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Archive for the ‘interview’ Category

Sep
03/11
Machine Gun Kelly speaks on Twitter beef wit kid Cudi
Last Updated on Saturday, 3 September 2011 06:53
Written by admin
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011


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Aug
31/11
The Breaks With “Plaiboy Juan” (interview)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 02:23
Written by admin
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The Break

Plaiboy Juan is taking his music ambitions into overdrive

By SUGA DA BRAINIAC BABE The Break/www.ClevelandHipHop.net

There’s far more to being an artist than meets the eye by way of music videos and gossip blogs.  It takes a real passion and consistency in your work to produce the results most artists in Cleveland hopes to obtain.  Taking the initiative to learn various aspects of the business is imperative in order to achieve desirable results in this cut throat business and Plaiboy Juan is taking his ambition into OVERDRIVE.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. First question, I’ve heard of you for quite a while through mutual acquaintances, tell me what is it about your style that has so many people supporting you?

 

Plaiboy Juan: The first thing that come to mind when I hear that is, they just simply relate to me, i try to stress real life experiences in my music, whether, its party, pain, good or bad.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: So, how long have you been taking this career seriously and when did you realize that you had skills?

 

Plaiboy Juan: I fell in love with poetry as an art form… January 17, 1998… (laughing) some think it’s funny i know the exact date… but that was actually my first performance at Superior Elementary School.  From that day on, I knew I wanted to do nothing else. I started Vital Ent. in 2004.  That’s when i really started taking it serious from a business stand point

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: So, how long have you been taking this career seriously and when did you realize that you had skills?

 

Plaiboy Juan: Thank you… as CEO of Vital, I’m in charge of every aspect of running a company, from, finance, managing my artist, (Trouble the Aviator), promotion, even down to engineering… (Laughing) I’m like a jack of all trades. the name Vital Entertainment actually came from two meanings, one, that i feel like my presence in the entertainment industry is vital, and also music is like my life line/ vital sign.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Very impressive, I’m just starting my company out and my hands are in everything as well. What advice do you have for anyone pursuing this lifestyle and how has it affected your everyday life?

 

Plaiboy Juan: The best advice I can give to anyone is to stay passionate, never lose faith, and it will all pay off. you have to go into OVERDRIVE, and do what will separate you from the others.  Just know nothing comes easy! (Laughing) I don’t even know what an everyday life is… there’s really no time for what most would call a normal one.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: I can definitely relate to not being normal (Laughing). Now you mentioned what I consider to be your moniker, Mr. Overdrive. What influenced this movement? Is there a specific reason that you decided to take your career into overdrive?

 

Plaiboy Juan: The overdrive movement was influenced by just never being satisfied… overdrive is actually pushing yourself beyond the limits, but i figured, who decides what the limits are? when i finally rest my head I am mentally and physically exhausted… then i know I’ve achieved something for that day.  My family is the biggest reason I decided to take my career into OVERDRIVE!  I have a son who thinks the world of me, a mother who has sacrificed her whole life in order to make me a better person… and a sister who deserves it all… (Laughing) I feel like that’s more than enough.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: I respect that and actually live by the same creed. Now getting into your mix tape, I noticed that you did a song with Tino Baby, one of my favorite artists out of “The Land”, how did this compilation come about?

 

Plaiboy Juan: Man Tino grinds! (Laughing) I always admire any artist that grinds just as hard as me.  I’m always looking to collab with good artists no matter how popular they are.  One of the problems with Cleveland is that we are sometimes shallow minded about the talent around us… So my producer Apaulo Beats sent me the track, I dropped the verses, and i knew before Tino did that he would be on it. (Laughing)

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: I couldn’t agree with you more, in fact I’m going to send you a link in a while of some of what I do, my sisters are really trying to get me to collab with you and by listening to your mix tape, I am very interested in working with you. Going back to some of your previous works, what was your muse behind your song Gravity and what went on with one of your videos on which the ECPD started messing with you?

