Meet Upstate Middletown & Bronx, NYC rapper Richelieu some of you may already know him as Uptown Rich. Whichever moniker he went with one thing has always remained the same & that’s him consistently putting out quality music over the the years. Rich’s flow back then & now gives you that late 90’s Street Corner hustler harsh reality perspective or even the new age underground rap sound we hear now WORLDWIDE. This has been a good year so far for him after ending 2019 dropping
( Team Moet ) I’ve been following your music now for a few years but for those who may not be familiar who is Richelieu?
( Richelieu ) A Survivor!!
( Team Moet ) I know you’ve had a few setbacks over the years but you never gave up rapping. What kept you motivated even in those dark times?
( Richelieu) Just my love for music I’m a fan first I go through things and music is the best way that I can express it.
( Team Moet ) You talk about a lot of real situations in your music. One of my favorite songs you did is “Keep Hope Alive” tell us about the process of recording that song & where do you rank it on your personal favorites?
( Richelieu) The recording process was easy I was going through it at the time and had to let it out. I really never rank any of my songs as a favorite because I have so much music some of which I haven’t released yet.
( Team Moet ) You & Buckz have Worked Together a lot over the years on songs like Right Now, On God, No Hook etc. When will we get a collab mixtape with the both of y’all?
( Richelieu) It’s all on timing but we was just talking about that so hopefully sooner than later like this summer.
( Team Moet ) You dropped Dear Winter, Kitchen Table & Quentin Quarantino. How do you rank them & why?
( Richelieu) Kitchen Table is my favorite EP so far because that was the introduction to my company Kitchen Table, Dear Winter was just a reminder,Quentin Quarantino was me showing consistency featuring my bro Ag Flow on “movin spicy” and Buckxz on “inna that”
( Team Moet ) What inspired you to start doing “IG Live” Freestyles killing everyone beats?
( Richelieu) Boredom and for the love of the sport
( Team Moet) What do you currently have in the works right now?
( Richelieu) Few visuals a joint project with Snotty
( Team Moet ) How are you currently investing into yourself to build your brand?
( Richelieu ) First & most importantly just learning the business part better and better each chance I get. Tapping into the merch business once I get everything in order. Few marketing people, but learning how to do what people pay people to do.
( Team Moet ) Being that you from NY & resided in PA what’s your thoughts on the music scene in a small city trying to make it compared to NYC ?
( Richelieu) A lot of talent just no work ethic or unity, NYC tends to follow trends and do what’s popular over what’s real. But small cities have to go to the big cities to make the links or just hope and wish on Instagram look from someone. Ny forgot about the essence and I blame radio.
( Team Moet ) I seen you recently worked with Snotty. Who are some artists in the underground scene you would like to build with or are planning to work with?
( Richelieu) Well me Snotty already locked in I’m open to work with anyone who is actually working who has dope work.
Lord Juco is an up coming artist from Canada. He has been making noise on the underground scene for a few years now. He has worked with many artists over the years such as Benny The Butcher, Roc Marci & Rome Streetz to name a few. He has built up a steady catalog over the years join us as we take some time to get to know him.
Team Moet : How do you think your 2019 went rap wise as far as success and getting more exposure?
Lord Juco : 2019 went well, still a lot of room for improvement but I feel like my name holds more weight now.
Team Moet: You and some of your peers such as Daniel Son & Falcon Outlaw have been holding it down for Canada. Do you see y’all as the forefront of the future of indie music and how are people in the town treating y’all for the work being put in?
Lord Juco: Most definitely, Big S/O to Daniel Son, Falcon, Asun, Che, Dnte, Soze, Finn, Futurewave, Smokeshop, J banks and everyone else I’m missing. Toronto got a super dope underground right now man and its only a matter of time before its in the forefront. There’s love in the city but its not what it should be, it’ll need that cosign or overseas love before the city really embrace us all.
Team Moet: Last year you had a very scary life changing accident the outpouring on Twitter was dope. How did that make you feel knowing so many people you never met cared so much about your well being?
Lord Juco: The fact that so many people reached out was extremely humbling. My own people found out from twitter which is crazy. That shit brought me to tears more than once. I think it speaks volumes on the mutual respect I have for my peers and they for me.
Team Moet: Break down the name Lord Juco how did you come up with it does it have a meaning?
