Illuminati 2G caught up with ASN for a exclusive interview. We discuss his upcoming album, the CRAZY track, Road To Success with AZ, the state of hip and much more so check it out. This is probably my favorite interview that I have done. Quite lengthy. Enjoy.
Alright Illuminati 2G is here with ASN how's it going?
What's going on man?
Not too much. How did you get your start in the game and some of your musical influences out there in hip hop?
I mean I started listening like way back in the day and I was always trying to re record the joints I was listening to. I came up with a couple of cats that we record every weekend on a 4 track. And then it got to a point I wanted original beats so I started making my own beats popping them out on a little Casio. From there I started programming and getting into official labs and basically coming out with the project that I am doing right now from that. As far as my influences, I was a real big 2pac fan, real big into Nas, AZ, Bone Thugs, all types of things. All types of genres of music really. So that's what you here in my music. I got alot of regaee influences, rock n roll, regaeeton, salsa, all types of things I grew up listening to. So really hard to pinpoint, but I like to cover a broad spectrum. Know what I mean?
When did you get your first big break in the industry?
Well a cat that I came up with, this dude named J Cardim, we actually had a group together back in the day. Back when I was 12 or 13. I concentrated on rapping, and J got into making beats. And he started doing real good with that with some of the cats around here. Eventually moving back out to New York, and doing tracks for AZ, and Sheek Louch and dudes like that. This is my man from back in the day, so once he started doing beats for industry cats, and I could just concentrate on the rapping and getting my self out there, things become alot more official ya know? Through putting things together over here, I wouldn't be able to get a promoter, so I'd organize alot of things myself, so being the head of alot of organizations and getting together shows, so that was another part of it.Doing a joint with Smif-N-Wessun, similar situation with AZ. So it was really from my man from back in the day and having to take charge of things around here.
Your from Boston correct?
Yeah that's right. Right outside of Boston
Home of the world champs right?
Yeah man we doing real well.
What's the music scene like out there in Boston as far as hip hop?
We got alot of talent man. We got for real alot of talent out here. That's for sure. That's why I like to have my hands in alot of things. When I got the opportunity to organize a show and really have a great pick from R&B artists to hip hop artists. We are just waiting to blow. It is a human melting pot. I could go on and on about the people from around here, but probably a treasure waiting to be discovered that is probably the phrase I am looking for.
You had mentioned earlier Smif-N-Wessun and AZ. These are some cats that you have done shows with and tours. Do you have any fond memories or anything you can remember doing shows with them? Or any advice that they gave you that really stuck out in your mind?
I mean just having come up listening to these dudes and getting to perform at the same shows as them, open up for them and to get in the lab with them and lay down tracks was really dope. But really sitting down and it was a really unique experience doing a track with AZ. I got in there and here from this dude who for over a decade has been one of my favorites. He bobbing his head to one of my joints. Coming out the booth like how that sound? Oh for real? Like AZ asking me how that sound. So for me that was a monumental moment for me. I got stuck out in New York that night, no place to stay and it did not even matter. It felt like I had come a long way along in my career. That's what I am in it for. Recognition from the people that really matter. I have been turning everything that I want to do into a reality man. That was one of those times when I had felt like I had done that.
That leads perfectly into my next question. A track that I have had on repeat for basically a week, that Road To Success with AZ. That is a ridiculous (in a good way) record. How did that come about and who did the beat and I mean I have never really heard AZ spit like that. I mean with just the rapid flow. I mean what was the chemistry and vibe? You talked about and spoke about a little bit in the studio but how did that track come about?
