Enter ABCDE ..
01. For those who aren't familiar with you, tell us a little bit about yourself?
Answer: I am a Samoan Hip-Hop artist, producer, engineer, photographer, video director and breakdancer... with a 15-inch mohawk from the city of sin, Las Vegas. I was born in California and moved out to Vegas in 1993. My entire life I've been into Hip-Hop and have participated in the elements as well. I grew up breakdancing way before the rapping began. When the rapping era started for me, freestyle battles were popular. I would battle left and right in any tournament I heard about. Then the music began. I started recording and making original music which later became the path to the 15 foot giant you all know today, ABCDE.
02. Which projects have you released? Which projects do you have in the works? Any shows coming up?
Answer: I have released many mixtapes and albums in the past which I have no copy or trace of today due to the fact we got a certain amount printed up from duplication shops then just sold them individually, but I did officially release an album last year, Thanksgiving day which won the "Best Hip-Hop Mixtape Award." It is titled, A.B.C.D.E. "ABCDE's Bars Clearly Define Everything". It has amazing production from some of the most talented producers out there as well as features from battle rap vets, Illmaculate & Tantrum. This project is available for free download at HotNewHipHop.com (just search my username: ABCDE702 and go to mixtapes). As for the present moment, I am currently working on a lot of new material for various collaborations and for the big one, my new album which I am very amped and excited for. It is going to demonstrate, define and illustrate the new me. So you can definitely look forward to that. As far as shows go, I'm real picky on those. I don't just perform anywhere anymore. It has to be worth my time, beneficial and a stepping stone of development in order for me to agree to perform. But I do have an audition for America's Got Talent which I'm super stoked for. What's extra exciting about it is they specifically told me they weren't looking for Hip-Hop acts to cast, but they were very impressed with my talent and image so they advised me to try out anyway. I look at it as catch 22 situation 'cause either way I will be seen by significant eyes and that is great amounts of exposure on its own.
03. Which artists are you currently listening to? Who influenced you coming up?
Answer: I am currently listening to a huge mixture of everything: old and new. I am very random. One day I'll be bumping some Machine Gun Kelly, then the next day I'll be listening to some 2Pac, then you'll find me blasting some Apathy or some Old Eminem albums. It just depends. Sometimes I'll even be listening to some indie artists that no one has ever heard of. I like it all. I am very universal. I appeal and dig every genre of music, but Hip-Hop was the foundation that struck me first. When I was coming up as a music artist, or shall I say MC I was deeply influenced by underground Hip-Hop. I admit I was guilty of being one of those backpacker MC's that started hating mainstream strictly because of the direction it was headed in. But later, that hateful mentality vanished as I got older and began experimenting with all types of styles of music as I would be in the studio creating. I was a big fan of Bone Thugs N Harmony though. Their fast flow mixed with melodic harmonies! That used to amaze me, 'til Eminem first came out. Then I saw lyricism in a whole different light.. wordplay, multis, rhyme schemes, delivery, all that. It became a priority to me as a music artist and lyricist to master all of that.
04. What are your thoughts on the written / acapella battle scene? Have you (or would you) partake?
Answer: Well.. I am from an era of freestyle battles, strictly off the top of the dome - no written battles. But I appreciate the new age evolving to more intelligent talented writing methods. That's what I love the most about the battle scene now. It is guaranteed to be exciting filled with punchlines, schemes, multis, delivery depending on the type of MC you are watching, unless they forget their bars which shouldn't happen since you have a month or so to write and memorize. I honestly think it is great and it shows how technology never ends. I definitely see it going farther than just YouTube though. In due time, I can definitely see it being a global weekly deal on television either as a T.V. show or a potential series. I have partook in the new age battle scene quite a bit. I have over 500,000 views in rap battles on YouTube. I have battled on Grindtime, AHAT Vegas, AHAT Utah, and TBL (Texas Battle League). I am by far a music artist first before a battle rapper but I strategically use it a stool to bigger and brighter heights such as opportunities and keys to open more doors for future endeavors.
05. What is your purpose on this planet?
Answer: To give the world my music and show the universe ABCDE. I truly believe in my heart that this is my purpose here. It seems that nothing else ever worked, otherwise it would have already. The only thing that has ever been consistently developing in a bigger and better picture for myself individually is my music career as the 15 foot giant and I have never given up on it. It's what I have wanted since I was a youngin' and I continue to get further with it as time passes so we'll see. But I feel that is what God put me here for, to be ABCDE to the world.
06. If given the chance, would you record a track featuring Justin Bieber?
Answer: I actually would. I am a very universal music artist. I have collaborated with almost every genre out there musically. I have also created different genres of music in the studio all the way from underground hip hop to mainstream hip hop to dubstep/techno to reggae music to some alternative punk rock. I enjoy it all and I like to always leave room for improvement and development. I respect out of the box thinkers. So yes, I would do a track featuring Justin Beiber, but I would most definitely have him rap on it and shock the world with a Hip-Hop lyrical Beiber rather than what he's known for.
07. Anything else you would like to add?
Answer: Yes. Don't ever be afraid to use your imagination. Imagination is one of those key tools we best utilize when we are young children then we lose sight of it the older we get. Some of the most known philosophers and scientists from years ago even show proof of how significant using your imagination is. Be optimistic. Be a visionary. Keep a clear vision of what it is you want to achieve and believe it regardless if it seems impossible or very difficult to pursue. Stay focused on it, and envision yourself already having achieved that goal or huge dream. See yourself in it successfully and already there owning it all and living it to the fullest and I guarantee you it will come true. Whatever it is you conceive, you believe, you will achieve.
** Interview conducted by Fubar