Hey TNV! Please tell us how many years you’ve been making music?
I’ve been making music over 25 years. I started off writing lyrics when I was 13 yrs old. From there I started to dabble in beat production and I was heavily influenced by underground Hip Hop, till this day it is the foundation of everything I make.
Tell us about your first ever debut track you put out? When was this?
Wow that’s was back in 2000. I was part of this rap group called the Driftas, the song was named Drifting. It was me and one other MC and a DJ. We collaborated and made a EP before it was even popular.
What separates you from many other MC’s in your city?
In Detroit there are some great MC’s. The underground scene has influenced me quite a bit. I would think my style of expression is distinct with my thought process and how I relay the message on pen and paper. I respect a lot of MC’s in Detroit, without there influences I wouldn’t have my own style.
How are you coping with this whole Covid 19 situation?
I believe GOD has a plan for my life. I’m married with three beautiful kids. I’m a introvert so it didn’t effect me drastically, but it is hard not seeing some of my family. In this season I’m learning to enjoy the little things like Health, family, finances and music opportunities. This year I definitely learned how to zone in on what GOD wants for my life.
Tell us about your biggest Hip Hop influences?
So I have influences on the Production and Lyricism part of Hip Hop because I do Both. I’m originally come from LA so Battlecat was one of the illest producers in the 80’s and 90’s. Dj Quik, Dj Alladin and Dr. Dre with that Cali sound. My Midwest and East Coast influences are JDilla, Marley Marl, Pete Rock, The Beatnuts, Dj Premier and The Bomb Squad. Lyricist I would say Rakim for me was a game changer. Krs One, Nas, King T, Black Moon, and Ice Cube has a special place in my heart when it comes to Lyricism.
Please breakdown the creative process of your latest album “Shine”. And tell us a little about the album cover concept!
Well 2020 could definitely be looked at as a difficult year. So I wanted “Shine” to be a reflection of a positive reflection on life. My production side is definitely influenced by Boom Bap, so it definitely needed to sound foundational in that gritty sound. Every sample for most of the songs told the Story for the track. “Shine” had more features than any other project I created, so every beat with a feature I thought about the style of the featured artist.
Your honest opinion, out of all the songs on the project, which is the one song you feel stands out the most!?
It’s a strong tie between “Shine” and “Part of the Band”. Shine featured Skyzoo, he is one of my favorite MC’s, he set the tone for the entire Album. Part of the Band featured Jaooo, this is another track that just hit hard with the concept and the flow from me and Jaooo.
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 perspective on the climate we are living in right now?
We are living in the time of reciprocity. The history of this Country has revealed the true foundation of this Country. The only difference is with all the Social constructs with Social Media and technology it is being revealed in real time, what’s going on is nothing new. It is now the time for this country to repent for the systematic destruction of native Americans, Latinos and Blacks or we will see the falling of a Nation Like Rome.Racial reconciliation is needed for this country to become great, which it has never been on those lines.
Did you vote last year?
Yes I voted
If it came down to 1 ALBUM only, what underground Hip Hop album would you guys consider THE BEST OF ALL TIME!!!???……One 1 album you can choose.
I would have to say Mos Def”Black on both sides”
What is your definition of “underground Hip Hop”.
I would say it’s definitely a feeling. Underground definitely doesn’t play by the rules when it comes to the music industry influences. To create something that isn’t popish in sound and feeling. You definitely have to have a style of your own, perfection of lyricism and staying away from trends.
Drop all your link.Q&A With Detroit’s Very Own TNV first appeared on UndergroundHipHopBlog.