Posts Tagged ‘interview’

[AUDIO] How To Build A Loyal Fan Base

Posted: June 12, 2012 by reallyrashida in Cleveland, Music


Check out my interview with D-Ash. I picked him to shed some light on the subject of building a fan base after doing a review here on the blog of his song “Memory Lane”. His post got the most feedback I’ve seen from his fans so he’s doing something right. Listen to the interview HERE.


AC sits his listeners down for "The Interview" EP

AC sits his listeners down for “The Interview” EP

Cincinnati, OH. native  AC The Entitty has just released his third project respectively titled “The Interview EP” via N’ Depth Music Group and Greatness Displayed. This effort is said to be what AC describes as his “prelude to his upcoming album “Audio Therapy”, slated to be released in fourth quarter of this year. He has enlisted features from some of Cincinnati’s hottest artists and producers including J-Skillz, Macho Means, Kontrax, Third Element, and even jazz artist Walt Coleman. In promoting for this EP, he is currently planning a small-city tour across Ohio and Kentucky that includes Cincinnati, Mainesville and Louisville. 

The Ep is avaiable for download at or request for physical copy from Brice(513-580-3024) or AC (513-678-0273)
For Booking they can contact Brice via email or Phone at or 513-580-3024

That’s correct. The second season of The Dj Richie Show will be starting Monday September 26th. Your Favorite Online Cast Jason Kelley, Kelly Burgin, and Host DJ Richie will be bringing you entertainment Live from the web. If you missed season 1 you can watch it on ustream by searching The Dj Richie Show. This season will be broadcasted live from

Season 2 Trailer

DON’T MISS OUT!!!Continue to not only Support Great Music, but spread the word to others and create new fans!This Blog Post brought to you by: E.Y. Spellzit ( and



Interview: Model, Audrey

Posted: May 19, 2010 by essince in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Yep, men prepare to be jealous of me again as I am able to interview yet another beautiful, BEAUTIFUL woman, this time by the name of Audrey (shout out to Cy Harp for introducing us).

Check her our and what she has to say and, men, try not to stand behind anyone when you read this.

In the illustrious words of Will Smith from an episode of the Fresh Prince whose title escapes me now, “Do the words ‘boi-oiii-oiiing’ mean anything to you?”


- Essince

(after the interview go to the Royal Heir Ent. blog for more pictures

Age: 23
Height: 5’2″
Location: Rochester, NY
Industry: FirstGlanceOnline Model
Measurements: you gotta see it to believe it HA!
Shoe: 7
Hobbies: Photography, modeling, music, sports, art, fashion

Essince: Hey, Audrey. How’ve you been?

Audrey: I have been doing well, as long as I have a fruit & yogurt parfait, I’m always fine!

Essince: What initially got you interested in modeling? I understand you did some work when you were younger but what kept you interested, besides being gorgeous that is.

Audrey: Thank you! You’re cute, too! But, since I was a child, I could always remember wanting to be the center of attention. I loved to get all dressed up in somebody’s heels and take pictures. My aunts were models and I looked up to them. They put me in fashion shows at age 6 and I loved it. Walking the runway and having my picture taken was better than playing outside to me. I loved every minute of it! I have always had a love for fashion and magazines. Just seeing how style in general always evolves kept me wanting to be involved in it and be a model.

Essince: I understand you used to play soccer as a kid, what do you do to stay in shape? Do you still play any sports?

Audrey: Yes, I still play indoor soccer from time to time. I also play outdoor during the summer, when I can. It gives me an excuse to run into people and hurt them without getting in trouble for it, “Playful assault” lol. I run at a local college near my house. I also just started working with a personal trainer. This way I’ll be on a schedule and learn from my work outs as appose to just doing what I think I should. Walking the mall is not exercise!

Essince: I guess I should go back to the gym then if mall walking doesn’t count. But anyway, I’m so glad to hear you’re a painter, too as I’m an artist, myself. What type of art of you do?

Audrey: Nude stuff, just nude everything pretty much. Just kidding! [Editor's note...extreme disappointment] I like to paint a lot of still life. I just think it’s interesting to look at something and paint exactly what you see. Painting abstract is also fun. And none of my stuff ever comes out the same. I could paint to same thing 5 times and each one will look different from the last.

Essince: Do you have any aspirations to pursue a career in art?

Audrey: In high school I stayed in art class. I was a real nerd I guess. I skipped gym class, study hall, and little classes like that to be in art class working on anything I could. I have always wanted to sell my paintings and see them up on somebody’s wall being admired by many. I think one day, I’ll just open up my own art studio and be a nude model for the public. “The best of both worlds.” They can paint me, I can still model, and see myself up everywhere! lol

Essince: Is there any place to check some of your paintings online or do you mostly keep those to yourself for expressions?

