Thursday, November 14, 2013

DMV Rapper Tim Moorehead Takes LA By Storm

In the DMV, Tim Moorehead is a household name, whether you’ve heard music from his many successful mixtapes or witnessed his live performances at George Mason University and most recently the iconic Yardfest during Howard University’s homecoming weekend. His next stop is LA, to conquer the rap game and I had the pleasure of sitting down with this talented emcee to discuss his unique approach to the hip hop genre.

Thanks for sitting down with Come Home With Me; Music First

I’m a fan, I read all the posts.

You’re making this move to Cali so things are getting serious. It must have been hard to prioritize going to school full time & propelling your rap career. I know I struggle with that too. People are always making assumptions about what should be most important, when in reality rapping is just as if not more productive than school work. At what moment did rapping change from being a hobby to being a career path?

When I released my second mixtape Winner’s Break in March 2012. It was seven months after releasing my first mixtape Everybody Has a Mixtape.

That’s a quick turnaround

Yeah I know, I write everyday. But right then and there I said ‘I’m gonna start taking this seriously as a career and I’m gonna be successful.’

You don't cuss, you're very religious. Do you feel like you have to compromise your values to be heard in the rap game or rather get radio play?

I don’t think you have to. You gotta think about it, America isn’t a Christian nation, but they are still fascinated by the idea of Christianity. You know it’s one nation under God. And that’s dealing with Hollywood and the images they portray, you still have to put your hand on the bible in court, so America is definitely very fascinated with religion. You don’t have to compromise your values, because even if you’re trying to spread a message, they are going to relate to it somehow because everyone has come in contact with a religious image or concept, its just the nation we live in.

You're attempting to conquer the game in an unconventional way. Tell us about your dreams?

Well actually I wanna do as well as I can in rap, you know I wanna take it to the top.  I don’t wanna just limit myself to rap, because I’m an individual who can be influential outside of music. I have a college degree.

Congrats on that, that’s recent right?

Right. That was in Government and International Politics. I love to speak publicly, whether it’s to people I don’t know or in a group setting. I think those are skills that not a lot of people have. So I just wanna use my skills to help influence the world and there’s so many ways you can do that, whether it’s through public speaking or rap or through any other form of the arts.

So it seems like you have a lot to say, what is your overall message?

I’m imperfect, but God is perfect and that’s how I find clarity in life, that’s how I find vision. If I’m blind, he’s my vision. This goes for everyone in the world, if you feel like you’re blind or you feel like you’re crippled, there’s another way you can walk or there’s another way you can see. You have to focus on what’s intangible. Developing fruits of the spirit like peace, love, kindness, patience, because this is what ultimately will fight all the evils of the world.

I watched the video of you spitting to Jay Electronica & even though you can't hear exactly what you're saying, it's so clear how much he's feeling your words. Tell us about that experience, a cosign from Jay Elec is very rare.

Shoutout to Jay Elec, shoutout to rocnation. Jay Electronica is one of my favorite rappers and the fact that the media can’t even get a hold of him because he’s off in Nepal, he’s in India, he’s in Oaxaca.

And we all still waiting on the music.

Exactly, he recorded his album in South Africa. He’s already a difficult individual to get in contact with. So to not only get in contact with him at Made in America, but also having the audacity to spit to him.

What did you spit to him?

I wrote this back in ’09, when I heard “Exhibit A” by Jay Electronica. I wrote my own verse to “Exhibit A” and I spit that verse to him. In “Exhibit A,” Jay Elec’s opening line was an ode to “Dead Presidents” by Jay Z, so my opening line was an ode to “Exhibit A.” Because of that, I later spit that verse in my performances to Dead Presidents.

Wow, coming full circle.

Exactly and that’s how I open my shows up. I won a lot of competitions like that. I know he knew where I spit rhymes like him, with the influence. He starts off “I spit that Wonderama ish(shit), me and my conglomerates shall remain anonymous, caught up in the finest ish(shit), get that type of media coverage Obama get.” So I start off “I spit that light of prominence, like a panorama it’s painting the same picture conveying the lord’s dominance.” Because that’s true to me, but it’s the same rhyme scheme, same rhyme pattern. Its just showing him, this is a different individual that you’re dealing with.

 So Jay Electronica is clearly a major influence, who else has influenced either your style or your love for hip hop growing up?

As far as style influence, Jay Electronica and Nas are my biggest influences. Typically when I go on more southern sounding tracks, Andre 3000 is my biggest influence. Andre 3000 and Lil Wayne are my biggest influences from the South. I’m also really influenced by Lauryn Hill’s style, I think she’s a crazy lyricist. I always pay homage to the greats.

You recently performed at Howard’s Homecoming which is huge. Congrats on that again, how did you get selected for that?

