“The grind and sacrifice. You have to love this culture and be able to keep going even if the money doesn’t come your way right away.”

Check out the interview with Hard Rain exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Hard Rain:
We formed Hard Rain back in 2009. It was originally a three man crew but now it’s just Ace Dollar and Prez. We both were known in the neighborhood as emcees. We just wanted to combine and make this hip hop music that we love and put Norfolk on the map.

What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
Just being consistent. Putting out good music consistently is the best way to build a fan base, making yourself accessible, utilizing social media, and building your brand.

What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
Obviously everyone wants to become a household name, make a fortune, and blow up. We hope to make hits, do shows, and also write for others.

What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
The grind and sacrifice. You have to love this culture and be able to keep going even if the money doesn’t come your way right away.

What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
It can be hard to stand out in Norfolk, VA. The scene is starting to pick up. Virginia has had producers blow up in hip hop, but we are still waiting on that one mainstream artist/group to represent us. Norfolk is a military town that all of a sudden has a rising crime rate. Although we spit street content, we still hope to reach the youth and show them positivity.

What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Invest in yourself. Invest in your talent. Ask for advice faster than you ask for fiscal favors and stay loyal to your circle.

What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
Just the ability to be able to make this music that we love and seeing the reaction from our city when we perform.

What is your inspiration?
God, our kids, and just knowing that lyricism is on the decline and that we can help bring it back.

Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
Pretty much. The industry is producer driven and lyricism has declined. Anyone can be successful not just in the music industry but in show business in general. You have groupies writing books, mentally challenged people getting booked for shows, and producers are more well-known than artists.

Where can we find you on social media?
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/ace-dollar-2