(Vol. 1 - No. 3)
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A rtist sp o t l ight:
G SWAGGER I step into the studio to sit down with G Swagger to discuss his latest projects and what’s going on with Hip-Hop. To the left of me there’s an old school Ms. Pacman video game and I’m fresh out of quarters. To the right of me there’s a state of the art studio hidden in the suburban cut of Far Rockaway, New York. As we chill out and listen to his latest projects, I’m completely surprised at how nervous he is in the presence of Da Hata. A few spins later he loosens up and I get the chance to learn about him just a little bit more…
Far Rockaway (Queens), New York Age:
Early 24 Shoe Size:
12 without sole 11½ Favorite Snack:
Oatmeal Cookies Musical Influences:
Michael Jackson, Nas and Al Green Sports:
Football and Basketball Favorite Movie:
Belly, Sate Property and Bad Boys Label:
Independent, Fam Click Entertainment
D: What made you decide to start rapping? G: Well two years ago I started taking it seriously, but I’ve been doing it since I was about 14, and you know just me watching what the game is going through and wanting to be a part of it. I came up on the golden era, which was the 90’s. It was just something that I did when I was in high school for recreation, and that I got a really good response from when I was doing it. Everyone gravitated towards me because I could do this, so I was like maybe I should get some money for it. I decided to make the transition and become a real artist, but if there weren’t any money in it I would still do it for recreation. D: Well I listened to a few of your songs and they sound really polished. They don’t sound like those mixtapes songs. Everything sounds like a finished product that you actually took the time to put it together. It’s not like your putting bullshit out there.
G: Definitely not. I mean you know, I’m just at a trial and error point right now where I’m trying all different types of music. I want to be able to reach everybody. D: Are you signed to a label? G: No. I’m currently independent and I have my own label, Fam Click Entertainment. I’m establishing artists’ right now. D: What’s that on your arm? G: I actually got a tattoo of Fam Click on my arm when I was 17 years old and that’s why it’s so big. I wanted to turn it into something real positive. Now it’s my entertainment company and I’m establishing other artists and I want to sign myself. D: Anybody in particular that you want to sign? G: I got this singer up in Boston called Chemistry, but I just want to establish myself first before I put my focus into someone else. D: Do you like doing collaborations? G: Yeah, I’m not going to say no. It just depends on who it is and if they’re go-
ing to make me go harder than I usually do. I like the essence of competition when we’re making a record, so I love collaborations. I can’t say that I don’t. D: Do you want to be in the room at the same time with other artists when you’re collaborating on a record? G: It makes for a better record I think, but if someone emails me a song and says, “here get on that”, I’m gonna do that too. It just depends on who “that” is. A lot of people might want to hear that person and me together, so I’m just going to give them what they want. D: I’ve heard you on a few songs that had collabos. I even heard one that included Cassie. How did that come to be? G: Well you know…. D: You getting all shy and smiling and shit…What’s that all about? G: That was just a record that I heard and I hopped on it. As soon as I heard it, I heard myself all over it and that’s kind of the lane I’m trying to stay in for a minute.
D: So she doesn’t even know you’re on it? G: Um, I don’t think she does….(laughing). I send it out to her all the time. Cassie holla at me! Let’s make the real remix happen. Puffy’s coming out with all these other remixes and they not sounding good. No hate though. D: What’s with the disclaimer? G: Ah, no hate. I’m with the Designated Hata but I just wanted them to understand that I have a better remix than Puff Daddy’s remix of the “This Must Be Love”. D: What is the Rock Star Society? G: It is a clothing line, a film company, a lifestyle. It means from the Rock to the top basically. We’re from Far Rock and were coming from the Rock and the star signifies the top basically. I’m a model for that clothing line and they’re dropping their second line this summer. We have our own film company that we’re establishing right now and we also just shot my last video “Private Affair”. Basically, we’re just a band of brothers all from Far Rockaway, New York, trying to make it. D: Did you go to school with them? G: I went to school with a few of them. I went to school with my man Rockstar Re-
mix, he’s one of the owners. He actually started it, and I went to school with a couple other guys. For the most part I just ran into these dudes. I came up with them and we’re all going in one direction. We saw each other’s vision, and we decided to band together…yah know. You can’t stop 10-15 of us if we all do, what we do, and perfect it. Definitely, Rock Star Society… yah know! D: I always hear that you’re doing a show. Name some people that you’ve opened for. G: I don’t know if I’ve opened for any major artists but I’ve done some shows with Mickey Factz, Charles Hamilton, dudes like that. You know, I run into these guys all the time. D: Yeaaaaaah Charles. G: Oh you know him?