 

Plaiboy Juan: Most def.. it would be a pleasure to drop with you… The inspiration behind Gravity just came from noticing that whatever you do in life there will always be a force trying to bring you down.  You just have to stay strong and prevail.  I wanted to give those who have never grown up in poverty, or even experienced it an open window into our lives, and show that a rose can actually blossom from concrete. ECPD has harassed our community as long as i can remember. (Laughing while talking) Protect n serve?? Nall more like harass and corrupt. but it was just a prime example of gravity.  I’m out doing something constructive and they find a way to shine a bad light on it. but one of my goals are to give back to the city!

 

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: I know the feeling, my only case came from that thirsty group of thugs. I definitely understand where you’re coming from. Now you know you’re the father of my nephew but we’ve never met, he has such swag about him and I am sure he embodies some of your characteristics besides looking like your twin. I want to commend you for having a strong presence in his life. How has being a strong presence in your son’s life affected your approach to your work?

 

Plaiboy Juan: Thank you.  I try my hardest, funny sometimes I feel like that’s not even enough. I never had a father in my life, so I’m pretty much trial and error.  One of the major problems in the black community is we don’t have the blessing of knowledge being passed down from generation to generation.  My goal is to break that chain in my family.  What I teach him, he can add to what he teaches his.  My son is the reason i wake up every morning, (Laughing) he knows my music, I mean every word.  That just makes me feel like i have to make it for him! my legacy!

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Much respect, I love how you responded to that because that’s what I’m getting at, it’s imperative to fit in time for your child. Now I really dig your song Reconstruction, describe the concept behind that track.

 

Plaiboy Juan: It’s just not being afraid to be different.  I feel like everyone is sounding the same right now. some people get the misconception that if you’re from the hood all you have to rap about is being hard core.  Well anyone who knows me can’t take anything away from my gangsta, but at the end of the day I’m a father and musician before anything, so i make music that i feel.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Much respect. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you, now to close tell Cleveland what needs to be done in order for our music scene to take off and tell us about upcoming shows and where we can find your music,

 

Plaiboy Juan: CLEVELAND, SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT!  That’s the biggest thing we can do to achieve anything!  Upcoming shows… you can catch me Sept. 11th at the Ohio Mix tape Awards, Club Sin W. 6th Street.  You can find my music at www.playboijuan.com, my Boi to a Man album is on sale on iTunes, mix tapes on datpiff. I’m everywhere.  (Laughing) They can just Google me.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: That’s what sup, ok I’ll be hooking up with you soon to collab Have a Blessed one.

 

Plaiboy Juan: Most def… you too, thanks for the opportunity.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: You’re Welcome.

 

Tenacity, perseverance, a strong work ethic, strong family values and pure talent.  This is what should be more prevalent amongst my peers here in “The Land”.  It takes more than being able to pick up a microphone to be respected in this business.  If you’re around people that don’t take your dreams as serious as you do, change your company and do your own research.  Nothing comes to a sleeper but dreams.  You have to wake up and take action to bring those dreams into manifestation.  We’re going into OVERDRIVE ‘round here.  What are you doing?

(This interview is the official property of Unbreakable Records and www.ClevelandHipHop.net)

 

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Aug
08/11
DOOB is bringin’ life while ‘Killin Em’(interview)
Last Updated on Monday, 8 August 2011 10:09
Written by admin
Monday, August 8th, 2011

THE REBEL LIFE

DOOB is bringin’ life while ‘Killin Em’

Cleveland upstart reflects on hit video, while preparing for upcoming mixtape release

 

By GEZUS ZAIRE

Rebel Life Media/www.ClevelandHipHop.net

 

If you ever saw his music video “I Be Killin Em” you can see that DOOB is an energetic ball of fire just waiting to torch your earbuds. The Glenville graduate and father-to-be took out a few moments to talk about his video and the importance of promotion among other things.

