“I spit raw and I spit real. Real meaning true, also real as in pure and technical craftsmanship and artistry.”
Check out the interview with Black Jewelz exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Black Jewelz: I’ve been writing raps since 1996, making beats and writing poetry since about 2000. As a performer I began spitting at open mics, on street blocks, even at the Apollo Theater. I was too broke to afford studio time or equipment, so I just kept writing acappellas. I became known for a sharp and fierce style that was like a hybrid of hardcore rap and poetry. Over time it brought me tremendous respect and local fame among poetry and rap fans.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
My advice for them can be summarized in three main points: learn the history, respect the craft and perfect your craft, and do it for the love and not the fame.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
The hardest challenge in my position is finances, as well as the dumbing down of hip hop. I am a true indie artist. Not the kind with hundreds of thousands of dollars given to him in support. The dumbing down of hip hop. Do I even need to explain this? I spit raw and I spit real. Real meaning true, also real as in pure and technical craftsmanship and artistry.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
The best way to promote your music is to have a lot of supporters who will tell other people about you and have lots and lots of money. That’s reality. You know the saying “I have to see it to believe it?” People need to see you to believe they want to see you. That takes promotion and advertisement which takes money.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
New Haven, the best rappers I’ve ever personally known, male and female, are from New Haven. The only platform that is often available are open mics which have dwindled in number and frequency. As far as fandom, it’s not too serious where I’m from. Since I’ve been putting out music in the last few years the embrace has not been very substantial, to be 100.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I see myself firmly established as a renowned emcee. One with enough money to not only survive but thrive while making a significant difference in people’s lives.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My biggest inspirations coming up were 2pac, Slim Shady, Lauryn Hill, and Nasty Nas. Later it was Mr. J Medeiros (The Procussions), Theory Hazit, Shai Linne, and Timothy Brindle. Today, I look up to absolutely no rappers in the game. Outside of rap it’s Bassnectar, Florence & the Machine, Gungor & Phantogram. My biggest inspiration in life is Jesus Christ.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
Speaking in regards to mainstream rap, no. I do not like it. Most of it is trash. The rest is overrated. Underground scene is straight. Nothing really classic or amazing anymore. Closest to amazing lyricism I’ve heard is Elzhi’s last album.
Where can we contact you and find you online?
Official website: www.theblackjewelz.com