Audrey: I keep all my work to myself. I have given some of my work to my family members. I am going to wait until 40 years from now when I open my own gallery and show all my work at once. By then, my art work will look crazy cause of how old it is and that’s why it will sell. Vintage! lol

Essince: What are some of your goals? Personally and with your modeling career?

Audrey: My goal is to do it all! I want to model, act, paint, do promotions, advertising, design, style; the list goes on and on. I want to always be a model. My main goal is to inspire people in a positive way, and to go about this career the right way. I want to teach young females that there are many ways to be successful in this business and you don’t have to sleep around, get naked or sell yourself short to get there! Which a lot of people do, unfortunately.

Essince: Amen to that…to not having to be naked to succeed…not the selling yourself part. Thanks for you time, Audrey! Any last comments, shout outs, or phone numbers you’d like to give out?

Audrey: I want to say thanks to you, of course. I want everyone to check out my YouTube channel and Facebook. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter as well! And I won’t give out any numbers, that could be a problem. I can barely handle the nonsense I get on facebook lol I want to give a shout out to my managers Reggie and Stacey Warren, Ohio’s own Mr. Cy Harp, my right hand Janae Nicole, my amazing stylist Miss Elaine, and all my friends and family. If I start saying names and leave one out someone may put a hit out on me so I’ll keep it short and sweet! But I could make a list of who I DON’T want to give a shout out to! HA. Just kidding. Stay True. “LOVE LOVE~”

For More pictures go to the Royal Heir Ent. blog

Follow Her on Twitter
Watch Her Act a Mess on Youtube lol
Contact Her for Booking –
Add Her Fan Page on Facebook

King Phaze

I was able to talk with Yonkers emcee, King Phaze about what’s been going on…if you aren’t familiar with you yet…

you will be soon.


Essince: What’s up?

King Phaze: Essince, what’s going on, my brotha?

Essince: How[’re] you doin’, man?

King Phaze: I’m doing great. I’m feeling beautiful, man.

Essince: I’m glad to hear that. I’ve heard some of your music before. How long’ve you been doing this? How long have you been doing music?

King Phaze: I’ve been working on my craft since I was 13 years old. I got a lot of years in right now. I’m 26 now and I’ve just been going strong since like 12, 13 [years old].

Essince: Where are you from? Have you always been in New York?

King Phaze: I’m from Yonkers, New York, I was born in the Bronx. I lived throughout various parts of New York but I grew up mostly in Yonkers, the Bronx. But I’ve lived in different places in New York and stuff like that.

Essince: As far as hiphop goes, were you always on the MC side of it? Or did you ever, especially being from New York, did you ever experiment with graffiti or break dancing or anything else?

King Phaze: My musical journey started being at my grandma’s house listening to the Temptations and Elvis as a little kid. And it kinda ventured me into Rock’n’Roll. I listened to all these Rock’n’Roll bands for a long time. But hip hop for me started with the whole graffiti thing but I’m kinda like a product of the Wu-Tang Clan era as far as hiphop music. That’s where I fell in love with rap in the Wu-Tang Clan era.

Essince: That’s really similar to me. I grew up and my folks always had Temptations records we used to put on. I’m 23 now and started when I was 11. Do you think because you grew up the way you did with the type of music you did, the Temptations and Elvis, instead of kids today who only listen to one genre, how do you think that changed how you write and how you do music?

King Phaze: It’s like a gift and a curse because, like, I like all kinds of music. I really love Rock’n’Roll music, I still love rap music, but I listen to everything. For me, I really like music so when I pick my production there’s never no format and that’s why my executives on my project get kinda upset at me. I’ll do a rock track with the rap stuff but then I do a techno joint with the techno sounds. It’s always all over the place for me because I just love music. And if I like something and I gravitate towards it then I’m a work on it. You understand what I’m saying? But I think that’s what hiphop is. Because hiphop’s not really a genre. We sample from all different kinds of music, reggae, classical, rock’n’roll. It’s kinda like all music in one, to me, hiphop.

Essince: I’d definitely agree with that. With so many different cultures, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Whites. So many different people involved and adding their own story to the culture of hiphop, too.

King Phaze: Right. Exactly.

Ess; So what are you working on RIGHT now. What’s the latest thing King Phaze has going on?

