Q&A With LA Based Rapper GOZ
Congrats on your latest EP release for “Legendary” It’s absolutely FIRE, you got some true Hip Hop legends featured on that project!! For all the readers who don’t know, how did you get your artist name GOZ?
Thank you sincerely, UGHHB!
One of my best friends from high school actually coined the name for me. And it’s just the middle of my full Nigerian name, Nna-GOZ-ie (Nuh-gawh-z-a) ! I was in the early stages of getting out there and branding myself and it just stuck. “GOZ” by itself essentially means “Bless” in Igbo (a Nigerian language) so I considered it a blessing and to my benefit, I rolled with it.
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations?
Kendrick, Lil Wayne, and Childish Gambino – in that order.
Kendrick – I draw a lot of inspiration from him currently (heavy influence from 2014-now)
Lil Wayne – I feel like he taught me how to rap and showed me it was really an artform
Childish Gambino – I feel like he gave me the courage to rap (he was different when he came on the scene and he leaned into that rather than anyway from it and I liked that).
What’s the earliest hip hop memory you can recall?
I didn’t have any access, know-how, or the resources to compile my own music via CD so a homie burned me my 1st CD and I remember being introduced to the song “We Takin Over” by DJ Khaled ft. Lil Wayne, Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman and through it I can say I fell in love with hip hop.
Almost every rapper we come across, they all have this in common, all love movies. What’re your top 3 inspirational movies?
Black Panther, Django Unchained, Paid In Full (used it in my “Legendary” intro)
How are you coping with this whole Covid 19 situation? Has it delayed any new music production by any chance?
It was definitely much harder at 1st. I had been building an incredible trajectory for myself over since 2017-2018 and it was about to come to its next climax with my 1st full show/event in the club. Essentially all that momentum got washed away along with a variety of contracts I had set up for myself as an artist and a media business owner. The pandemic definitely delayed some of my music production as I was gearing up for an “outside music campaign” and no one could really be outside so there was no point. Furthermore, I had to watch my money even closer so I needed to reassess my priorities in order to stay afloat and re-strategize all my plans.
You recently dropped your brand new EP “Legendary”. What was the inspiration behind that? Dope album cover!!
Much love UGHHB!
Honoring the golden era of rap and differentiating myself from the declining state of the rap game. With the blessing of the features, I wanted to utilize the project to take rap back to the basis of how it started. It didn’t matter who you were as long as you had flow, something to say, and of course BARS. My 5-song nostalgic EP marks a new genesis for me to then elevate from with a fresh, more modern approach that still aims to embody the essence of early hip hop/rap.
Our most important question: What’s your definition of underground hip hop?
Underground Hip Hop to me is the rawest form of the art; an underlying expression of some of the most unheard voices in our communities as well as some of the most heard voices in our unheard communities. The term “Underground” implies conscious independent artistry that’s either yet to be mainstream or commercial or isn’t trying to be. Underground Hip hop = RAW.
Any plans for the rest of 2022?
More music! I’d very much like to put out some more music for the ladies that I’ve been working on lately and then of course more joints for everybody! Networking has been up like crazy this year so I definitely plan to finish strong! Continuing to add to my vault in general and for my 2nd official album.
Strategize new/next steps.
Lastly, is there any advice you have for anyone trying to set their foot in as recording artists?
Always keep an open mind!
Everyone starts from somewhere so just start! Find out what you like/think and then find ways to get people to gravitate to that rather than conforming to what “everyone else” likes/thinks! Aim to complete/make progress on 1 aspect of your goal(s) everyday.
Build a team, but be prepared to DIY for the most part!