Where did you find the inspiration behind your mixtape? When I was incarcerated, my childhood friend Lil E reached out to me and said I needed to start doing music. I told him it wasn’t paying me so it wasn’t going to get me anywhere. He really just inspired me to do this music stuff. He kept telling me how hard I am. He had the way and wanted to show it to me. He wanted me to get out of the streets and start doing music. So I listened to that and when my time was up, I came home and was messing with my thug heavy. A lot of people were expecting me to put him on my mixtape from prison but I didn’t. I did it by myself to push.
What is the process when you write a song? It depends on what mood I’m in. Really all my music is storytelling. I tell life stories, I ain’t with punchlines and metaphors. My music is my life and things that I have been through or going through. Sometimes it might take like 2-3 days or 3 hours, it just depends on how I’m feeling. If I’m into it sometimes I’ll sleep in the studio, or I’ll stay a night. I’m in there at least 2-3 times a week.
What makes you different than other artists? There’s a lot of nice local artists out here but coming from Indiana, a lot of people from the city have a “Naptown Swag” and they feed off of each other. I sound different. A lot of people say I have an accent when I make my music. I like down south beats, so I have a down south swag. When people hear me they don’t even think I’m from Indiana. That’s what make me stand out. The first people to hit my line and tell me I sound different and I make good music was DJ Gus and BSwift from Hot 96.3. They said keep doing my thing. So now I have DJ Gus basically hosting my new mixtape Street Legend 2.
What separates your mixtape from the last and why should we take a listen? I’m talking about what I done been through in the last couple years. You know, from being locked up, to the struggle, people dying, the whole nine yards. It’s about real life stories, things that everybody can relate to, not no watered down stuff. You can stream my new mixtape on soundcloud. I have two versions, one where you can listen to the songs all the way through, and a chopped and screwed version by DJ Gus. You can find both versions at DJ Gus Music Shop.
FB: James Smith