Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 11:01PM by Sarah Mullally
Describe your sound in your own words.
Evolution of hip hop with a lot of sensitivity to classic hip hop of the 90s. I pay attention to lyrics and I know what rap fans care about. I try to write for the average listener and I'm conscious of the mainstream without selling out.
How did you form, going from an academic scholarship from St. John's University to hooking up with Jay-Z?
Determination. Its been a whirlwind. I struggled with being a broke college graduate and while all my friends were getting career jobs I was working horrible part-time jobs. That's why now, even when I get tired, I think, "This is what I asked for."
What was your degree in?
Major in Communication and minor in Business.
You are a very good role model for the youth out there, showing its possible and important to get a college education.
I feel like this: Whatever is in your path and in your heart, you need to do. College isn't in everyone's hearts. I am living proof, though, that school doesn't mess up your plans. It gives you more experiences to write about.
What are your musical influences?
The more lyrical rappers. I gravitate toward the classic and more lyrical rappers. Sometimes when I'm in the studio we spend an hour on YouTube watching old rap and freestyle. For a while there it was really lyrical and witty and was always personalized. I'm drawn toward storytellers like Nas and Tupac. I'm realizing my own work in this day is generally not something that is out there. There is a lot of talent, but they just aren't putting out what I am. The whole game is exciting but nobody in a long time has come out with the skills for lyrical writing that I am coming out with.
What's your biggest vice?
Minor vices like, you know, alcohol. I don't smoke. But I like brown liquors. Hennessy.
What's in your SXSW festival survival kit?
A nicely packed bag of clothes to get me through my few days there.
What was your first celebrity crush?
I don't know if it was my first but it was my biggest and most serious crush - Mariah Carey. I was in 4th grade when she came out with 'Dream Lover.' I used to watch that video and pray she had a daughter or little sister for me.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
I play the intro to the Jason Derulo song 'What You Say'. I think it's so fly even though it's a pop song.
What's the craziest thing you've experienced while on tour performing?
I was opening for a DJ at a South Carolina show. There were 4,000 some people there. It was crazy, they were all drunk and no matter what I said or played they were giving me positive vibes. As soon as the show is over I like to go into the audience and give autographs. So, I went to give autographs and there were all these girls wanting me to sign their chests. I thought that only happened in the movies!
I read you are a traditional pen-to-paper rapper, and also that you have been writing since you were young. What do you do to get motivated to write?
It depends on what mode I'm in. If something comes to me - if my whole week is filled with business, shows, photo shoots and interviews - my creative mode may not be there, but sometimes when I'm in the creative mode say, in the studio, I will do the beat and then write the lyrics. Sometimes, I will come up with ten different beats until I find something I can even write to, but all throughout my weeks I am coming up with lines and jotting them down.
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