Your project ‘Ghetto Scholars’ has a varying cast of sonics from trap to boom bap. Why do you think artists tend to stick to one sound for a full length project?
Let me start by saying this, “I was born in 1980.” I said that to say, I grew up with Hip Hop and I have been around to witness every evolution that she has experienced and I have experienced most with her. In her first 15 or so years, I’d say the key ingredient for recognition in Hip Hop music and culture then was “Style.” Your own style is what got you on stage or in a b-boy circle or got your graffiti recognised publicly. Now a days, especially with the rappers, it seems like the name of the game is “get paid”. The thing about this concept, is that the power to control the direction of mainstream hip hop music lies in the hands of the people that own the mainstream platforms in which music is played and marketed that get artists paid. Therefore, artist that only aim to “get paid” from rap, have their hands tied by these entities to create music that sounds identical to whats being pushed on mainstream media platforms. In my opinion, this ultimately makes an “artist” no longer an artist. Because, the true freedom of expression is ultimately non-existent. I don’t expect an artist born post 95 to make Golden Era Hip Hop, and honestly if I want to hear 90s hip hop, I’ll listen to The Fugees or Boot Camp. However, all musicians past, present and future would surprise themselves, if they just make new music from the heart that best represents their true selves. Again, just my opinion. I use every sound canvas that represents me, and subsequently as an 80s baby, every era of Hip Hop makes me. I Am Hip Hop. So you will hear remnants of it all on my album.
What was the inspiration behind the astronaut illustration for the cover art?
Well, the inspiration of the Ghetto Scholars album was the movie Interstellar. From beginning to end, the movie and album are parallel, but in a parallel universe sense. Interstellar is about the Pioneering on the highest level of humanity. A few brave astrophysicists exploring space to find a new planet to move humanity to as our world is becoming no longer inhabitable for human life. The parallel on Ghetto Scholars is that those inhabitants of ghettos world wide, can no longer stay there. Its time to move on and explore bigger and better worlds right here on our big, beautiful planet earth. The astronaut suit to me ultimately represents pioneering and exploration at the grandest level. This is the message of my album and the goal of The Ghetto Scholars expedition tour.
America’s cultural landscape has become hyper-political in the last year. How important is it for artists to speak through symbolism and metaphor when speaking on current topics so the song ages well?
I don’t believe there are any rules or regulations in artistry. Each individual should feel free to express themselves however they. Respectfully, yet unapologetically. However, to maintain longevity, the more timeless the message, the more universal, the greater the chance of achieving a classic status. To some this is important, but again, some want to get in and make as much money as fast as possible before they fade away.
You’ve performed overseas on several occasions. What is the biggest difference between European and American fans?
I don’t love to categorize people, but its pretty easy to do with this response. The majority of US fans follow whats trending. The US attention span is very short. A couple months back I saw Rick Ross’s album release being the talk of social media for a week in America for a week straight. Then just like that, no more. In Europe, people respect the art of a thing more than the stardom. It makes since, its the old world, they’ve seen many of greats (kings, poets, composers, generals, painters, etc) come and go thru thousands of years of history. Americas history is that of an infant in the world history. So yeah, if the art is quality, Europeans fuck with it. In America, it has to be considered popular before it becomes popular. And yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds.
Growhaus will be launching an app that focuses on empowering the artist. Elaborate on the genesis of the idea.
Well, it was ultimately a solution for us internally as creatives with in the GrowHaus collective. We wanted to be “completely independent” and completely ahead of the curve. The 4d cloud world is the future. Self-sustained cloud entrepreneurship. Once we decided the best way to be independent creatives was to build an exclusive app, we realized that not only would it be difficult to keep peoples’ attention in this app with just our music and content, but it could also be beneficial for other global creatives from musicians, to film makers, comedians, etc. And together, if we all drive our fans to one place to discover new independent art and content, then ultimately everyone within would benefit from the GrowHaus audience. And the community grow instantaneously.
Pre-Order You Copy Of ‘Ghetto Scholars’ Today and See Veteran Eye On Tour At One Of The Dates Below!!