Check out J.R.’s new mixtape, ‘Loud Clouds’. Now available for free download!!
The people can feel honesty and individuality in music and in interviews, so if you’re doing that, you’re a step ahead because you’re branding yourself as yourself and people can identify with it.-Lyriciss
Emcee Lyriciss naturally delivers with soul and passion in his singles, ‘My Life’ and ‘Handle My Biz,’ featured on his latest entries of his mixtape, The Balance EP: Heart presented by The DJBooth and Inner Loop Media Group. He deserves and owns the title as a true lyricist.
1. Who is Lyriciss?
A: I’m just a young dude from PG County that makes some pretty good music. (laughs)
2. How long have you been making music?
A: I’ve been rapping since I was 9, but I’ve been recording actual songs since I was 16. I’m turning 25 in February, so yeah…it’s been a while.
3. On the track of ‘My Life,’ you mentioned, “ [that you] were supposed to die six hours before writing this,” –
A: Well, basically, I avoided a really bad car accident right before writing that song. Me and my producer, Grussle, were headed home from a Random Axe (Sean Price, Guilty Simpson, & Black Milk) show in Adams Morgan. We were going around the traffic circle and a car came in from the exit ahead going about 80-90 mph. Grussle saw it at the last minute and hit the brakes. The car barely missed us, went over the sidewalk, and hit a tree dead-on. So yeah…that woulda been it if it hit us, because I was on the passenger side where the car was coming from.
4. As an original emcee like yourself, describe the prototype of an artist.
A: Being yourself. It’s really that simple…there’s nothing more original than being yourself. The people can feel honesty and individuality in music and in interviews, so if you’re doing that, you’re a step ahead because you’re branding yourself as yourself and people can identify with it.
5. When and where was your first show? Describe that experience.
A: it was at Howard University when I was like 16 or 17. To be honest, I don’t really remember much from it but being all types of nervous. (laughs) I got on stage, did my one song, and ran off stage! It was cool, though.
6. How would you describe the elements of your music?
A: Honesty, lyricism, and storytelling. Those are the 3 strengths of my music.
7. What are your essentials/necessities when you’re in artist mode at the studio?
A: Just my team bouncing ideas around with me, and maybe some food. (laughs) Liquor can help as well, but it’s not needed.
8. Based on your last verse on the track of “Calling for You,” “The labels gave me a look, but couldn’t rock wit’ it/so now I’m dodging their calls like it’s blocked digits/never switched the styles to fit in the context/just let the rhyme flex now they through me a [complex]/the bigger picture is clearer it’s looking like IMAX/they ranking me higher than your broad’s voice during climax/five stacks ain’t amounting my worth/this is my life, I’ve been ‘bout it since birth/I won’t see the grave…”
were you offered a deal with a major label? If so, can you please describe that situation?
A: I’ve been offered a few indie deals and had a couple talks with majors…nothing really worked out the way I wanted, though, so I didn’t sign. That’s the most detailed I really get on that, out of respect for confidentiality.
10. Name the artists who have inspired you and why?
A: Too many to name them all, really. Nas, AZ, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Pro’Verb, Joe Budden, etc. I listen to a lot of music, so I get something from it all.
11. Who have you collaborated with or would like to collaborate with in the DMV?
A: I’ve worked with Pro’Verb, AP The Prince, G-Two, RAtheMC, Chris Barz, Hassani Kwess, Nike Nando, Mouse, Cayan, Casito, KingPen Slim, Laelo, K-Beta, Muggsy Malone, Drop, K. Marable, Gods’Illa, yU, Uptown XO, AB The Pro, H-Tips, and a lot more. I’ve been around and worked with a lot of people. I still want to work with Lightshow, Darren Hanible, Wale, Slutty Boyz, and Phil Ade.
12. Describe the importance of originality in a commercial driven industry.
A: It’s needed to stand out. Clear example: remember when Lil’ Wayne was that dude? Then every new rapper around the way was rapping like him? None of them got on. Why? Nobody wants to hear a carbon copy of somebody we already heard. Originality drives the commercial market.