 

Zaire: DOOB, where did your name come from?­­

 

DOOB: It’s short for Doobey. I was a loud head

 

Zaire: I first got hip to you from the video that you made called, “I Be Killin Em.” Was that your first music video?­­

 

DOOB: No. My first video is called “For My City” which I did a few months before the “I Be Killin Em” joint.

 

Zaire: What kind of feedback have you been getting on your videos?­­

 

DOOB: A lot of positive feedback. The support has been great, but there is always room for more

 

Zaire: “I Be Killin Em” was a very animated video. Why did you decide to go that route and what were you trying to get across?­­

 

DOOB: Truthfully I gave the song to the video company and they ran with it. I was trying to do something that most local artist [weren’t] doing. I really just wanted people watching it to have fun and for it to be one of those videos they wanted to share.

 

Zaire: Wow, so you are working with outsiders to promote your music. Share with other local artists why that is helpful.­­

 

DOOB: It’s like this, without outside promotion the only people who will really hear your music is people you know, and to be honest your circle of friends just ain’t enough. I look at it like this – the more the merrier

 

Zaire: As we end this let the fans know what the future holds for DOOB, his music and his life.­­

DOOB: DOOB’s first official mixtape will be dropping in August [so] be on the lookout for that. Two more videos [will be] dropping this month and as much good music as my protools can take. Oh and I’m having a son in September.

 

Zaire: Congrats on that and God’s blessings.­­

 

DOOB: yes indeed thanks

 

(This interview is the official property of Rebel Life Media and www.ClevelandHipHop.net)

­

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Aug
07/11
The Break Interview with Yung Rob
Last Updated on Sunday, 7 August 2011 01:37
Written by admin
Sunday, August 7th, 2011

The Break

Less Talk, More Action, Team Get Paid

By Suga Da Brainiac Babe

Yung Rob is just one member of a local act that seems to be growing a nice following here on the East Side of Cleveland without ever doing a show.  His principles for developing their team as well as his willingness to obtain knowledge from his predecessors is the glue behind Team GP’s movement.  Taking such initiative despite diversity is a quality that every group should have.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Ok, who is GP Ent?

Yung Rob: GP ENT., Team GP is a local music group from Cleveland.  It was started in 2006.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Does GP have a meaning, and how did you get involved with the movement?

Yung Rob: GP means Get Paid.  I got involved in 2007.  The original members quit rapping after one of the members got killed.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: From what I can tell, you seem to be the most visible group member, consistently posting lings to your music and promoting your team.  What compels you to push the promotion of your team so hard?

Yung Rob: Honestly I feel that it takes hard work, motivation, and dedication to get in this music industry and I never got to rap with the original team so I feel I got something to prove.  Not just to those who see it but to Nutso, the member who was killed.  I won’t let the team die.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: That’s very admirable, is it difficult for you to take on a leadership role at such a young age?

Yung Rob: Yeah, very! (Laughing) But I know it’s going to pay off in the long run.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: No question. You’re on the right path.  Now, I was raised on Gooding Ave. and my experiences influenced a lot of my rap style and demeanor.  How has your environment influenced you?

Yung Rob: A lot I learned from seeing so much, I learned from other’s mistakes and took notes from the older people I hung around and things I experienced myself.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Same here.  Now, the first time I heard any music by your group was about a year ago when of your buddies pulled up in my mother’s driveway bumping it, he gave me a CD and I got to hear the versatility and raw talent your group has to offer.  Who’s in your group and what qualities do you think each member, including yourself, bring to your music?

Yung Rob: Ok, we got a young dude Need Rio, he brings the delivery.  He’s young with a bold, loud voice on tracks and he’s a very talented writer, not just music, but poetry.  Twin O has a laid back swag on the tracks but he good at making hype hooks for party songs. Manly C4 brings the rough hood swag to the team and me Yung (Laughing) brings versatility, delivery, and that cool swag, swag to da track.  There are more of us but I ain’t wanna take it that deep.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: What artists have influenced you in this game, and do you consider yourself comparable to any of them?

