Newcomer IGive aus Jacksonville/Florida stellt sich vor: alles Wissenswerte über das 2009 erschienene Debütalbum “Rhythm & Poetry”, die kommenden Projekten auf GiveLove Entertainment und den Stand der Szene im Duval County hier im Interview.[hr]
Hi, IGive! Could you please introduce yourself?
What’s good, I’m The IGive, coming to you straight out of Duval County, Jacksonville, Florida right here in the U.S. of A.! What’s good Deutschland?!
At what point did you get into hip hop and who are some of the people that have influenced you?
I fell in love with hip-hop in middle school and began writing my first rhymes towards the beginning of high school. I had always dreamed of being an entertainer and had been writing songs since I was about 8 years old. One day, a classmate of mine asked me to spit a verse on this song. I was like, “Yeah!” and I never stopped writing from then on. In those days, people like Nas, Jay-Z, Ja Rule, Method Man, Redman, Wu-Tang, and DMX were the shit to me. Other emcees who influenced me were cats like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Kanye West, later on Lupe Fiasco. Other names were Big L, Pac, Biggie, Eminem, Mobb Deep, UGK. The list goes on and on.
You are from Jacksonville/Florida. How’s the rap scene down there?
You have basically two real hip-hop crowds, the really underground hip-hop heads who are into acts like Pharcyde or J-Dilla and then you have the mainstream crowds who are into Lil’ Wayne, Gucci Mane, and Jeezy. I actually started out with the spoken word community, spitting at local open mic venues. When I went out to pursue hip-hop as an artist, I didn’t have beats or a studio. I just had lyrics, so I would spit what I had as poetry and gained respect from both hip-hop heads and poetry cats. Right now, the market is open because no one has really grabbed the city yet with their artistry. For hip-hop we basically have the underground scene which has a slew of respected, but not always so well known artists, who are truly dope on the mic but not mainstream enough to gain the general populace and then you have those who are more into the mainstream sound who rock the clubs but are not original enough to have stuff really remembered. So, my goal in Duval is to establish the entertainment community and raise the bar of standards in performance and product by giving people a complete package as a crowd moving emcee, inspiring lyricist, with enjoyable and memorable songs, who gives a quality recorded product and a tight high energy live show. With this “Be All You Can Be” artist attitude, I seek to bring greater attention to the Jacksonville entertainment community.
On your debut album “Rhythm & Poetry” you speak on various serious topics. Do you have demands of yourself to do rap songs with a message?
I’m a fan of good music and I want my generation to enjoy my music like my parents could theirs in the 1960’s, ‘70’s, and ‘80’s. Back when music was real and they valued artistic merit, originality, and content that inspired not degraded. So, I do have a personal conviction to address these issues and attempt in my own way to restore music’s and particularly hip-hop music’s integrity. I mean its even cool to “Party & Bullshit” some time, we all do it at one point or another, and I’m not even saying that ALL music should be “morally upstanding”, because we have freedom of speech, but it should be seen as a problem when ALL you hear on the radio is, “I wish I could fuck every girl in the world” or let’s get “wasted”. Nah mean?
How long have you been working on “Rhythm & Poetry”? And how were the recording sessions, rather funny or stressful?
“Rhythm & Poetry” has probably been in the works my entire life, but as far as me actually sitting down to plan out the album and put it together and so forth, since about March of 2009. I have a high drive and work ethic so my studio sessions were always focused, but I had fun. It’s a thrill each and everytime I get in the booth. Coordinating my fellow lyricists and singers to record at times was a bit stressful, but once we got everyone in place and music on wax it was heavenly joy.
Who is the target group for your music?