Lord Juco: Lord Juco is an acronym.
Life’s Opportunities Reflect Determination
Judgmental Understanding Creates Obstacles
its just a reminder to myself why i make music and to be mindful of my own content.
Team Moet: Not many indie rappers have been blessed to work with some of the legends like you have. How do you feel looking back now at “Narcos” seeing you had Benny & Roc rapping with you?
Lord Juco: It feels like a chess move, still one of my favorite joints to date.
Team Moet: How did you & Cousin Feo link up & How did the “Death At The Derby” Series come about?
Lord Juco: I reached out to Feo after hearing Creme Fraiche, we have a mutual love for the game so it was only right to start with the rivalry of the teams we follow. Liverpool & Manchester, so we did the northwestern derby over a retrospec beat and little did we know we sparked the derby series.
Team Moet: What do you think is your best project to date & why?
Lord Juco: PEEP is my personal favorite. Just because it was my first EP and i was in a different mind state. I love everything about it.
Team Moet: Who are your top 3 up & coming producers you would like to work with that you haven’t as of yet?
Lord Juco: I’ve worked with everyone I like so I cant even give you a top 3 at the moment. However producers everyone should be looking out for: The Standouts, Bohemia Lynch & Four Limbs off the top of my head.
Team Moet: What can we expect from you in 2020?
Lord Juco: MORE. More EPs, More singles, More Visuals, More Vinyl, More CDs, More Shows if we don’t all die from this virus.
Team Moet: Will we be getting another “Big Turks” album in the near future?
Lord Juco: Big Turks is not getting a re-up. All Love amongst us but its not happening again.
Team Moet: I feel you & Fortes make good music the “Lord Classy” is one of my favorites. Y’all recently linked up again on your new song “Ashtrays” can we expect a “Lord Classy 2” sometime down the road?
Lord Juco: Lord Classy has been talked about but I got too much in the pipeline to really entertain it at the moment. Its all Love with Fortes and he knows that but I got other stuff on the way.
Kidd Called Quest is a producer from Rochester, NY. His team consists of Azariah & Jae Hussle. He recently blessed us with two projects to end the year. Be on the look out for more music from the Young Black & Gifted Team.
( TM ) How did you & Azariah initially link up?
( Kidd Called Quest ) We actually met back in 2005 though our man Euphony who I met and build with at a show. Me and Euphony linked up the following week, that’s how me and Azariah ended up linking up from there we started working together. I started sending him beats for his first album “Subject To Change” from there we just kept working to built a music relationship and friendship.
( TM ) How did YBG “Young Black & Gifted” come about?
( Kidd Called Quest ) It was an idea I had came up with I wanted to get a movement started. We was going by the name “Living Proof” but there was someone who already had that name I found out later and there was the group “Actual Proof” that was starting to make some noise I ain’t want people to get confused get us mixed up. I decided to switch our name to “Young Black And Gifted” from there we rolled with it and build it up and dropped the first album “Longtime Coming” then later on I started working and doing other projects under the “YBG” name to continue to push and build up the brand.
( TM ) Is this just a group name or also the label?
( Kidd Called Quest ) At first it was just a group then recently I decided to scrap my ”NeweraBoombatt” brand and make everything focus on the “Young Black And Gifted” name and brand. I came up with the idea to do “Young Black And Gifted Music” just keep everything simple and straight to the point.
( TM ) The Black gift was a dope project bars & production & how it faded out on the last track was the perfect ending. Was it a coincidence it dropped Black Friday or was that planned?
( Kidd Called Quest ) It was kind of planned out that way because the drop was around the holidays but it was planned to keep the attention of both the “Reflections” album and “The Black Gift” project feeding off each other exposure.
( TM ) Other than Azariah & Jae Hussle who else is under the YBG team?
( Kidd Called Quest ) Right now just them I really didn’t want to bring no one new aboard until everything else is built up and situated.
( TM ) How long have you been producing? Also have you done any work with artist’s outside of the Young Black & Gifted team?
( Kidd Called Quest ) I been making beats since 2000/2001 around 7th and 8th grade. I’ve done a lot of work with artists outside the team. Big Shug, Trife Diesel, G Fisher, Reks, Avrex and many more. I also have a few complications out with a lot of people I worked with on those.
( TM ) Who would you say the core fan base is that you aim your music towards?