13. Do you have any upcoming shows?
A: At the moment, no. I just had an amazing show at the Blue Line Festival this past Saturday. For now, I’m focused on this next project, but if anyone wants to book me for a show, please feel free to contact me and we can make it happen (email@example.com)
14. Where can listeners find your music?
A: You can find everything here…
15. If you could work with three artists dead or alive, who would they be and why?
A: Kendrick Lamar, 2Pac, & Big L. I just want to experience being in the room during each of their creative processes. How did they think of the things they thought of? The music would be amazing, no doubt.
Steve Smith’s tracks like ‘Blessing Me’ feat. Skooda, and ‘Yesterday’ both illustrate stories of his personal struggle, and his strength and faith in God to keep moving forward towards his goals.
Smith unveils his passion for expressing his experiences in his latest mixtape, ‘Soundtrack 2 My High’ that just dropped on Datpiff.com:
What’s the name of your team, and who are all of the members?
RapFiendzEnt Group was founded back in 2009 and consist of three artists, Mr.Paint Pictures (CEO), Skooda, and Lil Wyte. Steve Smith aka Mr. Paint Pictures formed the group with Jermaine Bermudez.
How did you all meet?
Well actually I met Skooda through a neighborhood cypher and been tight like glue since … I then met lol Wyte who is long time friends with Skooda
What are the various concepts your music conveys?
I love to rap about my struggles as a kid. Everybody has had some type of pain in life. We can all relate somewhere…I try to stay conscious and relevant.
What makes your flow unique?
I would have to say being so versatile makes us unique … no limit on what to talk about-we try to stay universal.
You mentioned that your music is sort of like the old school Bone Thugs N Harmony, would you personally agree?
Yes I agree with sounding similar to Bone Thugs n Harmony. But we also add originality and try to step out the box.
Describe the meaning behind some of your art.
I feel like my art tell my thoughts…the world is my canvas … To me it’s a one-way conversation where I can say anything and have no repercussions.
Do you have any featured artists in your upcoming project, MD Made Me? Any upcoming events?
On my upcoming project, I have features with a couple artists like Skooda, KayC, and I’m working with a new artist, Nae Major.
On the new tape I have all original sounds, new sound to music. I like to call it no genre…
“He Loves Us,” is one of my favorite tracks, who helped collaborate in that single?
KayC, singer/songwriter, is actually my little sister. She sent me this voice memo. I fell in love with the way she sounded- it had soul. I hooked just a clip of her voice and got inspired so I decided to dedicate it to the man upstairs.
My love for the music, life, and things I have experienced has to be the inspiration. Plus I love to see the art come to life whether drawing or music.
If you could work with three famous artists, dead or alive, who would they be?
Describe your experience as an underground artist so far?
Right now I feel like I’m taking off, [I] feel great-I’m just embracing the music and enjoying the moment.
Name some of the DMV artists that you have collaborated or would collaborate with and why? (Optional)
I would love to work with Tiara Thomas-she’s amazing and so universal with her music.
In three words name what you could contribute to the industry?
Versatility, creativity, lyricism.
That is the connection that the music has on society- to interpret perception through words. With that said, depending on the words being used, that’s going to be the trend in which society is going to go with. The day of having a “message” is a rare commodity. Dumbing lyrics down is the way to success, more or less giving the content little to no effort…and the people buy into it. Lyrical content is the most powerful expression that we as people need to have with each other. The greats did it with Jazz and Rock and Roll, Hip Hop music plays just as equal parts in the music affecting society as a whole.
DC, Maryland and Virginia’s own, online radio personality, Lex Boogie, has represented, and will continue to showcase underground Hip-Hop and R&B on her radio show, ‘Girl Next Door’ at Listen Vision. For those who aren’t familiar with Listen Vision, it is one of the number one studios in Washington, DC, and is located near Howard University.
Boogie gives advice and input on lyrical content, explains what she looks for in a musician, and her experience as a radio host, along with her love for Hip-Hop.
Who is Lex Boogie?
Where did the name come from?
