Interviews

Alexandra chats with Stalley about his upcoming projects, working on Dame Dash’s Creative Control and his feelings toward Lebron James.

Alexandra Interviews Olivia and the R&B singer talks about her music career, G Unit, and filming the new VH1 reality show ‘Love and Hip hop.’

Master’s Boxing Showcase at the LEGENDARY Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, NY for ‘In The Zone’ on BCAT TV.

Me interviewing Philadelphia celebrity rapper, Meek Millz, for MUTE Magazine….video coming soon.

Lou Williams is a star for the Philadelphia 76ers, whose basketball talents were so extraordinary he was drafted into the NBA straight out of high school. While most see him as a basketball celebrity, Lou is debuting another talent of his. Rapping. The Sixers star recently released a single with Meek Mill called “Want It All” that is getting heavy rotation on Philly radio. Check out what Lou had to say about his entrance into the music world!

How did you get started making music?

I officially started making music freshman year in high school. My step father was a DJ, so I was fortunate enough to have access to a studio and equipment. But in terms of just freestyling and rapping, I’ve been doing that forever. I discovered music with basketball. There were plenty of times were I would freestyle on the back of the bus while traveling to games. I know people see me as a basketball player, and I definitely recognize that basketball feeds me so that’s always my first priority. But I’m a well-rounded person and can do many different things, rapping is just a reflection of that.

How many songs have you made or been featured on?

I’ve created roughly 150 to 200 songs. Making music is not a new thing. Music has always been a hobby. For awhile I never let people hear my music, because I wasn’t comfortable and didn’t want to be criticized for something that I treat as a hobby. I write a lot about where I’m from

How did you link up with Meek Mill to create “I Want It All?”

Meek is my ace, and outside of music, that’s my homeboy. We’re friends and have done a lot of music together. We made 15 or so joints together, and are in discussions to do a joint mixtape. We’re just having fun.

Because you are a professional basketball player, do you think it will affect how people view your music?

Of course. People see you doing one thing and it’s hard for them to accept you stepping out of that box. I know there are people out there that are gonna hear my music and say that’s the wackest sh*t they’ve ever heard. Part of that is because they see me strictly as a basketball player. And I’m ok with that. I’m comfortable with what I’m doing so it’s all good.

How do you balance practice and the Sixers’ game schedule with rapping and studio time?

It’s not a balance. Basketball is my career and that’s my main focus. Everything else falls behind that. Anytime I have time to go to the studio I do, but be clear everything revolves around basketball. Again, music for me is really a hobby. With music tho once you put yourself out there, it opens the door for opportunities. Who knows what happens.

You have a friendship with Bow Wow, has your relationship with the new YMCMB rapper helped your rap skills?

No (laughs). I’ve known Bow since I was 14, so we go back and we’re friends, but we haven’t had any music experiences together.

Since you play for the 76ers it’s not a stretch for people to compare your venture into hip hop music to the former Sixer Allen Iverson’s attempt as a rap artist. How do you feel about that?

I can see the comparison but our approaches to music are a little different. Allen was more serious with it. He actually had a deal. I’m just doing this for fun. I think people will enjoy my music cause it’s real. That’s not to say that A.I.’s music wasn’t real. But I make music for my family and my friends. I’m telling stories that I know they can relate to and laugh at it. I just appreciate the listeners that can enjoy my stories and inside jokes, that’s great.

What do you think is harder, rapping or playing basketball?

I think both create their own challenges for me. I’m passionate about both, but I think basketball is harder because you have different opponents every night to prepare for. You’re constantly working to figure out how to be better than the next guy and help your team win.

Who or what influenced you musically?

Bone Thugs N Harmony was the first group I heard and my love for rap music grew from there. I loved songs like “I Tried” “Creepin On Ah Come Up” and “If I Could Teach The World.” Being from the South I was on Lil Wayne and the Hot Boys early. I also listened to a lot of Outkast.

What types of music do you listen to?

I don’t listen to a lot of rap. I like all different types of music. I like Plain White Tees, All American Rejects and Usher, who I think is the best male R&B artist out right now. Being from Georgia I listen to Rocko, Travis Porter, T.I. and Jeezy.

Southern music isn’t known for its lyrical content, so do you just like songs for the beat?

Southern rap is like theme music. We like the idea of what the song is about. I like the idea of hopping out the bed and turning me swag on or being all the way turned up. It’s hype music.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Some of my favorite artists are DRAKE, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Big K.R.I.T, Usher, Bone Thungs N Harmony, and Meek. I think in terms of female artists, Nicki Minaj is dope, Erykah Badu and Monica are both cool. I like Rihanna’s songs but I’m not a Rihanna fan.

Do you have any new music or projects coming out?

New music is definitely coming out. Me and Meek have some songs recorded and are getting ready to do a music video.

You also have a Youtube channel where you post documentaries about your life out right now, what is the idea behind that?

This is a documentary about me outside of basketball. It’s up close and probably too personal, but I hope people enjoy it.

