Gary Vee: How Do You Turn On Your Willpower?[Interview]

Out of my many personal highlights, like speaking with fashion designer Don C about branding, or legendary musician Pharrell Williams about world peace — I got a chance to talk with #1 entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk about Willpower.

Willpower is the infamous juice that gets our hustle on. Out of the many things Gary said about Willpower, one thing stood out above the others.

Our Willpower is always on, yet we are not always aware of it. The decision to tune into it is all it takes for that powerful and expansive energy to flow into everything that we do.

The challenge to this is the many inner and outer critical voices that keep  us distracted from our potent Willpower. By knowing ourselves, and tuning all that out, we can direct the energy of Willpower into whatever we are doing in the present moment.

All we have is here and now. This moment is the most important moment, and Willpower is the energy that helps us live it to the fullest.

We just have to be self aware enough to tap into it every moment.

DJ Kronic Talks To GWHH About Falling In Love With Music

Producer and DJ, Kronic, has been all over the world. I mean, he is from Australia. Being in the music game for years, he know what it takes to make a happy career out of doing what he loves. He has worked with artists such as Tyga, Lil Jon and most recently, Havana Brown.
We caught up with Kronic via email and you could really tell how great of a personality he has. We can’t forget to mention, his music is nothing short of awesome. Check out what he had to say about his career below:
1. First off, where does the name Kronic come from? It’s such a strong/awesome word. Does it reflect your personality? 
I grew up on West Coast hip hop and mixtapes. If you’ve ever heard DJ mixtape from that era, especially from guys like Rectangle, you’ll hear that they’ll sample words and phrases from records and flip it into a statement. I kept hearing the word ‘kronic’ in all these classic records, and I though i’d be a good sample to get creative with. 
Lot’s of people assume it’s a weed thing, but that’s not what it’s about. While I enjoy smoking as much as anyone else,  it doesn’t define me as a person or an artist.
2. When did you first fall in love with music? Do you ever imagine yourself doing anything besides producing?
I fell in love with music as a teenager, and it really took over when I started DJ’ing house parties. I was excited just to being able to make a living DJ’ing, and back then, I couldn’t imagine that I’d be producing records at all, let alone for artists that I looked up to.  Before I was a full time DJ, I was driving fork lifts, so I guess that’s what I would have been doing if never worked out for me.
3. You’ve worked with artists such as Havana Brown, Tyga and Lil Jon…what was it like and how do you get a feel for different artists’ taste?
Havana and I have been friends since we both started our careers, so knowing her taste was easy. We worked on Bullet Blowz at her house, so we able to bounce ideas of each other and create something together. 
With Lil Jon, I’ve been a big fan of his since I’ve been DJ’ing, and I’ve been using his vocals for my own edits for years. He told me he wanted to work on some twerk stuff, and the first beat I send him became “Bend Ova.” It was until months later that he surprised me with that Tyga verse. Tyga and I chatted a while ago about doing some more stuff, but we haven’t had a chance to really go in yet. I’ve got some ideas for him, we gotta make it happen.
4. Your Facebook “About me” really made me laugh with the Genre: Cool Shit!” part. What do you bring to the table that other producers don’t? You’re special for a reason! (You can talk highly of yourself here without any judgement 🙂 )
I’d forgotten all about that description! As a producer, I feel like a bring an understanding of different musical worlds than most. Great EDM producers are masters of creating unique, interesting sounds that really work in a club or a festival stage, but don’t necessarily know how to translate that energy outside of the club. On the other hand, a lot of the great hip hop producers don’t understand the dynamic of club music. I grew up on hip hop, but I’ve spent the last 3 years producing and performing club music, so I get the balance. I get it, Lil Jon gets it. That’s why Bend Ova is dope.
5. With music being a big part of your life, how do you balance your career versus personal life? 
Fuck a vacation I feel better at work.
 
6. Do you have any interesting rituals you go through before a show? For example, I would probably take a quick nap, eat hot wings and drink a few beers to get in the zone. Is your ritual anything like mine?
I wish I had a rock star answer for this, but I still get a little nervous before each show. Not because I doubt myself, but because I want to make every show the best performance I’ve ever done. When I’m on stage, that’s my sole purpose, and I take that responsibility very seriously. I don’t take too much else seriously, go figure.
 
I do enjoy wings and naps, but that’s more of a post show ritual.
 
7. Tell us about a favorite memory throughout your career. You know, something that sticks in your brain. 
I don’t know if everyone will agree with,  but about a year ago, Justin Beiber uploaded instagram previews of some records he’d been working on, and in the middle of all these R&B joints, there was this 15 second video of him singing over one of my beats. I still have no idea if this song will ever come out, but just the fact that he recorded it will always stick with me. That song is dope, I hope it happens.
 
8. It’s mid-2015 (weird…where has the time gone?) We know you have big plans coming up so share some of your events with us!
This year is flying by damn. I’m pretty sure my label would like me to plug my upcoming records, but since Sup Girl is my label, fuck it. My Asian tour. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most. I’ve played a few shows in Korea and Japan earlier in the year, and the crowds there were something special. We’re still confirming dates, but it’s going to be sick! I can’t wait.
 
