NorthWest Hip Hop – What Has It Become?

I wasn’t going to address this in any way shape or form, but given some recent events that have caused an even deeper negative stigma against the hip hop scene in the NorthWest, I cannot continue to hold my tongue. I’m ashamed to be a part of something right now that is seemingly so negative its pushing away fans, investors, and supporters alike.

What happened to the “good day feel” that Cordell of Nine Side was once quoted in saying when referring to the NorthWest Hip Hop scene? When did it become cool to degrade other people for personal gain? At what point did being “gangster” or “hard” become a sought out way of life? I’m confused, maybe y’all can fill in the blanks for me. Long ago I decided I was going to make a positive difference in my community through my music, but you have no idea how hard that has become for me when hip hop venues in my own city won’t book me for a show in fear that there will be a fight, or worse, someone die.  Five years ago when I started my career, it was easier to find a venue with no records released than it is today with a record that’s available World Wide. Tell me there isn’t something wrong with that.

I feel like today my following is larger than it ever has been and continues to grow. However, the bigger I get, it seems the speed bumps I have to climb exponentially increase in size as well. I used to hop right on over them, now it’s like an all day hike! Maybe it comes with the territory, who knows, but I do know that if any of us artists want to succeed in our career that it’s going to be twice as hard as it already is if we continue to act like idiots. Stay positive, stand for something you can be proud of, help others overcome their struggles, do this music because it’s your passion, not for a popularity race.

So where do I stand? What’s my next move? Where do I see myself going as we creep into 2012? It’s simple, I will remain true to myself and my fans. Through my actions and my words I’ll remain positive and hopeful for a successful career in this music industry. In 2012 I plan on giving back to the community I live in as much as possible through community service, youth guidance, and participate in as many charitable events as I can. My ultimate goal, with the help of my sister who has a Masters in Non Profit Administration, is to start a foundation called Musicians For Youth America. The goal of the foundation will be to help kids take steps toward a positive future, keep them off the street, away from drugs, and in schools or studios where their minds have the opportunity to grow. The foundation will provide scholarships for kids who aim to have a career in music and would like to go to school for music, or would like to create in a studio where they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford the fee’s associated with that.

I’ll be linking up with influential artists, DJ’s, promoters, investors, and businesses around the country who I believe will have a positive influence on today’s youth by giving them a role model we’d all like to have our kid’s look up to. Public speaking to schools, detention centers, churches, youth clubs, etc., will be a major part of the foundation.

So what do I make of the current state of hip hop music in the NorthWest? I think it needs a make over, someone to take the initiative to clean up the image, and a group effort by all of the aspiring artists in this region to make this happen. Will it? Who knows, but you have my word that I’ll do my part!


A Montana Rapper?

If only you knew. Life begins simple and gradually becomes intense. Never in a million years did I think I’d grow to become a musician, yes that is what I am despite what some may believe of the art, named OverTime. I guess I should probably start by telling you how I started.

Growing up in Missoula, MT, hip hop was not on the menu of choices to order. Country music, rock, alternative, and the occasional punk were the “cool” genre’s. If you were caught listening to rap music at my school you were a “wigger” or a “wannabe”. I remember getting in a fist fight when I was a freshman because I wore my hat cocked to the side like I had seen my favorite rappers do on T.V. and in the magazines. Growing up the youngest of 5, an occasional “scrap” wasn’t anything new to me so I took my licks, got back up, and put my hat on crooked once again. I got a lot of shit for that over the next couple of years but I never paid any attention to it. Master P, Dr. Dre, and Eminem were always coming out of my speakers when I rolled up to school. One year I caught someone spray painting “wigger” on the hood of my truck, yes I still rocked a hill billy truck, and at that point I think I first acknowledged negative response for what would eventually become my career.

Senior year some buddies of mine chose for their senior project to make a rap demo as a joke. The started practicing at parties with some ridiculously dumb rhymes just joking around. I remember being at this one party where a group of us stood in a circle and had a “cypher”. This was the first time I ever rapped in front of anyone. Not saying it was good or anything because seriously it wasn’t, but it sure was fun. Guess what, I got in a fight that night lol. Ironic? I think not. It just wasn’t accepted where I grew up.