KP: Right now I have a mixtape out now called “Conspiracy Theory”. It’s like a hard street mixtape. I got my single on there with Jadakiss, “Realer Than You Think,” which has been gaining considerable buzz on the internet and underground circuit. But what I’m really focused on now is dropping these two other mixtapes in two weeks and gearing up for my album right now which is coming out on Red Smoke Records and distributed on Fontana. Gearing up for the “King of America” project. Getting ready to put that out. Amazing collaborating artists on that. It’s like my baby right now. And a project with Billy Ray Cyrus called “Brother Clyde” which I’m also featured on. That’s coming out, too. This year.

[Editor’s note: Yes, he said Billy Ray Cyrus. That’s ‘Achey Breaky Heart’/Hannah Montana’s dad, Billy Ray Cyrus].

You know, I just kinda got a lot on my plate with that, with my album, with Billy Ray Cyrus’ album.

Ess: That’s crazy, man. You sound like a busy guy.

KP: Ah, man. Real busy, man. I always got work to do.

Ess: You said you have TWO mixtapes coming out in the next couple weeks?

KP: I got two mixtapes coming out right now, one mixtape coming out with me and DJ Delz, and that’s coming like next week. And after that I got this other mixtape with me, an amazing artist from Cleveland named Half Dead and another amazing artist from Cleveland, Ohio named D-80. We’re working on a mixtape right now. I’m gonna be all over Ohio within the next 2½-3 weeks. We’re just in the writing process for right now. Getting ready to start going in the studio and laying that down. But mainly right now I’m in the studio with DJ Mauley T. He’s an amazing producer. He produced for Bone Thugs in Harmony, Eazy E, and several other amazing people. I’m working with him right now. That’s why I’m in Ohio right now.

Ess: With so many projects coming out so soon do you have a different strategy for like, how you’re gonna market them individually? Or how are you going to release all of these different ones?

KP: Well, for me with the mixtapes, I got a lot of love from the mixtape Djs ever since I dropped my song, “Yonkers Anthem,” witih DMX, Styles P, and Sheek Louch. That was pretty big on the internet and I started linking with a buncha Djs and we just started working on projects like with me and White Owl. And now, like, for me, the mixtapes market themselves. I put something out, my fans get a hold of them physically and digitally. That’s really how I market my mixtapes, word of mouth and from the power of the music and stuff like that but as far as these two major projects I’m working on, there are a lot of people behind the scenes. Like with “King Phaze” and this “King of America” project I got some major executives and marketing teams on the street right now. Element 9 Music Group and Fontana are about to launch my whole album. You know you got Ron Spalding, and Tony Franklin all these executives brainstorming and putting these marketing ideas together. So I can’t really say I’m responsible for the marketing of the record. Just making the material, staying in shape, and doing MY part, you know?

Ess: How did the Billy Ray [Cyrus] thing happen?

KP: Aw, Billy Ray Cyrus is a great guy. You know it all came through the power of the music. Just making the music and working hard on my craft and it just so happens that a friend of mine was working on a film with Billy Ray Cyrus and he heard the “Yonkers Anthem” and he loved it. He’s like, “man, who’s this kid?” And next thing you know, my buddy who produced that song started working on songs with Billy Ray, Billy Ray wanted to be on the album. We kinda got together, layed a song out, a duet/Rap-Rock collaboration. And , yea, man. He’s been my family ever since.

Ess; Wow, man. That’s crazy.

KP: Now we’re kinda rehearsing and gearing up for this tour. And it’s just getting ready to happen.

Ess; I never really pictured him as a hip hop head, you know what I’m saying? [laughs].

KP: Ah, man. You gotta understand he loves rap, he knows all the words. It’s great when we rehearsed the song we got together, it’s high energy, it’s awesome. My same team is actually working on the project with Billy Ray Cyrus. The whole Fontana/Red Smoke team. It’s huge. It’s huge for someone like Billy Ray Cyrus to embrace a local Yonkers rapper [who’s] just coming up in the game. You know? Especially since I work with like, DMX and Jadakiss, and all these hardcore rappers. You know the content is NOT commercial. [both laugh].

Ess: That’s great, man. You seem real focused and determined to work on music as the MC, do you have any plans, 20-30 years down the line, to maybe do some other aspect of music, like A&R work or anything like that?