( Kids Called Quest ) Honestly I aim it at everyone I learned over the last few years to not just limit my reach to one group of people that like a certain sound . Because there’s people out there like myself that has a open ear to everything.
( TM ) In my opinion your production on Jae Hussle “Reflections A Story Of My Lifetime Vol. 1 shows how diverse you are as a producer so many different sounds. What type of feedback have you been getting from that project?
( Kids Called Quest ) Dam man Hussle been getting nothing but positive feedback from that album. People from all over love that album and sharing it. I think the reason why everyone loves it is because the album is so well put together like I always do with every project. I don’t rush and just give a artist just any and everything in my library. My main focus is to produce and give the artist the perfect production that fits them just right. The fact that Jae Hussle is a dope versatile artist and a creative writer and not afraid to showcase his versatility just took everything to that next level for the project. We are planning a re release for his album next year with a few more songs added to it so that’s something you can look out for next year.
( TM ) What’s next for Kidd Quest?
( Kidd Called Quest ) At this point I’m working on fixing and making a few changes to keep “YBG” going but I’m just going with the flow of things just letting everything take it’s course and let the process work it’s way.
( TM ) Did you exceed your expectations musically for 2019 & what can we expect from YBG in 2020?
( Kidd Called Quest )Actually we kind of did but unfortunately somethings don’t work out how you want it to go so at this point I really don’t know what 2020 will be like for “YBG” but I do know I will continue to focus and push just go from there. I know there was a lot of good things planned but like I said it’s unfortunate things don’t always go as planned.
Fastlife is an upcoming rapper from Queens, NY. He has blessed up with projects such as “Traffic King” “Fastlife 2” & “Camorra” to name a few. His wordplay & delivery makes makes you really get a feel for his music. He is definitely one of my favorite artists out right now that I recommend checking out. Fresh off the release of the “Slumber” project. I present you with the Fastlife Interview.
(TM) When I first heard “Garlic Cookies” I had to buy “Traffic King” immediately I loved the beat & song. What was your thoughts when you first heard that beat?
( FastLife ) I was blown away, it was exactly the type of beat i was looking for at the time, wazab_waza did his thing on that.
( TM ) By your own standards What are the 3 most important things you focus on when making music?
( Fastlife ) I focus on making good references, Using vocab i haven’t previously used, And just having fun/going with the flow.
( TM ) What do you think draws people to your music?
( Fastlife ) Not to sure, i be thinking im trash… lol
( TM ) I know from following you on Twitter you been through some tough times this year. How are you managing to stay positive and keep your mind on the music grind?
( Fastlife ) Man just staying busy, staying focused on the bigger picture.
( TM ) What’s your favorite song you recorded to date & why?
( Fastlife ) I don’t really have one yet i think they all suck, but that’s just me being a harsh critic on my self.
( TM ) Us Vs Them you said “bet against the odds it’s them against us their shits second to ours my shit sent from the gods the profits wisdom fell from the stars they trying separate man from his cause” powerful stuff……When you first heard the completed song what was your initial thoughts?
( Fastlife ) I thought damn me and villain got one right here. I’m just tryna do what i do best and give the track a dope Message and sound, we fucked that whole tape up!! Shout out vinyl villain.
( TM ) From what I see you don’t do much of them so I have to ask what’s your thoughts on features?
( Fastlife ) I do a bunch of features all the time, If they got $400 for me lets get it!!
( TM ) You worked with El Camino a few times over the years seems y’all have good chemistry. Have you thought about putting a project out together?
( Fastlife ) Camino the bro, haven’t really thought or discussed that, could be dope though.
( TM ) How important would you say album cover art is to you as an artist these days ?
( Fastlife ) I see a lot of the same shit, same inspired art, My advice is put something classic out something That’s going to make people remember the album off rip.
( TM ) What was your thought process working on this new “Slumber” project you recently dropped?
( Fastlife ) My thought process was i wanna make an EP where you can just roll up smoke and by the time the blunts done your like wait the ep is over? Run it back that was a vibe… Make people get lost in the sound, and vibe of the EP. The features on it I wanted to shine light on people who I think are doing dope shit in the underground music community and people i fuck with personally wiardon and Jah Monte those dudes came through & I thank them immaculately.
Be sure to check out Fastlife’s latest project “Slumber” OUT NOW LINK BELOW!
