Interview by Masa Zokaei
I’ve heard you say that each song you create has a story behind it. If you could choose one that tells your favorite story, which song would that be?
Man, this is such a hard question to answer. I would have to say my single “And Things Will Never Be The Same…” which featured Grammy rapper, Paul Wall. I have a lot of indirect lines that reflect my life story. For example:
You see my life has never been easy, I’m from a place where the blind can see/
From a place where the blind can feel, only pressure and only pain/
I’m from a place where the bullets rain, down on the kids without any sorrow/
One false move and you’re 6 feet deep, my life is like a pill that’s hard to swallow/
Those who know me know that I grew up during the war and I start off my verse referring to it. It was a dark stage of my life but I am happy to be alive so I could tell my story.
Why is Reloaded your last release before retiring? And why are you retiring from rapping?
In 2016, I released the biggest hip-hop compilation album out of Dallas featuring Lil Flip, Spice 1, Paul Wall and many more platinum and Grammy rappers, singers, producers and DJ’s. I had told myself that after this project, I was going to work on 3 more singles before putting the microphone down. My first single off that album was released on June 14, 2018 entitled “The Triple D Cypher” which also made history in my city for beingthe biggest cypher. Itfeatured 14 of the hottest rappers out of D-Town and went on to hit every Dallas radio station while being streamed 60,000 times just on Spotify alone. Italso landed a placement in a movie (“Dig Deep”).
After the success of my first single, I went back to the studio and started to work on my secondrelease which I dedicated to Mother Earth. I named it, “My Apology.” I featured one of my favorite rappers growing up(K-Rino) who is known to be the top 10 most lyrical MC in the world. This single was released on 4/22/19 (Earth Day) and the video to this single was recently voted to be in a film festival in Arizona. My goal was to create awareness in regards to all the problems that we are currently facing with pollution, trash in the oceans and over all, human greed that is causing pain to our planet. I am currently working with the state to adopt a highway so my team and I can clean up.
After thesecond single was released, I quickly went back to work on my last and final single which I named, “Reloaded.” I knew that this track had to be special, so I hand-picked some of my favorite Dallas rappers to collaborate with me and I released this track on my birthday, July 31.
To answer the second part of your question, I decided to retire after 17 years because I have met all of my personal challenges. I have been on every Dallas radio station. I have worked with some of my favorite rappers, singers and producers and I have sold out the last 15 performances that I had. To be honest, the hunger is not there anymore. I remember Biggie saying that you should make every track like it was your first. I never understood what that meant until now.
You’re working with many artists on this track, how do you know who you want to work with?
To be honest, it’s not easy. I study each artist for months. I attend their shows and I purchase their music before contacting them to see if they are the right fit for the project that I am working on. Flower Child is one of the hottest female rappers in Dallas right now. Eclipse Darkness is signing some major deals and has over 6 million streams under his belt. IQ Muzic broke the record for being the fastest rapper in the world. GSpook is the host of one of the hottest Dallas radio stations. DQ Hampton is one of the biggest up and coming Dallas rappers who has sold out every show since 2018. Motian who is Persian like myself moved to Dallas from Oklahoma and has already made some major moves. He is by far one of the best story tellers and last but not least, Flexinfab, who is currently all over the radio station as he recently collaborated with super producer Zaytoven.
Furthermore, I also chose Cloak Beats and Billy Syn to produce this track for me as they are two of the most gifted producers in my city. Not to mention musical genius, Tony Ballard Jr. who helped us with many ideas to perfect this single before we released it.In my opinion, in order to be successful in anything, you must have a strong team. I think that the famous quote goes something like, “teamwork makes the dream work.”
I heard you’re working on a podcast now?
All of my life everyone has always given me compliments about my voice and how I should have my own radio show. I have been thinking about it for a few years but now that I am done with music as an artist, I am going to pull the trigger. I have a lot to say and luckily, I have built a very strong network for over two decades now. Stay tuned…
What do you want people to know about working in the music industry?
MAKE SURE TO ALWAYS READ YOUR CONTRACTS!!! DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU CONSULT WITH AN ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER.
What do you want our readers to know?
I am 6’1, I have hazel eyes, I like to hike, I…. hahah just kidding, just kidding. I want to thank my friends, family and everyone else who has supported me during my music career. All the sold-out shows, all the radio interviews, all the magazine features, all the streams and downloads are because of YOU! All the times that I was tired in the studio, all the times that I wanted to quit because of stress, you all helped me keep the fire lit inside. My long music career lasted because of YOU! I am forever grateful.
I also like to thank the Javanan family for supporting me over a decade! I met you guys in California back in 2004 and you all have treated me like family. THANK YOU and I love you all!
Photos by Andrew Sherman.
Cover art for Reloaded by Ali Charmz.