Ruthless Records' recent acquisition Hopsin took a few minutes out of his schedule to sit down with Kikaxemusic.com and discuss everything from the well known label that once released albums from such greats as Eazy E and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, to his disappointment with the promotion of his debut album "Gazing At The Moonlight".
Matt Molgaard/Kik Axe Music: It seems like you’ve built yourself a career almost overnight. What’s it like to be enjoying the kind of success you’re currently experiencing?
Hopsin: It feels pretty good, ya know. I can’t complain at all. It may seem like it was over night but it was far from an overnight struggle. For the past 9 years i have been working hard to develop a name for myself in the music bizz so that i can be know and finally make money. I started in 2002 and I’m barely making a decent living off of music in 2010 (laughs). I’m glad I never gave up because true blooded hard work really does pay off in the long run.
KAM: How does it feel to be signed to the legendary Ruthless Records?
Hopsin: I’m enjoying it. I’ve always wanted to kind of rebuild, or start a new dynasty with somebody - without riding on someone’s coat tail. Ruthless was the perfect opportunity for me to do that. In the past I always thought that I would get picked up by some small little unknown label, but once I heard Ruthless Records was interested in me, I then knew i was on to something big!
KAM: You’re pumping out quality recordings, live performances, just a great deal of work is on the table right now for you. Aside from your personal skills, who’s responsible for helping see you get some of the opportunities you’ve gotten?
Hopsin: The ones who are behind me are my management (Chyna, Livio Harris and Adrian Miller) and production team (Mike Sherman and Damon Elliott). They have been grinding it out with me for the past few years. Another major person who helps me out with my career is my business partner named Damien Ritter.
KAM: Despite all of the positive going for you, I’ve read a few sources that indicate things might not be as positive as they could be. Any truth to those rumors, and if so, care to elaborate?
Hopsin: Yeah, people are assuming that I’m a bloody and gory rapper. If you listen to my music you will see that I’m no horrorcore or violent vile rapper. However I do speak on painful topics that have hurt my heart in the past, and when I project my feelings on the mic they sound violent. But that’s just how the situation was at the time I went through it, and it’s what I felt. I like to come real in my music, so all my stories that i tell are definitely experiences that I’ve gone through. Keep in mind that there are times when I do shock value rap strictly for lyrical skill purposes, but those are obviously exaggerated.
KAM: You've gotten so much attention online I think it's drawn some envy, and as a result a few haters as well. Like every musician, it's something we deal with; but are you able to shake off the negative and embrace the positive easily, or does that negativity ever hang on to you?
Hopsin: Yeah I can pretty much ignore it and move on. The only problem is I have some fans who tell me what numerous haters have done or said about me and by doing that they cause the haters to have shine. I try to avoid speaking about specific incidents with haters because i don’t want the haters to feel like they have a mission accomplished by causing confusion in my world. So to all my fans, don’t tell me what haters have done or what they said about me unless it actually worth bringing up and destroying my career.
KAM: Your album "Gazing At The Moonlight" was released last year. How do you feel about the way the album was promoted, and generally received?
Hopsin: To be honest, I was disappointed in the fact that the album was (poorly) promoted. That was completely out of my hands at the time, and my solo online marketing skills weren’t up to par to have promoted it myself. I hope there will be a bigger promotion for “Gazing At The Moonlight” in the next few months or so, because I hate to be slept on. It lights a fire under me.
KAM: Talk to me about your new project "Raw". Do you feel "Raw" will represent you as an artist as well as "Gazing At The Moonlight"?
Hopsin: “Raw” is going to be the best work that I have ever created. “Gazing At The Moonlight” was an album I made when I was fresh out of high school. “Raw” is my grown man album...my lyrics are now up to par, my beats and quality had been fine tuned and my chorus game is sicker than it’s ever been. Plus I have my own music video production so a lot of visuals will be created for this album. Those of you who don’t know me at the moment will definitely hear my name bubble around your area when raw drops...I guarantee it pal!
KAM: What words of advice would you share with musicians struggling to succeed in this business?
Hopsin: Ok....people fail to listen to me sometimes because they refuse to take advise from someone who isn’t Jay Z or Eminem. But I’ll give it a shot anyway. Always remember that personality, image, delivery, knowledge and originality are everything! If you lack in one of those areas then you will definitely lack in your career. I see too many youtube and myspace rappers who have thousands of views, yet they can’t get a record deal because all they have is rhymes but no personality or creativity. They will continue to be unsuccessful until they do their homework and realize it’s deeper than music. A hit song will not get you on the radio and it sure as hell doesn’t mean you deserve a record deal - cause in that case I would have been signed a long ass time ago. God gave us a brain, so let’s start to use them.
Don’t give up either. I know dozens of high rappers that I use to do hip hop with and they fell off the face of the rap world, and didn’t pursue it because the matrix world convinced them that they were aiming for the stars, and they didn’t want it enough. Now that they see i have made it (somewhat) in this business, they all came running back asking me to work on their album and shit. They are so far behind me it’s not even funny...I hate to give them the cold shoulder, but that life. They chose their own fate. They blazed weed everyday, I blazed dope beats and stayed drug free. They were having kids without lining up a proper future while i was lining up my future, so I can plan a proper future to have a kid with a future. Eminem said it best, "you only get one shot, do not miss ya chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a life time". Those words are as strong as a bible quote to me.
KAM: Any tours, website updates, musical updates or any other business ventures you’d like to mention?
Hopsin: Yeah go check out my website www.myfunkvolume.com and download my mixtape "Haywire"' if you haven’t already. Look out for “RAW“...Coming soon!
KAM: Anything you’d like to say to the fans who follow and support you?
Hopsin: Thank you all so much, you guys are literally the reason I have a life and make me continue to do what I do. All my fans have been supportive of me mentally and music wise. I really appreciate all of you, it sounds kind of crazy to say this, but I Love all of you as if you are my girlfriend, because music is my one true love and fans go hand in hand with music. I love to please my fans...but that doesn’t mean you can stalk me (laughs). I have enough of those types of fans (laughs).