Who are your musical influences? I think it's a question of what over who~ Life in general is a big influence on what I write about. Things that happen to me or around me spark the thought process. Haters influence me too. LoL Hi Haters! What is your music background? I've released 2 official studio albums (The Moment of Truth and Loose Ends) that are currently available online at iTunes, Napster, Amazon.com and a bunch of other online spots. I also have tons of unreleased material that family and friends have. Last count on my iPod was about 120 songs or so. . . not including the collaborations over the years. TONS of beats that have been cooked up- I've worked with a few different groups. Currently with Desert Reign Productions. About to drop an album with my boi Coach under the name Common Heirs called Desert Reign. Eventually going to drop an album with Coach and McFade under the name Art Official Intelligence. . . untitled. I stay busy. Gotta keep pushing cuz I have too much to say and feel like not enough time to say it in. How would you define the word "success"? (This is not a short answer. Discuss it.) It depends on what level some1 is trying to reach. Success for me is having people listen to what I'm saying and actually let it soak in the bones. If I can help some1 get through whatever they're going through whether it be a bad day, loss of a friend/family, pissed off at somebody lol whatever the case may be. . . If I can touch one person I know it's all been worth it. I like to let people know that they aren't the only ones going through a situation. Even when it feels like no one understands because they're on the outside looking in. Problems are universal. . . you're not alone. Have you recorded any previous CDs or posted any audio files on the Internet? (What type of recording process did you use? Who produced your recording?) The Moment Of Truth (2008) and Loose Ends (2009) are the current albums available online. Much much more to come. Watch for another solo release in 2010! ~ I generally produce my own beats, but turn to outside production when the feeling is right. Coach produced a SMASH! For me that will be coming out on my next solo release. . . It's called "Rain On Me" and it's real deep from the heart. It's incredible. Definitely a tear-jerker; that's all I'm saying about that one. You'll have to catch the album (Confession: Sincerely Yours) to hear it. My whole recording process varies. Sometimes I'll have a concept for a song or a hook and jot it down. I usually write to a beat so I can play more with the delivery, but if I'm in the moment, I'll just write and snatch a beat up later. What aspect of making music excites you the most right now? The creative process of alcohol and laughs is fun. Coming up with crazy hooks on the spot, usually by spoofing silly rhymes is always fun! I remember one of the songs Coach and I made started out singing about wanting to eat some fried chicken and biscuits. I was hungry as hell- it turned out to be some dope SWOON Music. If you don't know what that is you better ask somebody! Lol That and getting feedback makes it all worth it. What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged? Writer's Block!!! I'm currently struggling with it; or forgetting something as I'm in the middle of working lyrics out in my head. Or even words or beats not coming out like you want them to. Sometimes I'll hear something sick in my head but when I try to translate it on keys, it doesn't come out quite like I heard it. Lol It happens. What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, extravaganzas, experiments, top-secret projects, etc). I'm currently compiling ideas and thoughts for my next solo album titled Sincerely Yours. I have about 5 tracks I know I definitely want on the album. I have a few beats lined up that I need to write to once I shake this block. It's going to be a real personal album. Might make some people cry lol I'm working on wrapping up Common Heirs: Desert Reign album. . .Getting ready to start working on a group effort for Art Official Intelligence. I'd like to do more outside collaborations- Might drop a mixtape in between time. Who knows at this point?! I'm all over the place. What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording? It wasn't as much as show as it was a freestyle session at a backyard party in CA. Lol - I was at this party drinking and I hear the DJ on the mic asking if there's any1 that could freestyle. My bois were like go get the MIC! Lol so I'm buzzin' and I can't freestyle for shit anyway, but I wanted to see how it felt. So I walk into the cipher wait for the mic to come my way and spit a shit talking verse from a track I wrote, lost my way halfway thru and just freestyled. So I'm spitting and people are reacting like OOOoOoOohhhhh- it was awesome! I was in love from then on. The most unusual place I would have to say would be my bedroom. LoL I recorded on my moms little stereo with a mic hanging from my ceiling fan and a keyboard playing in the background. The quality was awful. It was on cassette tape~ but we all have to start somewhere right?! Those are classic recordings. In what ways does the place where you live (or places where you have lived), affect the music you create, or your taste in music? When I lived in Louisiana, I tried to fuse a little dirty south hi hat into my music to give it a little bounce feel. Of course, I never really achieved that specific sound I was going for. I have a unique style that's a blend between my southern blood and the west coast feel. Listen to my music and tell me who I sound like! ~ Good luck lol I still have that same style regardless of where I'm at, but I tend to listen to more South sh*t now that I don't live there cuz I heard it everyday- and vice versa. When was the last time you wrote a song? What can you tell us about it? The last complete song I wrote was an interlude type of deal I did over a Kevin Rudolf beat. I sampled his song "Great Escape" (and titled my track the same) cuz I loved the piano- you can hear the emotions in the beat without the words. The intro starts with a car speeding, tires screeching and then an accident. . . The beat slowly drops in and I start talking about me getting in an accident and how it would feel as I was losing my life. I describe things around me, hearing my family, what I feel and how I want to try to say something but I can't. It's real deep. I always wondered how it would feel to be in those final moments. It's a short, maybe 2 minute track, but I think I captured it pretty well. I thought about stretching it into a full song, but I don't want to dilute it with a bunch of filler. If I did write it would have to be as equally powerful ~ As you create more music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people...and why do you think that is? I'm more interested in what DOESN'T come on the radio. The radio tends to play the same old shit- repeatedly. I still enjoy listening to other artists more personal tracks and get a feel for where they are (or were). I think I feed off of their trials and tribulations and apply their situations to myself and come up with my own life scenarios to put to song. Some of their productions also inspire me to wanna hit the studio and knock out some fire! - I want to say it's for lack of motivation or ideas on what to write about. Drama in life generally makes me want to write. Whenever I see or hear something that brings out some type of emotion in me, it drives me to want to speak my mind. Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener? (Old or new music? Music like yours or different from yours?) I've always been drawn to a lot of jazz- My mom used to listen to it so I kind of grew up on it, as well as rap and everything else. I listen to a lot of classical too for the instrumentation. I hear a lot of different things and take it piece by piece- I can focus on the strings or horns or whatever the case is and just listen to the melodies of that one instrument. You have to be versatile ! I like to translate what I hear into my music. What's the saddest song you've ever heard? "Rain On Me" and "Depths of a Soul" are two songs that I wrote that get me every time. They're just so personal and based on some very emotional times in my life. "I'll Always Miss My Homies" - Master P is another one that gets me. He remade Boys 2 Men's "Hard to Say GoodBye 2 Yesterday" - That one is a tearjerker. I know there's gotta be a few more but I can't think of them off the top of my head.