Yung Rob: Wayne, Jeezy, Wiz, Big Sean, T.I. and Ross.  They’re my favorite right now.  I feel like I’m comparable to Wiz and Big Sean because I’ve been told I sound like them a lot.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: I can see some comparison, but you also have a style that takes a life of its own.  What distinguishes you from these other artists?

Yung Rob: The fact that I stick to the topic, ride the beat different every time, and like you said, I have my own style, I let the beat guide me honestly.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: I respect that.  Have you guys done any performances yet?

Yung Rob: Nope, that’s in the works.  We’re trying to release our mix tape next month, and that’s when we’re going to start.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: What steps do you feel are necessary to get you to the next level?

Yung Rob: Our music quality has improved, so now all it takes is for us to get a break or just start doing shows and getting our faces out there more.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: I dig that.  Where can we find some of your songs?

Yung Rob: On tweet my song at this link: http://tweetmysong.com/members/YungTEAMGP/Songs.htm

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: What’s your favorite song that you have done solo, and with the group?

Yung Rob: My favorite solo is my newest one Key 2 the City.  It hasn’t been released yet.  My favorite released one would be I Mingle, and my favorite song with the team is Damn That Girl Sexy.  I think it’s underrated because of the sound quality.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Does your group have a manager or do you basically handle everything yourself?

Yung Rob: Well, we’re working on our manager situation but as for now, I run everything.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: From experience, I know how difficult that can be, but I see and respect your determination and drive.  I’m looking forward to hearing your new single.  We’re about to close out, but tell the people what you think is required of any artist trying to make it in this business.

Yung Rob: Dedication, motivation, hard work, and a strong mental because it gets hard, but it’s not easy to do it big.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Well said, it’s been a pleasure talking with you, I hope to get an exclusive interview about the drop of your group’s mix tape.

Yung Rob: Ok, we’ll see what we can do, thanks.

This is a young man of few words.  His humbleness and drive is what makes him stand out in comparison to many other group leaders in the Cleveland underground rap scene.  Using the knowledge he already has along with his dedication to his team is what will impel this group into broader horizons.  Anyone can put a group together, but respect and a consistent work ethic is what keeps a group together and progressing.  Expect to hear more from this group in the coming years.

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Aug
03/11
MGK Label Announcement
Last Updated on Thursday, 4 August 2011 12:09
Written by admin
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

 


Posted under interview, TV show  |  Comments  
Jul
29/11
Tino Baby and 5’6” are So Under Rated (Interview)
Last Updated on Friday, 29 July 2011 10:06
Written by admin
Friday, July 29th, 2011

The Break

Tino Baby and 5’6” are So Under Rated

By SUGA DA BRAINIAC BABE

The Break/www.ClevelandHipHop.net

Did you know that Hip Hop could be fun?  It seems that with the negative annotations of many of the mainstream artists these days, most up and coming artists focus on imitating the luxurious cars, guns, and, gold and platinum lifestyles that most of the mainstream artists portray but can’t actually afford.  What happened to being true to self?  Why can’t women dance anymore without being called every name but what our parent’s gave us?  These two young artists bring the essence of true hip hop back to the forefront without sounding out dated.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Your Name, Tino Baby, is more than a rap name; can you describe the meaning of this acronym?

Tino Baby: Trust In No One But Always Be You is the extended version of my stage name and it really means no matter what, go with what YOU believe in. No matter what you do in life, as a person (slight laugh) and in a way any and everybody can be Tino Baby!

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: That’s what’s up! So what inspired you to get involved in Hip Hop? Who are your influences?

Tino Baby : I actually had a LOT of different things that inspired me to get in the game. I first tapped into my talents at about age 11-12 while singing along to the radio, making parodies of songs like “Ms. Jackson” By OutKast. (I can’t remember what I did to it but it was good enough to keep me interested.) And my influences are like every “mainstream” artist that was between 1990 and 2004… Ludacris, Eminem, 50 Cent, OutKast, DMX… Hell even R&B artists affect my HIP-HOP approach.

