Hailing from the Midwest, rapper Flame The Ruler is adamant on making music for the underdog. Rhyming since the tender age of 11, Flame began to perfect his craft rapping with the older kids and earning an impressive reputation as a result. Similar to many emcees the Milwaukee native experimented with numerous artist names before settling for Flame The Ruler in homage to his hot rhymes.
Flame’s influences are diverse and wide-ranging and include the likes of UGK, Nas and Wiz Khalifa. The diverse nature of these artists are evident when listening to Flame’s music and have resulted in an interesting mix of clever lyricism, head-nodding beats and a flow to match.
Flame The Ruler currently has a mixtape out entitled The Departure and is soon to release his new project Live From Wisco.
For any of our readers who may not be familiar with Flame The Ruler yet, please introduce yourself.
My name is Flame The Ruler. I'm a rap artist out of the Midwest region trying to break into the music industry. I've been in Hip Hop Weekly, The Source and I've also been featured in the Breeding Ground section on AllHipHop.com. You may have caught my interviews on Shade 45 and Thisis50 Radio too and be sure to look out for me in an upcoming XXL issue, basically I'm a real passionate person. I project my soul into my music. I make music for the underdogs! Right now, I have a mixtape titled The Departure. I got songs on there produced by platinum producer DJ Pain 1 and super producer Beats By Victory. I have a classic masterpiece Trap-A-Holics mixtape coming up called Live From Wisco. It's going to be fire!
How and when did you decide that you wanted to rap?
Music has always been part of my life, it is in my blood. However, I noticed that I was really good at rapping around the age of 11 to about the age of 15. When I was younger I used to hold my own spitting rhymes with older dudes on tracks. I put my murder game down on tracks at an early age. And as I got older I learned how to make and arrange full songs.
Who are your main influences within music and why?
I have many influences. My influences include Jay-Z, Nas, UGK, Rick Ross, Drake, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, The Game, Plies, Pac, Biggie... the list goes on. I've taken a little bit from each artist and moulded it into my own unique sound.
Explain your rap moniker Flame The Ruler…
You know how artists go through 100 names before they find a name that fits them… I was one of those artists. I took the "Flame" part because dudes from my hood always said that everything they heard me on was fire, and I didn't want to call myself "King", because too many rappers say that they're the king. I feel like I'm good at what I do so I took the title of "Ruler." Hence, I am Flame The Ruler.
Certainly on an international level, Milwaukee isn't a city known for its Hip-Hop. What is the scene like where you are from?
Well, I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin but I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin. There's a lot of talent in Wisconsin as a whole. The Midwest in general has not had a chance to really change the game yet… it's a melting pot. We have every style you can possibly identify with. I guess it's just that the A&Rs have to seek out the talent in the Midwest. At one point many didn't think that the South had talent.
Many things have been said regarding the current state of Hip-Hop with particular emphasis on this year’s XXL Freshman list. What do you make of the new generation of artists?
I feel like the new generation of artists are good. The game has to evolve. Without evolution the industry would be boring. I think it's only right for the artists that have had their run to make way for the new generation. I like how XXL made the Freshman list to showcase up and coming talent. They didn't have to do that. Hopefully I can make the list soon. Hip Hop is alive and well.
Is the goal to get signed or are you comfortable being independent?
My goal is to keep grinding for my brand. If the right opportunity presents itself and the label and my team are on the same page, then you will see Flame The Ruler and my GFMG team on a different scale. We'll be larger and up close and personal. It will be good for Wisconsin.
We have heard rumours that Universal Records have shown an interest in your music, can you confirm this?
It shocked me to hear that they were interested. I can't confirm it now. We have yet to sit down and discuss their interests. But, if it all pans out and if the agreement is solid then it will be a go.
What would a label have to offer you in order for you to sign?
I just don't want to be here today and gone tomorrow like a lot of artists on major labels. So the belief in me and my movement has to be there. The paper work has to be on point and I have no problem taking advice, but I would want them to see my vision. If the terms are right, then we can do business. Once I'm signed, I'm going to deliver. I deliver material like the pizza man [laughs].
The Departure mixtape really got people talking about you and your music. I found that your tracks tend to have a lot of energy and the production compliments that. How would you describe your sound?
I know there's nobody out now who sounds like me. People always tell me that I have a unique voice and style. If you've listened to The Departure or the other mixtapes on my site, then you know that I sound different. I would describe my style as being aggressive and forceful yet laid back and determined. I never wanted to sound like other artists already in the marketplace.
There seems to be a current trend of artists creating brands around their music. For instance, Odd Future have had a lot of success with their pop up stores and merchandise. Do you feel these extra dimensions are important for artists in today's industry and are these avenues you would pursue?
I feel like an artist has to be different and take their own way and approach to this game. It's one of those things of what sets you apart from the others. Yes, I would take the merchandise store pop up’s avenue. I salute Odd Future. They know how to brand themselves and interact with their fans. And that is the same type of infrastructure I'm developing for my brand.
Are you currently working on any new projects?
Yes, I'm working on a new project. It's going to be called N.W.B.D., which stands for N***a Witta Big Dream. Production will come from my blood brother and producer Beats By Victory, DJ pain 1, Bald Head Kingpin and more. Also, I’m super excited about my Trap-A-Holics project called Live From Wisco… this is going to be huge! This is going to be history!
If you could collab with one artist who would it be?
Hands down it would have to be Kanye West. I look forward to one day working with Kanye with him producing one of my songs and also with him rapping on one of my songs. He's a beast! And he is original like me.
In the end, let us know where the people can find you online.
Everyone can reach me on my current sites: www.flametheruler.com, www.facebook.com/flametheruler, www.twitter.com/flametheruler , www.youtube.com/thegfent and www.datpiff.com/flametheruler .
- By J David