First of all I’d like to thank you for giving this opportunity to interview you. It means a lot to us and our readers.
-Not a problem, thanks for having me.
To start out the interview, could you give us a little introduction for those that don’t know? What you do, your name, where you’re from, etc.
-What up, I'm Add-2 of the mighty Rascals crew. I'm a writer, college graduate and proud emcee and I was born and raised on the southside Chicago.
How does it feel to come out of a city with such extreme Hip Hop competition? Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Common, Kidz in the Hall, The Cool Kids (just to name a few) are all from the city of Chicago like yourself. Does that intimidate you in any way? Why or why not?
-It feels good because all of those artist make great groundbreaking music and they have paved the way for chicago artists like myself. I look up to Common, Kanye and Lupe and Kidz In The Hall gave me my first opportunity to be in a video so I don't look at it as I have to compete with these artist. Its not really intimidating because I'm not trying to be better than anyone, I just want to be the best songwriter I can be and give my fans what they want out of me. Plus it would be hard to really compete with someone like Kanye his music is lightyears ahead of alot of peoples stuff.
Who/what are some of your inspirations as an emcee?
-I've always been a Jay-z fan, I listen to alot of Nas, Common, Kanye, John Coltrane, Bone Thugs, Outkast, Stevie Wonder, alot of old school r&b just a wide variety of music. But as an emcee I love to hear other people who are lyrically inclined, that inspires me to continue creating new stuff.
When did you first get into Hip Hop?
-When I heard Kris Kross, when I heard 'Jump' and 'I Missed The Bus' I was converted over haha. I started watching videos, listening to the radio and repeating every rap verse I liked while I walked to school when I was younger. My friend used to tell me to freestyle and we would rap and make up songs on the bus to other people schools, in the locker rooms, hallways, lunchrooms, you name it. And people started telling me I was pretty good so I just started writing verses and the verses turned to songs.
So I’ve read in your blogs that you are trying to help bring back/support real Hip Hop. What do you consider real Hip Hop?
-The older I get, the harder it becomes to define. But to me, real hip hop music is music with passion, purpose and soul. Minus the money, the glitz,, lies, the gimmicks and all that other bullshit. Music that motivates people or gives them a real feeling. Hip Hop has become so big that people see it as a way to make money instead of something you want to do because you love it. But as long as its done out of love for the music then its real. We can debate on wack music all day though
In addition to emceeing, do you produce your own music as well, or do you have a producer/DJ?
-I wish I could produce haha, I tried once and it sounded like sewer music, nothing like how I imagined it. I have a few producers who usually help craft my sound like Slot-A, Jonathan P, Yung Poppi, High Caliba, Aaron, Keeynote, Jaguar Skills and some others. All of them have talent beyond their years and they have a real good ear for music.
So I know you just came out with you’re newest mixtape Tale of Two’s City Vol. 2 (which is very dope by the way), along with that do you have any plans to release an official LP or maybe an EP in the near future?
-I'm planning on doing possibly both. I have a project I'm working on called 'The Rise & Fall' and a collaboration album with my fellow Rascal Slot-A. Probably more projects if I get enough free time, I want to do a concept EP doing something real creative but thats all in the future.
Not to go off topic or anything haha, but what are your political views as of now? Obama or McCain?
-Man I'm going with Obama, I watch MSNBC, CNN occassionally FOX and McCain's campaign since the nomination has been focused on discrediting Obama and avoiding the real issues. He's been in senate for years and most of those years he hasnt done anything significant. I like what Obama stands for and his ability to bring people together is a blessing. So my vote is going to Obama cause the Republicans messed it up beyond bad. Either way whoever wins will have their hands full and will need two terms to balance things out. More power to brother Barack for doing what he's trying to do.
For my final question, I would like to get the story behind your emcee name Add-2. What influenced you to give yourself that name?
-In high school I started picking out rap names and alot of them were so corny I wouldnt dare embarass myself and say. But I took my initials and the order I was born and came up with Add-2. My father always told me 'Whatever you have, never take away from it, just add to it and build on it' and I had alot of coincidences with the number two as well as I had surgery when I was really young that I could of died from so it was also like my 2nd chance at life. Even alot of people think with a name like that I should be good at math but its just the opposite.
To close the interview I’d like to thank you once again for doing this with me, I greatly appreciate it. Do you have any last words for our readers?
-Download The Tale Of Two's City Vol.2, its 21 tracks of good hip hop music and music period. You won't be disappointed. Hit me up at www.myspace.com/add2
You heard the man! Download the tape if you don't already have it! Support good music!
Thank you to Add-2 once again for making this possible. Look out for Add-2 in the future!