Today we have rapper and artist, Black Gotti da Hood Boss joining us. His west coast flow serves us just as young Snoop Dogg would. His influences come from artists such as Biggie and Tupac yet branches out to Lil Wayne, Kevin Gates, and Quavo. A lot of artists, past and present, make up who Black Gotti is as an artist himself. You can listen to some of his tracks below.
• Where are you from? Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way?
I am from West Philadelphia. I grew up in different parts of West Philly, but I claim Ruby and Race Street which is between 53rd and 54th and race. My surroundings definitely helped create a sound in my music. Sex, drugs and violence. I just speak what I've seen and experienced or people close to me experienced, stories are told from a different angle I'm just giving you mine.
• What’s your background like? Where do you stand on the music scene in your area?
Single parent home. Pop's was incarcerated most my life. He is still incarcerated today. Free my pops. My mother worked numerous jobs, and long hours to provide for my three siblings and myself. I did great in school. I was actually an honor roll student who graduated Valedictorian in 1999, but I had a crazy behavior problem which led me to get kicked out of a few public schools. That was the start of my rebellion against authority. I'm not known to all of my city as of today. Yet I just reached #2 on Reverbnation for new rap artist in Philadelphia. I'm known to a few people in the city, which I don't mind. I get gigs here and there for local night clubs. To most, I'm basically an upcoming artist which I am not upset at. Once I reach my goals, their minds will be changed from upcoming artist to artist coming up.
• What did you start doing first, producing or rapping? How did you get started?
Well initially I wanted to be a producer. To be honest I still do. It's a bit tedious to me, than rapping. I've been rapping most of my life. As a young bull I did the battle rap in my neighborhood. And quite a few showcases. We used to Freestyle around my way. On the corners. And then Urban Fashions opened up. A neighborhood clothing store who recreated their own version of Freestyle Fridays. It was crazy! You had dudes from all over the city out there. Some even from surrounding areas like New Jersey and Delaware. That was a time when Philly rap scene was rough. You really had to bring your "A" game out. If you ain't have the bars you wouldn't survive.
• Do you have anyone that you consider your mentor? How has their help or advice shaped you?
As far as mentors go, I don't have any. People don't Mentor you in this game no more. Like back in the day I would listen to Mark Gamble and his brother Kenny Gamble create live music. And that's how it was back in the day. I've talked with Jada a few times when he came into the city. Much appreciated from him for some of his insights. Other than that, a close friend who is a producer Max Gollant. I really appreciate the time he spends with me in the studio just giving me pointers. You know different direction he showed me as far as the music goes productionwise. And different ways to elevate my music and how to market my brand.
• What is one experience in life that, without it, you wouldn’t be the artist you are today?
I would definitely say my incarceration. Off of 10 year sentence I did 9 years and 5 months. I witnessed a lot of good, bad
and ugly. I must say I was part of most of it. It changed the way I look at life as a whole. My incarceration gave me a new perception, a new focal view of life. So I would definitely say my incarceration. Just being locked up it brings a different side of you out. Good and bad, the pain expresses itself in a more manifest way. It brings everything in your brain to the forefront, which helps that creativity flow and them emotions pour.
• What do you hope to accomplish this year?
I hope to accomplish a lot of things. Mainly the world seeing a young black talented, gifted man. Who has an amazing story tell. No mumble rap, just pure bars! Drive, inspiration, and passionate at what he does. The world can finally meet Black Gotti da Hood Boss! The good, the bad, the ugly. The most important is showcasing my gift and allowing the people to see you can turn bad into good. You can actually make lemonade out of lemons.
• What does your work aim to say?
My work says many things. First and foremost, teacher. Letting people know my experiences and how I dealt with them. And that there's always other options to life. But if you do choose the path I chose, there are severe consequences which includes jail and or death. So you try to let people know the consequences of that life. I lost my life going down that path. It's like now I'm trying to let people know, you don't have to take that path. The pain and suffering you cause yourself, your loved ones and other people's families who's affected by those choices. It's other ways to redirect that pain and anger. Turn that negative anger into positive energy.
• Who are your biggest influences andwhat do you like about them the most?
Jada of course. Kevin Gates, Biggie, Pac, Wiz Khalifa, Quavo, Tech Nine, 50 Cent, Plies, Pusha T, Vado, Fab, Beanie Sigel. It's like past, present, and the future. It's like you get the best of both worlds. Longevity with Plies, Fab, Jada and 50 Cent. The present with Quavo, Vado and Wiz Khalifa. The future with Kevin Gates. I feel like I relate with Pusha T, Kevin Gates, Vado and Jada. It's like they shared a bit of my life with me, for me. Tech Nine is the epitome of with any independent artist wants to be.
• How would you describe your own style?
I am very unorthodox. I have many different styles and I am very versatile. It depends on my mood and the beat. So I would say my style is no style. That's my opinion. That's just how I feel. I just do me however I feel. I really don't categorize myself guess that's the rebellion thing again. I don't really see myself in no particular style or category, you know even though they categorize you Rap, R&B, and or Hip-Hop. I don't really see myself fitting in one genre of music. I can basically see myself probably falling in under any if not all of these categories. So I don't really categorize myself. It's like giving yourself limits or putting you in a box. Lord knows the only box I want to see from this point forward is a box of money, gifts, food or a casket.
• In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
That I have definitely evolved as an artist. Much more mature. Stay on task and drive the song in the right direction. Stay on point to what my target is, and not all over the place. My music is much more broader and not bland. It has more life more color more content. It's not just bang bang shoot em up, I'm in the streets. I can actually speak as if I'm just having a regular conversation. It just
flows natural now. It doesn't feel forced. I'm not banging my head, to the put bars together or arrange the music. It's more natural and more authentic! More real to life. Life imitating art and not art imitating life.
• What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
Inspirational. I would definitely have to say hope, drive and determination! I have a lot of pain to share. This year I'm turning my pain to pleasure. So my music is more inspirational and motivational, as well as fun. For male and female. So it's like I'm giving you a life lesson, at the same time I'm giving you a story for you to enjoy yourself.
• What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
I would have to say the BET Awards or the Grammys. I mean who doesn't want to perform at the Grammys. And you know the BET Awards is like the pinnacle for most up and coming artists whether is male or female, Rap, R&B and Hip-Hop. And now even Pop. You know that would be a wonderful platform to be seen on. But right now I have my eyes set on trying to perform down in Miami with DJ Killa for New Year's Eve.
• What’s a song you have stuck in your head these days?
"Great Man" by Kevin Gates. "Perfect Strangers" by Lil Wayne. "Fuck 12" by Quavo. Blessed by Freeway. "If you know you know" by Pusha T. "Vouch" by Kevin Gates. "Somebody Got To Die" by BIG. "Why Wouldn't" by Fab. "Why" by Jada, and that "Cake Remix" by D-Block. "All Eyez on Me" by Tupac. I mean it's plenty of music that stuck in my head right now. I can go on for days. I'm going to leave it at this for now.