You’ve been on your grind for a minute but not everyone knows who you are. For those who don’t know, who is Fred the Godson?
Fred the Godson is a rapper from the Bronx.
How have things been going for you lately?
Everything been going real good. For the average unsigned rapper to be making the moves that I make…I’ve been in all these meetings and getting cosigned. The people that are in the high ranks, really the people in my position, they’re not supposed to be near them. I’m in tune with everybody out there. I can sit down with anybody that I want and have meetings with just about everybody. I’m sitting in these offices and meeting with them. Things have been going real good.
As an independent artist, how have you been able to get these meetings with executives and A&Rs?
As far as the music, that’s the easy part. A lot of people like my lyrics and my charisma and my swagger. When you see me I’m better than most of these rappers that are on. It’s my whole aura and everything about me. When you see me you would think I had a deal – all the jewelry, all the cars, me coming through to events with 50 to 100 people deep. I’m not trying to portray nothing I’m not. That’s what it is. When it’s time, all my niggas come out and we’re all one. When you see that and word gets around that I got all these people and I’m looking like a million dollars and then on top of all that, the music smashes everybody out the frame. My lyrics, my flow and all of that…You gotta know there’s something special about that. I’m on some cocky shit but I’m not conceited. It just is what it is.
How important is it to keep up an appearance in today’s game?
You know what it is? It’s not even about all that. It’s important in this game but I didn’t just do this because of the game. People that know me before I even picked up a pen and started rapping and they knew me at a young age knew I was walking around with $12,000 and $13,000 chains on. It’s just who I am. I’m in the street. We all do what we do. Everybody you see me with, it’s not because I’m in the music business and that’s why I’m doing it. I didn’t just say, “I want to be a rapper. Let me buy a chain.” Before I had a pen I had these chains. I had a Cuban Link. That’s the way it was. That’s the way it is. It’s just that I chose to be a rapper now. So I brought all of that with me and it just so happened that it panned out.
What are your goals as a rapper right now?
My goal as a rapper is to get the best deal possible and try to make sure me and everybody that’s around me, that’s involved in my movement, eats as well so you can branch out and do other things. I just want to take care of my family and everybody that runs with me, I want to take care of them and their families as well.
Out of all the meetings you’ve taken, has one label showed itself to be the best home for you?
I can’t really speak on that but I can tell you that there’s a couple that’s stepped up. There’s a couple that’s stepped up and some stick out more than others. The ones that stick out more than others have certain perks that I would love to have in my grasp but I can’t speak about who’s doing what because right now everything is in negotiations. I can’t really bash one or pick one more than the other.
You have cosigns from guys like Riggs Morales, Lenny S and Clark Kent. What do those cosigns mean to you?
Oh, those are big. Those are huge. You need those. You need those for people. With the amount of power that they have in the game…With Lenny S, you think of Jay-Z. When you think of Clark Kent, you think of him being a pioneer and you think of Biggie and other people. When you see Riggs Morales, you think about Eminem. You think about 50. And you think about Shady. You think about a lot of people.
When you have these people as cosigners and these people that are on your resume, you can tell people that without explaining it to them. If you’re in the street and you go up to somebody like a Puff and you tell him this guy is crazy and he gets busy, they’re going to look at you like, ‘Ehh’ because everybody says that. But if you have pioneers and people who say that to you, they’re going to look at you through a magnifying glass. They’re going to want to know what’s going on. And then when you have the people in the streets saying the same thing, they’re definitely going to want to know what’s going on and that’s definitely what’s happening now.
Why should fans check for Fred the Godson?
Because I’m bringing it back. I don’t hate and a lot of people are not from the same cloth that I’m cut from. I’m from the streets and I’m from the ‘hood. I have to rhyme and do what I was taught to do and rap about what my surroundings are. This is what it is. Regardless of that, lyrically, it’s just crazy. When you have people like Jay-Z…You have to understand, standing before a guy like Jay-Z, who’s the greatest rapper in the world, hands down, looking at you like, ‘Damn, you’re getting busy!’ and Beanie Sigel is like, ‘Damn.’ Every cipher that I’m in and every rhyme that I do, it grabs everybody. It’s just not a coincidence. I’m not running around bullying people telling them that they have to cosign me because I’m nice. I’m gaining people’s ears and respect with my charisma and my swagger.
The fans are going to love me, man. You should look for me. I’m one of the greats right now. You have to put me in that category and you have to look for me. Even right now I can hang with the best of them. I have over 300 songs done and they’re all crazy. In my eyes they’re crazy. And I haven’t heard nothing bad about anything yet so I must be doing something right.
How did you link up with Lenny S?
That’s my man. That came from me getting busy. I didn’t know Lenny S until this rap thing. I ended up doing a show and he was there. He didn’t tell me. He took me to see Jay and he told me he had me. He never slowed down on his word. A lot of labels are out there hollering and a lot of that has to do with me but a lot of that has to do with Lenny S too. That’s my boy.