(5’6” Joins the Discussion)

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Ok guys, I have fallen in love with your hit single, The Break Up Song, can you tell me the inspiration behind that creative piece?

 

Tino: Hmm… Inspiration… WELL I’ve had plenty instances where I would want to “court” a pretty lady, and she would bring up her boyfriend… And to myself I’d say, it would all be better for us BOTH if she just left him for me!

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: How did the collaboration between Tino Baby and 5’6 come about?

Tino: I was in a group called CTF back in 2005, and 5’6″ was in session with us (back in the day when he was going by 5’5″ due to his height, if you weren’t aware) and after our session was over he had some ideas and we just ran from there to get to where we are now.

5’6: We’ve been friends for almost 10 years and we’ve been doing music together for about 5 of those years.  It was just kinda natural.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Well let me say that you guys have a great chemistry and are two of the hardest working, talented young artists I have heard in quite a while. So 5’6 if that is your real height, (Laughing) what made you decide to use your height as part of your stage name?

5’6: (Laughing) Its actually not, I’ve grown since then, but I decided on 5’6″ when I was in high school.  I used to wear Dickies and Timbs all the time and one of my friends had called me 5’5″ thug, so I grew another inch (at that time) and just went with it. I was 5’6″ thug.  Eventually I dropped the thug and picked up “is it really” after hearing somebody say it in a song.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Going back to the influences you mentioned earlier Tino, I depicted a slight comparison between you guys’ single The Break-Up Song and that of the talents of Andre 3000, E-Stilez has eluded to this as well during a chat we had.  What do you guys think of this?

Tino: To The Andre 3000 comparisons, I’d agree totally, but we didn’t notice it until after the song was done! Call it a coincidence, ya know?

5’6”: Honestly, when we found the beat we weren’t even thinking like that.  It was more of an “It         would be hilarious if we did this song on this” kind of thing.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: That’s amazing, and I cracked up when I first heard this song.  I was very impressed by the creativity and forwardness of the lyrics.  So 5’6, who are some of your influences in the industry and how have they impacted your approach to the rap game?

5’6: T.I. because of his hustle, Chamillionaire and Ludacris because of their wordplay, and 50 because of his attitude.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: I see that you two have a few of the same influences, very intelligent selections.

Where do you see your movement going in the next year or two?

 

Tino: Forward. I’m not sure how far but I have no setbacks in my agenda and I got plans in place in case a setback presents itself to us.

5’6: Well….we’re at the bottom right now in my opinion.  So there’s only one way it can go…TO THE TOP!!! But honestly, I see our names becoming a brand in household, whether it’s just in the local scene or it gets really big and goes worldwide.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Solid answers. You guys definitely have my support. I’m aware that Tino does solo projects as well, I enjoyed the work you did on the No Holds Barred Mix-tape. 5’6, do you have any solo projects and tell me where your music can be located.

Tino: Thank you!

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: You’re welcome

5’6”: I do, but not really enough to put out a CD.  I’d rather work with my people so that we all get on.  But you can find us on twitter (twitter.com/sooounderated), facebook (facebook.com/tinobaby56), and reverbnation (reverbnation.com/tinobaby56), and oh yeah, be on the lookout for the group that Tino and I are also in…Band Camp(facebook.com/campbandz), reverbnation.com/campbandz, and twitter.com/campbandz.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: This has been an enjoyable interview, any advice for the many crybabies that say Cleveland is full of haters and that’s why they’re not being heard?

Tino: In my opinion, Cleveland isn’t full of haters, just a bunch of cliquey people who won’t associate themselves with you if you’re not from an area that they want to recognize… And on another note, maybe you’re not being heard because you’re not networking with the right channels… I mean

 

5’6”: I have some advice, stop crying and do you.   Somebody is gonna like you and listen to you.  I mean hey…can’t impress everybody.

