Hey 4thg3ar! We appreciate and love your new cutting edge Hip Hop sound coming out of the Fayvetteville area. Please tell us how many years have you been making music? What part of ATL are you from?
I started producing late 2006, early 2007… so I would easily say about 11 years… I was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and have been in Buckhead Atlanta since April of 2016.
A lot of Hip Hop greats are from ATL! How are you being 100% original and different? What is separating you from all the other up and coming MC’s coming out of ATL/Fayvetteville scene.
Just to clarify, I’m actually from Fayetteville, North Carolina. I grew up just 2 miles up the street from 2014 Forest Hills Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28303 (home of J-Cole). I would say that my originality and ability to differentiate myself comes from keeping an open door policy on creativity. I’m always looking for different plug-ins, effects and sounds… I remember one time using a popcorn bucket and flipping it upside down then creating a kick bass type sound with my fist by using my palm of my hand and hitting it on the back of the bucket… which I’ve actually used that sound in a few of my beats. I’ve even used an eraser sound as a substitute for Hi-Hats before. There is no right or wrong formula to it. It’s all trial and error and realizing it won’t come overnight as you find what works for you.
How do you describe your sound?
If I had to define my sound I would say that my music takes the sound that we knew from the 90’s and puts a modern Hip-Hop twist over it. However, I don’t limit my creative ability to just Hip-Hop. If you recall from the album there is a track called “Sunday Morning” which has a Neo-Soul/R&B kind of vibe as well. I also produce a bit of Electronic/Dance from time to time… but the root of everything and the core of everything will always be Hip-Hop
Tell us about your Hip Hop and/or music influences? Any local city?
I would say hands down my favorite producer of all time is Timbaland… I fell in love with every bit of material he did in the 90’s… there is not one track that I don’t like that he produced in the 90’s. Fast forward to today I respect how Timbaland’s sound has adapted to a more modern level… However, I really miss the stuff he was doing with Justin Timberlake at one point too… If I had to name some other all time influences of music I would easily say J-Dilla, 9th Wonder, Nicolay, Elaquent, Sabrina Claudio, Jill Scott, Fitz and The Tantrums, Zedd, SBTRKT, I mean the list goes on… about the only type of music I don’t like would probably be heavy metal… Just not my cup of tea.
Please breakdown the creative process of your new album “The Essence of My Energy”.
The very first track that I created for the album titled “The Essence of My Energy Ft. Ju Diz’el” was done in a VIP room at a local Hookah Lounge I used to go to. I often would bring my laptop and headphones and work on beats by myself in that room… Sometimes friends from the lounge would provide their opinions on a few of the beats. I wasn’t feeling too creative that day when I made the intro track from the album however it was one of those things where the sample I utilized for that track didn’t catch my ear until the very end of it, where I was inspired for how I was going to do the beat based on that particular part… It was pretty much all history from there… That beat inspired me so much that I wanted to do a full album. I wanted the album to capture how I felt emotionally at certain points in my life.. which is why I decided to name the project “The Essence of My Energy”. I literally channeled my emotions and feelings and energy at certain key points in my life and then converted these feelings into a beat that would tell my story through instrumental… For example, “Starbucks” was actually created at a Starbucks.. lol. I love their blueberry scones and having one that day made me so happy that I wanted to do a beat while sitting down enjoying my Starbucks experience. “Fears” was a track I decided to do after telling myself that no matter what adversity I face I must carry on.. the track I feel reaches its highest climax during the bridge of the song.. that moment in life when you know it’s the most difficult but you keep pressing on… then the track converts back to the melodic piano riff which in my opinion is a converted feeling of the struggle finally coming to end… Ultimately, I just want cats to be inspired from the album… when people feel like giving up I want them to be reminded from my intro track that “It’s a new day, that blessings are on the way and there is no need to complain”… I want people to feel my “energy” in my music and be inspired from it.
Your honest opinion, out of all the songs on the project, which is the one song you feel stands out the most!?
I would say the last track on the album which is the outro .. and many may be surprised by this. However, I did this track at a time when both happy and sad moments were impacting my life… The original name of the track was going to be BitterSweet.. However, at the last-minute I decided not to go with it and perhaps that was a mistake but I live life with no regrets and knowing that everything happens for a reason and there are lessons to always be learned from mistakes. The reason why this track is my favorite is because it was the first track that tapped into my energy so much that I literally cried one day while listening to it. Because it’s a reminder to me that in life we will have ups and downs, happy and sad moments but I feel it is important for me to leave a bittersweet legacy as I go throughout life… to take a good karma approach to life and paying it forward when applicable and I want people to feel that when they listen to that track. I would describe it as a Lion King “Circle of Life” song feeling… it really has that kind of Disney like feel to it and perhaps that is also the reason why I feel it stands out the most as well.. I’m very proud of that track and I truly feel it also brought my album to a nice close…
Rappers nowadays think by throwing up a few videos up on social media and pushing quick projects, they can blow up overnight! Give us your view on how over saturated the market is right now with so many MC’s/Producers but not to many quality music.
Quality over quantity is always key… there have been some to question why my album was only a 10 track album… but then listen to the work and realize that quality and dedication was put into it… The problem with the market today is that we live in a time where violence is promoted through music as well as sex, weed, cars and every other materialistic object you can think of… None of those things really matter as my mom used to say materialistic things will still be here after you’re dead and gone anyway. However, that kind of music influences the next generation and I think it sometimes sends the wrong signal… Some of our youth feels that by any means necessary they must live the fancy life with all of the riches and would kill to do it… at some point we have to get back to the point where music isn’t overly saturated with quantities of materialistic meaningless things and to a point where youth and perhaps everyone can be inspired by feel good music that doesn’t promote violence and doesn’t promote materialistic things.
If it came down to 1 ALBUM only, what underground Hip Hop album would you consider THE BEST OF ALL TIME!!!???……One 1 album you can choose.
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star… Period.
Here it is! Our most popular question! What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?
Simply put… underground hiphop to me means Hip-Hop that actually has conscience meaning… Some people would say that underground hiphop can’t be considered hiphop that has already been commercialized but I disagree. J-Cole in my opinion is a part of the Underground Hip-Hop culture despite his mainstream output. I feel this way because J-Cole makes music that has meaning and he is rapping from the deepest conscience part of himself in most cases. Not all hip-hop artists can achieve that… as mentioned earlier some believe that hip-hop is about flaunting and showboating the materialistic objects one may have… that’s not underground hip-hop.
Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.
“The Essence of My Energy” Album Link
“The Essence of My Energy” Music Video
Also, a quick google search of “4thg3ar” will point folks in the right direction.
Lastly, and shout out?
Shouts out to moms first and foremost… lol. “She the real MVP”. Raised me and my brother as a single parent working three jobs at one point just to make sure food was put on the table. I also gotta shoutout my homie Elaquent, phenomenal producer out of Canada who I came across through MySpace Music. He was nice enough to teach me how to make beats via instant messenger when I asked for his help and guidance… (Most cats won’t do it) and he’s been a great mentor along the years. Shoutout to all the fam that’s held me down with the music since day one… thanks to my fam and friends for coming through in my essence of my energy music video. Also Huge shoutout to Ju Diz’el for your lyricism and dope rhymes on my album… Shoutouts to my Aunt Gracy and Cousin Lex for holding your boy down with the music!! Shoutsout to my best friend Britney for always holding me down and coming through when I needed you to help promote my album… and lastly shoutout to my shoutsout track #9 on my album… I really go in depth about my shoutouts on that track and be sure to peep the album today if you haven’t already… much love everyone and blessings to all…