9. You’ve been DJing since 2001 and with everything becoming digital, a lot of artists are known to be pre-producing their “live” shows. Does it bother you how a lot of artists get shit for not “actually” DJing their shows? I have talked to plenty of artists who get mad over it and seriously lose sleep over it. 
I don’t give a fuck actually. Either you have a good time with, or you don’t. I’m live in every sense of the word, and anyone who’s been there can tell you the same. It’s the same as people accuse me of having ghost producers –  I couldn’t care less. Speaking of, ghost producer is a stupid term.
 
10. Lastly, what advice would you give someone striving to be as awesome as you in the music industry? 
First things first, set the bar higher than my level of awesomeness. Even if you look up to me, you gotta aim higher. My major piece of advice is to have patience and run your own race. Everyone has their own path to success, just because someone else’s climb is faster doesn’t mean you won’t get there.Kronic will be in Chicago on June 21st performing at ROOF on theWit. Get your tickets and check out his music here!

Listen to his latest track with Havana Brown titled “Bullet Blowz” below:

Usher Talks Upcoming Tour, Chris Brown

 

Usher sat down for an in-depth interview on Ebro in the Morning, where he touched on new music, old memories with Michael Jackson and his relationship with his ex, Tameka Foster. He also dished on some of his favorite shows (Games of Thrones), and preparing for his tour with August Alsina. Check it out above.

 

Lolla 2014 Behind the Scenes [Photo Recap]

What happens when you have more than a GA wristband to Lolla? Your life officially changes!

Here’s what we experienced:
1.) Met with Perry Farrell, creator of Lollapalooza, @ the media happy hour
2.) Accessorized by Toms for the festival (shoes + sunnies)
3.) Gowhere Hat worn on stage with Eminem & Rihanna
4.) Pampered in the media tent: massages, nails, hair, makeup (special thanks to Michael Brinson with Athletico & Lauren Schroeder)
5.) Fed lots and lots of amazing food + hydrated all day long
6.) Held umbrellas for Flosstradamus
7.) Martin Garrix showed us his high jump
8.) VIP shuttle service to and from each headlining stage
9.) Skydeck viewing of main stages

View more of our Lolla 2014 behind the scenes experience in the photo gallery above!

GWHH Interview: Visual’s Supreme Science

On a Saturday afternoon I caught up with Chicago veteran emcee Cesar “Visual” Zamudio in the Hermosa Park area for some lunch at Señor Pan. This is the first encounter we’ve had so I was very interesting in picking his brain and finding more about his music as well and about him as an individual. Visual is slated to drop his forthcoming project Supreme Science July 29th so some of this conversation revolves around his new album. I learned much about Visual. He’s a father, an artists, a visionary, a good hearted man that loves giving back to his community. He’s one of Chicago’s good guys and this interview will illustrate just that about the Chicagoan emcee.

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For those who are hearing about you for the first time, can you tell us about yourself?

Something that people can know about me is that I’m a family man. I’m a husband, I’m a father, and that’s the main thing in my life that takes up most of my time and that I‘ve dedicated most of my time to. To people that listen to the music they might hear bits and pieces of me mentioning stuff like that but I don’t really like getting too much into it in my music. It’s something that’s a big part of my life that people might not know.

In prior conversations that we had you had mentioned to me that you are from Logan Square. Can you tell us a bit about the neighborhood as well as some memories that you have about it?

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Logan Square has always been diverse and that’s something that stands out the most that I would like for people to know. A lot of people talk about segregation in the city of Chicago or you might read articles or hear things in the media about it but I never dealt wit it. It’s been Mexican and Puerto Rican, Cuban, Polish, Black. It was always mixed up.

On the other hand there was a lot of gang violence over there in Logan Square too, man. It was crazy. I’ve literally witnessed murders and other types of violence in the city and it’s always something that affected me, but I was always able to pull out of it. Basically, it never affected me to the point where it damaged me. I’ve been able to take a lot from it and put it into my life experiences and into my art.

How do you feel about Logan Square now with all the gentrification that’s going on? Is it good or bad?

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I say it’s a little bit of both. It really depends on how you look at it. Most recently, about a couple weeks ago, I had an interview with a college professor who was working on a thesis and he asked me the same question. I told him, it’s interesting because people, like for example, let’s say you’re an immigrant. Let’s say you’re Mexican and you come over here to this country. Your parents came over here to make a difference, right? To ‘live a better life’, but I don’t think they fully understood what this better life was.

When I see things like gentrification you either look at it like, do I belong? Am I a part of this? Should I be a part of this? Am I loosing my culture, my background, my beliefs, my roots for being a part of this and accepting this? What is it really? Is it about money, race, and politics? You got to look t al those angles when you’re talking about gentrification.

A lot of people look at gentrification and are just mad at it. ‘They’re moving into our neighborhoods, they’re hipsters and yuppies’, and this and that. I’ll be honest; I’ll be the first person to make fun of hipsters and yuppies. They’re just hilarious people. At the same time, a lot of my homies are hipsters. It just really depends on the people specifically. You can’t generalize. You can’t be mad at a group of people. You can’t. If these cats had money or were raised a different way. Yes, they have an advantage over most people, yes.

