Your new project, For What It’s Worth, is about to drop. From what I understand, this project is five years in the making for you.
It’s probably been more than five years in the making. It’s really been in the making for my whole life as far as the lyrics and the growth on there. It’s probably my whole culmination of being a rapper. I’ve been doing this for a long time and if you look back to five years ago, you see a lot of growth.
As an independent rapper with no major cosigns, how did you grow as an artist?
The hard way, honestly. I wish I could say that somebody mentored me, but as I look back now, I came up going to the studios. A lot of it is a learning process. Everybody goes to the studio and lays the track down and just thinks it’s hot because it’s their voice. I think from the beginning, when I would lay tracks down, I would be trying to make them better. I have a lot of people who were just excited to see me in the studio five years ago and now I tightened my circle. I guess you could say I have the right people and the right ears around me who are perfectly honest with me and tell me what I need to be doing. I can lay a track down and somebody will tell me they don’t like how I did that and that I need to redo that and I will. I was 17 five years ago and I’ll be 22 next week. As far as the growth goes, it’s me growing as a person and of course that’s going to translate into my music.
Do you find that as you get older, you have more subject matter to talk about?
Definitely. When you’re 17 years-old, there’s not a lot going on in life. You got school and you got girls chasing you, but the world’s issues don’t hit you until you’re in your early 20s. You gotta figure out how to pay bills and how to do these things. Through the hardships, I always had my music. With whatever I was going through, the music has become therapeutic to me. If I hadn’t been doing music in these last five years, I would probably be way worse off.
It seems like you take your music more seriously than just wanting to get it in stores.
It seems like in the last couple of years, more people are more worried about having that No. 1 single and get their shows and then get out of the way. I’ve been seriously doing this since I was 12 years-old and even back then, I was doing it because I wanted to be called a legend. I wanted people to call me great one day. That’s my goal with this. I strive for greatness. I try to outdo myself every time that I record. Whether I succeed or not, that’s on me. But if someone could pay me the minimum wage for me to live my life without having to worry about paying my bills so I could continue to do this music, I would be satisfied. It’s not about being a millionaire.
How did you put For What It’s Worth together?
From recording for five years, I had about 300-400 songs in the stash. I had a lot of choices and I was going through my hard drive of songs and my engineer was like, ‘We got more than enough material to put out an album.’ It wasn’t just random songs that I recorded. There were a lot of songs that I definitely feel like they came together to tell my life. When we put this album together, it’s more like a biography or a memoir. It’s not just an album by some no-name rapper. If people listen to this album, I feel like they’ll get an understanding for who I am as a person. I don’t have the whole public with me, but this is going to be my first time of being in the public’s eye. I want people to know what I am and what I’m about, first off, and if I change up from For What It’s Worth, they can just say this is what I was when I was 22. He was attempting to be a great MC. And at the same time, we don’t know the expiration date of hip-hop at this point. Any day could be the last day in hip-hop. With the sales dropping all the time, I just feel like I really needed to step up and put this out because I feel like I’m trying to be a legend. I feel like we definitely need the music that’s accurate to everyday living now. There’s so much watered down music that’s done just really to make a profit and I feel like there’s not enough people out there putting music out that’s true to themselves. I try to make the music as real to me as I can.
How does coming from Queens affect your perspective on the music game?
As far as New York City goes, we’re definitely the most hated borough. Coming from Queens, I go to other boroughs for parties and battles and stuff, and when they hear you’re from Queens, they want to hate on you. That adds an effect for me to want to get better. I tell myself that I have to make this song better because they’re going to say that it’s wack. I feel like if I wasn’t from Queens, I wouldn’t have that added pressure to stand out. There’s a long line of great MCs from Queens and I’m just trying to follow their tradition.
What do you have to do to succeed as an artist in today’s game?
I’m trying. If I knew, I think everybody would know this project is coming out. At the same time, a lot of people are going to be seeing me for the first time now. I have a fanbase on MySpace. I think you definitely gotta explore all the options that are out there. Honestly, I think it’s more easier to try to build a buzz on the internet than it was to build a buzz on the streets a couple of years ago because it’s more of a free market. On the streets, if you pass somebody your CD, they may not want to hear that. But people are coming to HipHopGame because they want to hear that new music and they want to hear that new artist. I think you just need to keep grinding.
Are you happy with the response you’ve received so far on the internet?
For us coming pretty much out of nowhere, I think the response is more than I predicted and I’m very happy with the response. I just hope that that continues and that we just keep growing.
What’s the next move for Spectacula?
I’m just going to keep on trying to make good music and try to outdo myself and keep getting better and trying to at least get better. That’s the only way I see me reaching those goals that I want to reach. I want to be considered great and I think the best way for me to do that is for me to keep on outdoing myself. I want to keep on putting out these albums and getting them on iTunes and all of that. I’m going to find a way to keep making the music and putting it out and hopefully the people keep listening.