The summer after I graduated I began getting high on speed a lot and found myself free styling with a guy named Skyler who was like the “Dude” in Missoula that could flow. He even got on stage at a Nelly concert and spit to the crowd when Nelly asked if anyone in Missoula could rap. I found myself doing this pretty much everyday at this point. Driving around in my truck bumping beats I’d downloaded from the internet and rappin like nobody was watching. After a while it started to catch some attention. Chics wanted to hear me, dudes started getting jealous, and people started talking. I moved to my Dad’s house after my first semester in College to attend Montana Tech in Butte, MT and let me tell you, I was bored. That’s when I picked up the meth pipe and all hell broke lose. It seemed like when I was high I couldn’t stop rapping, I’d get all gacked out and seriously rhyme everything I said…It was annoying. I couldn’t stop!

Next came lock up…that was fun. With nothing to do all day, I wrote, I wrote so much my hands would hurt. I wrote rhymes to the chics I wrote in there and they’d always make me feel good telling me they were good….Believe me they weren’t. When I got out I was a little confused on the direction my life would take. I picked up a couple jobs to get by but it wasn’t enough to keep my mind straight. I’d heard about a guy named B Mune’ who had a recording studio in his house so I looked him up on Myspace to chop it up with him. Dude was cool, told me to come out and record something. I put it off until a buddy named Philly G and I went to an actual studio and paid $150 to record 1 song. I was like fuck that, can’t afford it. Shortly after I called up B Mune and asked to stop by. Right away I started writing on a beat he had. The song was called Champion, which did actually make it onto my first project O.T. And Young Jay – Just Released.

Through B Mune I met a cat named Young Jay. Him and I had the same vision. He was the street hustle, I was the business. We started working on some things but never recorded until one day he stopped by and said we were going over to this cat named Frodie’s house to record. Once there we met up with a couple other rappers and automatically I felt a little in over my head. These dudes were obviously serious. They had the whole set up! We sat and went through beats until all of us decided on one we would eventually call Beat Gon Bang. From there I was hooked. Couldn’t stop, and nothing in the world could stop me either.

I began networking with people like RBiz, JaeO, Frodie, Pookie, Mac Moore, Filth And Foul, and Holy Fam to name a few. I bought my first Pro Tools set up, which the MBox is still the one I use to this day, and started mixing my own music. It wasn’t until Cordell of Nine Side taught me the basics on how to mix until I started coming out with some decent quality music.

Over the years I got better and better at mixing through the help of Blaq Santa of Nine Side Music, LLC and began to catch some attention for the music I’ve been doing. Then, the REAL birth of Wapikiya Records. Frodie’s Dad, Roger Harmon established the label and took things to the next level. I signed my first contract and gave way to the next wave of my career. In And Out Of The Game which was produced by Blaq Santa and Squintz of Revive Records. In this day in age it’s all about the internet and what better way to capture an audience than music videos right? I shot my first one for In And Out Of The Game, the title track, with Young Jay and from there I was hooked. Now with a budget I could do a little bit more with the music. Wapikiya paid to have another video made for the first single off of the album Hold Me Down. In terms of local, it blew up with 18,000 views in less than 11 months.

Now, something I’ve been very familiar with since back in the day, haters. I’m just now realizing that no matter what I do, there will always be someone hating on it. I think that goes with anything that anyone does. At this point in my career it’s really hard not to respond to it, and I do sometimes respond but kick myself for doing so every time. I remind myself daily that the bigger I get, the more there will be.

Can you imagine what it’s like when I’m networking with other artists outside of Montana and they ask where I’m out of and I say Montana what they think? Lmfao, I know what I’d think. I personally believe I have the sound, the quality, and the attention to continue taking things upward so I’m always confident in saying “Hey, check it out first”. So far so good. People take me serious, and I take myself serious, so with that I’ma end with this, no matter what anyone tells you, you hold your own limits.


OverTime In And Out Of The Game is available EVERYWHERE you can buy music online so go search for it!!