KP: You know what? I’ve been doing A&R work for awhile now. I did some work with Ruff Ryders records for some time. And right now, Red Smoke Records, I’m the head of A&R for Red Smoke Records. Red Smoke Records is a newly launched Canadian record label and it’s owned by my partner, Matthew Bolton. We’re on the executive end of it. I A&R’d my new project. I helped with the Billy Ray Cyrus thing with Fontana and kinda put this whole Red Smoke Records thing together in conjunction with Element 9 and Fontanta/Universal. I’ve kinda been getting ready and dibbling because I know there’s gonna come a time where the rap thing gotta stop and I gotta put some other people on and really take an executive role in this. My whole thing is helping other people so I’m definitely gonna focus on the A&R aspect of the business because I wanna sign people and see people get successful and win and make it.

Ess: If someone wants to get a hold of you or wants to check out some of your music where does he/she go and how does he do it?

KP: and [they] will have all the ways to get in touch with me; my Twitter, my Myspace. You can get right in contact with me directly on Twitter (@daRealKingPhaze). I talk to everybody. I follow everybody back. Hit me on Twitter, hit me on Myspace and whatev‘. Let’s work.

Ess: I really appreciate you taking your time out for this especially with how busy you’ve been with all…700 albums coming out, A&R and everything. That’s crazy. [both laugh].

KP: Hey, man, I appreciate you taking your time out to interview me, man. So, the feeling is 100% mutual.

Red Smoke Records
King Phaze on Twitter

Interview: Naughty by Nature

Posted: March 17, 2010 by essince in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I was able to catch up with Treach from Naughty by Nature when they came to St. Louis a while back after a DOPE show.

Check it out.

- Essince

Interview: Freeway

Posted: February 6, 2010 by essince in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I was able to catch up with the homie, Freeway and talk about everything from RhymeSayers Ent. to his pilgrimage to Mecca, to his new album with Jake One, the Stimulus Package.

- Essince, Royal Heir Entertainment

Essince: What’s good?

Freeway: What’s up? How are you?

Essince: I’m good, man. First of all, I heard some new stuff off the Stimulus Package with Jake One and I’m really excited, man. It sounds dope.

Freeway: Thanks a lot, man. I appreciate that, man.

Essince: What can you tell me about this project? What can we expect when we hear it?

Freeway: Ah, man. You should just expect hip hop, you know? In it’s purest essence, that’s what it is. Hip hop, man. Me and Jake came together with that one goal and that’s to bring good hip hop to the forefront.

Essince: How did you two meet? How did you decide to work with Jake One on this?

Freeway: Well, actually I got some tracks from him for the “Free at Last” album. He did a track on “Free at Last” called “It’s Over” and I did a couple tracks on his album, “White Van Music” and the chemistry was there, you know? And then after that he just kept sending me beats, you know? And I was working and knocking songs out and I was a free agent at the time, too so we came up with the idea of doing an album together on RhymeSayers Entertainment.

Essince: How did RhymeSayers come about? I’ve been a big RhymeSayers fan for years and I think it’s great that you’re with them. I think it’s a good fit but how did that come about?

Freeway: Well basically Jake One was on RhymeSayers Entertainment, you know? And I was a free agent and we were thinking that that would be a perfect home for it. It’ll open up my fan base and it’ll open up Jake’s fan base, too. On both sides.

Essince: Are you excited about releasing something on RhymeSayers? It seems like a different following and might be a little different crowd that you might have with say a Roc-a-Fella, or a Cash Money, or someone else.

Freeway: Yea, I’m definitely excited, you know? Because this is like my breakaway album it’s like my first album without the major backing. I’m just trying to prove to people I can do it by myself, man. That’s what I’m trying to do.

Essince: I remember hearing you planned on retiring after your pilgrimage to Mecca. What made you decide to keep rhyming?

Freeway: I mean that’s just something that I go through with myself, you know what I mean? As far as me being Muslim and everything. We’re not supposed to be doing the music but that’s just something that I go through with myself and my God, you know what I’m saying? I got a passion for the music and I do it good.

Essince: You’re not supposed to be doing music?

Freeway: Yea. You’re not. It takes away from the remembrance of the law. Like, you could be doing other things with your time.

Essince: What was it like working with Brother Ali? I love that track you guys did with Joell Ortiz on Brother Ali’s last album [“Us”].

Freeway: Oh yea, that was crazy. Brother Ali is a good dude, man. He’s real talented, you know what I’m saying? So it’s always a good experience when we’re together.

Essince: Whatever happened to Indy500?

Freeway: He’s still working. That’s my cousin.

Essince: Oh, for real?

Freeway: Yea, he’s got some stuff he’s working on.

Essince: I heard some tracks you did with him and Peedi Crakk and we were wondering what was going on.

Freeway: Yea, Peedi Crakk is in jail but he should be home soon.

Essince: Good.

Freeway: When he gets home we’re definitely going to make some things happen.

