The Underground Experience Celebrating 10 Years of the Underground Experience Feature from ‘7/26/016


This months festure is a Fayettenam artist who is building his own brand behind the scenes………. let’s ride through the ville with Stranga The Great


Mistajay: What is the story and conception behind your emcee name? 


Stranga The Great: I came up with the name in middle school. Originally, it was Red Eyed Stranger. I use to always get red eyes when I was mad and the stranger part just represented that I was always a bit different from the other kids in my demographic. Years later the Red Eyed got dropped and people just started calling me Stranga The Great after seeing me win so many freestyle battles.


Mistajay: What area are you reppin? What is the hip hop scene like there? 


Stranga The Great: I'm currently located in Fayetteville, NC but I have been removed from the scene as an artist. I've been doing work behind the scenes as a consultant with some of the other artists who came after me. The scene here is always changing so it's hard to gauge what's really going on. It's some talent out here and it's some hard workers here but the city really doesn't have a big voice outside of J.Cole. 


Mistajay: What are your influences of your music? And what inspires you? 


Stranga The Great: Coming up early on I was heavily influenced by Wu-Tang, Busta Rhymes, D.I.T.C, Ras Kass and a few others. I used to be motivated and inspired by having people get excited by the way I use words. I have been blessed to have some good years as an independent artist.


Mistajay: How do you describe your style? My style has always been lyrical before anything. 


Stranga The Great: I pride myself in being able to be versatile and have the ability to adapt to any type of sound. I'm a strong mix of boom bap and mainstream. I once was very underground with the dark flows and grungy beats but I think I have done everything flow wise.



Mistajay: What is your best song recorded to date and why? 


Stranga The Great:  I don't know what my best song is but I have a few favorites. One of my favorite songs would probably be "The Highway" which came out around 2008. The song is a metaphor for not having a lane when it comes to hip hop. I use the Highway to describe how I can do anything lyrically which allows me to ride anywhere on the road while everyone else is stuck in a traffic jam. The producer of that track Roadsart ended up becoming one of Raekwon's producers and is the lead engineer at IceWater studios. 


Mistajay: You have worked with and been on projects with artists and producers from over 5 countries including Craig G from the Juice Crew, Fredro Starr of Onyx, The Wisemen, Pop The Brown Hornet, Chi King an many others… If you could share the stage with any 3 artists or bands who are still around and touring, who would they be and why? 


Stranga The Great: First of I would love to go on a world tour with The Roots. I love live instrumentation and I also think that me and Black Thought would be dope on stage together lyrically. So The Roots would be my band and I would ask Jill Scott and Pharoahe Monch to complete the tour and we would shut shit down worldwide.


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? 


Stranga The Great: The business side of the game is the most important part. We spend a lot of time arguing about how some of these new artist can make it and not be that talented but honestly it's the business that allowed them to make it. Since I have been doing work as a consultant or helping artist with media work I have absorbed so much and it's so many different ways to earn a living off of your music. I wish I had have new what I know now 15 years ago. 



Mistajay: What have you learned with your brand Team Greatness Productions which promotes Urban Models online, and schedules and assists with interviews, publicity and booking that has helped you as an artist?


 Stranga The Great: I learned how to network and how to put yourself in a position to create exposure without having a household name. Most of it came from networking with DJ's and Club Promoters. I never got big enough where I was getting a lot of booking demands that paid that well but I learned to work out something with the promoters and have them either give me money for the amount of people I brought into a venue or by just selling tickets. After doing that a couple times I realized that I could set up my own shows or venues by just attaching my brand with other peoples and we could eat together. 



Mistajay: Where do you see the hip hop going in 2016? How do you see yourself fitting into



Stranga The Great: I admit I'm not a fan of hip hop currently. I listen to more soul music and 90's R&B then anything but when I do listen to hip hop it's probably extremely underground. I don't really know where I fit in with what's going on but I do know that since I know enough about the independent business that I can put something together and create some revenue for myself. The key to the new game right now is music licensing and streaming revenue. I've been retired for a little over 2 years but everybody keeps trying to get me to come back so when I do I will definitely exploit the knowledge of streaming and publishing I've have picked up.


Mistajay: What are your future plans? 

Stranga The Great: Right now I'm knee deep into investing in commercial real estate and looking into Commercial Trucking. 


Mistajay: Any last thoughts? 

Stranga The Great: I would like to say thanks for having me share my experience and interviewing me and look forward to possibly getting my feet back in the building. It might be time to show these young boys that old niggas still got the juice.




Mistajay: Where can fans follow you and get your music? 

Stranga The Great: I have music on most of the major retail platforms but you can buy directly from my site or just look me up on amazon or itunes.



Mistajay is doing a monthly interview feature the underground experience on the blog and would like to interview you for this new post please contact to publicize any new projects that you have coming up thanks for your time. Donate or pay $50 dollar interview fee below!!

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Initial fundraiser for the interview documentary celebration of the 10th year Underground Experience blog

I'm starting up an initial fundraiser for the interview documentary celebration of the 10th year Underground Experience blog where I have interviewed artists from the Carolinas to the Czech Republic so please support sharing the link and help grow the project. For artists and content creators who want to be directly involved in the project a more detailed booking system associated with the film is on the blog.