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What got you into making music?
First, let me say Thank you for granting me this interview. And the answer to that is that The music game got into me. Allow me to explain. The “Streets” led me to the music game. Back in the early 2000’s, a good friend of mine was a bodyguard for a major rap artist. Resultantly this granted me early access to the music “life-style”. Let me give some background on myself. The average story perhaps. The Street hustler with some considerable book smarts and saavy. And after having used my intelligence to circumvent the law, found myself in a position of a celebrity of sorts, due to my successful navigation of the street hustle. So there I was. Special invited guest of the lovely and talented Eve. So you must remember, this is all new to me at this time. Fortune would have it that my camera was with me. Not knowing any photographers etiquette, I’m taking pictures and filming everything. I’m in Atlanta at the All-Star Game with game-changers like Charlie Mack and Big Reuben from Mitchell and Ness. Steve Brody and D-Entertainment. Most of the trip was spent going from venue to venue. Appearance after appearance. Then to the next party. It was truly a noteworthy experience that gave me major insight as to what should happen next.So after deciding to leave the “entourage life”, my focus was on coming back to that lifestyle, but with what the game needed. And that is why we are here right now. I’m back. And the game needs me.
What has been your best experience musically so far?
My best musical experience? That is a great question. The answer can go in many different directions so let me summarize my answer like this. My greatest experienceBeing entrusted to use my innovation, mind and talents to help an artist to reach their objectives. That, to me, is priceless. The fact that an artist would come to me and feel that they could lean on my experience to make it to the top? That was and still is my best experience. Managing, consulting, promoting and then finally distribution. There is so much more for me to learn, and yet, people still believe in me. That’s dope. And if you’re reading this, Thank you. Because you allowed me to promote your music the best way possible. One day, a West Coast music mogul noticed me. It was right after creating my Instagram account. There were only 150 followers and this guy dm’s me to say “Only 150 followers, you suck!” To which the following response was, “Eye just started, give me time.” Confident and undaunted. Surely it wasn’t my fault that fame had eluded me to that point. “It’s a little rough to get started over here. A lot of people are only following the people with the “bag” aka rappers who’ve already made it. That’s fine. Kept my head down and kept grinding. Still grinding. Found myself working on a myriad of video productions. The next thing happened was sponsors started sending me merchandise. Major corporations are consulting with me and I’m from the streets. Not to marginalize myself but this wasn’t how Eye ate. So now I’m the head of the East Coast Division of Hood And Associates. You cannot make this up.
Tell us about being a rapper in your city? IIt’s a great place and time to be a rapper from Philadelphia. The Tri-State area is a hotbed of talent. A bubbling cauldron of lyricist that unfortunately are competing against one another as opposed to working together. This game is not a competition, it’s a collaborative and you need allies not opps. They get into Twitter beefs and instagram arguments and then boom, one is dead, the other in prison. It seems that artist look at another artists’ success or swag or his car and they don’t feel good for that man. That has to stop. Congratulations ain’t order when you see a player winning but Eye digress. Great time to rap in Philadelphia because your right here with me. The East- West connection. Everything that my artists do is amplified on both coast and overseas. There’s a lot to unpack here. I’m also responsible for overseas artists as well.
What are some wild stories you have experienced?
That’s not hard at all. The absolute wildest thing that has happened was with respect to my artists from Ghana. Sending my thanks and appreciation to the people of Ghana. Sunyani is in the Brong Ahafo region as it is. They have amazing musicians and they really love their local artist. The support you see cannot be mimicked in America today. Conversely, it’s the artist themselves who are their own worst enemy. They initially had no sense of camaraderie. They Would frequently get on the Internet and see the most unflattering things about one another. Until one day I decided to step in. This controversy is no good for the local industry I exclaimed. “The world will view you in a better light if you were not fighting amongst one another.” So so after months of lobbying for peace in the midst of violent verbal assaults on social media, the truth emerged. Tentative as it may have been it was still a truce. The resulting combine collaborative effort of the region have compelled one of my door affiliates from Ghana to be voted Dancehall artist of the year two years in a row and that is the pinnacle of my career thus far my friend.
What current projects do you have available ?
My first project ever released was entitled “Brong Ahafo Badness”. Some of those same artists are huge stars in Ghana today. You can also look for “Survive the Summer” by Young Mugga. And I’m working on a lot of television production lately. And all of this came about after creating an audio and visual distribution network affectionately called “Binge Tv Exclusive.” After the inception of Binge Tv Exclusive, my visibility online increased exponentially. Editing videos for people, taking photos and sharing other peoples work, a lot of work came my way. Along with bigger sponsors and more notoriety came more celebrity acquaintances. So this time I’m back with what the game needs. Apparently.
What shows have you done recently?
Well do to the COVID 19 , a lot of momentum and steam was lost. The last show was with one of my contemporaries and he was on the show with Lil Baby and Megan e Stallion. We were at Club Noto in Philadelphia. And having been through all this before with Eve and them, Eye know how to move and where to be and where not to be. You gotta move like a star. Most people have never been that close so they might not overstand.
What makes you standout as an artist?
That’s easy. My vision. My mind works in a magnificent way. It allows me to speak to the needs of an artists while visually project a course that would be most advantageous for the artists. My visual creations reflect what mind interprets as to what is playing. The result is often times cryptic and grandiose in scale. My mind is bigger than the screen. We would need to project my visions onto the night sky over looking the desert.
What are you up coming big moves to mention?
Well, it’s with great pleasure that I’m announcing that someone thought enough about me that they are bringing me to Pluto Tv as a part of the production and my G-Day fellowship is gonna be in Atlantic City. Not a party, just kicking it with some real dope men and women.
Where can people find your music (links)?
We are found on the basic distribution sites right now. You know, the TuneCore and CD Baby racket minimum distribution spots. We haven’t released our first Major distribution project as of yet. But it’s coming. There is a lot of heat behind this oven door. My influence can be seen on a myriad of different things. Nobody knows me yet. Yet.
What’s your social media handles? On the Gram and on Facebook you can find me under Shug White. They call me “CEO SHUG”. Shugwhite45 on IG. The CEO of Binge Tv Exclusive and now the Head of the East Coast Division of Hood and Associates. Now that is what we call progress.
Anything else you want to tell us about yourself as an artist? My passion for the game was born out of a sense of urgency. Rappers in my city had experienced a modicum of success and yet, they struggled financially. Remember, the streets fed me so my pocket was always straight. But it just seemed odd the rappers had little to no money. My first job in the industry was as C.O.O. for an independent label in Philadelphia. This enabled me to see contracts and speak to so called “executives”. Often times, the “Executives” were crooks. They had elaborate money stealing scams set up to ensnare unsuspecting and literacy- challenged artist who could not navigate the legalese with the contracts. That’s where my purpose came from. That’s why we now have Binge Tv Exclusive and the best is always yet to come.