Essince: Great. I’m looking forward to hearing everything. I really appreciate your time and I can’t wait for “the Stimulus Package” to drop.

Freeway: Thanks a lot, man. I appreciate the love.

To hear a new track off “The Stimulus Package” check it here on Planet Symphony

For more info on Freeway and the project check RhymeSayers Entertainment

I was blessed with the opportunity to speak with the homie, Paul Wall. Check it out.

- Essince, Royal Heir Entertainment

Essince: What it do?

Paul Wall: Hey, what’s goin’ on? What it do?

Essince: Thanks for taking your time out to do the interview, man. I appreciate it.

Paul Wall: Fo’ sho’. Nice to meet you.

Essince: First of all, how’ve you been? What’ve you been up to? I heard the new single, “I’m on Patron.” What else have you been working on?

Paul Wall: I’ve been on my grind lately but I had to break off for a little bit to handle my business as dad; my roll as dad. I got a daughter and a son. So I’ve been enjoying my time with them, raising them. Especially being that my father wasn’t around so I wanted to step up. I know lately I’ve been on the road a lot and in the studio a lot. And this is the first single off my new album [I’m on Patron]. The new album is gonna be called “the Heart of a Champion.”

Essince: Do you have any idea when you wanna drop that?

Paul Wall: Yea, it’ll probably be coming out around April or May of this year [2010].

Essince: I had a few friends who wanted me to tell you that the Pepsi Mic Pass Part 2 was dope. I watched that again earlier today. I love seeing you and Chamillionaire back together.

Paul Wall: Oh, yea. Me, too. I’m trying to talk him into doing an album together, too. I don’t know if he’ll do it but I think I’m gettin’ him…I’m inching my way toward talking my way into it. So maybe one day we’ll do another album together.

E: Ahh. Definitely, man!

PW: I love the fact that we’re able to work together and be friends again, you know? You know it’s been great.

E: That’s great. What do you think, or I guess could you comment on the importance of having a side hustle? A lot of rappers are coming out with clothing lines or other things besides just the music. Do you think that’s something rappers should look into as far as having a career?

PW: I mean I think you definitely gotta keep your options open if something comes up then they should definitely do it if that’s where their heart is. But sometimes people just get some t-shirts printed up and say they got a clothing line, you know? And that ain’t necessarily what a clothing line is. I’ve been blessed to be able to be on my good friend, Travis Barker’s, clothing line called Famous Stars and Straps. So when me and him and my other homeboy, Skinhead Rob got together and started doing music together the opportunity came up for us to do a clothing line with our group, too. And then Travis already had all the marketing teams and it was very easy for us to transition into a clothing line. We have a clothing line but we have a full marketing department, distribution, you know, a real clothing line. Not just t-shirts we had steam-pressed up. The thing about it is you have so many opportunities to make money and do what you wanna do and as you start to build a fan base up, your fans will support you with everything you do and any thing you do. Go on out and get every dollar that you can and whatnot.

E: The southern artists really started being successful with independent labels. What do you think as far as new rappers looking for a deal? Like independent versus a major label deal.

PW: I think you have to go through a growth process. You know everybody can’t be Kobe [and] go straight to the pros from high school. Some people can. Rashard Lewis, Kevin Garnett, you know those are 3 of the elite. A lot of times when you try to go straight to the pros from high school it don’t work. You gotta go through that college thing and you gotta go through growth. And, you know, like myself, especially with the Texas movement, you know, Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Mike Jones, Trae, Z-ro, everybody had a history of albums, a resume of independent albums we put out before we got on to a major label. We earned it, you know? And sometimes when people get a little buzz goin’ and sign a record deal they lose a lot of that because they don’t build their fan base up. You gotta build your fan base, build your relationships with people. It takes time, it takes albums. It’s not something that happens off one song or one album. It’s something that takes albums. And I think that’s why the Texas movement really died down a lot because a lot of the artists stopped putting out independent albums. They want to be in the spotlight. They want to be on BET, MTV, and have songs on. You know. I think that’s what really killed a lot of the Texas momentum. The new phase of artists didn’t put out their independent albums because they’re trying to go straight to the pros.

E: One of the things I really respect about the Texas scene, especially me being from Ohio, neither one of our cities/states have a major label record there. There are no Interscope offices in Cleveland, there are no major labels here. So I really respect the scene in Texas. Everyone really had to learn and do everything on his own. I wondered if you had any advice on how to build our scene up.