When I originally began “Rhythm & Poetry” I desired to reach the general urban music community and hip-hop fans all over. I attempted to blend R&B, spoken word poetry, and hip-hop in such a way that most anyone could enjoy my album if they were accustomed to urban American music. As I released “Rhythm & Poetry” I saw that my work was appreciated by a wide range of people crossing racial lines, cultural lines, and so forth. I was very surprised to see how much of the 25 and up crowd really enjoyed my work. My music is something of an anomaly for an artist coming from the Southeast United States, because my style appeals more for those in Northeast and Midwest United States ’ regions. The only problem is, and at least from where I sit, the South is ruling the charts across the board from what I can see and my area at large is not as supportive of progressive or organic styles of music. Basically, if it’s not a dirty south club track or some form of party music you can’t get any play on your own local radio station or attention from those in the mainstream limelight. So, my goal is continue to make profound progressive music and come out with music so powerful and so authentic that it cannot be denied and when given a listen there will be something on there that someone every where, no matter who they are, will like.
Could you describe your music with one word?
Tell us more about your work as a host of The Cypher Open Mic Poetry & Soul.
Hosting The Cypher has been the coolest thing for me. It really gives me a chance to connect with the fans and for them to see a whole other side of me. The music that I’ve released has been more on the serious side, and down at Café 331 one I get an opportunity to wild out a little bit. I get to be loose, I crack jokes, act silly and just have fun. But we have a good time down there. Shouts out to my Cypher mates: LoveReigns, Cuban, DJ Monsta, & Mz. Chocolate! The Cypher attracts new undiscovered talent all the time and it is a splendid joy to hear a new poet recite or singer sing that you’ve never heard before and watch them just rock the joint! Right now, we’ve been attracting consistent large crowds (as the venue allows) every 1st & 3rd Thursday. We’re looking to throw a few poetry slams and also put on a showcase presentation coming in the summer. We always bring in a professional poet or act for the crowds. The ambience is perfect, the crowds are there, and the show is hot as always. At this moment, The Cypher Open Mic Poetry & Soul is one of Northeast Florida’s best poetry venues – hands down!
What goals do you want to accomplish in your life?
I want to take what it is I do to a higher level. I want to be known as that dude who delivers: good music, solid lyrics, and memorable songs and performances. I want to be a positive force and influence within the entertainment industry and help maintain the atmosphere of joy that music brings.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now, I am in the process getting my entertainment company, GiveLove Entertainment in full motion as both an entity to produce my music through but assist other artists in doing the same. My next project at the moment is a collaborative effort with Duval artists Mr. Al Pete (rapper), Monica Monet (soul singer), Kia Nicole (poet & soul singer) and producer ill Clinton who is also apart of GiveLove Entertainment to produce an album we’re calling “The Figure 5ive Project” which will continue to expand upon the “rhythm & poetry” genre of combining soul music, hip-hop, & spoken word poetry. Other artists that I am working with who are also producing projects that I will collaborate with are GiveLove artists Reformed Butterfly, LoveReigns, and DJ Monsta. Mr. Al Pete, Venom aka Venny Dapadon, ALIAS, are other artists whose upcoming albums I’ll be featured on. The IGive will also be booking concerts throughout the U.S. Presently on deck we have the University of North Florida facilitated Osprey Woodstock on April 14th and the City of Jacksonville 18th Annual World of Nations Celebration in the African Village. I’ll be performing live with band as I typically do as well as background singers.
We are at the end of the interview, thank you for taking the time. Anything you would like to say to the people out there?
Most definitely, first and foremost thank you Till and the staff at ugrap.de for having me. Keep your eyes posted for more of The IGive. You can check me out at
http://www.reverbnation.com/theigive, http://www.facebook.com Keyword The IGive, and on http://www.myspace.com/igive4life for more information and updates. Also, my CD, “Rhythm & Poetry” is available for purchase and for download at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/IGive, as well as through iTunes and at http://www.digstation.com for only $9.99 or $0.99 per song. I have ringtones available through my reverbnation page and look for http://www.giveloveentertainment.com and http://www.theigive.com coming this summer! Sign up for my mailing list and feel free to provide feedback to the music. I can only grow as an artist with my fans. Support positive original music! Peace & Blessings! ONE.