This months feature is a emcee from the city of Oaks who truly uses his real life to draw from……..let’s slide through the 919 with…..AJ The Menace.
Mistajay: What is the story and conception behind your emcee name?
AJ Menace: The concept behind my name is from one of my favorite childhood movies Dennis the Menace. I always liked how he would destroy everything around him but people still seemed to like him so I just put my actual name AJ in front of the Menace.
Mistajay: What area are you reppin? What is the hip hop scene like there?
AJ Menace: I rep Raleigh, NC. The hip hop scene here is pretty strong compared to other cities from what I have heard but I have kinda stepped away from going downtown to every single show because I would really like to focus on my biggest weakness which is internet marketing.
Mistajay: What are your influences of your music? And what inspires you?
AJ Menace: I would say my influences would be alot of older based rap. Some would call it the golden era but even the times before that when simple short and sweet rhymes really ruled the hip hop community. What inspires me I think the most is when I think another rapper I know or even don’t know is progressing faster than me. The competition of rap really drives me. I goes periods where I won’t write for a month to three months but I’ll hear a new album or verse that really catches my attention and I will do whatever it takes to produce something better than what I recently heard.
Mistajay: How do you describe your style?
AJ Menace: My style I would describe as simple, reality rap. There are times I try to be technical and it might come out good but I feel the best and get a larger reaction when I keep it simple and plain.
Mistajay: You had a two years of my hiatus from the local music scene, realized you had endured and accomplished a lot. From having run-ins with the law, relationship breakups, graduating college, becoming a homeowner and simply getting caught up in every-day life, I realized I have been missing your true passion: music. Please go into more detail on how that has helped you and it’s effect on your music.
AJ Menace: Man I going thru all my experience I had during my two year break pretty much taught me how to keep my emotions in check, head down, and move towards my goals without hesitation. I will be the first to admit I stop myself from moving forward still but its not nearly as bad as it once was. During the low point of my life I never really felt myself take a serious loss in life until i got arrested and broke up with my gf. After I took those two big L’s and finally caught a W with closing on my house I have become more driven than I ever have before.
Mistajay: What is your best song recorded to date and why?
AJ Menace: The best song I have ever recorded so far is “Ride” Produced by Agent Midi. That song is the first time I took a super confident stab at holding notes over a song and the first time I really tried to musically do something different and it worked out perfectly. The Simple lyrics hit so hard to home and the beat is absolutely perfect especially the second verse breakdown. When we added that breakdown I went to Agent Midi’s house and literally mouthed the most random beat and sounds trying to imitate exactly what he did on the record and it just made me so happy to see how far we have come that he can take my gibberish and make it a musical masterpiece.
Mistajay: From monthly sold out shows of 90+ attendees to curating week-long Hip Hop events and parties in the RDU area If you could share the stage with any 3 artists or bands who are still around and touring, who would they be and why?
AJ Menace: I would love to share a stage with The Roots because lets be honest they are one of Hip Hops most legendary and excellent bands. I would love to go on tour with Dom Kennedy because he is honestly one of my favorite rappers. I get alot of people comparing me to him but my rap style was developed before I became a huge fan of him so I try not to let it get to me. And lastly I would love to do a show with Bruno Mars because to me he is deff stepping in the Michael Jackson shoes and for some reason hip hop and african americans are not appreciating him the way we should be.
Mistajay: A lot of artists come into the game with a lot of ambition but don’t spend time learning the business side. How important to you is learning about publishing and royalties?
AJ Menace: Man this is super important and something I still have not mastered myself, the last 6 months I have really taking the time out to figure it out where I am protecting myself but I can see why people slack on it because it can be really confusing.
Mistajay: Where do you see the hip hop going in 2017? How do you see yourself fitting into
AJ Menace: Honestly I have no idea where hip hop is going in 2017. I’m interested to see who out of the 2016 mumble rap class survives this year and what top artist of the new generation comes back with competitive projects and material. I see myself diving deeper into my artistic ability with the project I will be dropping this year because artistic views are something in hip-hop will deff celebrate more and more which I love.
Mistajay: What are your future plans?
AJ Menace: My future plans look bright I really would love to share some of them with you but the most I will say is stay tuned to my instagram this year because everything will be documented thru that social media platform.
Mistajay: Any last thoughts?
AJ Menace: If the people closest to you think you are going crazy with how serious you are handling your business I think you are doing something right. This is the first time people around me look at me with shock and surprise and I think that means I am doing something right finally.
Mistajay: Where can fans follow you and get your music?
AJ Menace: IG/Twitter/Soundcloud: TheMenace4Real
NEXT MONTHS INTERVIEW TBA!!!!
Mistajay is doing a monthly interview feature the underground experience on the blog www.empiremusiq.com/blog and would like to interview you for this new post please contact email@example.com to publicize any new projects that you have coming up thanks for your time. Donate or pay $50 dollar interview fee below!!