PW: I think the intentions anywhere are kinda split down the middle. Or what I learned growing up was always split down the middle where people either thought, oh these artists are just local or this producer or DJ is just local so they look down upon the local music scene, or they’re like how I was growing up, I always looked up to the local music scene. It inspired me. People are pretty much split. They either look down on the local music scene or they look up to it. I think in order for, and this goes for anywhere in the country, especially somewhere like Ohio, where you got a big major city like Cleveland, and it’s the same way in Houston. In Houston, we didn’t get a lot of love in Houston. We had to travel outside our city. We went to Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, all the surrounding cities and got love. And once we got enough buzz and enough love people in Houston started supporting us, too. On the back end. A lot of people don’t get love in their home town. They gotta travel they gotta hit the road, dude. Go to Columbus, Cincinnati, Chillicothe, all those small little towns. That’s how you really get your market on. Ou can make a lot of paper that way. The problem is a lot of artists just want the hometown love. They want the home town fame so they get caught up on that so they don’t care if they’re a star. If they’re from Cleveland they may not care if they’re a star in Columbus they want to be a star in Cleveland. But it don’t work like that.

E: A lot of times the home market is real easy or incredibly hard. Some people are like ‘oh yea, it’s the local guy. We’ll support him’ or “man, I know that guy. He works at the super market. He wants to be a rapper now?!” [both laugh]. So we gotta get outta there. Are you familiar with the Ohio Hip Hop Awards?

PW: Yea, I think my boy Young Yonny won an award there.

E: Yea. I really think events like that really fit in with what we talked about earlier about supporting the local scene and people who may not be in your area.

PW: Yea, I mean just look at Kid Cudi. He’s from Cleveland. He didn’t start making it til he traveled out. He went to New York before he got discovered. So I mean, I’m not saying everyone has to go to New York, or Atlanta, or LA but if it ain’t workin’ for you in your city you got to move around. Hit up that big city a couple hundred miles down the road. Just travel. Promote. I mean when I was young I bought everything local that came out. Any artist from Houston I’d buy, even people I’d never heard of. I’d look at the CD and say ok, I’m gonna support it. I’m gonna check it out. In order for the scene or particular region to blow up you have to support your own.

E: What can we expect from Paul Wall in the future? Do you have any plans of behind the scenes stuff like A&R work or stuff like that?

PW: Um, not really, man. I just plan on continuing to put out the music the way I have been. My fan base supports me. I feel like I’m putting out good music so I’m gonna continue to do it. Maybe branch off and do other things with my clothing line, Expensive Taste. The clothing line is and grills, too. Me and my boy, Johnny still doin’ the grills. It’s on but other than that, man I’m just gonna continue what I’m doing. I have a real big passion for music. I love music. I’m real happy to be doing it.

Essince: How [are] you doing?

Skent Dukes: What’s up, Champ?

Essince: First of all, please introduce yourself; your name, where you’re from, how long you’ve been in the game. You know. All that stuff.

Skent Dukes: It’s your boy, Skent Dukes reppin’ Hush Money [Management]. Been doin’ this music thing for about…9 years now. Been doin’ albums, mixtapes, producing, writing, you know…all that good stuff.

Essince: What exactly IS Hush Money? Is it a record label? Is it a crew? What is it?

Skent: Hush Money Management was started by Jay. It consists of Jay managing three artists being R.O.B., Skent Dukes, and CJ. That’s basically what Hush Money is and under that umbrella we also got a marketing team, a street team, graphic design…you know. Different people for different jobs.

Essince: Can you explain the importance of team building and branding? With a label or brand like Hush Money you can promote in a lot of different avenues…maybe even more than just as an artist.

Skent: Whenever you see a project or something we put together like an album or any type of venue, you’ve got to have a solid team to help you out with that. Can’t nobody to this music thing or this entertainment thing by theyself. You need input from a lot of different people with a lot of different perspectives. That’s how you get a great product. So that’s why a team, or whoever you’re surrounded with is just as important as any other aspect of your music. You know what I’m sayin‘? Whether it’s your beats or your writing, your performances, anything else you need your team first. Without that you can’t do nothing. That’s what I feel about the team, man.

Essince: What are some of the goals of Hush Money? Whenever I’m out in Cleveland I see y’all out at shows. Do you plan on expanding out of Cleveland or do you want to tackle the home market first and THEN let everyone else know?

Skent: Let me answer your first question first which was what’s the goal of Hush Money. Basically our goal, man, is to put on for the city. Rep Cleveland to the fullest. You know, show love to whoever trying to move in the game. Also, our goal is to put out quality music and trying to expand. You know? I’m in Atlanta right now. I’ve been working this market like crazy. Working the south like crazy. Definitely looking to expand and bring in talent, bring in different aspects of the business. Not necessarily rap, you know what I’m saying? There’s other things that Hush Money does as far as events that can basically contribute to our overall goal and success. Puttin’ on for the city, you know what I’m sayin’?