Falcon Outlaw is a rapper hailing from Toronto, Canada. He is a member of the “FalconCrest” crew which consists of him & DNTE. He has worked with people such as producer Camouflage Monk fellow Canadian rapper Lord Juco & The Real Skitso to name a few. With a lot of dope songs under his belt such as Bodies, Jesus Ain’t Cheap & Hot Gun On The Waist to name a few. He is gearing up for a Big splash in 2020. Take some time to get to know the Outlaw.
( Falcon Outlaw )
It really came about by just pushing ourselves to do more, pushing our personal envelope.
Bub Rock or King Bub Rock whichever you prefer is an up & coming artist from Long Island, NY. He been rapping for a few years but recently elevated his craft to the next level late 2018 & this year. He raps to motivate people out the struggle even after hard times. He recently dropped a project called D.R.E.A.M.S ( Do Right Even After Minor Setbacks ) He has worked with many artists over the years such as Rome Streetz, Eddie Kaine, Ralphiie Reese, Sleep Sinatra to name a few. We had to opportunity to add him to the “Behind the 🎤” series. Take this time to get to know who Rock is and get familiar with his music. As usual if you click the pics it will direct you to his music.
( TM ) What motivates you to make music in this new industry that’s harder for rappers like yourself to get the recognition you deserve?
( Bub Rock ) I’m motivated by reality, I’m motivated regardless but I don’t really acknowledge that kinda stuff as far as getting recognition amongst a particular crowd. I feel like I make music for everybody the people who it’s for will always support it but I don’t have a box I feel like I demonstrated that through my releases.
( TM ) What type of rap do you prefer bars or an artist talking about the struggle like yourself?
( Bub Rock ) I’m from the cloth of emcees that make good music. I think the curriculum of what an artist is has been changed so many times over time but I just stick to what I know. Music is universal language as well as therapeutic to me so I don’t necessarily expect my shit to be for everybody.
( TM ) Who are 3 artists you liked growing up that you would compare to yourself as far as painting a picture of the struggle?
( Bub Rock ) I was real bar heavy in my beginning stages until I gained the confidence to be more outspoken & transparent with my personal life. I would say Styles P, Joe Budden & Scarface added to me being comfortable enough to say certain things on wax.
( TM ) How did you come up with the meaning for your new project D.R.E.A.M.S?
( Bub Rock ) I actually had the acronym for years ( 2013 to be exact ) I just didn’t have the music that made what I wanted to display to the people clear. Timing is everything & this was the batch that had it. The project came out perfect in my eyes. I couldn’t ask for a better time to release this music under that title.
( TM ) Do you prefer Bub Rock or Bubba Rock?
( Bub Rock ) With me I don’t take that no way that’s actually my real nickname amongst family & close friends. It doesn’t bother me Bub Rock is short for Bubba Rock at the end of the day lol.
( TM ) Did dropping “ No Love Lost” on Valentine’s Day build your female audience up some?
( Bub Rock ) It did bring more female supporters but I already had females that loved what I do. Even before this realm of music heard me or heard of me. That’s just something I practice outside of rap as far as company I keep. That’s rare in this realm of music anyway I don’t hear a lot of rappers do songs directed towards women.
( TM ) You work with a lot of different producers do you plan on doing any one off projects anytime soon again?
( Bub Rock ) I do that might be later on down the line. I have a lot of new music on the way though for sure. I’m very in tune with my producers ( ALL OF THEM ) we all speak on a regular basis & they speak to each other so that’s dope. The music is never the hard part.
( TM ) What’s your thoughts on the current state of New York Rap?
( Bub Rock ) I always get asked that & honestly, I don’t care for it to address it or feel any way about it. I will say that it’s bigger than New York rap in my eyes. There are dope artists everywhere & everybody gets what they get from whatever they like or don’t like. This is art I can’t really tell you how to feel about my shit & you can’t tell me how much my shit should cost or what it is supposed to mean lol.
( TM ) “Sumtimes” is a real song any of us can relate with. Do you use your music as a way to release stress from things you’ve been through?
( Bub Rock ) Thanks & yea like I said before its therapeutic to me. Some things I probably won’t have a verbal conversation about will be addressed on a record at times. I enjoy making music even though it’s not just something for me to say what’s been bothering or what do I do/don’t like etc. I love to be creative I know what I bring to the table it’s deeper than “Struggle Rap” everybody deals with struggle. I know what music did for me & hopefully I catch the ears of like minded individuals through my story.