ASN featuring AZ- Road To Success
Ha, Ha. Ok so yeah, this is REALLY DOPE! This is actually like a really...., Ok so actually that track was produced by my man J Cardim. This is a dude from back in the day. I had a bunch of tracks, he knew that I had planned. What I did was I sat down and I had a few people in mind that I wanted to get featured on the album. And I was able to get ALL of them except for one. We sat there and AZ was one of the people off the bat that we wanted to get to work with. And my man J had already did work with him, so we sat there and we picked out 3 or 4 beats that we thought, yo that is a AZ track right there or I here AZ all over that. So I wrote a couple things to these tracks and I was like you know what, scratch that. I want to something where when you hear that beat, you would never expect to hear AZ on that. Everybody can hear AZ on the type of beats that he has done. That would not stand out. So I had started to do something crazy different. And that beat right there, was one of the ones on that beat cd that he gave me and it was completely different, but I was like yo, I need this beat on my album! So how I do most of my shit, I was driving around, I'm listening to the beat and shit just started coming to me and comming, comming comming. And obviously that was what everybodys reaction was. WOW! To hear AZ spit in double time, that is just crazy and also we umm, so yeah we made that happen and I pointed that out to him and he was glad I did not give just another generic, what you would expect to hear AZ sounding song, but we were taking it in a different direction.
You had spoke earlier about the album that you are working on. Do you have a release date, list of producers, any details you can give about your upcoming album?
Umm yeah. The upcoming album is called Made For This and we got alot of tracks by my man J Cardim. We got my man Fero Navi whos production includes Josie of the Pussycat Dolls and he done some stuff for Joell Ortiz and I got my man from Phantom 5 Music Group actually my cousin David Whiteside who produced tracks for like Flo-Rida before he got his deal with Atlantic. We got AZ on there, Smif-N-Wessun, I got Khaled on a drop on there, and then we got a bunch of vocals cats. Oh Oh, my bad, we got Vakero, a reggaeton cat from the Dominican Republic. He did a reggaeton crossover track on that. And then we got a few Boston heads. We got a R&B shorty named Nancia, got my man Bre, Smo Money Entertainment. A incredible singer, his name is Lee Wilson.
He did alot of stuff with like Termanology and a bunch of other people around this way. So I mean it's really like it's jam packed with talent. There is alot of live instrumentation on there. It's just like, it's all over the place. It's crazy man. We have been it in the clubs out here, playing it in the parties around here. It's got huge potential. It has crossover potential, and I am a lyrical dude. I can write stuff really from the heart. But I had alot of fun with this one too. I did alot of party tracks and then I got to let people really hear by brain and hear my life story on there too. Like the track I did for my children. A little bit of inspiration for fathers to take a more active role in their kids live. I speak on an important issue like that. My joint Intertwined, which is about it's essentially to a friend of mine who is gone down the wrong road really. Really getting fucked up the negative reprocussions of drugs. People always promoting selling crack and shit like that and I have seen too many people in my life just straight devastated. Crack, Heroin, Alcohol. Just making nothing of their lives and I kind of wrote from the standpoint of somebody who is trying to do the right thing and seeing their friend going the other way and looking in their face and it's not even the same person anymore. So I cover alot of issues on this album. It's a really dope album, I am really happy with how it came out. I can't wait to see everybody elses reaction on it.
Do you have a release date set for the album?
No there is no release date yet. We are speaking with a few people to get the distribution lined up. I know we are probably going to start hitting the Boston streets with it within the next month. But as far as a official national release date, I will have to wait and see who we end up going with for distribution and what the details are with that.
Have you ever worked with our would you ever work with Termanology?
Termanology is a real talented cat. Yeah there is alot of people that I would like to work with. I had done one show with him at Saulisbury Beach in Massachusetts. We were each one of the acts. Nah we have never done a collaboration. I think that would end up being some hot shit right there.
J Cardim he has done some production for him and that is exactly what he was saying. We should try to get Term on this album right here. But I just basically finished up the album and did not have the chance to reach out to him.
Do you have any upcoming shows or tour dates that you are going to do before the album drops?
Yeah we are in the process of lining up a tour. Keeping active and keeping in front of a audience all the time. I love performing so I don't from that for long.
What are your thoughts about the state of hip hop as far as it stands right now? Are you happy with the music that is coming out, the quality? What are your thoughts on the music coming out right now?