You have to apply when you’re not getting booked. They said they were choosing twelve acts and I sent a couple songs from my most recent mixtape with original production, which is Oktoberfest and that came out in October 2012 and you can get that on datpiff. That’s my last original piece. I sent six songs from that and they hit me back like a month later and they said ‘out of over 100s and 100s of applications, you were one of the twelve selected to perform at Howard’s Homecoming and open for the bigger acts.’ It was great

But your successes haven't been limited to the DMV area, you've won rap competitions in both coasts?
What have you been working on & what's up next for you?

I won one in New York and two in LA.

Wow, so you have three under your belt. What are those like?

You have 15-20 different acts, a combination of groups and solo acts. They perform in front of a label’s A&R. He decides who the winner is. In NY it was Def Jam, LA for the first time it was Def Jam and then Warner Bros for the second time. You have ten minutes to do your thing, whatever you wanna do whether its freestyling or going acapella. Then they have a final round for the finalist selected. They’ll select maybe ten out of that twenty. Every one I’ve been in, I was the winner.

That’s incredible. You must have gotten a lot of buzz from that, from major labels. I’m sure a lot of people were in the audience. But you’re making this journey to LA to propel this rap career. What are your thoughts on the current state of the game that you’re getting ready to enter?

I just feel like the game is wide open. Drake said ‘I just feel like the throne is for the taking.’ It’s like that. I know that there’s nobody in my lane, nobody. I have to keep on grinding, keep on making music, making my message known to every possible person I can. Because this positivity is needed. You have people who are kinda positive, but then wack talent wise, you have people who are talented but then not positive. Both of these have a negative in it.

You’re all positive, bringing a new light to hip hop.

I’m a rapper’s rapper. I’m growing with my music. I’m trying to make songs that are great musically and not just great in hip hop.

Who are you listening to right now?

I listen to myself a lot to critique my sound and just grow so every project is gonna be better and better. Other than that, I really like Pusha T’s album. Just how he’s still going with this cocaine metaphor is just crazy. People don’t even realize that, that cocaine he’s using in a lot of his tracks is that double edged sword. If you’re talking about drug dealing, drug dealing can get you money but it can also get you jail time. I feel like I can relate to Pusha T a lot in that way because I talk about sin in my tracks. Sin is gonna get you that instant satisfaction that your flesh desires, but you wake up the next day and you still feel empty. That’s why there’s gotta be a pursuit for more than simply what your flesh desires, its gotta be a pursuit for what we need.

You’re bringing that depth that hip hop is missing.

That’s all I’m trying to do. I wanna make something worthwhile. Our genre shouldn’t be the only genre out there that doesn’t have something to say. I listen to Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, even these country singers got something to say. But why is hip hop the only one that you can’t play at the white house?

But I think a lot of that has to do with the racist society that we live in & hip hop is judged much more harshly than any other genre and criticized for not being conscious when there’s plenty of other genres and artists who no cares to be conscious. Hip hop is so broad and there are so many different lanes, but we are missing a conscious rapper right now.

The thing is they’re out there, but nobody pays attention to them.

Yeah mainstream wise, commercial wise. For sure they’re out there, but artists are always gonna be out there that are not known. Who do you want to work with in the future?

Just in hip hop? Because I’m a music head. I love Mad Lib to Heat Makers to No ID to Mike Will Made It. A lot of people get it twisted, he probably has seven songs on the top ten in radio play right now, but that does not change the fact that’s he cold. It’s a lot of producers from the past I wanna work with, Pete Rock, Q Tip. People now like Pharrell and Timbaland, because I know for sure they’re searching for someone who is not only dope, but for someone who’s gonna change people’s lives in a positive way. Because that’s the only way your music is gonna stick throughout time.

Let’s hope they’re listening to this interview then. Word up, any emcees?

Whoever wants to holla at me, holla at me. I like whoever’s dope. As long as I feel like your authentic even if your reality is in a different code than mine is. I’m that much of an artist that I’m gonna get on a track with you just so we can give the listeners a dichotomy. I’m from nobody’s hood, so me getting on a track with a hood rapper is genius. We’re showing two different sides of the railroad tracks. But showing in the end that we meet eye to eye in the grand scheme of things.

I’m picturing it now, you and Chief Keef might be brilliant.

Yo Chief Keef holla at me.

What have you been working on & what's up next for you?

I’m working on a new project, which will be coming out next year. I try to get into the studio as much as I can and just make more quality music whether it’s down to the engineering or different rhyme schemes used.

Always progressing. Give a shoutout

Shoutout to my family, my friends. Ultimately shoutout to my God, that’s who I live my life for. Shoutout to everybody who’s supporting me. Shoutout to Khaos Entertainmet, shoutout to my manager William Alonzo. Shoutout to George Mason, PG County, the whole DC area. Shoutout to the whole world. I don’t want anybody to be left out.

Your musics for everybody.

Also shoutout to “Come Home With Me”!

This is right before you’re about to blow up. Keep making music that matters because you’re gonna be heard.

Look out for Tim Moorehead (@callmetrademark) and check out his dope music and Youtube page

Also big ups to all the young aspiring artists trying to make a difference in hip hop. You are appreciated...

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