Should we be mad at them for that? Should we be try to be a part of it? Should we try to understand? Or get them to understand us and what we’re doing? Because I was talking to a friend yesterday and a lot of people, and this isn’t everybody, but a lot of people in good positions want to take our culture and what we do and they love it and they embrace it. They want to take our art, but they don’t want us. Like if it makes sense to you? They want everything we do. They embrace everything we do. They love everything we do and they want to own it now but they don’t want us to be involved, which is crazy.

If it goes on that route then, yeah… Gentrification is awful. But if it goes on a route as far as are these people trying to understand and be a part of what we’re doing or do they just want to take over? Then you really got to ask yourself that question, man.

What are some spots that you’d suggest for folks to visit or dine in that are not from the area?

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Gotta hit the Eagle, man. To me, that was the number one thing when I was a kid and being in that area. The eagle is outstanding! I couldn’t describe it any other way. It’s just outstanding. As a kid when I would walk around there and wee the eagle from a distance, I knew I was home. I knew I was in my neighborhood and it was Chicago to me. It was Chicago, and it’s beautiful. And that area now is more cleaned up. It’s a little bit more low-key, chilled, so you can hangout with friends or skateboard there all the time.

The Eagle, and that whole strip down Milwaukee. The little stores that I used to hit up with my mom back in the day whenever she was doing shopping. As I got older I would go down there and hangout. Hit up a couple restaurants here and there.

Specific places besides the ones I mentioned, I wouldn’t know. You gotta hit up the panaderias right by the train station on Cali and Armitage. Restaurants as well, although they’re infinite. You got Mexican restaurants, Puerto Rican, Cuban. Honestly the Eagle, man. That’s it. If you’re going to be in Logan just go by the Eagle and embrace it and soak it in is what I would say.

Before we get into any questions about the music I wanted to know about your artistic name, Visual. How did that come about?

Alright, so.. I used to be NDVIsual. With an N-D in front of Visual and it was basically like ‘In The Visual’. Three words. That was the meaning to it. Meaning in what you see. Everybody, there’s an old saying ‘if I don’t see it, I don’t believe it’. So it was in reference to that. If people don’t see something, if they cant physically see it, and my whole concept was like, since I was a kid I didn’t understand it because I was scared. Then I realized that I see things and I used to think that I was tweaking out but I literally see things.

I see things coming up, I see things happening, see things forming. I have great vision in life in general as an artist and I want to give that to people. That’s pretty much where the name came from, man. It was from that vision that I had in me.

What are some musical influences that impacted the way you create your music?

I grew up on music. I grew up listening to everything my parents were listening to. I’m the youngest. I had three older brothers and a sister and my parents always listened to music. My father used to do a radio show when I was a kid. So I grew up on everything you could think of, man. John Lennon, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson was one of my biggest influences as a kid.

Hip-Hop since it started. It was everyday for me. It wasn’t something I discovered. I have a lot of friends that discovered Hip-Hop and it was amazing to them and for me it was always around. I discovered artists and it was an adventure to me. Like, man, I found out so and so is dropping a new album and it was exciting. I think the roots of that was everything I grew up on which made it that much more exciting. Like I said, I grew up on Lennon, James Brown, Beatles, all that great music, Santana, Hector Lavoe. So when Hip-Hop really started to make noise it made sense to me because I’m a kid and I’m young. They’re talking to me specifically than all this other music. It was just great, man. That’s what really hit me.

In terms of Hip-Hop specifically, it was Run DMC, Slick Rick, KRS One. After that it was Nas, Wu Tang, Common. Even after that Kanye, Lupe. Even cats now, I’m inspired and motivated by everybody now. I’m not the type that listens to someone new and be mad at them. A lot of guys that grew up around me are mad at Chance, Lil Durk Chief Keef. I’m not made at them dudes. I love it. I’m like go get it!

What’s on your playlist?

My workout playlist is Ace Hood, Young Jeezy and Lil Durk. That’s it, period. I can’t be in the gym without Ace Hood, Young Jeezy, and Lil Durk in my ear. Especially Ace Hood. I feel like Ace Hood is constantly shit talking in my ear and talking shit to me. I love it. People hate Ace Hood. Super Hip-Hop heads that I know hate him. They’re like ‘boo trap’ and I’m like ‘you’re crazy. Listen to his words’. Ace Hood is like, to me right now, when Jeezy came out I was like ‘yo, Jeezy’s the man’. Everything was like, go get it, go do it, get up, and stop bullshitting. That’s my whole style so I was able to embrace Jeezy right away. Right now Ace Hood is that guy. Ace Hood’s the guy that’s like ‘go get it, stop bullshitting, it’s time to eat, go make it happen, stop starving, stop thinking, go do it’. So that’s me all day, man. And like I said the energy, those three dudes are on my playlist.

If I want to switch it up a bit I’ll throw in some Rage Against The Machine. That’s my workout playlist, man.

