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We got a chance to sit down with Boy Illinois to get to know him, discuss his style, influences and his most recent project. Big thanks to Swank PR and Coveted for making the interview happen. Great way to close out the year!
We sat down with Jabari to discuss his upcoming album #SuperFuckinDecent, influences and more.
We sat down with Swank PR and some of their artists on their roster a few months to talk about their careers, projects and other things. Special thanks to the Swank PR staff for their hospitality.
Jameisha Trice at 0:25 (http://twitter.com/jameishatrice)
BridgeBoyz at 2:26 (http://www.bridgeboyz.com)
NeodotcoM at 5:10 (http://twitter.com/neodotcom)
Viru at 7:55 (https://twitter.com/viruthetruth)
Young Gii at 10:20 (https://twitter.com/iAMYOUNGGii)
We caught up with King Louie to discuss his influences, current and upcoming projects and a few other topics. Big thanks to Phil Roche, Briahna Gatlin, and Leaders 1354 for making the interview happen.
Previously Mixtape: King Louie – Motion Picture
We caught up with Chicago’s own Scheme and DJ Scend in Austin outside of the 2dopeboyz’s Dopehouse to discuss a few things in their career.
Previously Scheme – The World Is Ours [Remake]
Last week we released the tour Hustle Simmons gave us of The Phli Store and today we let loose our exclusive interview with the man behind Hustlepalooza.
It was a pleasure for us to sit down with Hustle Simmons to discuss his passion for the Chicago Hip Hop scene and explain to us how he’s able to help Chicago artists get a chance to perform at his Hustlepalooza events. We’ve had the opportunity to cover most of the recent Hustlepalooza events and been able to witness artists like G-Scott, Brandun DeShay and Scheme to name few get an opportunity to display their creative skills on stage. With that being said, hit play and watch our interview.
It’s was a pleasure for us and Mike Famouz to sit down with one of Chicago’s hardest working DJ’s to discuss the state today’s Chicago Hip Hop, working with DMX and more. This is part 1 and we will bringing you part 2 very soon.
As promised here’s part 2 of our exclusive interview with our good friend MaxSoul to discuss his Hip-Hop and acting career along with the struggle to make it in the tough industries. If you missed part 1 hit the link at bottom.
On the eve that Mikkey Halsted was doing a special album release event at the iconic Leaders store we received an email from his PR to schedule an interview with Mikkey to discuss the release of the highly anticipated album, The Dark Room. We were excited and flattered to finally get a chance to get an exclusive interview with Mikkey on Christmas Eve, we couldn’t ask for a better gift.
Mikkey who’s born and raised in the Wild 100′s of the South Side of Chicago has earned his respect in the industry with his inspiring song lyrics, incredible wordplay and of course always representing Chicago to the fullest. His resume includes his start with Kanye West, a deal with Cash Money, a deal with Jermaine Dupri and now being able to work with the legendary producer NO ID on The Dark Room album.
We’ve heard a few a things about how you got started in the game, how Kanye West was involve in the start of your career. Can you explain to us how things started for you and your experience with Kanye?
I was in school at that time, I was into playing basketball. That was my passion and that’s how I felt I was going to escape the ghetto. My sister had met Kanye at the mall of all places, she started rapping and she had a deal when she was 14 with a local company where Kanye was the main producer. I used go to support her, I was around Kanye and she used to tell him that I could rap. One day were kicking it, freestyling and he heard me rap he was like, “yo you really dope”. He gave a beat tape and told me write some songs. From that point, it was all she wrote. We were able to make some of the most classic Chicago records like Foolish Games, that was my first professional song. From then, I was blessed to do a demo with Kanye and things just took off from that point. The demo I did with Kanye got in the hands with Cash Money, got signed, that situation didn’t’ go right but, it was my introduction into the game, a learning experience but here I am today.
Glad you learned from that experience, let’s talk about The Dark Room. What was the concept behind The Dark Room?
We started with the first concept called The Photo Album, the photo album is all about the artistry of mixing pictures with words and songs. Instead of being wrapped in like miscellaneous raps, we really wanted to take the time to craft songs that take pictures and capture images. Thats what started the whole Dark Room concept. Back in the day, the Dark Room, before photoshop and all of that came, it was the place where you would go and develop your pictures for the photo album. So it was only right that The Dark Room would come before The Photo Album, so that’s how it happen.
So The Photo Album is on the way?
Yea, The Dark Room is like the preview to The Photo Album and should be coming soon. It’s about 90 percent done, me and NO ID are working on it as we speak. So it’s just about progressing and giving people what they want to hear.