( TM ) What would you say to anyone who recently went through a setback that needs to hear some positive advice to help create change?
( Bub Rock ) I would say stop watching other people’s plates & comparing it to yours. Stay focused & stay consistent that’s the only difference between me & anybody else aside from skill, region, beat selection, co-signs etc. I just kept going.
Black Dre is a rising artist out of Allentown, Pa. He has only been rapping a few years but the moment he stepped on the scene he started with a bang and never showed any signs of slowing down. If your looking for music to motivate you or someone talking about things everyone can relate too look no further. This year he dropped the “Maybe Next Year” EP which has really took off due to songs like “The Recap”. Before Dre was killing mics he was known for crushing backboards. Join us this week as we get to know the artist Black Dre.
( TM ) One of my favorite songs from you is “1994” The vibe the beat the flow it was all dope. What inspired that song?
( Black Dre ) Man, I was inspired by Allentown. The retro Allentown, know what I mean? That beat just took me back to being a child, being innocent, just running free with no care in the world.
( TM ) Before you rapped I know you played basketball tell us a little bit about that?
( Black Dre ) Sure, I’ve been playing basketball since about the 5th grade but didn’t get good until 11th grade. I got a scholarship to play at Lancaster Bible College. I actually did really well there, my team won a national championship, I scored over 1000 points, and my team went 55-4 during my last 2 years. After, I had a very short stint playing basketball overseas in Spain, Lithuania, and Mexico.
( TM ) How serious do you take your music & what have you done to show you are serious about this rap game?
( Black Dre ) I take it very serious now. I can say that when I was playing ball, I was half in- half out with it, you know? But now all the chips are in. I sacrificed a lot for this music, I moved away from a very comfortable situation, went broke, scrapped up money to go to the studio, slept on floors and futons. I’ve completely stepped out of comfort zone, I was really quiet but now I love to network and perform. Just promoting myself every day, focusing on my craft every day, sending emails and texts to A&Rs everyday shows how serious I am.
( TM ) What type of feedback have you been getting on the “Maybe Next Year” EP?
( Black Dre ) Man, it’s been nothing but great feedback. Everybody is telling me it’s a smooth listen, this project has definitely upped my stock inside of the label offices. With this project I went from the kid that was just rapping, to the man that wants to be the best.
( TM ) Will you be dropping any more visuals for that album?
( Black Dre ) Yessir, I’m actually shooting the “Who You Thought” video with a videographer named @duncmadeit in November. So, can you be expecting that next month for sure.
( TM ) Outside of rapping what are some other things your involved with?
( Black Dre ) Right now, I’m 100% focused on my merch. We just got the logo drawn up so my manager and I are going to start hitting the scene hard pushing Black Dre merch. Other than that, I’ve been playing basketball in the NJ/NY/PA circuit. During the days I work as a therapist with the autistic community. I’m also in school right now finishing up my Master’s degree in Psychology.
( TM ) For the short time you been making music have you exceeded your own personal expectations of where you wanted to be within 3-5 years?
( Black Dre ) Without a doubt! Of course, when you start you say to yourself, “I want to be signed tomorrow!” “This is my year” but it doesn’t happen that way regardless of how people make it to be. It takes time and I believe that since I dropped my first project in 2017 I’m right where I need to be. I thank God I didn’t get a deal when I first started rapping because I could’ve easily been burnt out or dealt a bad deal.
( TM ) Who produced “Soul of Gold” they need some recognition?
( Black Dre ) That was produced by LONESTARRMUZIK, a producer from Dallas. Yeah he’s a soulful dude.
( TM ) What are your 5 favorite songs you made to date that you would recommend to people who are not familiar with your work?
( Black Dre ) This is a tough one. I’d say, Hail Mary, Who You Thought?, For My Set, 100 Grand, and Jesus of Allentown
( TM ) When picking Beats for songs what exactly are you looking for in the beat ?
( Black Dre ) I need something that hits my soul. I need that stank face reaction like when Timbaland first played Jay-Z the “Dirt off your Shoulder beat”. I’m a sucker for soul samples too.
