspired, but I think my sound is a lot different from what’s bubbling in LA currently. I think I just represent a different side of LA that hasn’t had a voice in the past couple years… That being said, A lot of the artists popping off nowadays are friends of mine, or people I know from around the way. Whether it be from local shows, word of mouth, etc. so in reality we’re all connected.

Does Being An Actor Compromise Your Rap Career?

Not at all. If anything I think it helps it. I work a lot off of feeling and inspiration, I like to just let the words come and not force anything.. So I think acting helps me tap into a different side of myself which in turn helps my writing. Sometimes when the music isn’t exactly clicking I still have an outlet to be creative, and usually that then inspires something back to the music. It all works hand in hand.

Best music related film?

Ooooo. Fantasia. and Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Dead tie.

Future plans?

In the immediate future I’m gearing up for my next project “PSP”, a 5 track extended play that piggie backs off of my debut project “PS1” from last year. I definitely want to do more acting as it relates to my music this year, I.E longer music videos that are more plot driven and narritive, etc. I’m really just trying to bring all my skills to the table.

Thank you!

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Papikaiser – Focused [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words.

Bilingual, Urban, Tropical

Tell us a few things about your song “Focused”. What is your way to harness your determination and stay focused?

This song is about my dedication and concentration with my music and what my goals are. My story in my own musical way. The way I harness all my energy is to be alone in my room writing and recording my music.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Hip Hop for me symbolizes a culture and a way of life. Telling your story threw your music.

Puerto Rico vs New York. What do you love and what do you hate in each place?

Puerto Rico, I love everyhting: My people, food, music, beaches, women. New York, I love the movement, the opportunities, different styles and different people. I don’t like the cold.

For which lyric you are most proud of?

I’m proud of all my lyrics becuase they come from my heart and soul.

Best music related film?

8 Miles

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

Gym and hanging with my family and friends.

Thank you!

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Chicago Ray Ray – Vultures [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

REAL RAP MUSIC!

“Loyalty is everything in life and in the streets.” Tell us a few things about your new song Vultures.

Vultures exposes the people around you who have no loyalty or those that do. The ones who are only around to take from you and have no loyalty are vultures

How do you relate to the Chicago music scene?

Growing up I have witnessed the music transition and Im apart of the diverse talented artist here in Chicago, I thrive on all of the music made here and support them with the good music that comes from here. I want to be apart of the tradition of setting a trend in Chicago with good music.

Favourite rapper, lyricist and producer?

My Favorite Rapper is Black Thought, My Favorite Lyricist is Scarface, My Favorite Producer is SUPERHOOD (My cousin)

Dream performance venue?

Performing at Lollapalooza Here in Chicago, Its one of the biggest Concerts in the world

Best film you watched the last 12 months?

Power with Jamie Foxx

Any future plans

Im working on my album and hoping to release it summer of 2021!

Thank you!

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Oshua – Waste My Time [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Lonely Bedroom Hip-Hop

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

I’d say on average I listen to around 20-30 beats a week, I usually choose atleast 1-3 to record on.
My creative “process” is pretty non-existent, there isn’t a set way I do things but usually the vocal melody is the first thing that sticks out to me and after that I’m kind of all over the place with how the song progresses.
I also usually record the same song around 2-5 times – I’ve come to realise that on different days my voice has different emotions and therefore different sounds, its good to have more than one full take on the vocals.

Favourite rapper, lyricist and producer?

Rapper: Juice Wrld
Lyricist: Frank Ocean
Producer: Roxxee

Best Hip Hop album ever?

PERSONALLY for me its “Goodbye & Good Riddance” by Juice Wrld, I listened to a lot of lyrical rap growing up like DOOM, Gang Starr, Mos Def but the Juice album really hit home for me and it has just stuck.
There is something about the lullaby sounds and the raspy vocals that keeps me coming back.

What do you love and what do you hate about living in Australia?