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Solid!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. You hear that people, get your mind right and your game face on. Check out Tino Baby & 5’6”s single “The Break Up Song” on Rebel Army Radio at http://www.rar.t83.net Cleveland’s number one station for local Hip Hop.

 

Thank you innovative young men for the interview, I’ll be in touch.  By the way, do you guys have any shows coming up?

 

5’6”: Actually, yes.  We’re performing at this year’s rebel army radio awards!!!  And it’s been a pleasure.

 

Suga Da Brainiac Babe: Excellent, I’ll see you guys there. Congratulations on your accomplishments and keep doing you, you’re quite an example for Cleveland Artists.

 

These two artists are influenced by the artists of the 90’s, the artists that influenced me when I was around their age.  Can Hip Hop return to its original essence?  No, it’s supposed to grow, but applying the same enthusiasm, originality, and creativity as our predecessors used can move this culture into an era reminiscent to Hip Hop’s explosive beginning. Tino Baby and 5’6” are off to a great start and with skills like theirs, they won’t be so under rated for long.

(This interview is the official property of Unbreakable Records and www.ClevelandHipHop.net)

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Jul
25/11
1 on With Rello B
Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2011 09:48
Written by admin
Monday, July 25th, 2011

THE REBEL LIFE
First there was Timmy, then Penny, now introducing Remy Hardaway
From Cleveland to Virginia, Rello B. plans to ‘surprise’ us with new project
By GEZUS ZAIRE
Rebel Life Media/www.ClevelandHipHop.net

When “Remy Hardaway” drops Cleveland is going to know who Rello B. is. Something tells me that it’s going to be an all or nothing type of project. No neutral feelings. Either love or hate. Feast or famine. Beauty or disaster.
Like its namesakes Timmy and Penny Hardaway who both had successful shoe campaigns with Rello B.’s beloved Nike, this album should shakeup the game like a crossover dribble.

Zaire: You have an album coming out called “Remy Hardaway.” When most people hear the name Hardaway, they think of Timmy or Penny. What’s the concept of this album?¬ ¬

Rello: “Remy Hardaway” is my way of showing my old school/new school vibe. I love Nikes and Remy so I meshed the two honestly. My music has its own flavor. You’ll see what I mean when the cover art is released.

Zaire: Tell the people out there about the label that you are on and some of the other artists that are on the roster as well.¬ ¬

Rello: Top Shelf was an idea my brother [Ant Live] had maybe five years ago. Our roster as of now is my right hand man, Pick, Nina Nicole and myself. Pick is a new face like me. We are working on his upcoming mixtape “I.N.K.” as we speak down here in [Virginia]. Nina Nicole is an already proven underground female MC and L.O.L. [Ladies of the Land] member as you know. Her “HK2” ep will be a Cleveland classic. And me – I just play my part.

Zaire: So you have re-located to Virginia. What led to that and has it benefited your music career?¬

Rello: I feel like niggas get too comfortable with their surroundings and that can make you lazy or make you settle. I love Cleveland and I want people everywhere to do the same. I’ve been getting love down here though. It’s like my second home. I’ve just been networking from Seattle back down to Miami. I’m young and I like to travel, [so] why not?

Zaire: When your project drops, what will the listener, who is giving Rello B. a shot for the first time, be in store for?

Rello: A surprise. I’m very passionate about my music and every bar I say, you’ll hear me get deeper than you would in my freestyles. I speak on everything from money to relationship [and] family issues that I’ve been through and still got to deal with daily. I feel I say things the ’round the way nigga can relate to. I think people are going to have a new favorite rapper from Cleveland when the last song ends.

Zaire: Now back to the shoe game. You said you were a Nike lover, as we end this interview what are your top three shoes that Nike ever made? ¬ ¬

Rello: Damn, I’m going to say Nike Air Raids in grey and black, the ’95 Griffeys – all red, and the Nike Air Revolutions. I remember collecting all them kicks back in high school and now I’m buying them for the second time. It’s too many to pick from. The Barkley ’94s are classic too.