In alot of ways. I am glad you asked me that. It was a real pivotal moment for me when they had the whole..., I'm not a super huge fan of like the promotion of all these negative things. Because I have children and I don't want those negative influences in their lives. It's whatever to have something to bob your head to, but I really like dudes like Common and Talib Kweli, they bring up issues. And they really go the right direction with it. I have alot of positive people in my life and that is why I am the dude at the end of the song talking to my friend going in the wrong direction who I can't even recognize anymore because I have those positive influences. So since God blessed me with that blessing, I am going to continue that. Since I got it, I want to give it. I want to be the reason that somebody else recieves it. So when Common had been number one on the Billboard charts. I mean I remember when this dude was so underground. It was just ridiculous to me.
And when 50 Cent and Kanye West had the record sales battle. 50 Cent if he does not outsell Kanye then he is going to retire. And then a dude like Kanye. I'm not going to say he is the most conscious rapper, but alot more so then 50. The fact that this dude outsold 50 Cent, who at 1 time was, his empire was on top of the game, not just him, his whole empire was on top, and a dude like Kanye comes out and tops him in record sales? That showed me something. I was really happy with that, because it shows that people are getting sick of just hearing images. You hear alot of these rappers that just alot of it's rims, it's guns, it's crack, it's not interesting. It's caveman music, bang my chest. I got the biggest dick, I got the biggest guns, I'll take ya bitch, I can't hear that shit all the time. I want to hear some real stuff. I want to hear something I relate to that gives me chills, that brings tears to my eyes. Music, not just reciting what we already heard before. So there is alot of music that I am really happy with right now, and there is alot of music that I feel we can do without.
Man that was some real talk you had right there man. I had been telling alot of cats that Road To Success tracks is one of the hottest tracks, honestly man, no bullshitting with you, that I have heard this year. It's something fresh, it's new, it's lyrical and it's something different. It is not the same old bullshit that you hearing on the radio right now.
Much love for that track.
Thanks man. I appreciate that alot. I'm glad that people recognize that. That right there is basically what I am all about. And I thought it was dope that the first single that really caught on fire the one that is really bringing me to where I want to be, it is real ironic that it was called Road To Success. Like it is really, it fits it really well. The response has been really great. We had the number one add on according to the college radio charts, just a couple weeks ago. Then we had the highest debut. I think people are sick of it and there looking for a change, and I am more then willing. I'll be the leader in that movement or I will be more than happy to move along with the leader whoever it happens to be. Because it is really necessary to have people out there putting the right images forward ya know? Put the right messages out there. That's what I am trying to be. You gonna hear me on some tracks having fun. I had an album right before called The Evolution. We just pushed around Boston and it was really 100% all about me and my thoughts. I really did not get down on anything for the clubs or the radio. And the reason and problem for that is you don't have anything to really grab the masses attention, but then once you grab their attention then you have those tracks that you can really say what you want to say. And at the same time it's not too much for people. People can only take in so much at a time. I think I really struck the right balance with this album called Made For This.
Do you have any guest appearances upcoming on anyones album that you want to get out there or who you are probably going to be working with in the near future?
Not as of right now. We have alot of things in the works. But the problem with that is until those things are laid out or until those things are going to be released, I don't like to announce it. Like I was supposed to get on this album and it did not end up panning out. Because dude was going to be on tour and coming back working on a project. I kind of put that out prematurely. Basically people are going to start hearing a few more singles from me and they will know what it is when they hear it. No collaborations that I am going to be announcing at this time.
Well that is all the questions from me. Really appreciate it again you getting down for the interview. Really looking forward to the album. Much love for doing it. Is there any last words or shoutouts you want to get off your chest or say to the fans?
Basically want to say know ASN, Soul On A Beat Entertainment. Alot of people like to say get used to me, cuz I'm not going anywhere. Get used to be because I'm just I'm not underground no more, on the rise. That's the motto for this year. Underground and on the rise. Just tell people be on the lookout and this is what I'm made for and I'm finally getting down with the purpose in my life.
Alright man appreciate the interview
Same here my man, I will be talking to you.