It’s been a few months since you were a HipHopGame Demo of the Month winner. What have you been up to lately?
Just been grinding. I’m out here trying to make a name for myself in Arizona and handle my business.
What projects have you been working on?
I got an album called The Secret I’m working on. I got another mixtape called The Black Files with Black Magic, one of the best producers out here in Arizona. And then I got another one called The Big 3, which is going to be me, Black Magic and my producer Mastermind Beats. They’re the best producers in Arizona.
How far along are you on these albums?
We’re in the early stages. They’re doing a lot of beatmaking. I took a year and a half off. I had a lot of money issues come in and I had a daughter and wanted to make sure I was going to be there and that I wasn’t moving around too much. Every song is already in my head. I’m just waiting for the beats to come and it’s pretty much going to be a wrap.
As an up-and-coming artist, how hard is it to stay focused on music while you have more important things to put your time into?
Really, for me, I don’t necessarily have a 9-to-5. I have my fingers in this and that but as far as taking care of my daughter, it’s a full-time situation. I’m not saying I’m a father and I’m not really there. I see her 30 days a month and if she’s taking a nap I’m writing something down or listening to beats. Music is always with me and she’ll be there bobbing her head to the beat. That lets me know that she’s going to be a music child as well.
Have you grown a lot as an artist since 2008, when HHG fans first heard you?
Oh yeah. I’ve grown a lot. Some of the people I used to run with, I found out they were snakes so I cut them off and let them go their way. I’m having money come and go. The money is coming and going fast. I got bills left and right so as soon as I get a little bit of money I take care of my bills, instead of some people who party first. I got a lot to say. I feel I’ve definitely grown and matured in having a kid. And my nephew came into my life and I’m taking care of him too. He’s like my son. I’m taking care of everything and I got a lot to say on these projects. They’re going to see that I’ve been through it when they hear these projects.
One thing that always stood out in your music to me was the hunger you could hear. Does that come naturally to you?
The music comes easy but the hunger is there. I’m determined. I don’t feel there’s nobody putting out music on a better level than me on a consistent level. You could make 1,000 songs but if they’re not quality, that means you’re consistent at making garbage, not consistent at putting out good music. I’m consistent at making something people can feel and the hunger is very apparent so when you listen to him, you can hear that I’m serious and it’s not fantasy. That’s why you can hear the hunger. You don’t hear me rapping about Benzes and rapping about money and Range Rovers and talking about things that I don’t have. And that’s why the hunger is there. For someone that’s fantasizing, you can’t tell if they’re hungry or not because they’re rapping like they’re rich where when you get my music, you don’t hear one reference to something that you don’t think I could have done.
You’ve bounced around from Arizona to New Jersey and then back to Arizona. How did you find the different areas impacting your sound?
New Jersey has the biggest impact because anytime I talk about hustling or that corner or anything in that type of aspect, that’s where I got that from. I spent six to seven years of my life in New Jersey getting drug charges and things like that, going through that type of life that I never knew existed.
In Arizona there’s a lot of rappers that talk about hustling and doing this and that, but the way that they talk about it, they’re just talking about it in the East Coast aspect. People still get money, of course, but it’s not like it is over there. They make a song here about The Wire after watching The Wire and it’s not the East Coast culture. Of course people still get money over here but in New Jersey, every face I see is predominantly Black and the life is real different. You can say what’s up to someone out here to say hi but if you say that out there, they’re asking why you’re saying that to them. I love New Jersey. I love going out there and just spending time and seeing the different weather, but I love Arizona because I was born out here. I made New Jersey my second home where if anything goes wrong here I can go out there and restart.
And I can’t say I really like the atmosphere out here better. I’m embraced better out here because I always made Arizona my No. 1. I go out to New Jersey to visit my mom and visit my boys and come back home. But this is where I was born at and have more of a rapport out here. If I had stayed in Jersey more, I probably would have stayed there because it would have had more appeal and culture behind it. It’s more the West Coast sound out here and New Jersey is really putting their ear out for the type of sound that I’m making.
There aren’t too many MCs representing Arizona today. What do you think of the way artists like Willy Northpole and Juice represent Arizona today?
I think a lot of Arizona’s represented on a false pretense. That’s not to name anybody because I know both of those guys. I know Willy Northpole and Juice and I got both of their numbers in my phone. But the people out here, we’re just regular. We’re not trying to be California. We’re not trying to be New York. We’re just trying to be Arizona. We just want our own light but some people won’t let it be like that. We’re not all Chucks out here. We’re not all New York City. We don’t try to be like any other city. A lot of people out here just do them and that’s what I’m trying to let people know. A lot of people will say I have an East Coast swag and I can’t help that. I lived over there and that’s where I learned how to rap – in New Jersey. But as far as Arizona, it’s not just all palm trees and cactuses out here. It’s a whole different set. When people show it, they need to show the regularity of it. They don’t need to be in the desert or mountains taking pictures. If you’re in your ‘hood, take that picture.
When I was in New Jersey a girl asked me if I wore spurs out there. Ain’t no cowboy boots out here. I don’t know where she got that from.
Can your music help clear up misconceptions about Arizona?
Oh yeah. I definitely feel my music can help the misconceptions. I can show another light and I can show that there’s a real artist out here doing real things and not just glorifying what they ain’t doing. I’m hoping that I can bring a little more light and I do hoop that Willy Northpole and Juice can blow because we can’t afford one more brick. One more brick and they may not come out here no more because no one can come out over here and they’re just throwing bricks but I’m definitely a shooter and I can drain the 3. I can definitely win the game for us.
What do you think it’s going to take for you to make a name for yourself on a national level?
I think I just gotta get these tapes out here and keep going hard. The more and more buzz I build, the more people are going to see that I’m really serious. The songs did really good on the site and brought me a lot of producers. I appreciated the love but the more outlets I can get and the more I can build on the other outlets, the more I can turn the people on to this city. There are some talented artists out here but I feel that the ones getting the most attention may not be the ones with the most talent. That’s not to ruffle any feathers and if they take it as a diss then they take it as a diss and if they take it as the truth then they take it as the truth. But as far as music, I mean, the music is always going to speak for itself so I’m not relay worried about if someone thinks I dissed them. That will just be the nail in the coffin for them. You don’t want to end your career before you even had one. But if I could get more outlets I’ll definitely turn the city on to something new.
What’s the next move for Hathaway?
The Secret is coming out first. I figure it’s early April and that should be done in mid-June and put it out on the internet and on my MySpace and all that. Right after we do that one I’m gonna come with The Black Files. That’ll be done in August, around my birthday. And then we can see what the first two do and slowly take our time on The Big 3 album. I would say that’s coming out in the fourth quarter. But if I got all the beats today I could put it out in a month. The beats are talking to me and I’m gonna make a classic.