Check out Lou’s video for his freestyle of “Imma Boss”

ESPN high school basketball game of the week: St. Raymond’s vs. Rice…Check out my interview with NYC Sports Network here.

Check out my brief interview with musician, TV personality and celebrity Amanda Diva.

Yung-C is an up and coming artist from Ohio. His song “She The Truth” took Ohio airwaves by storm and even got attention from So So Def ceo Jermain Dupri. Learn more about the newest rapper on the Ohio scene!

What’s your real name?

My name is Chris Lee, but I go by Yung-C.

How did you get your rap name?

My older brother used to always call me Yung-C growing up, so when I decided to start making music I stuck with it.

How old are you and where are you from?

I’m 19 years old. I’m from Toledo, OH.

When did you start making music?

I started making music 2 years ago. Everybody I hang with was always involved with music. My brother, J-High, actually had his own studio, so one time when he fell asleep I decided to make a song. When my brother heard, he thought it was hot and that’s how my career started.

Who are some of you favorite artists to work with?

I get a lot of feature offers but I’ve been putting them on hold to work onmy solo project. But one of my favorite artist to work with is Tracy, a singer from Ohio. We record at the same studio and since we’re both music-minded, I thought that we should do something together. We made on a song called “Can I have It,” which has a sound like Chris Brown’s and Tyga’s mixtape. B. Will’s is also an artist that gave me advice. One of my first collaborations was with him. I also like working with Rocky, who is also from Ohio.

If you could work with anyone, who would it be?

Can I pick 2 people? If I could work with one singer it would be Chris Brown most definitely, and if I could work with any rapper it would be Drake or Soulja Boy.

It’s interesting that you picked Soulja Boy since he’s not known for rap skills, what do you like about him?

I feel like you can’t hate on Soulja Boy because he’s mastered the skill of online promotion. There are a lot of artists out there, but they don’t know how to market themselves. Soulja Boy is definitely market saavy, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

What are some projects you’re working on?

Right now I’m working on “Who is Yung-C”  and that’s a promo CD. Soon I’m gonna put out 2 music videos and a promo video. The promo video will include behind the scenes footage so my fans can get a look at my life beyond Facebook and Twitter posts. They’ll see me in the studio and everything.

When did things start to take off?

When I made the song “She the Truth” everything kinda blew up. My name started being recognized in Ohio, and I even got an offer from JD (Jermaine Dupri) from So So Def. I’m working on a remix for the song with Rasheeda.

What’s your next move?

My next move is to build a bigger fan base. Labels today are looking for artists that already have a large fan base. They’re not trying to sign an artist, put money into them and find out they’re not hot. So I want to build up my college fan base. I’m looking to do some college tours in the future.

You have more than 8,000 followers on Twitter that seems like a pretty big base.

Yea but I’m trying to get more. I told myself that I wouldn’t start Ustream until I got at least 10,000 followers. The music scene has changed. No one is selling albums outta the trunk of their car anymore. It’s all about whether ya song is on iTunes or Amazon.com. For your music to sell you have to have a fan base, and that’s what I’m working on.

Worst case scenario, say music doesn’t work out, what’s plan B?

Plan B is that I will go back to school. I was in school, and I decided to take a year off to really focus on my music. But if I don’t see a direct path then I’ll go back to school.

Daraja Hakizimana is an up-and-coming Houston artist.  He was born and raised in the south side of Houston, TX. The artist was given the name Daraja Hakizimana, as a right of passage,  by the Shrine of the Black Madonna, the Houston branch of The Pan-African Orthodox Christian Church. Daraja’s music is as equally unique as his name! Check out the interview:

How long have you been making music?

D.H.- “I’ve been making music since I got out of high school. I was influenced by many different artists like: Paul Hardcastle, Marvin Gaye, Jodeci and Sam Cooke. I came out around 2000 when artists still had to promote their music in the streets. I passed out flyers and pushed my music myself.”

How would you describe your music?

D.H.- “I think my music definitely has an electric, sexy sound. My music has a Paul Hardcastle feel to it. It’s very instrumental and very chill.”

Do you have that typical “Texas” sound?

D.H.- “My music is totally different from the traditional Texas sound. That’s actually why getting my music heard in Texas has been such a slow process. I actually had to go to other places to get my music out.”

Who were some of your favorite artists to work with?

D.H.- “I really enjoyed working with the Coughee Brothaz, Devin the Dude, K-Rino and Scarface. I also do other projects like photography and had the chance to work with artists that way as well.”

What are some of the projects you’ve got coming up?

D.H.- “I got two major projects coming up, an album called ‘Electric Kusk’ as a solo artists and another album called ‘Cloud 9’ as a member of the group Club 803. ‘Electric Kush’ is Daraja of the Coughee Brothaz under the Devin the Dude formula, and ‘Cloud 9’ has a straight up R&B sound.”

Check out Daraja Hakizimana on his website: http://www.darajahakizimana.com/

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