Essince: Now for you personally, Skent, what are some of your goals? Do you ever plan on doing behind the scenes like developing artists down the road for Hush Money?

Skent: I’m always gonna do music whether it’d be me doing a compilation, or putting out an artist, or producing, I’m always gonna be somewhere in the music game. Throughout the duration of my life I pretty much don’t see myself doing anything else unless there’s some music involved with it. Most definitely, man. So when I’m done with my run of that lane I’mma be back in the producing or back helping someone else go on the same travels that Skent went. Hush Money’s gonna be doing shit for a long time coming.

Essince: Earlier you mentioned the street team. If someone wanted to get involved and really spread the Hush Money name how do they contact someone or how do they get involved with promoting the Hush Money name?

Skent: I’m basically in all the little internet circles, twitter, myspace, face book. They can contact me at,, search “skent” on Facebook and I come up. You can just get with me like that. That’s always welcome. The Hush Money team, the people we surround ourselves with are basically good people. Coming from the streets and shit you get a negative publicity or whatever. But on here we promote kickin it, fun, good music, just basically being productive. We did come from the streets but we keep that in the music. You know what I’m saying? We gotta bring that out.

Essince: Thanks for taking your time out. I’ve been to a few of your shows with my homie, DJ Jack da Rippa, seen you at the [Ohio Hip Hop] Awards. I respect what y’all are doing.

Skent: I appreciate that ten-fold, man.

Again, here is the contact info for Skent Dukes.

Tell him Essince sent ya.

- Essince

Interview: Five

Posted: January 1, 2010 by essince in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Recently, there’s been a man from NY who’s been getting a nice little buzz online. His name is Five.

I was able to speak with Five recently about everything from prison, to the state of hip hop and I figured I should give you all a heads up on homie before he’s a household name.

- Essince

Essince: How’re you doin?

Five: I’m alright, man. I can’t complain. Alive and I’m working. That’s about it.

Essince: Could you give us a brief introduction for some people who may not be too familiar with you.

Five: My name’s Five. I from New York but I live in Brooklyn now. Did five years in jail and after that came home, same grind ever since. Been grinding for a little over…2 years now. I’ve been rhyming my whole life but I never really pursued it until I came home and needed another road.

Essince: Can you explain the meaning behind the name “Five”? Does it have anything to do with the time you spent?

Five: It has to do with that. It has to do with the fact that when I was born I was only 5lbs so the odds of me surviving [were slim] and I’ve been fighting ever since. I really adapted to the name with the prison time because everything before that five years didn’t really matter any more. You know what I mean? It was all about the direction I was headed in afterward so I used those five years as a stepping stone for which way to move. 

Essince: I noticed a lot of the things I hear from you are on mixtapes especially some in Cleveland [*shout out DJ Jack da Rippa]. There are so many mixtapes out now, how can this help an artist?

Five: Just getting yourself out there, man. It’s about getting people to know what you’re about, what your music’s about, what your talent is. It’s just really an avenue to promote yourself where if you don’t have something that certain artists don’t have, the budget, you don’t have marketing dollars, stuff like that, it’s a good avenue to take because of the DJs. Their music is being downloaded all over the place, being sold all over the place, and wherever it’s being sold and wherever it’s being downloaded you’re being heard. So it’s definitely a plus for any artists to have mix DJs behind you.  

Essince: I noticed a lot of your things out here out in the Midwest. Being that you’re from New York was hitting the Midwest on purpose or are we just the people who latched on?

Five: It’s kinda been that the Midwest has just been showing me love. You know, Q is my boy. So he has a big part, him playing some stuff for the people. People contacting me. That’s kinda how it went. I didn’t necessarily target the Midwest myself but I’m not in a regional box where I specifically cater to New York and make music just for New York when you have people who listen to music everywhere.

Essince: What are some of your goals musically? You said when you got out your whole mindset changed. What are you looking to accomplish with your music and your talent?

