With the rise in DC, Maryland and Virginia area Hip Hop, one has to put Baltimore, Maryland in that equation. One of the biggest Hip Hop artists that have come from the Baltimore area was B. Rich.
Now, Baltimore has spawned a new artist by the name of HeavyGold. After being featured in almost every major publication and major website, HeavyGold is well on his way to achieving his golden dreams.
With musical influences like Nas, HeavyGold is set to put Baltimore on his back and bring his city to the promise land. If we think about it, when the series The Wire had its five-year run on HBO it was amazing that not one Hip Hop artist came out of Baltimore around that time because there was such a big light being shined on the city due to the series.
But now the city has a soldier that wants to become a legendary artist, a soldier that wants to sell millions of records, a soldier that has a sound all his own and a soldier that is indebted to craft that he represents.
If HeavyGold is indeed worth his weight in gold and if he has his way, he'll eventually become a legend. Yo! Raps got the chance to sit down with this star in the making and pick his brain about why he chose the path of Hip Hop to achieve his dreams.
For starters, please introduce yourself and let them know where you are from.
I'm a Baltimore based emcee by the name of HeavyGold. I was recently nominated for "Best Male Rapper of the Year" at the 2012 Underground Music Awards. I rap about the street tales combined with food for thought. I've been featured in XXL, Hip Hop Weekly, Shade 45, VladTV, AllHipHop.com and more. Right now I'm pushing my mixtape entitled "Golden Dreams Platinum Nightmares". The first single on the mixtape is a song called "You Heard Me". I'm getting a lot of love from the single. It was produced by the production team of Stay Gettin' Productions.
What's the significance of your stage name HeavyGold?
As an emcee, I'm worth my weight in gold. But basically gold is an extremely strong and precious metal that endures despite whatever abuse it may go through. And that best describes me. No matter what hardships I go through, I will always bounce right back up, dust myself off and still shine. Also Gold is molded in the fire and greatness is molded in the furnace of adversity. That's HeavyGold.
At what age did you first entertain your love for Hip-Hop?
I was around 5 years old when I first fell in love with Hip Hop. To me Hip Hop is life, power and truth. It is the voice of the underdogs. And I'm on a mission to resurrect Hip Hop back to its glory days when talent and lyrics meant something.
Who is your biggest musical influence and why?
Musically, Nas is my biggest influence. I always liked rap but when I heard Nas' album "It Was Written", I knew I wanted to be a rapper. He has impeccable lyrical ability, cadence and delivery. In terms of life itself, I would say that my city of Baltimore has influenced me.
There hasn't been too many artists make it out of the Baltimore area, yet you seem to stand out from the rest. What do you think separates you from everyone else?
There's a lot of great talent in Baltimore. But what makes me unique is my honesty and integrity and believing in what I do. I refuse to let the system change my sound. I don't want to be the next anyone; I want to be the first me. I'm a beacon of hope for many in Baltimore and I carry my city on my back.
What was your creative process when creating "Golden Dreams Platinum Nightmares"?
The creative process in developing the "Golden Dreams Platinum Nightmares" project was built off of a vibe between me and the producers. We didn't go in with a specific mind set. Everything was organic. I created music on this project that was true to my heart. I didn't try to mimic what I heard on the radio nor did I make songs based on the perception of what the labels are looking for. I just made music that felt good to me and luckily everything fell into place.
A lot of your music is dark and really personal; however, you do have a few up-tempo party songs. Do you find it easier to make a particular type of track?
I use my lyrics to vividly paint pictures of the situations, good and bad, in my hometown. However, instead of only focusing on the negative, I also paint a picture of pride and dignity. I take the listener on a journey into my world. Therefore most of the songs are personal in nature. But I write party songs as well. I think it's easier to do party records because you already know what the people want to hear. It's not too hard to please party people.
What is your idea of the perfect song?
My idea of a perfect song is a song that evokes emotion because music is an expression of the soul. Human feelings don't go out of style. Also the song should have great melody and a chorus that stays in your head for days.
What are you currently working on now that your mixtape has dropped?
I'm working on some music videos and possibly a short film. Also I'm setting up some show dates around the country. My goal is to get out there on the campaign trail and meet and greet with the fans. And I'm working on the "YaHurdMe" remix.
Thus far, what do you think your greatest accomplishment has been?
The "Golden Dreams Platinum Nightmares" project is my greatest accomplishment thus far in terms of music. I feel that it's the mixture of different vibes and it just came out ill.
Who are some people in the music industry you would like to work with and why?
If I could work with one artist in the industry, then without a doubt it would be Nas, just because he was one of the most influential artists to me as it relates to me becoming a real rapper. He showed me how to be cool and still have a style at the same time.
What's the likelihood of you and Los doing a track together? Two artists from Baltimore?
It's very possible myself and Los could work together. We have been friends for a long time, but we just never had the opportunity to collab. However, we spoke about him jumping on the "YaHurdMe" remix. So hopefully we will make it happen real soon.
What is your ultimate goal in Hip Hop?
I'm legacy driven. My music is my legacy. It's a piece of immortality that will stand forever, so I always put my best foot forward. My mission is to attract devoted fans and create a sound that's all my own. And of course I want to sell millions of records, but I want to be remembered as a winning brand and a legendary artist.
Where can people find you online and learn more about you?
Firstly, thanks to Yo! Raps for this opportunity. Shout out to my fans and the folks in Baltimore. You can find me online at www.staygettin.com, www.twitter.com/heavygold and @heavygold on Instagram.