Everyday is like, those guys I named. Also, I listen to a lot of Salsa, but I like old school Salsa. Like Hector Lavoe, Gran Combo, Fania Allstars, the old stuff. If it’s like past ’79 or ’80 I don’t listen to it. The new stuff is too lubby dubby, I’m just not into it. I’m into the life is crazy and life is good Salsa.

You’ve been a part of the Chicago Hip-Hop landscape since the late 90’s correct? How’d you get introduced into the scene?

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About the mid to late 90’s, yeah. In terms of putting music out, late 90’s. Being in or around, I’d say late 90’s.

I want to say how I got introduced into the scene was by going to my first concert. I want to say it was either ‘92 or ’93 and it was The Beatnuts, Organized Konfusion, BoogieMonsters, and Common was the headliner. That was the first time that I was out with Hip-Hop at a concert, at a big venue, with a big event. After that forget it, I was hooked.

I went to every underground party, every house party, every party where I knew that I knew was playing Hip-Hop or anybody that I was introduced to that was playing Hip-Hop. I just started meeting people, man. I was just out there meeting everybody.

I’ve always been someone that is real approachable and I like to meet new people. I love to see what people are about and doing and what they’re plans are and what’s next for them or what’s going on with them currently. So, I just met everybody ever from ’93 to today because I just went out there and was busy and active from the beginning.

When did you first begin how to rap and was there someone mentoring you writing wise?

Well, it’s funny you say that because I started writing raps like ’93 -’94 when I got into high school. They were pretty terrible and corny too… They were hilarious. At the same time, I didn’t literally have mentors but my brother’s a producer [Panik] and he produced for legends like Juice, E.C. Illa, Vakill, Ang 13, Cap D, Rhymefest. So those guys were in my basement all the time. So I make my way down there and these guys are rapping.

These guys were the ones that taught me how to be good, how to be precise and progressive with the art. I just soaked it up. I would just sit there and 90% of the times would not say anything but just soak and be a sponge. So they weren’t literally my mentors, telling me do this or that but they were the ones that I learned from. They shaped me.

When I was doing my research I found out that you had created some music with WWE. How was that like? Are you a huge wrestling fan? If so, who’s your favorite wrestler of all-time and why?

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My god, yes. HUGE wrestling fan. I would lose my voice as a kid screaming at the tv screen. When I went to my first wrestling match at the Rosemont Horizon, I forgot what it’s called now but it was the Rosemont Horizon back then. So I lost my voice going crazy. I’ve always loved wrestling as a kid and it was action, and drama, and sports, everything wrapped into one.

My guy was Hulk Hogan. That was my dude and that’s what it was all about as a kid. I thought I was Hulk Hogan. I would do the leg drop on kids and it was just amazing. I would jump off my bed and just hurt myself if I had to because I was trying to be Hogan all day.

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How that came about was, I got some homies and we actually started an organization called Chi Rock Nation and pretty much it’s community based and we try to do fundraisers and different things for kids and it’s a lot of old school Hip-Hop heads. I was asked to be a part of the organization about a year and a half ago and of course I joined. They do a lot of community things. There’s a lot of old school emcees and graffiti writers, producers, DJs, and they got together to start doing different things for the community.

So through that, there’s a homie Kaiser, he’s an old graffiti writer and he hit me up one day. He’s like “yo! Can you rap in Spanish?” I was like, ‘yeah, I don’t really rap in Spanish but I can speak Spanish and I’ve tried to write a couple raps in Spanish just messing around to see what comes from it’. I never took it serious but I knew I could do it. He’s like ‘okay, word. Cause my homie Grav needs to do some work for WWE. And I was like ‘Grav? Gravity?’ And he was like ‘yeah, MC Gravity’.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Gravity but he’s from New York. He was the first dude that really brought a lot of Hip-Hop here to Chicago because he moved over here and he worked with the Beatnuts, Common back in the day. He had a record on Common’s old record label that Common was signed to. So, I was like excited because I was going to work with Grav and thought it was dope. I reached out to Grav and he told me he needed someone to rap in Spanish for some wrestler. And I was like “stop playin’!” This was like a dream come true. So I hit him up and hit up the studio.

It took us like two weeks in and out because that whole game is really weird man. They hear it, they like it, they sit on it because they’re soaking it in then an hour later they need changes to this and that and they need it in two hours. I thought it was crazy but I went back to the studio, add this, add that, they hear it again and might need another change. It’s got to be perfect. It’s for a multi-billion dollar company.

So I did it, man. It was for a wrestler and it was in Spanish. I honestly forgot the guy’s name. He was like a guy that was coming up and was the dude that was nothing at the time. What did was his new theme song that was going to be new, that was going to be him being the man. He would go from the dude that’s getting beat up all the time by everybody and now he’s the man. So that’s the kind of intro I made for him. That was his image. He was getting beat up and now he’s the man and he’s going to try and be the champion. That’s the type of song I made for him and they liked it. That was a fun experience.

Talk to us about advocacy, why is it important for the community of Chicago to become engaged and empower?