It’s a hell of a story, but I have three fathers in hip-hop that have named me. Shamelessly not afraid to say, my brother, Black Boo (Mambo Sauce Band), was one of the first to call me that. So, I’m going to let him get the credit lol. The name came from a place in Hip-Hop that was flashy and aggressive, but memorable. Lex was something that everyone wanted. Either a car, a Lexus, or RoLex watch… It was catchy and everyone could remember it, and make different names… Lex Diamond, L Boogie, Boogie… I answer to it… and people love saying it.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened at an event?
I’m not going to say any names, but at the end of an event I did, this person who finally got her chance to get the mic and say something. She goes ham on the stage and then falls off the stage… DMV we have a problem… lmao!
What advice would you give to up and coming Djs/Promoters?
DJ’s don’t give up. It’s going to be like it was back in the day when you were the “backbone” of the culture. But I also need the DJ’s to really be DJ’s. We have a lot of imitates and stunt men. Get your craft up and hold it down like they used too. Promoters, become more business and more creative when it comes to promoting these shows.
I miss the 90s music just like the next person, what would you say that you miss the most about it?
The 90s was when I was a teenager. I loved everything about the music and what it represented…the self-awareness, the strength, the education, the rebellion, and militancy. I miss the party and how everyone used to dance and express themselves that was cool. I loved the dress and of course the music. It was considered the golden era of awareness of what was hip-hop. Some of my most memorable experiences happened in the 90’s.
What advice would you give an artist submitting their music to you?
Quality is my biggest thing. How it sounds, how it’s put together, and how it’s presented. A lot of artists have to understand that this is a product. Just like the “products” you see sitting attractive on a shelf or a table, the product makes it so that you want it. Just like your music, from inside out, that’s what artists have to do to the consumer or the audience… Is to hear it, inquire about it, pick it up, and buy it.
So how is the DMV scene in your eyes at the moment?
Infancy stages, we have a lot of work to do. But the good thing is, people are getting ready for the challenges that are coming with all of this activity that has irrupted in the DMV. We are learning how to function and function together. It’s hard to do that with an idea that was dormant for about 20 years in this area. So I wouldn’t turn my back on the DMV, but it’s very frustrating.
What do you think is missing in the music industry, and do you think some of the artists here in the DMV will fill in that gap?
Describe the importance of lyrical consciousness and how do you think the content of music can affect society as a whole?
Hip-hop itself needs to be very lyrically aware of what they are saying from the jump. You had songs that people partied to, but it had a message. That is the connection that the music has on society- to interpret perception through words. With that said, depending on the words being used, that’s going to be the trend in which society is going to go with. The day of having a “message”, is a rare commodity. Dumbing lyrics down is the way to success, more or less giving the content little to no effort…and the people buy into it. Lyrical content is the most powerful expression that we as people need to have with each other. The greats did it with Jazz and Rock and Roll, Hip Hop music plays just as equal parts in the music affecting society as a whole.
What has been the best moment so far at Listen Vision?
The best moment is the very first day of my broadcast on April 3rd 2012 and my interview with legendary rapper Chi Ali, which was the very first interview that he did since coming out of jail.
Describe your first day and overall experience with working at Listen Vision?
Listen vision is an extension of Radio One. Not exactly, but the structure and the means in which are similar to the type of radio that I like doing. My experience has been wonderful. I’m learning so much, I’m meeting wonderful people, and they are helping me execute my dream. I’m grateful. Not to mention the perks for working as a radio personality; this is my dream.
Who’s currently throwing the best parties here in the DMV?
I’m not really plugged into the promoters like that anymore, but I do work with a couple. Big Ron and Cory from V.I.P life throw the sexiest parties in the DMV. Dominique Moxley is always a favorite, other than that I don’t know. I’m too much on my grind!
Where are the local spots that you’ve played/put parties on?
Just put it like this, ‘cause I’ve done too many shows to name. But as far as the span of shows I’ve done… I’ve rocked every underground stage in the DMV and up and down the east coast. DMV’s #1 hostess.
What was the first event you ever played at/put on?
Wow!! A very popular club in the 90’s called the Quiglies.
What’s the best event you’ve played at/put on?
When I was doing Top Mics DC at what is now the Koffe Lounge. It used to be called “G2”. I packed that joint, coordinated it, booked artists, dj, judges, and hosted… It was good feeling! Very tired, but I was good!