I seriously love the summer and the beaches, you cannot go wrong with a beach day and Sunday beers. However, the flies are an absolute let-down, they’re always in your face – its fine because you get used to them.

Favorite music related film?

Interstellar, the eery sound-choice used in the soundtrack is something else for me, it takes me places and makes me feel some type of way.

Future plans?

I plan to release a lot of music in 2021 with new singles out almost every month, I don’t really have a clear goal in mind with music but I plan to keep on keeping on.

Thank you!

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Hunnid – Lonely At The Top (Feat Streetz) [Interview]

  • Describe your sound in three words

I would say passionate, honest and with some of my new stuff vulnerable.

  • “Lonely at the top” is an emotional song indeed. Tell us a few things about it.

“Lonely at the Top” is a mantra for the determined.  This song comes from a vulnerable place for me.  The song was written and recorded with the featured artist Streetz years ago.  Along with many many other songs, this track was left unfinished when Streetz was murdered in 2018.  The song was then posthumously produced and released by myself at the end of 2019 in his memory.  Although the tone of the song is sad, it is still powerful, uplifting and motivational.  The point is to carry on the legacy for him.  Even when you’re by yourself, it’s not always lonely at the top.  

  • You sampled an iconic song by the Beatles. Which are your major musical influences?

I take influence from all types of music.  I grew up listening to every kind of music you can think of – from Jazz to MoTown to 90’s hip hop/rap, to Pop Music to Rock and everything in between and think this has all influenced me, even if just for my deep love and respect for music.  If I were to pinpoint a specific artist that has had the most influence on me musically and as a person in general, I would say TuPac.  The last few years, I can say I don’t listen to alot of other people’s music.  I really focus on my personal creativity and my craft.  I will listen to beats and instrumentals and just create.  I want my music to be authentic and not have too much influence from others in order to maintain my artistry.  

  • Favourite rapper, lyricist and producer?

Honestly, I would say myself.  As an artist, if you’re not your own biggest fan, you cannot expect anyone else to be and maybe you shouldn’t be doing this.  I love what I create and am proud of every track I release.  I have my hand on every piece of the process of creating my music.  

  • Do you have an artist that you would describe as a hidden gem that we should know about?

Not to be redundant, but I think myself.  I believe my artistry and music is a hidden gem and the new stuff I’m creating is going to set the world on fire.

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

 I recently watched The Banker and thought that was a great movie.  It had a very real and raw storyline and the acting was great.  I think it’s very inspirational and reminded me that even when you’re faced against the odds you have to rise to the occasion.   

  • Any future plans?

There’s too many future plans right now to try to list.  I would suggest the world be on the look out for what’s next from me.  The future is going to be epic for my brand.  

  • Thank you!

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Dopize – (UN)BALANCED [Interview]

  • Describe your sound in three words

Authentic, versatile, energetic. 

  • Tell us a few things about your new project “Unbalanced”

We all looking for a sort of balance between things to find happiness in life and that’s the exact same with music. I’m in love With us rap, i fell in love with the language and the culture, but I’m french and I wanted to find a balance between these two languages so I’ve tried to blend them to create a new vibe.

  • Which song of the EP represents you the most?

There’s a little bit of me in all of the tracks. Each tracks has it’s own mood. Like  everyone else I go through tons of different moods everyday, so I’d say all of them.

  • How many beats do you listen to before you end up using one? Who is your favorite producer?

I make all of my beats. Sometimes it takes me 5 min to make  a beat that I love, sometimes it takes a week to find the right vibe. I’m very picky with the beat that I use I keep a very very tiny portions of whatIi create. I don’t really have a favorite producer though.

  • What does the future hold for Trap specifically and Hip-Hop in general?

I have no clue but I hope a lot of new sounds and creativity and hopfully a little bit of success for Dopize ahah!

  • What would you change in the music industry?

Money is the only thing that matters in the industry that’s the problem, I would put the art first

  • Any future plans?

A lot of new music, new concepts, just wait and see !

  • Thank you!

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