Rommel: Listening to eminem growing up and using music to release my stresses of life @ICESQUADRAP
Live interview September 14 at 6:40pm et
Episode #360 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/09/14/episode-360-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW ICESQUAD
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Rommel Tha Youngsta
Popp Da Rippa
Rommel: Listening to eminem growing up and using music to release my stresses of life
Popp: I started off as a young kid in elementary School writing poetry
and competing in speech contests. During the birth of Hip Hop I was intrigued at how the rappers would match catch lyrics with beats and I fell in love with that concept. I strongly admired old school rappers like KRS1, LL Cool J, Run DMC, and The Beastie Boys. The first rap song I ever memorized word for word was I need Love by LL Cool J. Once I knew that song by heart I knew I wanted to be a rapper and have been rapping ever since.
Blaze: High school rapping in the hallways then performing at local churches
Blaze: Vibin gives you a glimpse into the “day in the life” of each artist.
For me, my verse takes you thru a bit of my past when I was drinking heavy, smoking weed daily & just basically
living life on the edge. Then it takes you current tense where I’m training/teaching fitness classes & just overall more health conscious.
Rommel: It was written about what we do throughout the week.
It has a funny twist too because I am no longer working and taking go backs at work and neither are they piling.
Popp: Well VIBIN came together by the group having a concept
of wanting to make a fun record that did not focus on stereotypes of typical rappers. (Cars, Money, Women, Flash etc) We wanted to show that we were just three regular guys with somewhat regular lives who just love to make music together and have fun doing it. We wanted it to be positive and take the audience on a brief journey through a typical week in the lives of each group member told by each member directly explaining how they “VIBE” Monday through Sunday.
Blaze: I had a little of a challenging time writing to Vibin
as its not similar to the typical hiphop or Eastcoast style beat I usually like. One thing for sure tho, when we were recording Vibin I knew it was gonna be big. Wasn’t sure how big but it definitely had “single” written all over it.
Rommel: A collection of different sounds, melodies, and flows.
There’s something for everyone on Metamorphosis, that’s the reason for the change coming in the game.
iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/metamorphosis/id1132307088
Google Play Link: https://play.google.com/store/music/album…
Popp: Our debut Album Metamorphosis released on July 1
and it is a melting pot of Hype and Smooth beats mixed with catch and purposeful lyrics from each group member, There issomething on the album for any and everyone. The subject matter and concepts are all different and diverse touching on a mixture of topics from how we party to social Injustice and relationships. All delivered with banging heart pumping energy. We keep you out of your seat from the beginning to the end of the Album which was all intentional.
Blaze: Our album I feel is so needed in the game.
Not to sound cocky but it’s no secret that many hiphop enthusiasts haven’t been particularly happy with the current state of rap music. In our album you’re hear well thought out lyrics as well as purpose. Every song has a distinct theme. Even the order of the artists verses are strategically mapped on each song. Rather than just slapped together. The album brings hype vibes, moments you wanna dance, yell and even reminisce with us. Production is uptempo and in many cases hard hitting no matter what the subject matter is about. I think wanna will dig this album, as a hiphop fan. It’s definitely something different in this current age of music.
Rommel: Miami, the music scene down is at a turn around it seems now.
Artist in Miami are working more together instead of against each other. Wynwood, South Beach, Las Olas, and Key West are the places to be.
Popp: We live in the Miami Gardens – Miramar Area.
The music scene is slowly catching more and more traction with a lot of up and coming acts. Cafe Iguanas and Grand Cafe are the top spots for Hip Hop in that area right now.
Blaze: I live in Miami.
Trap music is primarily what I hear down here with a few exceptions here and there. For places to go of course you have South Beach. Downtown Ft Laud has also become a party area as well. I’m more low key though.
Rommel: The music business is what you make it in my opinion.
It’s either stand in what you are and believe in or fall for anything. Politics of the game, right.
Popp: In my opinion the music business has unfortunately become all business
and less love for the music. The industry is becoming more and more driven by greed rather than the love of the
Craft and discovering great talent primarily when it comes to hip hop . Everything is just dollars and cents now Quantity over Quality. Thats why the industry is so over saturated with Artist in the Hip Hop Genre who are sub par compared to the rappers who paved the way because there is no longer a standard to follow or keep in Hip Hop like it was in the golden era of the genre. Beats have become more important than Lyrics and Swag has become more important thanSubstance….but ICESQUAD is here to change all of that.
Blaze: The music business I feel has a lot of myths. Many artists and fans don’t know the business.
Nowadays “links” will put almost anybody on for a check. It’s lost some integrity and art I think over the years. Music business is just as important as talent if not more. So we keep hustling.
1. The energy when icesquad hits the stage
2. Working with Blaze, Pop, and our Amazing team.
3. Being able to do what I love freely which is make music and Impact lives in a meaningful way at the same time.
1. People selling dreams
2.The ons and offs of things, you can’t hold artists like us back cause once icesquad Is in your area, it’s lit.