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Well, I mean… If you’re not involved in where you are you’re not gonna have any power. How could you complain or think things are going to change or think things are going to go your way if all you are doing is sitting around or just doing things around the city but you’re not really making a difference on where you’re from. A lot of people don’t have the personality where they can be involved and that’s fine, but if you’re going to complain or you want to make a difference or you feel like you want power or you want to be a part of a movement then you got to jump in that movement. You got to ride the movement and sometimes you gotta be the one leading the movement. That’s just how it goes. You can’t sit around and complain and want something but not work for it. It doesn’t make any sense.

What is Hello HipHop? How did Hello HipHop come about?

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Hello HipHop started from an idea for a mixtaoe I had. I just liked the ring of it. It sounded dope. Hello HipHop! It just sounded real ill to me. So I though, you know… I’ma do a mixtape and I’m gonna grab a bunch of old school joints that people are really familiar with or maybe not so familiar with and I’ma flip ‘em and just do my songs over them. So I did that mixtape and dropped it. Then about a month after dropping the mixtape somebody presented me the opportunity to do a weekly night at Subterranean. So I thought, okay, dope, I’ll do it. I just told them what they wanted to do with it and I was doing showcases. Nobody was really was doing that. They had an open mic, a legendary open mic on Tuesdays but I really wanted to do showcases. I wanted to do something a little bit more organized and get artists to do actual sets. I needed to come up with a name and I was like Hello HipHop because it’s introducing people to artists and it’s HipHop.

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It just snowballed and now I do artists consulting, public relations, marketing, and artist management. Everything after you put out a record and you have no idea what to do with it, we handle that. We handle everything that deals with the business and with getting your name known and being out there. That’s what we do. We do competitions, showcases, we give away music videos, beats, studio time, everything. Pretty much what it became was something that grows the culture, and teaches the culture to artists that might not be as familiar with it but they want to rap. It teaches them the business most importantly. A lot of cats don’t know. They want to be in the business but they have no idea about it. So that’s what Hello HipHop means to me.

For those that do not know, what is Protect Your Essence? How has it helped other artists in the Chicagoland area?

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So Protect Your Essence is a baby of Hello HipHop. Like I just mentioned, those are the competitions we do, they’re called Protect Your Essence and the reason for the name is that’s exactly what I want to give the artists. I’m trying to have them realize that everything they own, they posses, their ideas and thoughts that they want to manifest, they have to take care of them. They have to protect them.

There’s people that want to become a part of that, either other artist that take ideas or corporate people that want to be a part of that. It’s just like, take care of that. Know the rules, know the business, and know how to take care of it. Know how to approach the game. What we do is, we do these competitions.

We have sixteen artists, they get into the competition, and it’s song for song. So they go through rounds, they get eliminated. After the first round we eliminate half of them. At the very end we got three winners, a grand prize, runner up, and a third place. We give away music videos, beats, and beats from artists that have major placements. My guy Ill Brown most recently just gave away some beats. He has beats with Bun B, Dom Kennedy, Freddie Gibbs; he’s one of Freddie Gibb’s main producers, bunch of cats. My guy, Loose Cannon, that’s on my label. Studio time from Miller Street Studios, a music video that I have directed. I’ve directed a couple videos for winners that won previously. I directed the videos with my guy Herson from HH Rep, he shoots them. So that’s what we do.

Like I said, there’s a lot of people tat complain about there not being an industry or there’s only certain industries for certain artists. They think that things are unique to only certain people and I don’t believe that. It’s who you know, who you contact, who you make relationships and connections with, and who really cares about what you’re doing. Some people feel like they’re dope or they’re good at what they do and they deserve the world, but that’s not the way life works. That’s not the way anything works. Nothing works like that. You don’t get things because you’re the best. Nobody does. Nobody gets anything because they are the best. Everybody gets things because they are the best and because they work for them or they just worked for it. They might not even be the best. That’s what I’m trying to do with Protect Your Essence, is teach artists that.

Talk to me about your past projects, how has your sound been evolving?

So, when I first started it was real dirty and that was actually the name of my first project was “Dirty” because I was a 19 year old kid that was a dirty, grimy, kid from Chicago. Damn near owned the streets, was broke, hungry, and didn’t have much direction and didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to rap and I wanted to put something out. So I did. It was a grimy sound it was hardcore. I spoke on the way I was living back then and from then as I grew as a person and as a man my music grew. I started to talk about different things and have a different perspective on things. That’s mainly as far as the actual concepts and ideas and messages, that’s how the change came about. Then as I grew with the music I started to want different sounds.

I wanted to reach more people so I want to say about 2-3 years ago when I put out my old projects I realized I wanted to reach more people. I didn’t want to reach just a HipHop crowd but I still didn’t want to lose the essence and roots of HipHop but I wanted to reach more people. I just stated to deal with new producers and I started to actually get involved with production. I started producing a few years ago. I don’t make beats, I don’t touch any machines, I don’t hit any pads, I don’t work with software or hardware but I’ve produced a lot of the records I’ve been on. I come up with the ideas, I arrange the songs, a lot of the concepts are mine as for as the sounds being used and samples or voices or scratches, whatever it may be. That’s really been the growth of it in getting more involved and wanting to reach more people.