From what I’ve seen and knowing Lenny, he doesn’t seem like the typical industry exec. How is Lenny S helping you grow as an artist?
Lenny brings everything to my project as well as my team. There’s certain things us rappers, hustlers and gangsters in the street, there’s certain things we can’t touch. That’s where Lenny comes in at. And Lenny is not your typical A&R or executive. He really listens and he really has an ear for this. And when he loves you he goes in. He goes in! I have relations with a lot of people because of Lenny, such as Beanie Sigel, Jay-Z, DJ Khaled…All of these people come from Lenny. Lenny brings a lot to my project, hands down.
You mentioned how you had 300 songs recorded. How are you going to put your album together?
That’s going to be the hard part. I always explain it to people. That’s crazy. That’s my only fear in rap. It has nothing to do with anybody else. It’s just me preparing my own album. I don’t have to record anything. I don’t have to pick up another pen in a long time because I have so many songs recorded. But I’m a workaholic and I always have 14 or 15 songs not recorded yet. I always have 20 verses. I always have that at all times. I’m always in the studio but I always have songs that aren’t recorded yet. I write crazy. I’m always doing what I do. I even do it in my head until I can get to a pen and just jot it down.
I try to breathe this and I try to study the greats. I try to read dialogues and little stories about the Jay-Z’s, the Biggie’s and the 2Pac’s. I try to take everything away from them. I look at the Nas’ and the Big Pun’s and what they did to have their success and what were the key elements to their projects and the key steps in their journey to help them have a long career. I try to take parts from everybody and suck it in and make a Voltron with all these lions stuck together. I try to make one piece and that’s what I thrive on. I try to have that work ethic and I try to have everything. That’s what I do.
What do you have to do to succeed as an artist in today’s game?
You have to stand out. To me, everybody’s sounding the same. You know what it is? People think once you become a rapper you succeeded. It’s done. I’m done. I’m done. I’m finished. I’ve succeeded in my dream and I’m here. Once you sign that contract and you’re a rapper, you got that title and that’s your job now. I think that people think that once that occurs, you’ve made it and it’s victory to you. It’s just the beginning, man. Now you’re a rapper. When you’re in the street, you’re in the street. I don’t think once you become a rapper now you’re up more. Now you’re in the street and now you’re a rapper. Once you become a rapper people think their life is set. You have to try to uphold and try to even things out.
Like, you can’t just do what you used to be doing all of the time because you have to know that you’re in a different kind of ballgame and you’re in a different kind of league now. You have to step it up. You have to step it up. You have to push your mind and your brain to the limit. You have to do things to stick out. I don’t care about your sales. The sales are going to come. The sales don’t really mean anything to me. Of course you have to make your money back but you have to make sure that people know you and get that respect. You going in, there’s rappers that you say their name and they come and go. I’m not going to be one of those rappers, man. You’re going to see Fred the Godson and it’s not going to be that. I refuse for that to happen. I push my pen to the limit and I go in. It is what it is.
I have a lot of things in the works. This is with no label backing. I got a movie called Gunplay coming out. I have a clothing line calling Presidential. I have another project with me and an R&B artist Tyler Woods called Best of Both Hoods. It’s kind of like The Best of Both Worlds with Jay-Z and R. Kelly. I have my producer Buddha who’s incredible. He do what he do. I have a lot. I have a lot of things happening. I’m in the process of wrapping up my own tour bus. I learned that from my people in the South. People probably don’t like the South but their grind is crazy. They really go in. This is what I’m doing. I took something from them and I’m going to represent them in the Bronx and here in the East Coast and in New York. I’m just going to do what I can. The reason why labels respect is when you do stuff without the labels. I got another mixtape coming out called Welcome to the Bronx, which is just freestyles. Everybody that purchases a Fred the Godson mixtape can hear why I’m different. It’s going to be hosted by Green Lantern. I try to give the people something and I try to give them something different. Make the people feel special when they hear your music. When a label takes hold of a Fred the God CD or hear Fred the God, they’ll think I was signed and that I had backing behind him. But he doesn’t. He’s doing what he can do out of his pockets and he has people with him and he’s going full throttle. You’re going to sign me as an artist but you can’t really sign me as an artist. We’ll be doing business together but I was doing this before the deal came out. I’m going to Def Jam right now.
Where will Fred the Godson be a year from now?
Hopefully, God willing, nothing promised, you’re going to see me and give me this interview again and I’m going to tell you that the album’s almost done and I’m working with a Kanye West, Dr. Dre or Timbaland. I’m going to be waiting for Jay to pull up so he can lay his verse down. Me and Lil’ Wayne did something yesterday. And, Brian, you can bring whoever you want to the album release party and interview me there. Bring your girlfriend. That’s what it will probably be like a year from now.