Hey Baylen! Much respect on your new album. We appreciate solid music, especially from true up and coming MC’s. Please tell me how long have you been rapping? Where are you from? Do you remember where you were at exactly when you wrote your first track!!??
Funny enough I do. I was in Augusta, Georgia during the second grade, so maybe seven or eight years old, and after walking home from school I recorded a freestyle on my sister’s tape recorder about a cat. From there I was writing verses, freestyling, and recording myself however I could. I was born in South Carolina but raised an army brat so I’ve never lived anywhere for longer than three years except where I’m at now: Boston.
Your style and rhyme scheme is super raw and different! How do you describe you sound? How long did it take for you to find your sound?
Appreciate that. Honestly I feel like I’m still developing my sound. I have so many different styles and types of hip-hop that I like to make, that I’m just gonna give ’em all a shot, see what the fans like most, and stay consistent in that sound while experimenting on low.
Tell us about your Hip Hop and/or music influences? Any Boston influences? Was there anyone in your life that motivated you to STEP IT UP when it comes to making dope Hip Hop?
Definitely. The producer that I made this ‘Moves’ EP with, Sub-Q-Taneous, constantly gives me the juice to try new things, experiment with sounds, and progress musically. The homie Philly G, who I’m dropping a tape with in July, put me on to the modern rap-battle scene and that’s been a huge influence for me. My bro D’Vibes, who I released ‘Soulstizz’ with, taught me a lot about being lyrically conscious. The list goes on really. As far as musical influences, I keep an open mind.
In the underground community, some big names are from out there (Slaine, Termanology, Virtuoso and many more). And now, you’re on the come up. How important is BOSTON to you when it comes to branding your music?
Since I wasn’t raised here, I don’t know how much I can rightfully use this city for my brand. Having said that, I do live here so it feels like home and I hope that Boston appreciates every shout out I give it on wax.
Please breakdown the creative process of your latest album “Moves EP”.
The way I write is by pulling up a beat in a program, tracking the first thing that comes to mind, and laying down my next bars based off that. So there’s no pen, no pad, and it all feels and sounds organic. I did that for all the tracks except “Yaw” and “Move Maker”, which were written. Once I had my vocal stems I sent them over to Sub-Q who would mess with dope effects until we felt it was fully developed. “Motion” was a track that we made together on the spot, then later, Sub-Q re-visited the beat, mixed it, and made the banger that’s on the tape. shootout to Sam Kim and Quiz who also helped with mixing.
What are you looking forward to for 2017? Anything you going to be doing differently compared to past years?
For sure, I’m working way harder on the music this year. Focusing on the grind side of music instead of just the creative side. Applying all the things I’ve learned in life to my music career. First order of business: a mixtape every month in 2017.
Any pressuring situations before you decided to push your album? Did everything work out according to plan?
Everything went smooth. The digital distributors got it a little late because Sub-Q’s mastering was TOO high of quality so we had to dumb it down for them. Other than that everything was smooth.
Any new projects coming out!?
Yup. Since “Moves” dropped, I’ve released “Shift” with the producing super-duo Megazoyd, “Lit From Last Night” with boom-bap producer Teeba, I’m dropping “Bando Bo” on May 21st, “Summer Time Grind” with p90 on June 21st, and “SMASH BROS” with Boston rapper Philly G on July 21st. I dropped a video for my song called “Always Down”, and the Viva La Hop album is coming this year too.
Rappers nowadays think by throwing up a few videos up on social media and pushing quick projects, they can blow up overnight! Give us your view on how over saturated the market is right now with so many MC’s/Producers but not to many quality music.
As saturated as the market is, I think it benefits the listeners more than anything because the options are endless. Whatever type of hip-hop you’re into you can find in this market, and live in it because of how much of it there is. I think people pay too much attention to the mainstream. If you do some digging on soundcloud or spotify, there’s some hot-spitters in the underground that are just waiting to make it on the right playlist to blow up.
How often do you perform LIVE? Any shows lined up in the near future?
I actually just finished up an east coast tour with my Hip-Hop band Viva La Hop. The next show we do is in June with Nappy Roots. We been performing for five years and I recently put together a show for the release of my March mixtape: “Shift”.
Where do you see yourself in 5yrs time?
Rapping like I always have but getting paid for it.
Here it is! Our most popular question! What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?
Hip hop that’s not in the mainstream.
Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.
Lastly, and shout out?
Shout out to Sub-Q-Taneous for producing and mastering this EP, Sam Kim and Quiz for helping with the mixes, and most importantly to everyone who’s listening; I appreciate the support and got more heat on the way.