You’ve dropped a few singles leading up to the project give me a few words in describing those singles.

“Watch What The Devil Gets”:

Watch What The Devil Gets, man… It’s a spiritual song. It’s basically about our battles with our selves sometimes and our battles with the world. Most recently through everything I’ve been doing, which is weird because it’s positive and it’s progressive, but I’ve got a lot of negative energy because of it. I guess some people just don’t like to see growth, and that’s the devil to me. I’m not a very religious person but when you’re making music and creating art you want to reach people so I wanted the general public that understands the general concept of god and the devil, which is a basic concept, to feel that song. So that’s basically what I’m talking about, when you got people trying to hold you down, pull you down, knock you down from doing something good. What else could it be? If you’re doing good and they’re doing bad, it’s god versus the devil. So that’s exactly what that song is, man. It’s to spite that.

“You”:

This is more almost kind of like that concept but it’s more specific to people, to a person. It’s the battle emcee in me. I wanted to talk to everybody that feels that they could have whet I have and not work for it, or they could have what I have because they feel I should give it to them or share with them without being a friend or an ally or a supporter. Some people think they get up and are like ‘I want what is his’. It doesn’t work like that, and I want to let them know that I’m a peaceful guy, I’m a humble guy, but I’m not a punk. That’s basically what “YOU” is. It’s the ‘sit down, I’m doing better than you, I’m working harder than you, I’m a better person than you’, and it’s ugly to hear it but this is the facts of life. It was just hard. It was mean. That’s what “YOU” is, it’s mean and a lot of people love it. They were like ‘man, that was mean’.

“The Dream Is Free”:

I love it. The Dream Is Free was the last one I dropped featuring my good friend and one of my mentors Juice. The concept I got was I took KRS’s hook from “The Pea Is Free”, which is an old school KRS track and I just flipped the words around and brought my own concept to it. His hook was “the pea is free, but the crack cost money”. Talking about ‘the pea’ (women), the pea in women is free but the crack cost money. It’s pretty much the same concept I’m using. He was more in your face, ‘ohh damn, widdit’. It’s basically, my track is talking about how you could be like ’man that’s a nice restaurant, I want to eat in there’ but you gotta pay for the meal, bro. How do you pay for the meal? You get yourself a job. How do you get a job? You go to school, or work hard, or learn a trade, or learn, meet the right people, get involved. Make it happen. That’s what the whole concept is about. You gotta do the work. You could even be really smart but if you don’t do the work and apply that knowledge, what are you going to get? You’re going to be a smart guy that’s like ‘I’m smart but I’m broke’.

That’s the thing I learned in my life, man. I’ve been homeless; I’ve starved, for days, literally. I always learned that if I’m not moving I’m not working. If I’m not doing the right things in my life then I’ma have a hard time, and I’ve had a hard time when I wasn’t doing that stuff. So that’s what The Dream Is Free is about. Wake up, stop playing around, don’t dream, and make plans.

Supreme Science is your next project. When I first heard it I immediately thought of Frankenstein for some reason. What is Supreme Science and what is the concept behind that project?

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Supreme Science is all about Frankenstein (laughs)… Nah, Supreme Science is basically, let’s break down the two words. Supreme, being the highest level, upper echelon of anything. Supreme, almost godly. Science is the study or the actual research of the living, information, or surroundings or nature around us. Just learning it, living it, being it, and learning from it and adapting to it and shaping it.

So that’s the whole concept. The highest form of learning, embracing, the highest form of being us, of being you and being me, and the highest form of sharing that. The highest form of giving your energy to people. That’s what I want people to get from this project. If you listen to every song the way I intended for you to listen to it, you’re going to appreciate it, at the very least. Even if you’re not into the sounds or the style or whatever it may be. See, this record aint about that to me. Some people like to critique that his lyrics were this, this beat was that. That’s fine if you want to do that. It’s fine but to me it’s all about the energy with this record.

It’s more about the messages, the energy, and the concepts I’m trying to bring to people in general, man. If we’re not out here interacting with each other, if we’re not out here treated each other decent then we’re going to fall a part. We see it now. We’re seeing it. We’re definitely seeing it. This is the medicine to Chiraq. This is the medicine to everybody getting killed because it’s nice out. This is the medicine to all the BS politics. This is the medicine to police beat-downs for beating up people for no reason because they don’t understand the system. This is the medicine to all of that. This is what Supreme Science is to me. It’s that medicine.

What has distinguished this project from your older body of work?

This is a shorter project. It’s a smaller project so I think it’s more concentrated than previous work I’ve done. I had the tendency to have super long projects. My first album had 18 songs on it. I’m a workhorse, man. My mind moves constantly because I have a thousand ideas and I wanted to not do that to the listeners. I wanted to take it easy, lay back for a little bit and give everybody something different and a little bit more concentrated and focused on the concept. That’s the biggest difference. As far as messages go it’s pretty much what I been on for a few years now.

What are some surprises of the project? How will this project be one of Chicago Hip-Hop’s breakout albums of the year?