Sleep Sinatra is an underground artist out of Lincoln, Nebraska. He has been making good music for a couple years. He has worked with some of the best up & coming rappers & producers such as Mach Hommy, Stu Bangas, Farma Beats & Body Bag Ben to name a few. 2019 has been a good year for Sleep who dropped a few solid projects such as “Peacekeeper” with Body Bag Ben & “Classy Sinatra” with Fortes. His boom bap style mixed with beat selection along with his storytelling alone will have you hooked. Take some time to get to know the artist and man behind the mic.
( TM ) I always refer to you as the “illest nigga in Nebraska” how fitting is that title to you?
( Sleep Sinatra ) Hahahaha. If I had a dollar for everytime someone said that I’d have a multi-level recording compound by now. Definitely gets mentioned a lot. We don’t celebrate Rico over here though in any fashion. I don’t claim to be the best. But I know for a fact I’ve done what most haven’t in this state.
( TM ) How much do you think selling Vinyl copies of your music has grown your core fan base?
( Sleep Sinatra ) There’s a Demographic of music listeners that exist that are from that era where Vinyl was the initial way to listen to music. If you pay attention to trends culturally, everything is cyclical in cycles of about 20-30 years. So, things that may have been trendy in the 80’s-90’s are now back in rotation nah mean? Vinyl is one of the best-selling physical platforms right now. The die hard supporters usually always want something physical and Vinyl is the favorite format currently.
( TM ) Where is the most random place in the world that you’ve sold music & was surprised to have a fan there?
( Sleep Sinatra ) Estonia. I’ve moved units as far as Japan but that one was pretty surprising.
( TM ) You dropped a couple dope projects in 2019 two that stood out “Classy Sinatra” with you & Real Fortes & “Peacekeeper” with Body Bag Ben. Will we see a sequel to either ?
( Sleep Sinatra ) Shouts to Fortes and Body Bag Ben. Those are my guys. Nothing but respect for them. You’ll definitely be hearing more from those combos. Can’t say anything definitively yet.
( TM) How did you link up with Mach Hommy for that feature on Malas ( Blue & Green)
( Sleep Sinatra ) Shouts and Much Success to the Brother Mach. That was actually the second joint that we did. He reached out to me initially for a project of his that I don’t think you can even find anymore called “GREEKFEST”, I was the only feature on that project. Prior to him linking with Griselda we had done that joint and then Mala’s for my album and had spoke about even bringing him this way to shoot some visuals. Never panned out, Things change. All Love Still. It’s Crazy and Dope to see him elevated. He was nice way back.
( TM ) When creating a project do you prefer working with one producer on the whole album to stick with that sound or mix it up with different ones?
( Sleep Sinatra ) As of late I’ve been doing one offs with just one producer per project. Which I think can give you a real immersive and cohesive sounding project. I like doing both really though. I like to think I have a good ear for production so part of the fun at times is combining elements from different producers to create a world sonically. Piecing different sound textures together. This next one will have a lot of different producers on it. Some of the best out right now.
( TM ) What’s something a fan told you about how your music impacted them that flattered you?
( Sleep Sinatra ) I have a couple die hard supporters that have told me how my music helped them get through depression. Being as I suffer from depression myself that means a lot. I think the most flattering thing a supporter ever told me , he was a guy from the middle east. His country was going through a lot of changes politically and they were in war time. He let me know listening to my music helped him get through those days where bombs would be going off and chaos ensuing. It was then that I truly started to understand the magick of music and its impact.
( TM ) You’ve worked with a lot of dope producers thus far such as Farma Beats, Stu Bangas, Sadhugold & The Historian to name a few. Who are some you haven’t worked with that you would like to collab with?
( Sleep Sinatra ) I’d like to do a whole project with my guy Bronze Nazarethon production. Alchemist. Muggs. Always been a fan of Blu’s production as well feel like we could make something crazy. The list goes on.
( TM ) What made you decide to release “Source Of Nature” Vinyl only?
( Sleep Sinatra ) Actually, “Sources Of Nature” was released on CD and Cassette via UK label GOURMETDELUXXX first, those sold out fairly quickly though.
( TM ) What inspires you to write music & be creative while doing it?
( Sleep Sinatra ) My Life. Trauma I’ve endured. Love. Hate. Pain. Psychedelics. The aspiration to be the Nicest MC that I can be. My Passion and love for Hip Hop.