“Ah, n I’m w Desig Hata b wante to und that I better than Dad
D: No, I don’t know him personally but I watched him get his jawed tapped on the Internet…(laughing) G: Aw man….shout out to Charles Hamilton.
D: He got a couple of songs that I like. G: He shouldn’t do extra shit yah know.
a group project as well so be on the look out for that.
D: I don’t know if he was thinking about those 16 or 12 bars that he got out of his mouth before you know…BOW! G: I mean you know… that’s what happens when you talk reckless.
D: What was it like to film your very own music video? G: I felt like I made it for a second. Like I reached a new point in my career. People took their time to put it together. The moment itself was surreal but it was a good experience. The video was shot in a private loft out in Brooklyn over looking New York City. Everything just came together and it ran real smooth.
no hate. with the gnated but I just ed them derstand have a r remix n Puff ddy’s”
D: So you’ve opened for Mickey Factz, Charles Hamilton, part of XXL’s Top 10 new up and coming list. G: Yeah you know, that’s really it.
D: When you’re on stage it’s really you performing by yourself? G: I work with some other artists by the name of Yung Juggz, Rocstar Remix, and Fly Guy Nyckz. We got a lot of music together so we do a lot of our shows together. We’re kind of like one team and we go hard. D: For the most part you’re an independent artist but you collaborate with them? G: Yeah, I collaborate with them but we are all individual artists. We’re working on
D: You had a team of people really helping you out? G: Yeah, even one of my home girls from the Bronx that I met via MySpace for the very first time came out to help. She heard about what it is we were doing and reached out to Ric Cash, who’s the General Manager for the Rock Star Society. D: Is Ric also your manager? G: No, not for me personally. Just for the whole Rock Star Society movement. D: How long did it take to shoot the video? G: It took two whole days to shoot.
tool, but it’s a small step to something big that’s about to happen.
D: I noticed that “Private Affair” was recently featured as the behind the scenes music for the Wendy Williams Show that was posted up on Mediatakeout.com. How did that happen? G: It was actually a homeboy of mine, Scenario, that filmed that behind the scenes piece. He really liked the song and wanted to film the video, but by the time we finally got the chance to hook up I had already completed it. Scenario works with Charlamagne the God and approached him about placing the song. Scenario called me up and was like, “Yo, how would you feel if we used Private Affair for the background music?”, and I was like, “cool”. D: That was a major move right there. How did you feel seeing this jump from radio and club play to television? G: It felt good. I’m never satisfied so it takes a lot to get me ecstatic. It’s getting noticed and it’s a good marketing
D: So what G Swagger single are you pushing right now? G: I’m fresh off of “Private Affair” right now but I’m going to go with this new single called “Lifestyle”. That’s the one I’m trying to flood out there. D: Who are some of the people that you would like to work with in the industry. G: Well as far as females go I would have to say Jazmine Sullivan or Leela James, and a lot of people are thinking I’m gonna say a rapper but I’m gonna say Justin Timberlake. D: J.T.? G: Yeah, definitely. D: He does have soul. G: Someone of that cloth though, you know. Everybody else is just full competition. I don’t need another rapper. I can tackle another industry with someone from another genre. D: Any producers in particular that you would like to work with? G: Timberland, Pharell, Swiss Beats and the No ID guy that just did the
DOA beat for Jay Z, and the guys from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, I really want to get on one of their joints…they’re the ones that do a lot of the Rick Ross’ beats. Yeah he sounds fresh, he got that new sound. D: So do you have a real strong work ethic? G: Real strong. I mean when I’m in there I’m in there, you know. D: Ladies and gentlemen, I just got to tell you know that G Swagger is sober. He is not high, he is not drunk, he is not tipsy whatsoever. He is completely 100% sober and that is so rare in today’s industry. G: Definitely not. Everybody’s gettin’ high man. Ain’t nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want to do, but that’s just not my thing. D: You don’t need it to be even more creative? G: Nah. It just doesn’t do anything for me to feel like I need it. D: I can respect that. G: In a social environment that’s cool, I’m not knocking anybody.
D: So does that mean you don’t like to be around the smell of weed? G: I actually like the smell. There’s nothing wrong with it, at all. It doesn’t bother me one bit. D: Ladies, in case you didn’t know, G Swagger is a very handsome man. You actually look better in person than you do in pictures. Does everybody tell you that? G : I n p i c t u re s , y e a h . I t h i n k t h a t p e r s o n a l l y. D: I saw your picture and I was like he’s alright, and I then saw the video for “Private Affair” and I was like he’s good looking… but I now that I see you in person I have to say that you’re a lot better looking in person. G: I appreciate you saying that…for real (laughing) D: Yeah, cause you know if you were ugly…(laughing) G: You would have let me know? D: I wouldn’t have even said anything (laughing) G: OK, OK.
