Where are you from and how’d you first fall in love with music?
Born in Chicago but grew up in Cedar Rapids Iowa. I got enough taste of the Chicago lifestyle til about age 10 and then was back and fourth throughout high school and college. I fell in love with Chicago music first. Doing footwork to house music then listening to I have very music involved family and each member introduced me to different genres. My Grandma always had her gospel music blasting where she’d be smiling and dancing she introduced me to Luther and Disco. My Mom had Prince and Michael Jackson playing all the time. My Uncle Luis showed me R. Kelly and Boys II Men and my Uncle Ric showed me Twista, Do or Die, Bone Thugs, Pac, and Biggie.
What are your musical inspirations?
2Pac, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West. 2Pac because his message was bigger than music, he transcending what the influence can be and what the power of music can truly do, he’s been gone for 26 years now and is still the topic of a lot of conversations. Jay-Z because his body of work has kept him relevant but he also became a mogul, he perfected a flow and made it where he doesn’t need music at all to help others and empower his people. Lil Wayne because he self proclaimed he was the best rapper alive and then lived up to those expectations, while also ushering in new artist that have the potential to surpass him. And then Kanye because even when you don’t agree with him you have to see he is fearless, he created a new sound that generated a whole new era of music, he is an inspiration, and he started from the very bottom then got to the top.
How did the arts inspire and mold you into the person that you are today?
Music allowed me to address and articulate on issues that simple words may not. It gave me the freedom to be and say things that would not be accepted in everyday conversation. Thanks to music I get to live freely, i get all my emotion out without having to act on it. Music is my therapy.
Define how music makes you feel compared to how you make others feel with it?
Music makes me feel Free, yet it emotionally charges me. I feel like there’s a soundtrack playing for everyday of my life. When I feel a certain way it always seems like the right song comes on. I want to provide the right music for the right moment in other people’s lives. Tell them it’s ok to be different, things will get better, or some music is simply a way to let out the aggression. Love vicariously through my words that way you don’t have to go an act on them either.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about your truth and art?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is that sometimes music can sway your decisions. I remember doing Gangsta Rap before being put in situations where I have to deal with actual “gangstas”. I made some bad decisions that I knew better than to do but at the same time when it’s all you write about, all you say out loud, when the time comes you’ve already hypnotized yourself to thinking this is the only answer. Looking back on it now a lot of things self manifested from lyrics that I was writing.
How did you start your career?
My career started with a group of life long friends. I’ve been writing but they were on the next level which were recording at a studio. They were part of a group Big Bang which consist of singers and rappers. I joined Big Bang in 2002, we generated over a million views organically, did a song with Nate Dogg before he passed, performed with Wiz Khalifa, and so much more. I owe my entire career to that group to the point that they pushed me to become the solo artist I am today.
What do you want to leave behind in regards to legacy?
I want to help as many musicians and youth live out their dreams. Whether it’s me working with them, opening doors for them or just inspiring them. It doesn’t even have to be music. I started at age 12 which helped me get off the streets and into the recording booth, I want to pass on that tradition one way or another.
What are you working on this summer?
This Summer I should have 3 projects out, the Antonio album, 2 mixtapes called Unfinished Business pt. 1 and 2. And at least 3 more videos. And that’s just by the summer. I’m constantly in the studio, I’m constantly collaborating with other artist, And I’m growing everyday,
What’s next for you in 2020-2021?
The 2021 plan is to fully embrace the new name. To evolve, to become who I am meant to be and embrace the L’s I took in 2020 and make the Losses into Lessons.
Check out Tone Da Boss Video release 1/13/2020 https://youtu.be/DvRGgHcHpdQ
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