WYDU SPOTLIGHT TODAY: WhyArcka (DOPE up and coming Philly producer)
The spotlight continues to shine as we head into our second day of week long artist spotlights. Today takes to the sunny skies of Columbus, Ohio. Alright maybe not sunny, but C-bus has a rather deep hip hop history that goes back to the late 90′s. Copywrite, Blueprint, Camu Tao (RIP), Jakki The Motamouth, RJD2, and many others have come from the Ohio city. That’s where today’s spotlight hails from, Zero Star, who is down with Blueprint’s Weightless imprint. He dropped the 2006 album Forever’s Not Really That Long, which garnered him a little attention, did countless tours with the Weightless label then made a name for himself on the battle circuit. This past summer, he dropped the free EP, Are We There Yet? It kept is name out there and showed a growth as an artist. His newest album, Maybe I’m Joking, Maybe I’m Not, which should drop sometime later this year, promises to show an even more mature Zero Star.
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We sat down with Zero Star to discuss his past, present, future, as well as some of his favorite drinking towns and life on tour….
Bloggerhouse: While I try to think of a way to start this first question off a little more original, how about you introduce yourself and give us a little background info…
Zero Star: I’m Zero Star, go by Zero or Star or neither lol, its whatever. Been seriously making music since around 04-05′. But, like everyone else in the world, I been rhyming my whole life, lunch table, school battles, blah blah blah no one really cares about that shit, cause its pretty cliche’.
B: So what’s in the water there in Columbus, seems like a pretty solid hip hop scene has been going on there for quite awhile…can you give us a quick run down of the hip hop history of C-Bus?
ZS: The history of Columbus hip hop is something I am not qualified to speak on because although I was around, I wasn’t exactly active and I’d be fronting if I said I knew every single person that paved the way. So, at the risk of leaving important people out and someone getting slighted, I’ll just say it like this. There have been many cats doing it way before me.
Columbus is also no different than any other place, we have a lot of cats that suck. I think maybe the difference is the people that are doing this shit for real have a drive to be known outside of Columbus, so maybe that’s why it may seem like everything that comes outta here is great.
B: How did you become involved in hip hop, the C-Bus scene and being apart of Weightless?
ZS: I basically got involved into hip hop as a little kid just hearing music that I thought was so great, and couldn’t get enough of it. Man this shit sounds so damn corny, lol I dunno lets see…I was just a supporter of the local scene going to shows and what not. Basically at that time shit was super exclusive, so I had to get my skills up and one day I just started killing shit at open mics and in cyphers. After that I started a group with another cat named Meta4ce. We recorded some songs and did some shows around the way. We just had two different drives and visions of what we were gonna do and kinda just fell apart. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it forced me to really consider how seriously I wanted to do this rap shit. After that I hooked up wit very talented cat named Ree-Dic, he did beats I rhymed and we put out an EP called The Problem Child. That got very good reviews and I just started building a buzz. I was already hanging out with Blueprint and we were friends anyway. So, we did some songs just messing around, and it came out pretty good, so he asked if I wanted to be down with Weightless. Like I said we were friends anyway, and it just made sense. Boom here I am. Lol
B: There are quite a few videos out there you on the battle circuit, roastin’ some cats, how much battling do you do? Why is that important part of your make up as an artist?
ZS: Ahhh the battles. Ummm with that I don’t wanna downplay it, because battling is like a sport and its something I enjoy. The music game is so over saturated because of the internet, its hard to get people to notice you. But, in the same way the internet can fade you into black, it can bring you to the light. So, I was just going at cats trying to get more people to take notice of me basically. Last battle I did was in December, and that will probably be my last. It was for Grindtime (which is like the biggest battle league in the world) it was great and I was able to gain more exposure, but I cant afford to keep putting energy into telling some guy I don’t know how I’ll fuck his mom and kill his unborn and hang it from a shark tank. To even be in that frame of mind is draining let alone being in that frame of mind for months on end. So, I respect the guys that do it full time and that’s their thing, its not mine. I battled to say HEY LOOK OVER HERE I HAVE MUSIC. Battling and making music are two totally different things with me, because its two different mind sets. So, battling doesn’t really relate to me when it comes to making music.
B: The first album, Forever’s Is Really Not That Long, dropped on Weightless in ’06. What did you learn from that experience that you will differently the second time around?
ZS: Forever’s Never Really That Long taught me that I can do this seriously on a high level for a long time, but I have to put in the work. Which isn’t a problem when you’re friends with someone like Blueprint who is always making music. With that album I was just going for mine, just every rhyme I had was coming out of me. Now I’ve learned to be much more critical of myself and to expect greater things each time out.
B: You went the free route with the EP Are We There Yet, why did you go the free route? How difficult is promoting music on the internet these days?
ZS: I went the free route because, why not ya know? If a dude like Lil Wayne is doing free mixtapes, with damn near all original music on it. Who the fuck is a Zero Star to be charging for an EP? Now when I do shows I have physical CDs of it that you can buy, but on the promo tip you have to give the fans something. Promoting on the internet is only as hard as you make it. Just because one site or blog wont fuck with you because you not “big enough” don’t mean the next one wont. Its all a matter of you continuing to go at it.
B: What can you tell us about your upcoming Weightless release, what can we expect from that? Who are working with?
ZS: My 2nd LP is called Maybe I’m Joking, Maybe I’m Not. What you can expect from that is a much more polished artist, and a darker and lighter sound all rolled into one. The album is a complete contradiction. Which is why its called maybe I’m Joking, Maybe I’m Not, I’m dead serious and I’m laughing all at the same time. Kinda like crying yourself into laughter. In the early stages right now, working with Ree-Dic, K81, I did a few songs with Blueprint. Whoever has that sound I’m looking for I’m trying to work with.
B: I heard that you fancy yourself as a drinker? What’s the drink of choice? When you are out on the road, do you usually toss a few back after the show? What are some of your favorite spots on tour?
ZS: Ha I don’t know who told you I think I’m a drinker. I think maybe music I’ve put out may have lead you to believe such things. I like Crown Royal chilled or on the rocks. But, when I’m keeping it all the way sexy and low key I might do something light like a Three Olives Grape Vodka and soda water. Or Ketel One and soda water. Grey Goose L’ Orange chilled. That’s some shit you need to get on if you not hip goose l’ orange is that boss shit! Shit I’ll drink before a show, during its whatever. I try always keep it professional though. Lawrence Kansas has some nice bars to drink at. Minneapolis is amazing. Denver, I really feel like I should be living there that place is so damn great. Texas is great. Man honestly there are a lot of great cities in this country.
B: Any crazy tour stories you can share?
ZS: Nah no crazy tour stories, just lots of drinking and fun man. Its everything you think it is and its nothing like you think all in one long trip of craziness.
B: Besides the upcoming album, what else is on the radar for Zero Star?
ZS: Other than the album, just be on the lookout for seeing more and more of me in 2010. Youtube, videos, facebook, twitter, myspace, yourspace, you name it I’m on it.
B: Any last words for the groupies, haters and loyal listeners?
ZS: I appreciate all the support from people if you see me in your city come say what up, get to know a young negro! My last words would be ummmmm… A Bird can shit on you and fly away and you cant do anything about it.