D: Are you a boxers or briefs kind of guy? G: Briefs...(signing)…we don’t do that…(laughing)…we don’t do those…(laughing)…I’m a boxers man…definitely!
worry about, everybody’s taken care of Mom’s, Pop’s, cousins, aunts, uncles, the dog, everybody’s taken care of. Where would you go? G: Cuba.
D: So what do you do for fun? G: Hang out with Ms. Sui Generis. Shout out to Sui Generis. I like to hang out with her. That’s my home girl right there.
D: Why Cuba? G: I Googled Cuba actually and they got a couple things going on out there that I like, or maybe even France and the French Rivera. Something like that where I can eat some artichokes, eggplant, drink some Pinot Noir, red wine, things like that…(laughing).
D: For real? I think she’s kind of mean… (laughing)…that’s why I like her! She’s a hater in training…well actually she’s not even in training, she’s running her own little boot camp. G: I also like to play basketball, work out, hang out with my peoples, you know things like that. D: What’s your fantasy vacation? G: Wow. I don’t really like to take vacations. D: Why? G: Just for the fact that I feel like you have to earn one of those. D: You’re a big celebrity, you got money in the bank, no bills to
D: What about the red light district? G: Is that Amsterdam? D: That is Amsterdam. G: No, I mean because all they do out there is smoke weed right? D: What inspires you to write lyrics? G: Life. The day-to-day things that go on, things that bother me, things I’ve
been through, the conditions that I came from and where I’m going with my vision.
D: As long as you get a check! G: As long as that ASCAP check comes in the mail. Holla at me.
D: Does the music have to be playing for you to decide to write or something just happened and you decided to pick up a pad. G: I mean it’s both. If something happens or if something comes to me in my head, I’m gonna write that down and then I can come up with a whole song from just that one line. Or if I’m hearing a beat that I like, right away its just gonna write it for me in my head basically. Beats talk to me. It’s either/or. I mean as far as me just sitting there and trying to, it’s not gonna work, it’s never gonna work for me like that ‘cause it’s not gonna come out the way I want it to come out.
D: Tell me about a moment when someone was hating on you. G: Not too long ago, I met this DJ at a party who was like, “send me this, send me this, send me this”. I talked to him for a whole week and I sent him the songs. I walked into one of the parties that he was doing, and he had no idea that I was coming. I sat there from beginning to end and he never played my record, but he’s been telling people that he’s been playing records for me. So when I ran up on him he was just like, “OH SHIT”. Like he had just seen a ghost ‘cause he ain’t know I was in there. And I was like, “Yo what happened? Why you ain’t play my record?” Since he couldn’t come up with the proper response, I told that nigga that he was hating on me and I was like FUCK IT.
D: Do you ghost write for anybody? G: I can but, no, not right now. But I can, holla at me though. I will write any song that you need me to write. Whatever genre it is.
D: What are you not feeling about the industry? G: I’m not feeling these old niggas that don’t want to pass the torch. I can’t stand them man. Like Jay Z and Busta Rhymes…all these niggas man. Nobody’s Fan™
D: You mean the fact that they keep deciding to come out with the albums? G: Yeah, Yeah…they keep coming man. Like what the fuck? Like give me a break and pass the torch already!!! These niggas don’t want to put nobody out. They just want to keep making records and in New York they keep fucking with all these old niggas. For example they all dick riding Jay Z with that Death of Auto-Tunes track, but I take that Auto-Tune’s shit as an evolution. That’s what the industry’s come to now. I just think Jigga is hating on the evolution of it. Don’t hate on the next nigga if that’s how he gets his money, if that’s how he’s doing it. I could care less because that’s not what I do.
I’m not feeling these old niggas that don’t want to pass the torch. I can’t stand them…they keep coming man. Like what the fuck? Like give me a break and pass the torch already!!!
D: It’s just a program that they’re using right now. You have to know it or probably use it. G: I hate that they don’t want shit to change. That’s what I hate. D: Well if the industry changes they got to change. G: Yeah, absolutely.
To learn more about G Swagger check out his website: www.gswaggermusic.com To purchase the clothes check out: www.therockstarsociety.com
dadesignatedhata.com INTERNET PEOPLE’S BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR NEXT MONTHS ARTIST SPOTLIGHT!
Dana steps into the studio to sit down with G Swagger to discuss his latest projects and what’s going on with Hip-Hop.