This week we will be focusing on a rapper from Niagara Falls, NY. Jamal Gasol aka Mr. 31, Diadora Don. He is 1/3 of The Big Turks ( Lord Juco, Rome Streetz ) and is putting on for Dirty Water, NY. Jamal blesses the mic with poetic street tales and paints a vivid picture of where he is from & what he has been through. He has already dropped tracks with artists like Benny, Estee Nack & Rome Streetz to name a few. This is one rising artist we recommend you get in tune with sooner than later.
1. ( TM ) What inspired the “Kansas City SmackMan” Ep?
(Jamal Gasol ) I use to call myself “Kansas City SmackMan” as a funny nickname during a stage of my life. I was in the streets but shit turnt up at this point for me and that was my lil personal moniker
2. ( TM ) I noticed the “Kansas City SmackMan EP” was posted as 1 song. Was that intentional to make sure the listeners hear the full project in its entirety?
( Jamal Gasol ) I did it a few times on SoundCloud but knowing you don’t really get any money for the streams unless you sign up for all that extra shit I put it on all streaming platforms too. It’s already a free download but fuck it let’s make it available in all ways too so that’s how that came about.
3. ( TM ) Being that your a PIFF head what’s your Top 3 favorite flavors?
( Jamal Gasol ) Papaya Cheese, GrandDaddy Purple, and Sour Diesel
4. ( TM ) Right now it seems like upstate New York is running rap like never before. What makes it harder for artists to get some notoriety upstate?
( Jamal Gasol ) We ain’t never have an outlet for the music up here. In my city the way out for anybody with examples of success was in sports. I had a passion for sports too but always wanted to do music. I was determined to make it happen and I’m glad I’m in the loop as I deserve to be.
5. ( TM ) How did the Big Turks come together?
(Jamal Gasol ) Jordan Commandeur reached out to me about doing a collaboration project with 2 other artists basically on a slaughterhouse/ wu-tang connection. With it being Rome Streetz and Lord Juco who I was cool with before the offer I didn’t hesitate to work wit my niggas. Jordan looked out for me a lot last year so I look at it as another he presented to me to further my career and I salute him for that 💪🏾💪🏾
6. ( TM ) For the people not familiar tell us about Niagara Falls, NY & what it was like growing up?
( Jamal Gasol ) It’s like any other small city but a big attraction. People from all over the world come see Niagara Falls so we use to the foreigners and all that. But as far as living here it’s the hood. I stay 20 minutes away but I’m always in town. I got all my friends and family there but it’s the hood. Gangs, drugs, violence. People I went to high school with didn’t make it to 12th grade they went upstate taking risks and poor decisions. Everybody don’t wanna work in a plant or be a nurse and I respect that.
7. ( TM ) Would you say it’s easier to market yourself now as an indie artist compared to the mid to late 90s?
( Jamal Gasol ) Way easier lol
8. ( TM ) Give up the goods 2K18 was one of the first songs I heard. You rapped “Give up the goods or get sprayed thinking of ways on how to get me & my niggas paid we don’t got time to be afraid real music for real niggas who grind everyday” Do you think you & Rome did that classic Mobb best justice ?
( Jamal Gasol ) I feel like we gave it all the justice it was due. I heard the beat from Camo Monk and said I gotta have this one. Rome is ill on the mic I knew he could deliver I ain’t have to worry about shit cause I knew I was gonna have my shit ready for this one and the feedback was as expected.
9. ( TM ) You rap about real life situations a lot in your music. Do the bars come to mind when you record more naturally because of that ?
( Jamal Gasol ) Naturally because of that. I don’t gotta think about some shit I didn’t or don’t do that’s like adding more on lies I only like to rap about what I know and what I been through or the niggas around me. A lot of these rappers be fronting and fraudulent. My niggas use to be tellin me to rewrite verses all the time cause I was saying to much with how they using raps in court now.
10. ( TM ) Being that you are that “New Nigga Now” what do you need to keep doing to stay consistent ?
( Jamal Gasol ) Stay on my Deen and be humble. I’m learning let good work marinate saturation ain’t necessary at this point I gave enough music in the last 2 years to show why I belong. But trust me I still got songs in the ready to go at any time.
Cop the “Jimmy Jumps Revenge” vinyl here!