What was the first album that you’ve purchased?
I think it was Salt and Pepa or Kid and Play, one of those albums.. Lol.
Of all the music in your collection, which one never fails?
Notorious B.I.G- Life After Death
What’s you favorite song of all time?
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart by Al Green
When all the partying is over, what do you do in your spare time?
That’s the thing, I’m too ambitious, I don’t party like I used to when I was younger. I put that time in. Really, its about the dedication and passion I have to meet my goals in life and in this music. I feel like I paid my “party dues” and it’s time to get down to work. Now, if I’m not working, I’m spending time with my daughter. I’m a full time mother as well, so I have to hold the fort down. I like to cook and cater events. I love to sleep!
How big is your music collection?
I got, vinyls, tapes, cds, and MP3 downloads, I got it!
How long have you worked at the studio?
I’ve been there going on 9th month… Time is going by so fast!
What time can listeners tune in to your radio show on Listen Vision and where else can people find you?
#GNDRadio. Follow me on twitter @lexgirlnextdoor on instagram @gndradio, and I’m on Fb as Lex Boogie.
Submit your music to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Mario Steel and his group, The Coalition, all bring fresh punch lines and rhymes to the single, ‘The Line Up’! Maryland native speaks on his bloodline of musical talent, and gives us a little knowledge of his music, and who he is as an artist. Don’t forget to check out his music and upcoming projects on: www.Reverbnation.com/mistasteel . You can also check out The Coalition’s music on, www.TheCoalition301.com.
What part of Montgomery County, MD are you from?
Silver Spring MD (12 Triple O Ferrara Ave.)
Who is your team?
My Team Is Live City ENT, which consists of my producer, DJ K.P, artist and engineer, Trus Real, all of my brothers in the Coalition, and myself (Steel) .
Name the artists in The Coalition?
The Coalition Consists of – Slim The Natural,Knowledge, NufSed, E-Skillz ,LJ Heiss, CM The MC, Outragis, Nemesis, Ox-Law, Mike B, Lou Skang, B Eazie, Trus Real, and myself.
How did you all come together as a group?
My producer K.P and one of the artist in the group (Zee Knowledge) had a discussion about collaborating/making some sort of super group to represent for the area…Those two reached out two all the MCs you saw on
“The Line-Up” Video, and the rest was history.
Name the producers that you work with?
The Best Kept Secret (CHI,DC), Frankie O’So Lovely(TX), Lu B (NJ) and of course, my in-house team (K.P And Trus Real).
Who produced ‘What ‘Chu Do to Me’ and who is featured in the song?
AAC (All Around Concepts) was on the production. The vocalist is Sage.
What led you to pursue music?
I come from a family of singers and musicians. One of my grandfathers was in a soul group back in the 70’s called “The Hesitations,” and my other grandfather played instruments and sang really well. Five of my aunts were also entertainers in the inner city.
Who are your inspirations?
What do you think is missing in the industry, and how would you fill in that gap?
Honestly I feel like the game got a lil 2 hooked on “Swag” and lost all of its “Flava”…..and that’s what I feel I bring to the table…Flava..Also its cool to be a “Hard Rapper”..but everybody ain’t hard all the damn time….We need to get a little more real…So that’s what I plan to bring to the game once I make it… That “Real Flava”.
Describe Mario Steel in three words.
Calm, Optimistic, and Driven.
Describe the importance of staying humble in this industry.
Staying humble is not only important in the industry but just life…it can really dictate everything from the people you work with, to how you get work done. You won’t get anywhere if you aren’t humble in this game…simple and plain.
Who produced the songs, “Man Don’t Make ‘Da Man’ and ‘Bruce Wayne’?
A DJ for East Coast Flavor (ShoutOut 2 CEO) just tossed that “Man Makes The Money” beat on his site for everyone to see and said, “Do you!” So I tried to be the first one to grab it, I asked my brother Trus Real, to hop on it , and it came out really well .
As for “Bruce Wayne” that was produced by my Producer, DJ K.P it is originally for my homie, Bob Sice’s Mixtape entitled “I Killed ‘Yo Mixtape Bitch,” but he let me use it to promote me as well.
