Exclusive Interview with Rap Sensation Smokes aka Mr. Asian Pride
Asian-American Rapper Taking The Music World by Storm
Give us some background info as to who you are.
I am a hardworking, honest, loyal, partying, down to earth individual. I am the voice of the Asian Youth in America. I am the definition of grind. I am music.
What sets you apart from other rappers?
The biggest factor has to be that I am Asian. I am in a lane by myself finding a niche in a market that is untapped and has potential to dominate the modern day music industry. There are millions of Asian-American youth that love rap and have no one to look up to or admire, and I am going to be there voice box.
I plan on achieving this by not making "disposable music." Of course, I want to make quality industry friendly music but at the same time bringing back the intimacy in music. I want to tell my story because I feel like there are millions of people, not only Asian but also all races, that can relate to me and therefore respect my hustle and support my grind. I want my fans to know that I can have fun but I am also just as easy to bleed as they are, giving the people my soul and sharing my self with them threw the music. I feel that is what music great, and now a days music is so cliché and watered down that the only thing that is spoken on is swag and money.
I make club records because I love the clubs. I love all the beautiful Go Go's, hanging with all the people I meet and rocking with the best DJs. But I also make records about my life to interact with my fans and reach out to them. That is what sets me a part I have a lane in an untapped market with mass international appeal. I have potential either in the states or I can go overseas and be successful because I am an American Rapper that is Asian, which will make me popular overseas. I will be the Asian Voice.
What is the philosophy by which you live by?
"It could always be worse" and "it always works out" and it always does. Believing in a hire power and know that you half to feel blessed about every minute of everyday because we are not promised tomorrow.
Which artists have inspired you?
So many to name, but the ones that played a pivotal roll in life was, Michael Jackson and Tupac. But I have been influenced by so many my list would stretch for pages; I love music, sincerely love music.
Who does your production?
My man that is holding me down on the Album I am working on "All or Nothing" is my dude from North Carolina, Sean Divine. He and I have such a great sound together it is amazing, we are creating music that is so fresh and new its so inspiring. Also my man Mister KA from Boston and a close friend of mine, Gizzle hooks me up on the tracks. My people Flip, Gizzle, Dave Poler, and Bo hold me down on the engineering side.
What is your opinion of the current state of Hip Hop?
I think Hip Hop is at the most successful it ever been in the idea that it is the voice of the modern day world. President Obama is making references to Lil Wayne, Car commercials are using T.I and Mary J Blige, McDonalds has R&B commercials, Hip Hop has taken over.
However it is sad because it is at the lowest it's been at a time when it should be the most lucrative. I think that Hip Hop got watered down and lost its relationship with the listener. 7 out of 10 songs sound the same and you hear the same 10 songs on the radio. People are programmed to buy "singles" because usually the "single" is the only song worth listening too. Like I said, I love music. Out of all the CDs I buy a year, I may only feel 30% of them. That is because I don't feel like I know the artist outside of the fact I know he has "money" and drives nice cars. I want to hear the struggle just as much as I want to hear about fly shit, there need to be a balance. That is of course my opinion and I am open to hearing others.
If you can change one thing about the music industry what would it be and why?
Bring back the love. I don't think people love music has much as they use to. Music use to speak for us when our words couldn't, we got to get that feeling back.
Any singers would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Justin Timberlake. I would also love to collaborate with Alicia Keys, Ne-Yo, or Mariah Carey.
What producer would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I would say for sure still Sean Divine, and Missy Elliot, there are so many I would really feel blessed to work with anyone that has had the experience in the game and is able to make a successful career out of it.
What is your favorite movie and favorite book?
Movies might have to be "Cinderella Man" or "Hurricane" both were incredible stories of perseverance. My favorite book might have had to been "Malcolm X" or "Monster" or books like "48 Laws of Power" or "The Art of War"
What are some major misconceptions that you think people have of you?
They Think I am a serious guy. I actually love to kick it and I am down to earth, I am serious when it comes to my business but I know how to enjoy myself. Or they think I sell drugs, and I literally haven't went around them since 2005, most people don't know I worked a full time job for 3 years before my music started taking off.
What is your favorite part of your live show? How has it evolved?
I love the crowd interaction. I pride myself on entertaining people. I get on stage and I make it an experience. It has evolved from being just me to a team grinding like hell to make sure ever second of the show you are entertained. From me and D giving you our all to having shows where we incorporate my dude Kim that hits you with the glow sticks, to Izz'Matic Crew up on stage going nuts with the dancing to all of the girls that come on stage and Go Go their boots off, or walk the runway as models. I love them all for what they do and that is what evolved my show into an experience. It's a team of us that make sure every second is entertaining. Make sure if I am in your city you come out because I promise you will have a blast, we gets it in!
What is your LP going to be like?
It's going to be fresh and exciting. The songs are huge. I have fun songs, records for the girls, the thugs, real shit, all to great beats that will have you rocking I promise! It's all or nothing this time and I mean it. Smokes aka the Money Back Guarantee!
What is your website?
www.smokesmusic.com Make sure you check it out, I got interviews, videos, live updates, merchandise and FREE mixtape downloads. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get on my mailing list to hear songs before they drop. You could help decide what songs go on my projects.
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