3. New artists are always being hustled
Popp: The Pros is the ability to be independent
and still build a worldwide fan base without a major label due to various internet platforms and social media that is right at our fingertips.The Cons are that it is very difficult in a lot of regions to get an independent record in rotation on Mainstream FM Radio stations without a major record label.
Blaze: Pros: Many opportunities in Miami.
There’s always an event happening. Lots of music moguls, celebrities do business here so it’s just breaking in that circle. Cons: It’s a lil over saturated as everybody is doing music. Not all the opportunities are good so you gotta decipher what’s really beneficial and what’s just a scheme.
Rommel: Singles help boost album sales.
They’re tease to the product to come. 1-2 singles are sufficient with consistent promotion to grab
Attention over the media airways.
Popp: I thing releasing A couple singles first is a great idea
because it gives you a chance to feel out your audience with your sound before you give them too much. Singles help you gave the potential of the album once it’s released. Albums should be the icing on the cake and is a very important tool to lock in your fan base and show your diversity and staying power. Anyone can make at least 1 hit song but not many people can make a hit album! We did it the traditional way we dropped a couple singles followed by accompanying music videos and a bonus music video from a record on the album. Then after the album dropped we dropped another video for a record on the album. The key is to always give constant visuals that keep the buzz of the album going. That will cause people to have your brand stuck in there head and eventually will lead to sales.
Blaze: Singles are a very useful tool to promote yourself and a upcoming album.
What can differ from album to single is sometimes the singles may be geared towards trends or what’s commercial to appeal to more people. Albums however usually get deeper with more personal content.
Rommel: Easier to share music, promote it, and connect to others,
no more persistent calls or running around town for someone. It’s all the tip of your finger.
Popp: Social Media is one of the most powerful tools any artist can use to promote.
It gives you access to your fans any were in the world at the same time. Your fans can keep up with everything your doing with just a couple taps on there screen and here your music on demand. Greatest marketing tool ever created!
Blaze: Social is a double edged sword as some people say.
If used right it’s definitely beneficial.Artists can promote on a widely used platform for free. This is awesome and I use my social for mainly promotion. It’s helped with the music along with other businesses I’ve been involved in.
Rommel: Yes, there is way too much emphasis on being current
and trendy, because if are not riding the wave then they don’t consider you of anything “good” or you aren’t bringing anything to the Industry.Just mumble to get the deal is what it seems like.
Popp: At this point in Hip Hop there is defiantly much emphasis
on following trends but that’s what makes ICESQUAD so unique because we are anti trend and are paving our own path with everything we do musically and image wise.
Blaze: For sure its a lot of emphasis on trends
and what’s getting the most attention right now. Many artists both newbies and veterans will change their flow, their message just to be current.At ICESQUAD we’re much more focused on purpose. Yes, we stay current with certain styles and slang but it doesn’t overshadow the art form. We love hip-hop and using it to positive effect
individuals is awesome.
Popp: By staying positive and constantly reminding myself
that this is bigger than music. It is bigger than any struggle or any challenge. We are setting a new example for Society, The Music Industry, The youth and all the young artists who will come after us and want to follow in our footsteps. That alone is worth going through the struggles to reach the top.
Blaze: We all struggle.
As for me, you gotta have good people around you. That definitely helps to keep me grounded and focused. I also use my music as release. Sometimes through freestyles after a rough day or even songs. I’m also a big advocate of books. Reading has helped motivate me and redirect my paths many times.
Rommel: I turn my struggles into triumphs by never stopping.
Consistency is key, right along with diligence. The moment when you feel it all crashing down is when you need to push through. Pain is just weakness leaving the mind and body.
Popp: I don’t worry about who or whats popping.
I focus on being the best me I can be and just being awesome at that. Creating a lane all my own that can not be duplicated but only built upon.
Blaze: At the end of the day you gotta love yourself.
You can’t be a long-term people pleaser. You’ll fail. You gotta do you. I enjoy taking risks even if it means stepping outside of common boundaries. I’m passionate about success.
Rommel: I live life on my own terms because I don’t have to justify myself to anyone.
Yes, I am aware of there peoples feelings And thoughts but I do what makes me happy and what’s best for me.
Popp: I would like to have 5min alone with Lauryn Hill just so I can encourage her
and let her know how much she has inspired me over the years by being an artist with integrity and substance in her music. Her image never changed to fit in with everyone else. She has always inspired me to believe that a Hip Hop Artist can be great at what they do and still be a great roll model for the youth. She catches a lot of flack and is sometimes called weird because she is not a follower but she stays true to her values and I really admire that. I would just like to encourage her and let her know that she is greatly appreciated.
Blaze: Too many to name. I admire so many in the music industry.
Some have passed away like MJ, Prince, Tupac. Someone living I’d have to say Diddy. I’d love to hear stories about his hustle and struggles while he was at Howard. The transitions at Uptown Records and the creation of Bad Boy.
Rommel: I would like to have 5 minutes alone with eminem.
I mean….why not. Eminent was my first connection to any form of music that I came in contact with. I grew up listening to him. He talks about his life with intricate bars, unbelievable flows, and touchy beats. He does it all consistently and never ceases to amaze his listeners. That truly is perfecting your craft and owning it to the fullest.
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