I think in terms of surprises it’s the whole concept of the album. It’s all about energy. It’s all about embracing who you are as a person and people and giving that back and that’s what I think people will be surprised about. A lot of the music I made, those concepts re there but this one’s the most concentrated on that. And as you listen to every song, I think something that you’ll get is you’ll either feel good about something or you’ll feel powerful about something and I think that’s the best surprise. It’ll start getting folks to say ‘I didn’t feel good about who I am or people’, until listening to this music.

What do you hope folks will be able to take away from this project?

Greatness. Straight greatness. Like I said, if you don’t feel good, or powerful, or better about yourself or your homies, or your people or better about our situations. Like I said, throughout all the negative media, negative about the killings, everything that’s going on in the city of Chicago and the world period. If you don’t feel better after listening to this, then I don’t know what I could possibly do besides running into the White House and spazzing out. That’s the next move I could make besides giving you this music. Like, that would be the most extreme thing I could do is taking over the world. The music is the most I could give you that, that medicine, that fight against the BS.

You have a listening party coming up for the release of the party, what will people be able to take away from this event?

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My expectations for that night man, is to give everyone a dope vibe. It’s at an art gallery so that one right there is going to give you a different vibe than a regular Hip-Hop show or house party, where someone is rapping at a concert. It’s at an art gallery so it’s going to be intimate and is going to be very different in terms of the vibe. The energy going to be good, man… I got a couple things planned as far as the way that we are going to present the show. There’s a couple different things we’re doing. The artists I have performing are myself, and the artists that are on the project which are 773, they’re a soul and R&B group from Chicago that did some background vocals on the project. They’ll be performing. Juice will be there. Loose Cannon is doing a beat showcase so it’s just everyone that is on the project.

What we want to do is give everyone the feel of the record, the whole project. I just want everyone that goes there the atmosphere. It’s really about that because I have a lot of people coming out that either don’t normally come to my shows or haven’t been to any of my shows in a minute because I don’t really normally perform in Chicago much. It’s been a while… I’ve been in and out of town so I’m just looking forward to the great energy. That’s really what I think people will get on that night.

Ultimately, when it is all said and done, what will be the legacy of Cesar “Visual” Zamudio? What will people remember you as?

I mean, honestly… I really don’t know what they’ll remember me as but I would hope that it would be something good. Something great, to be honest with you. I used to be afraid of what I could become or what I could do because I knew I was going to be someone that would do a lot. I knew that it was going to be heavy for myself and for everyone around me but luckily these last couple of years I got people around me that understand that. They understand that, they understand what it is and my responsibility that I just have a crazy life in general. That’s what I want people to know and understand about me.

I would hope that at the end of the day they are looking back and are like
‘wow, he had a lot on his shoulders and he was able to give’. That’s what I
really want people to take away is that I’ giving. I want to give and that’s
what I hope people understand because have a to to give and honestly it might
sound funny but, if I don’t give I don’t know what I’d do because I have too
much in me. There’s too much going on in my mind, in my heart, and my
energy that I need to give it out. I need to give it out. I also need people to
help spread it out. That’s ultimately what I need people to get. That I gave
and have to my people whether it be other minorities struggling or to Hip-
Hop culture or open minded people in general, to visionaries, idealists,
anyone like that. Those are my people. Anyone that sees what I’m about
and that’s from a different walk of life that understands what I do.

I just don’t want to be gone one day and for people to say ‘he was a dope rapper and I remember his lyrics and he had some bars’. I don’t care about bars, man… I really don’t. Because I can out-rap some cats but I don’t want to do that anymore. I did that already. I paid my rent battling. I fed myself battling. I used to get beats because I battled. Now I don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. It’s not about that to me anymore. It’s about leaving some actual change and difference. It’s about bridging the gaps between a Lil Durk, a Chief Keef, and a Chance, and a Treated Crew, and an underground cat that no one knows of, and some dude at Sub-T at the open mics, and a Common and Kanye. I want to bridge those gaps. I want to bridge all that because we’re all human beings and I just happen to make music and rap that doesn’t mean that’s us. That’s not me all day. I’m a lot more than that and that’s what I want people to get.

Supreme Sciences drops July 29th via Community Service Records. Visual is also touring the country throughout the end of August. 

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M. Stacks Interview with Gowhere Hip Hop

Ah yes! A lovely visit from producer M.Stacks to the Chi. Luckily, we both made time to linger around the city and have a sit down before his show with Boldy James. The weather was in perfect form to talk about the music industry (sunny and windy, of course).

During our casual interview after breakfast, we talked about the big name artists he produces for. These artists include Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Curren$y, Mac Miller, Naledge, Chicago’s very own GLC and many more. What an lifestyle that is. Being able to work for so many talented rappers must be ridiculous. I would say that’s pretty awesome! M. Stacks also talks about starting young, social media, his big influence (you’ll never guess), and more.

His upcoming work of art #CONNECTEDEVERYWHERE2 is being released on July 13th! It includes plenty of your favorite artists, no need to worry. Keep a look out for it. It’s going to be crazy.

Special thanks to Mr. Brown for linking us up and Govia Radio for the camera work!

Enjoy the interview, friends! And don’t forget…Gowhere You Love.