Have you ever battle rapped?
No, but a lot of my homies have been encouraging me lately so, you’ll never know…I might get into one in the future.
Do you have any upcoming projects or events?
I Do, I’m currently droppin’ my second mixtape, “This Is what I Do Pt.2 Steel On My Sh!t,” and me and my [brother] from the Coalition (LJ Heiss) are writing for project entitled, “Goin KNOWhere.” The Coalition as a unit is putting together a follow up mixtape, “LRB 1.5” TBD.
Where can your fans download your music?
Download his music and telephone App Here: www.Reverbnation.com/mistasteel
Check out her music on: http://www.reverbnation.com/acereign her upcoming mixtape, “When it Reigns, It Pours” Vol. 2 will soon be released.
Who is Ace Reign in three words?
Intelligent, Humble, and Savvy
What led you to pursue music?
Writing has always been a passion of mine and music is a way that I express my feelings. So it was only natural to put the two together. I started writing poems at the age of 9. By age 15 my oldest brother, his girlfriend and I had formed a rap group called Lacosta Nostra. After recording our first song “If I Should Die Tomorrow”, and listening to it play back through the speakers, I was overwhelmed with excitement. The feeling was so amazing that I knew I had to continue writing and recording. Hearing myself only intensified my passion to make music.
“I think the DMV has great talent that hasn’t been seen or heard enough of. I feel we’re showing a lot of progress and improvement. I am a local artist that will always uplift and support my fellow artists.”-Ace Reign
Describe your childhood and first time experience as a producer/songwriter/rap artist from Washington, DC.
I am the only girl out of 4 children. I was raised by my mother, and grandmother in N.E. and S.E. DC. We weren’t born with a silver spoon, but we always had what we needed and I’m grateful for that.
My first production experience was in 2007 upon meeting my friend Rob Stern. He taught me the basics of engineering, and arranging. My first song (arranged, mixed and mastered) was the original version of “Candy Coated Whip”. (2008)
In three words, how would you describe the content/style of your music?
Controversial, Real life, and Relatable
With the barriers of upcoming female artists, what would you say to all of the female artists out there who feel that they should make one certain type of music?
First & foremost…Always be yourself! Have your own identity…If you don’t know who you are, you can’t expect other people to know! It’s OK to be different. If things were always the same you’d eventually lose interest. Also, educate yourself on business and become your own business. And last but not least, always remember if you believe in yourself, then anything is possible.
Your talent, passion, and ambition has led you to work with mainstream artists and producers like Rob Stern, Sander Kleinenberg, and Josh Gabriel. Describe that experience and which songs did they collaborate with you on?
I met Rob Stern working at Teds Montana Grill in Crystal City, VA. He was a server and I was a cook. He overheard me rapping with a co-worker and approached me with a cd. We went to the car, put on his instrumentals, I started rapping and it was a wrap. I met Josh and Sander through Rob. Josh and Rob collabed on the final version of “Candy Coated Whip”. Rob also produced a few other tracks on my mixtape “When it Reigns it Pours”. Josh shared the track we did with his friend Sander who decide to record a track with me. The song is titled “This Love”, which is on his 5K album, released last July.
I really enjoyed listening to ‘Da Realest’ and Crazy. Who’s featured on those tracks? Who produced the song, ‘Maria’ and ‘Look Beyond The Surface’?
The beat for Da Realest was made by Superstaro and the guy featured on the chorus is Marko. DJ Corbett made the beat and chorus for Crazy. Maria is a mix-tape track I got from
Fat Joe album and fell in love with it instantly, but I did the engineering and mastering. Look Beyond the Surface means a lot to me. That beat was given to me years ago by a fellow DC artist T-Bone on a mix cd and honestly I have no clue who made it but it has turned out to be a great mixtape track with a lot of emotion and truth behind it.
What do you think about the current music industry and the upcoming artists in the DMV?