I know NO ID is the executive producer, how was it working with Prolyfic on First Class?
Prolyfic is a dope producer to work with, he’s under the NO ID umbrella. NO ID played me the first Prolyfic joint, the First Class beat and told me I should rap on it. Right on the spot I rapped on it and we made First Class in Atlanta.
How did you come up with the rest of the production team for The Dark Room?
All the producers were great, SC is a super dope Chicago producer that has a dope discography. David D.A. Domain he’s out of Chicago, Odd Couple I discovered them in a beat battle I threw, they out of Chicago. Basically all Chicago production. The Legendary Traxster did the N****z Just Complain, I mean his track records speaks for itself. Everybody that produced on it, Emmaculate did Soul of a Gangsta. It’s just a beautiful thing all the way around, I mean Chicago really came together from the beat, just like the Cool Kids, my sister. It’s a real Chicago album and it feels like Chicago.
What’s your take on the generation of Chicago artists?
I love those guys, I love Rockie, I love YP, I Love Vic Mensa, I love all of the guys. Mic Terror, it’s so many in Chicago, but they are really dope artists and great talent. From LEP to Hollywood Holt, their like my family.
Any upcoming shows here in Chicago?
Not in Chicago any time soon, we putting together a tour and Chicago would probably be our last date on it. We putting a countrywide tour together and we’ll try to get it popping. So as the tour finalizes well be able to see the dates on mikkeyhalsted.com and well definitely be posting where well be performing at.
Tell us about the video for FNB featuring Freddie Gibbs & B.J. The Chicago Kid?
We tried to do something fresh, something ill, something different. Tired of seeing the same video shot over and over again. We shot the video here in Chicago, right down on Rush Street, this album is really Chicago man.
Any other videos in the works for The Dark Room?
You gonna get video for Exorcist, a video for Camera’s Ready that I already shot. We also working on maybe a video for Frozen, that’s produced by Prolyfic. We working, we trying to bring as many visuals as possible.
Any remixes in the plans for any track off The Dark Room?
Man, we looking on doing a remix for Running My City, so we’ve been talking to a couple people. We’ve been talking to Fabolous, cause New York wasn’t on it, I was waiting on a verse from a real dope New York artist, but nothing came so I had to move on. But were gonna do a remix for Running My City, we gonna put some more people on it and it’s gonna be dope. We have the new single ready off The Photo Album and it features Twista, should be coming out by next summer. Next album were just taking it higher and higher, raising the level, raising the bar. It’s a beautiful thing.
Buy The DarkRoom
First and foremost I want to thank Paypa and his management for taking the time out of their busy schedule to give us an exclusive interview. Paypa has been making moves this past year and were looking forward for his upcoming mixtape Tunnel Vision 2 to drop hopefully before the year ends. Interview after the jump…
1. What artist has influenced you the most in your career?
Jay-Z, Andre 3000, and Common. They’re all one of a kind. Jay is
very versatile and respected as both an artist and business man.
Andre 3000′s style is crazy and I love how that just works. Common is
a dope rapper and also and acts. Acting is something I’d like to get
into as well.
2. How did you get started in the business as an artist?
I got my start in the business by writing for other artists.
It kept some change in my pocket. And kept my writing sharp.
3. What does your skill set compose of: For example are you just an
artist or do you produce, write or play any instruments?
I’m a artist as well as a song writer. I have a team of
producers I work with that make it all come to life.
4. Tell us about your first performance and how did you feel as an
artist during and after the performance?
I feel like I grew up performing. I use to go to rap battles
all the time, and just murder dudes in front of lots of people so when
I was on stage for the first time, I was quite comfortable.
5. What is your new or recent project that has been released or
will be released soon?
Earlier this summer I dropped “Tunnel Vision” witch was a huge
success. I’m currently working on “Tunnel Vision 2 (Ramadan Season)”
as well as cooking up my debut album “Feel Good Music”
6. Where can people hear your music online or see videos of past
My website paypatime.com as well as my youtube channel
paypatime.com/paypamusic is the best place to stay current with me.
I’m ALWAYS in the studio and am always posting stuff.
7. In what direction do you see you career heading in the next year?
Im focused on making my mark at this point. I want to put out
good music that the people can relate to and connect with. That’s
8. Any previous or upcoming collaborations with artists or producers?
I’ve been working with producers such as Bink, Malay, no ID,
Kev da khemist, and more. I’m excited to let people hear it.
9. When is your next show (place, time and date)
That’s in the works right now. My tour management company ICM
is planning out a national tour, so keep an eye out!