You find good music in interesting places sometimes. I’m not much of a forum person and more often than not, if I do hit one up, it’s mastaace.com, The Lawn (of the Justus League) or Philaflava and I’m usually in lurk mode. So one day earlier this year, I was on the lurk and there was a cat on Philaflava that had a post up asking to check his music. I was in an explorative mood that day, so I checked out the free EP he had posted. Low and behold, I really liked it. So I reached out to him about posting it up on the site, which we did. I lost contact with him for awhile, but then he sent me an email last month telling me about his new free mixtape. Dopeness ensued again, so I figured I better ask my man to get up on here for a spotlight, so here he is ladies and gentlemen, my man Solo, repersentin’ all over New York City…..
WYDU: What’s good man, why don’t you kick the 411 on who you are and where you come from….
Solo: My names Solo. I come from a nice little broken home in New Jersey. Mom lived in the Burbs, Pops moved me all over to “interesting” areas (Asbury Park To Kearny) So I got to see 2 very different elements growing up. My boy Khile got me into hip hop when I was in like 3rd grade. And I been hooked ever since.
W: What is your history as an MC, what was the path you took to get to your current place?
Solo: I started rhyming when I was 9-10 just to fit in with the older neighborhood kids, eventually I started outshining them and I realized how much I loved it. At around 13 I saved up quarters for studio time and when I started my freshman year I had a free 7 track EP to gave out to all the older kids and hot girls. I rocked my first show when I was like 14 with Extended Famm (Tonedeff, PackFM, Session, Substantial). Linked up with Domingo. Battled Lil Mama at Rutgers. and A bunch of other stuff.
Forward to my junior year of High School I teamed up with my boy Sneed and we made a collaboration project called “Reporting Live”, It had Canibus, DJ Total Eclipse, Kno, Alias, & a bunch of other heads on it. I moved up to Bushwick, Brooklyn right after I graduated High School. We shopped the record, did some small tours, got signed, Grinded, the label folded, So we dropped the record on our own in 2007. Somewhere in the midst of label politics/drama/bullshit, I moved back to Asbury Park and did a small 5 track EP called “Black September”. Which became somewhat of a big deal considering I only pressed 500 copies. And now The Braves is M.I.A. I’m dropping a Solo album in 09 & Sneed is the lead roll in a movie by R.A. The Rugged Man.
Solo: I just turned 21, So I don’t have to sweat about the Fake I.D. thing anymore! But It was kind of a pain in the ass, I use to have to stand out front of venues and deal with security all the fucking time. In the long run, age was an asset for me tho. I look at a lot of the emcees I know who are my age, and they still have such a long way to go with development and shit. I lucked out by doing it young.
W: What were some of your influences in the hip hop game?
Solo: When I first started rapping it was KRS ONE, Redman, De La Soul, and Gangstarr. As I grew up I started pulling influences from a lot of the artists around me.
W: How do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you hope to be as far as career wise?
Solo: Well, if man kind isn’t extinct or a slave to technology, I hope to be behind the boards of my own humble studio in North Jersey. Married & Enjoying life. I don’t care if music is my career or not, I just hope it is at the point where its funding itself, instead of me pumping every dime I have into making albums.
W: You had that nice little EP that dropped last year that you’ve already mentioned, Black September, what went into that project as far as what you wanted to do and the way it came out?
Solo: I intended that as a “Tour Only” CD for when The Braves thing was still in motion. My boy RU was really starting to step his beat game up, and I had a lot of free time. So I wrote some joints, and hopped in the studio. I recorded 3 out of 5 songs in one session. Once it was released, it moved fast. I started getting a lot of props from people all over. It was a real good feeling. It actually wound up doing a lot more than I intended it to do.
W: You currently have a free mixtape entitled “Who F’iz Solo For Dolo?”, what songs consist of that project?
Solo: Honestly, I just got bored one day and made a cover for fun. I needed some way to promote the new album I have coming out so I decided to take a bunch of shit that people have sweated me over in the past, and put it out for free, to the people who are just catching on. It features a freestyle from when I was 14, a song Domingo produced for me when I was 15, a song the Braves did with Canibus, and a unmixed demo version of “Crown Royal” (which is a track from my upcomin
g album). Listening back makes me laugh at some of the shit I said.
W: What’s in the future for the mighty Solo?? Platinum albums, fancy cars, and making it “rain” at the titty bars?
Solo: My album “The Truth For The Youth” is coming out in the first quarter of 09. After that, its all a hustle. The titty bars sound like a good idea tho, sounds like a good spot to film a video for one of my “Girl Respect Yourself” joints.
W: Why should the readers out there be on the look out for Solo For Dolo?
Solo: Because the milks for free @ www.solofordolo.com , and even if you don’t check me now ill be all up in your face eventually. I’m like a “Cool Kid” but with talent.