We all know one… or two…or three…or perhaps even more. They come in varying shapes and sizes and, especially in today’s world, all different shades and colors as well. If you ask them what they’re doing, they’re always “grinding”. If you ask them where they are, they’re always “in the lab”. They are certainly not an endangered species as at least one can be found on just about any block, in any neighborhood, anywhere. If you haven’t guessed yet, this person that we all know is none other than the infamous “aspiring rapper.”
With the increase of smaller and more affordable recording technology in the ‘90s, and the explosion of the internet in that decade and the ‘00s, the aspiring rapper population has seemingly multiplied. While some may think of this negatively, it has provided a way into the industry for some artists who could have slipped through the cracks otherwise. For example, many of Cash Money Records early ‘90s album releases were recorded entirely in Baby’s kitchen. In 2007, Soulja Boy was introduced to the world with his first major single release “Crank That (Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em),” a song that was completely produced and recorded within the confines of his bedroom. However, these are only two examples of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who try every year to break into the music industry.
One young rap artist who is steadily gaining notoriety however is a twenty year-old Newark, NJ native who goes by the name of Kazzie. He is signed to eOne Records, a respected indie label, through his team NWEMG. Recently, he collaborated with Wacka Flocka on a track called, “We Don’t F*ck With That,” which is enjoying rotation on MTV, New York’s Hot 97 and was also premiered as a ‘New Joint’ on BET’s 106 and Park. His solo single, “Get It” is also beginning to impact radio as well.
Parlé Magazine was fortunate to catch up with Kazzie this week and ask him a few questions. Here is the full interview:
Parlé Magazine: How are you doing today?
Kazzie: I’m good.
Parlé: Cool. Can you just talk about what you’re working on right now? Is there an album coming? What’s happening in Kazzie’s world?
Kazzie: I’m just working on a bunch of new records man. I just did a new record today, it’s a dope record, and I just got the beat last night. So I did half the record last night, then woke up this morning at six to finish the record, so, it’s a bunch of new music coming. As far as an album, you know, I have so many records in the can, I’m sure we could just grab some and put on an album. So I wouldn’t say that I’m really working towards an album or a mixtape, I’m just doing a bunch of records. It’s a bunch of new music I’m working on.
Parlé: Okay. I read in another interview you did with XXL that you’ve been rapping since you were five. Is that true?
Kazzie: Yeah, ‘cuz I was a young boy, you know, coming from Jersey and music is big here. We have a lot of artists that come from here. Redman, Method Man*, Queen Latifah, Naughty by Nature, there’s a lot of artists that come from out here. So just being so young and being around in a community where there was just so much music, I was just having fun with it. You know, I was singing all the songs my parents used to sing so that’s how I started rapping. I was learning music at an early age.
Parlé: And at what age did you say to yourself “I’m going to pursue this as a career”?
Kazzie: I’d probably say when I was like sixteen. I got signed to the independent label, me and the kid Driicky Graham, shout out to Driick, “Snapback and Tattoos” record. So at the age of sixteen I just decided that I wanted to do it seriously. Once I got signed it became my job. So we went right on the road. I would say I started professionally, I didn’t start amateur. We were already on the road with Party Boyz, Dorrough, Soulja Boy, all of them in all the towns. We did the BET No ID Tour and everything.
Parlé: Alright. I got something I really want to ask you. You’re twenty right?
Kazzie: Yeah I’m twenty.
Parlé: You know, just off hand, I can tell you that I have three cousins who are all just about your age and want to be rappers. They all have songs that they’ve recorded and they all have stuff on Youtube that you could look at right now. Is that something that you noticed growing up, that there are a lot of people that have that same ambition to get into the music business, and did it challenge you to go harder when working on your own music?
Kazzie: Definitely, definitely, you know because you’re the owner of your situation, you know what I’m saying? Nothing’s going to happen unless you get it done, so the grind always has to happen. I was just fortunate enough to get noticed, going so hard and they saw that I was so serious about it and I got the deal. I got signed up. Coming from Jersey, I’m one of the few people in the last ten years to get a record deal. So it’s a dope situation man, and to everybody else that’s on their grind, just keep going hard.
Parlé: If you couldn’t do music, what else would you do?
Kazzie: I’d definitely want to be a businessman. I’m into clothes. I’d do shirts, T-shirts, sweatpants, and stuff for the ladies. So I’d definitely see myself being an entrepreneur and a businessman and pursuing investments and stuff. I like cooking too. I go to culinary arts school right now, but music is something that I love and I have a passion for.
Parlé: Alright, last question. If someone reads this article, and let’s say that they had never heard of you before but after reading this piece they wanted to find out more about you, hear your music and maybe even support you. What message would you have for them?
Kazzie: Well first of all I’d tell them “thank you,” and then I’d tell them to fasten their seat belts because I’m going to take you on this ride. This is a real ride, this is not a ride with fairy tales. I’m not speaking about whips and chains that I don’t have, and mansions and cars that I don’t have. I’m talking about day to day stuff that happens out here. I’m from Newark NJ, I’m from the hood. I’m never going to talk about something that I don’t know about, you know what I’m saying? I’m going to give y’all these stories, and these relatable records where you could say “Yo, I feel him.” I want people that hear my records to be like “Yo, that’s crazy ‘cuz I just went through that situation, and he’s talking about it.” You know, not just a hit, but something that could stay forever.
Parlé: Where can people get in touch with you for more info?
Kazzie: Definitely, my website is KazzieNWEMG.com. I’m on twitter @KazziePop, and my instagram is Kazzie_NWEMG. You can check me out on Youtube as Kazzie. I’m all over the web on Worldstar, BET, MTV, everywhere. You can just put my name in Google really. So you know, we’re just working, looking forward to this and staying humble.
Parlé: That’s what’s up. Thank you for your time.
Kazzie: Thank you for having me.
It was very interesting to speak with Kazzie. As mentioned earlier in this piece, we all know an aspiring rapper or someone who just wants to get into the music industry period. So it’s really cool to meet someone who is actually making strides and getting noticed in an area that a lot of people want to. Only time will tell if he becomes a household name as in the likes of 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, and Drake. However to have gotten as far as he has already, having music of his own playing on major television and radio networks, Kazzie is already showing that when it comes to rapping, he just might have the skills to pay the bills.
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