I think the DMV has great talent that hasn’t been seen or heard enough of. I feel we’re showing a lot of progress and improvement. I am a local artist that will always uplift and support my fellow artists. The current industry still has some great artists, but let me be honest by saying we are in a very commercial state. In my opinion, a lot of the great artists that once inspired the world with meaningful music seem to be long gone. I really miss hearing songs like “Keep your Head Up” by Tupac “Juicy” by Biggie Smalls, even “Cross Roads” by Bone Thugs and Harmony“. I wish that we can go back to mixing it up sometimes with something different other then partying, how many bodies you got, money, guns, and females. Don’t get me wrong I’m not judging it’s just my opinion.
Which artists have inspired you to pursue your music and why?
Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Mc Lyte, Missy Elliot, just to name a few, because they were and are entrepreneurs.They’ve made great, timeless, inspirational music, and they all worked really hard to earn their success even when it seemed like the odds where against them.
Which artists are you currently listening to?
I always like to have a variety of music playing, but my cd with the most plays is Miguel’s “Kaleidoscope”. It may seem a lil cheesey but hip-hop artists like r&b too lol!
What message would you give to the young people aspiring to pursue their dreams?
It’s so important to follow your dreams. Don’t give up, and always believe in yourself. Even Jesus was ridiculed! So don’t let anyone steal your joy, and always remember…anything worth having is worth fighting for. Educate yourself on your craft, work hard, and the sky is the limit!
Do you have any upcoming projects or events?
I am one of the artists selected for a national show “Street Jams” that will air sometime in 2013. I’m currently working on vol 2 of “When it Reigns it Pours” which will be released by spring 2013. I’m also currently working on my first album “In My Own Words”.
I’m proud to introduce a delicious cooking of a simple, yet mouth watering, Latin-American cuisine that has been passed on for generations. The Dominican-style consisting of caramelized chicken with brown rice, or the Dominican term, ‘locrio de pollo’, is one of many flavorful courses filled with traditional spices and herbs.
- 4 lbs. of chicken
- 2lbs. of rice (depending on your serving)
- 1 lime/lemon
- 2-3 pinches of Oregano
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tablespoons of Salt depending on the serving size
- 2 Tablespoons of Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 5 Tablespoons of oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
- 1 cube of chicken bullion
- 1/4 of an onion (chopped)
- fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 stick of chopped celery
- 6 cups of water for 2 lbs of rice
Prep Time: 50 min.
Cook Time: 45min.
Serves: 4-6 people
- Clean the chicken with 1/2 lemon or lime, 1/2 of vinegar and water. Let the chicken soak for 20 minutes.
- Drain the water and vinegar out, then squeeze the other 1/2 lemon.
- Add 3 pinches of oregano to the chicken.
- Add 2-3 pinches of salt, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the chicken. Let the homemade seasoned chicken marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge. (NOTE: The first four steps are not shown in the video clip. This will thoroughly clean the chicken, and will allow the chicken to absorb the seasoning).
- Heat the iron pot with oil (approximately 3 tablespoons).
- Once the oil is hot, add 1 tablespoon of sugar for caramelization (dark brown) This will happen fast!
- Once the sugar is caramelized/dark brown, add the chicken.
- Allow the chicken to absorb the caramelization before flipping the other side.
- Once the chicken has evenly browned, sparingly add small amounts of water to prevent the chicken from drying completely.
- Mash up 2 garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of salt into the pilon masher.
- Add 1/4 of chopped onions and 2 spoons of tomato paste along with the mashed garlic w/ salt.
- Add the appropriate amount of water for the serving of rice to the same pot. In this instance, 6 cups of water for 2 lbs. of rice.
- Sprinkle black pepper & Adobo , 1 stick of chopped celery, olives, fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 chicken bullion, and a tablespoon of soy sauce (optional).
- Stir and let the broth boil.
- Clean, wash, drain, and add the rice (some packs of rice are already clean).
- Once you have added and evened out the rice, let the rice simmer for 15 minutes BEFORE stirring.
- After 15 minutes, stir the rice in a clockwise motion.
- Cover the locrio (caramelized chicken w/brown rice), and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Then, stir the rice in a clockwise motion allowing the rice to cook evenly.
- Cover the pot for another 10-15 minutes.
- Serve with ‘platano maduros’ or sweet plantains and a garden salad. ‘Buen Provecho’ Enjoy!
Tutorials for fried sweet plantains coming soon!