Featured Interview: 18 year old Eli Saf

As I have been writing and doing a lot of things for GWHH it has opened many doors and created a lot of new opportunity for myself and people who have came around me. For a few months now I have been managing 18 year old Bronx rapper Eli Saf. Eli has a very new sound to hip hop and creates his own sound while feeding off old inspiration. Eli is very knowledgable on the game and is also a blog writer as well. He has been featured on many of the blogs that are out there and has even been on some majors, so about a month and a half after he released his project “Kid” it was time to start getting out some interviews. Check out Eli’s Story.

What’s up Eli, tell us who you are and where you are from?

The almighty Sam, whats up? Well, I’m an 18 year old (soon to be 19) pimp from Florida. I’m the youngest of them out here. I got what you need son. Nah but in reality I’m just Eli Saf, an artist that does basically everything. I’ve been to a lot of places but I consider myself to be from New York City since all my family is there. NOT Brooklyn, NOT Harlem, NOT Queens, & NOT SI. NONE of that, THE BRONX is where I’m from but yeah NYC.

Give a little insight on what your music stands for and what kind of sound it has.

My dad describes it as drowsy, slow, depressing but I like it. I like my music dark & I make sure it hits well. Drums are the most important part of the beat to me so yeah. Rashaun helps a lot with the production & ideas so he could be considered my 40 or Young Chop. I’ve heard a lot of people say it sounds like I mix the past with what I’m creating. My music is just me being honest. I just want people to relate to the facts of my life b.

Recently dropping your latest project “Kid” producing most of the project yourself, tell us the inspiration behind the project.

The project was dedicated to my uncle who passed in January & my father. My uncle use to call me Kid. Honestly song for song, the first being “Kid” was about a mixture of things like family, my problems, & a transition in my life. “You & I” was about this party I went to with this girl I wanted to mess around with & it ended up happening so I got inspired! The City was about how Rashaun (one of the producers for the project & one of my best friends) & I got stuck in Philly plus the school shit. “Lowkey” was just me talking shit with Ryshon Jones. All I Need, with my homie Ope was about a night out with my high school crush & some friends…. ohhhh so close. Love You Kid, was about my uncle Dennis who passed & swear without him I wouldn’t have had all this success so far. Luv, (LOL) is about my ex, Hannah & the girls I messed with after we ended. Diploma, is about high school & I barely graduated b. Revenge, the first song I made was out of pure anger. Last Young Kingz, originally had verses on it but I didn’t like it so I put some inspiring Jay-Z interview on the Vince Scxtt beat.

All in all it was an update of my life!

How does your family react to your musical career?

They’re supportive. My dad SWEARS I don’t do anything though. Like he REALLY wants me to make money. I’ll listen to him one day soon though. Other then that they never really understand my accomplishments & why I get so hype. They should of told me I was trash when I first started but I love them.

Is producing and rapping the only things you do regarding music? If no, explain what else you are involved in.

Lowkey I wish it was sometimes. Rashaun & I mix our own stuff too. I own a site called internetkillsradio.com & I write for Bluntiq.com, its pretty cool sometimes. I do press releases here & there for artist since I have this god like email list. Other then that I HATE the blog game sometimes. Some of these writers think they’re gods.

Explain your thoughts and opinion on the current state of Hip Hop, and where do you see the hip hop culture in the next 10 years.

Sheesh, to me New York lost its touch & New York hasn’t realized its not the center of Hip Hop anymore. I think Hip Hop has become a place of scheming since the internet helped to create that. Labels will come back I think, but new rules will be regulated just like Youtube taking down all indie artist. It’s a shame, but the internet is the future undoubtedly.

Do you feel like within those 10 years your sound will open up a lot of doors for people to seek new opportunity?

I’m hoping earlier! I think it will though.

How do you keep momentum going while finding new and different ways to keep things going, aside from putting out music?

Life happens & as long as I continue to grow, the momentum will continue. My family, boys, & everyday issues contribute to myself wanting more.

What are some of your musical inspirations, such as producers, rappers, videographers, or anything regarding music?

I’m going to say my dad has big part because we’re total opposites. My mom use to play 90’s or throwback songs so I got a lot from that. My friend Devante helped to direct a sound for me. Rashaun inspires me sometimes along with W!LL & D’Andre aka D’Andre The Bitch. Kanye, Drake, Childish Gambino, Jay, Nas, same old as everyone else. To be honest Wiz Khalifa helped me to start rapping.

Without sounding cliché, what do you see being your next move? Or what is the next thing you would like to make happen?

I want a video on MTV but unfortunately the only person I know with that connect is charging $2500 so fuck it. I’ll leave it up to the people & let it happen. I just want my team & I to do numbers. That means new fans, & bigger releases. We’re launching something special this summer though. Other then that the Winter is known to be a good time for me music wise so Rashaun basically motivated me to aim for “The Winter Vol.3” to drop in 2015. All 3 tapes show my progression from 2010 – 2015, it’s crazy how far we’ve come.

Also check out Eli’s recent project “Kid”

@IamSammy_D

@TWOCUPELI