(This interview is the official property of Rebel Life Media and www.ClevelandHipHop.net)
¬

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Jul
23/11
1 on 1 With SHIONNA
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 12:29
Written by admin
Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

THE REBEL LIFE

Shionna snacks on Sloppy J.O.E.S. (Jealous Ones Envy Shionna)

Cleveland’s newest songbird overcomes rumors during successful run on Datpiff

 

By GEZUS ZAIRE

Rebel Life Media/www.ClevelandHipHop.net

 

As a professional journalist it is entirely a conflict of interest for me to feature an artist whose album was distributed by my company. Fortunately I ain’t got no boss. I mean Chris Bleek does run things at ClevelandHipHop.net, but he trusts me with power, so I can do what I want so long as I don’t destroy the brand.

Shionna hit the music scene in Cleveland in June with the help of Rebel Life Media Distribution and – in our own little way – we turned things upside down. Her debut EP, “Insecure” reached No. 125 on Datpiff.com’s most downloaded albums in its first month. Even more impressively she gained over 1,000 downloads in less than one month.

While we celebrated the amazing feats that we accomplished on an entirely independent project with no celebrity instrumentals or features, we were both blindsided by several negative slurs. The most outrageous one was that she slept with me for online distribution and promotion.

What we learned was that all of Cleveland was not ready for a newcomer R&B singer to excel pass what over 95-percent of the city’s so-called “hottest rappers” couldn’t do. Instead of congratulating, some of them had to stoop to slinging mud.

As a writer and head of my own distribution company I am using this installment of The Rebel Life to salute Shionna and finally give her a moment in the sun.

 

Zaire: Shionna is out and doing her thing. Let the fans of Cleveland know what “Insecure” the EP is about.­­

 

Shionna: Insecure is an album that people can relate to. It’s basically a mixture of past experiences, past heartbreaks and past loves. Just something to give Cleveland a taste of some real R&B, real lyrics and songs with real meaning.

 

Zaire: There are a lot of rappers putting out product in Cleveland but things seem a bit slow on the R&B side. Why is that?­

Shionna: In my opinion a lot of people are into the rap game more than R&B. People tend to not give R&B a chance and go straight for the rap or hip-hop, stereotyping R&B music.

Zaire: Stereotyping it as what?­­

 

Shionna: Love songs, sad, too slow, etc. People just don’t give local R&B a chance, in my opinion.

 

Zaire: You got over 1,000 downloads in your first month on Datpiff.com. How good did that feel?

 

Shionna: It actually felt great being that no one really knew who [I] was! For it to have just come out of nowhere, it’s actually kind of surreal! I’m super excited about the turnout.

 

Zaire: OK so me and you have talked about this but for the record, there has been a negative side to your success. How tough has that been?­­

 

Shionna: It honestly doesn’t faze me. Haters will be haters and I use them for my motivation. People try to down others because of their success – only because they are mad that someone else is actually doing good. I’m not fazed by it at all. I actually encourage my haters to continue doing what they do best, and I’ll do the same

 

Zaire: What have people told you about “Insecure” or your success in general, that has surprised you most, positive or negative?­­

 

Shionna: A lot of people have actually congratulated me on the album and a lot of people loved it. There are many that truly believe in me and in my music. Many see that music really is my life and they encourage me to continue doing what I do best!

 

Zaire: What have you learned from your sudden rush of popularity in Cleveland’s music scene?

 

Shionna: I’ve learned that you have to work, work, work at what you want to accomplish. I learned that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and just believe. I have also learned that you have to watch who you trust because everyone doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Take heed to those who are more advanced and learn from them. Things can only continue to go up from here. I feel it!

 

(This interview is the official property of Rebel Life Media and www.ClevelandHipHop.net)

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