Five: I’m just trying to open people’s ears to the bullshit that’s in the game right now that is destroying hip hop today for me. I was raised on it, it taught me what to wear, what to do, where to go. Hip hop was a beautiful thing. But now it’s become so commercial and it becomes so fake. Nobody is taking any risks. People would think that the world is perfect because of people’s music. It’s just about having good times, fun, poppin’ bottles, drinking and all that stuff. But I look outside and there are still a lot of people struggling, starving, and hurting. So my music is kinda talking about the pluses and minuses of life. Even though you’re faced with obstacles and these trials and tribulations in your life you can still win if you believe you can win. My music is kinda for the underdog. Just kinda open their ears and open their eyes more so that’s what I really wanna do with my music. Pretty much talk to everybody and let them know just because you go through this, you go to prison, you go through hard times, your parents are on drugs, or you raised yourself, whatever the case may be you still got a shot in this world. Nobody in the same is really doing that. No one is really taking charge of getting that point across. That’s what I want to do for hip hop. I want to be a voice for the people who are still struggling and are being ignored. 

Essince: We really need that, man. Honestly, I can’t relate to any of these…ringtone rappers, you know what I mean?

Five: I don’t know how anyone can. You know you wake up and are going through something today, what the hell was how many bottles they were able to pop, or their Gucci rag or their Louis [Vuitton] rag, or the shorty being a 5-star chick, or any of that type of stuff have to do with anything to help you? People who don’t have religion or other places to turn to, hip hop is what they used to turn to. They’re not. All these single-driven artists are why albums don’t sell anymore. No one wants to hear an album of stuff that means nothing!

Essince: Yep. I agree.

Five: That’s what major labels don’t understand. They just push these singles because they failed on so many other artists. But at the same time you can’t give up on the people. That’s what they did. They gave up on the people. Said to hell with these people. Then people put albums out and nobody wants to buy their albums…because they can’t carry a whole album.

Essince: You seem very focused. You know why you’re here, you know why you have another chance…I feel like I know why you’re here. What are some of your goals beyond music? Do you have any aspirations to be an A&R? Did you ever want to be a producer? Anything like that?

Five: I would like to write. I can write R&B, I can write anything. I write wherever the music takes me, so it’d be nice to be a writer and have more of an influence on the type of material that’s coming out in the industry. So if I could get my foot in that door and provide certain concepts and production to certain people then I feel that’d help hip hop, too. That’s definitely the position I want to be in in some point and time in my life. I don’t want to be rapping and standin’ on stages the rest of my life but I still want to have my foot in hip hop. In a positive way.

Essince: We definitely need a lot of that. A lot of the older heads aren’t getting respect…especially when they’re just kinda…talking down to the new kids. Not understanding the new stuff.

Five: The older heads are at a point where they’re being forced to do what the new people are doing. I don’t agree with some of the old heads, with some of the pioneers in the game because you’re supposed to stand your ground. Everything comes back. And we will be at a point in time where what we’re listening to now…in 3 years…no DJ will play it. It will not be on the radio or anything like that. The music has no longevity. You look at any fad in hip hop it has no longevity. You know the DasFX and the tongue twisting it has no longevity. Nothing they think will last now will last forever.

Essince: Which is why, at the end of the day, you gotta make good, solid, relatable music, which it seems like you’re doing. 

Five: To be honest, I try to make ageless music. Music that just talks about time and just talks about life and talks about real shit. It’s not fiction. I don’t have to spend a buncha time trying to think of a buncha fake stuff to make it rhyme and come together. All I do is talk about my life, what I see, what I see other people going through. I have people come to me like, I feel like you’ve been following me. How’d you know that happened to me the other day? [laughs]. You know? Shit like that. I look at a situation like Tupac. Tupac as put out, what, 10 albums since he passed away? He ain’t wrote a rhyme at least since ’96. But all his rhymes still sound like he could’ve written them last week. That’s kinda like the angle I take in this game.

Essince: Thanks a lot for taking your time out to do this interview. Any final shoutouts or links?

Five: Shout out to my boy, Q. Shout out to ITW [Marketing]. Shout out to the whole Midwest, Dj Jack da Rippa, DJ E-V, Dj G-Spot, Chicago, Detroit, the whole Midwest in general. Shout out to New York, Albany. Anyone who rides with me I appreciate it.

Download FIVE: I Am New Blood

Not that he needs a ton of links to prove his influence but here you go anyway. Dude’s making serious moves.

FIVE ON WORLDSTARHIPHOP (video links below)

The General (Five) sends a warning to Red Cafe

Rapper Five and his cousin Wink in Flatbush Brooklyn disrespecting Red Cafe in his own hood!!!

Five – Wait Don’t Sign Em

FIVE ON ONSMASH.COM (video links below)

Five – Yeah Yeah

Five and Hell Rell – Industry X DVD

Five – Leave a Comment

Five on The Commission Radio speaks on Red Cafe situation