Are you good at distinguishing the difference between fact and fiction? Do you think all rappers live the life they rap about? Probably not, because it’s hard for me to believe that all of these dudes have been shot; have mad loot; women falling over them every step they make and diamonds in everything that they own. I’m not knocking the creative process but so many swear they are living the life that I find it a little far fetched. But then you have a few that have lived the life and found a way to put their life struggles into a song that you can actually ride out to. I found a young man that has lived the life and is the fourth of five sons who had it tough living on the hustling streets of Miami. From drugs, shootings and incarcerations, he has experienced struggles which many rhyme about but have never experienced first hand. And it is this experience that inspired him to write music which has led to a collection of truthful, eye opening and ingenuous tracks. I’m not saying that he’s the first to do it, but what he has to say is definitely worth listening to. His name symbolizes what he wants everyone that listens to his music to know about him…that he is simply “The Truth”.
What’s good TRUTH, how you feeln’ my dude?
TRUTH - I’m feeling pretty good, been out here on the grind all day everyday.
No doubt, how did your nickname come about?
TRUTH - I got my nickname from playing sports. I use to play basketball and football, and was pretty good at both, so everyone use to say “I’m The Truth”, so I decided to run with it. My music tells the Truth - its reality music. It stands for “The Realest Under The Heavens”.
That’s very creative. What part of Miami did you come up in and what was it like kickn’ it there?
TRUTH - I’m from North Dade, that’s Opa-Locka & Carol City area. It was ruff coming up, we was poor. My parents raised 5 of us working out of an ice cream truck. Where I’m from, I was the only white kid around, so being good at sports helped me get accepted. It seemed like every night helicopters where searching for someone. I remember hiding under the window seal a few times a week because of shootings, and people actually got caught or got away hiding in our back yard. When I was 9, I was almost shot in a drive by shooting. I was standing between the car and a house then I went straight to the ground when I seen the guns. I swear I heard the wind from the bullets. When I got up, I walked towards the house and seen a guy on the front porch reach up to me and took his last breath. I stood over 5 dead guys. I can go on with these stories forever. Besides the shootings and shit it was cool. Everyone knew everyone because we all stayed on the front porch cuz we had no AC. It was to hot to stay inside the house, everyone was struggling. It might be funny to you, but we eventually moved to Miramar, cuz my dad got a better job as a janitor. Yep a janitor was a better job. There was crime but less of it, but the same struggle was in Miramar. Me and my brothers actually got in more trouble there. I got away with stuff I should be in jail for right now, but I never got caught, and if I did my brother’s record was so long that he insisted to take the charges. So it was pretty ruff.
What a rough way to come up but the key is you made it. Who are the guys you looked up to that made you decide to get in the rap game?
TRUTH - Coming up I was a big Pac fan, but he never really made me decide to get in the rap game. The first time my brother got locked up, we use to write lyrics back and forth. While my other brother was making beats, but wasn’t too serious with it, I was just writing cuz my brother was sending me lyrics. Me and my homeboy bought a cheap ass keyboard and a $10 dollar mic and use to record on a regular radio with a tape deck. Our shit was sounding pretty good but cheap, so I invested in some studio gear. I started to make my own beats because I didn’t want to remix everyone else’s shit, and I started to record because I felt like I been thru a lot and had a lot to say, and people with the same struggle will be able to relate. But when one of my homeboyz passed away, I wrote a song dedicated to him and since then I started to take it serious. I started to put more into it.
Describe the swagga you bring to the table.
TRUTH - My swags a little different. I rap about real life events that I actually seen or been thru. And I know that most rappers say this, but most rappers ain’t telling the truth. With me you get 100% real, no sugar coating, if I say it, I mean it, did it or seen it. So I got a street swagga, meaning I don’t really see know one. But at the same time I respect everyone till that respect is broken. I’ll walk in the club like all eyes on me! I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb everywhere I go!
What is your take on the current state of Hip Hop?
TRUTH - You really want to know my take, cop the album and listen to track #7 “Hip Hop Ain’t Dead”. The first verse, I’m talking about all the rappers that died. The second verse, I’m talking about all the rap groups that broke up and the third verse I’m stating my opinion. Now I don’t have anything against certain songs. I understand the importance of commercial songs, but when I hear a whole album and the whole thing is commercial, I’ll never ride in my car to that. I wanna hear some real shit! I wanna hear something I can feel with a hard ass beat. I don’t want to hear about diamonds and dancing on every track but if you would have asked me this question a year ago my answer would have been different. I would have told you hip hop needed some help. But right now I think it’s starting to turn in the right direction.
Tell me about your new debut album “Street Eulogy” that’s in stores now.
TRUTH - “Street Eulogy” is a dedication to the streets where I was brought up (Miami, & Miramar). From track 1 to 15 all real life events, I got songs like, “My Block” which describes 13th Ave. in North Dade to the T. I have a dedication to a snitch that got my dog locked up. I have a song for my dog that died. I got some tracks for the females. I got a little of everything. Akon, NORE, Triple C, and Casely are on it, as well as a few local kats like LMS, Lay Low & Dirty Deeds.
Who produced the joint for you and how was it working with them?
TRUTH - Haz from Hazardis Soundz produced it. I grew up with this kat and he been on this music shit for a while. He produced CNN, Triple C, & Cypress Hill just to name a few. It was a pleasure working with him. We worked like dogs, recording, mixing and mastering it. We stayed in the studio all night sometimes till the sun came up. You def. gonna see more from The Truth & Haz in the near future.
I’ve heard a couple of tracks and I believe you might have a hit on your hands. How did you get these featured artists to collabo with you?
TRUTH - I appreciate it! That was my goal for these two singles. A lot of people feelin them right now. My first single is “Shawty Lets Roll”. The Diaz Brothers heard it and liked it so they let there artist Casely hear it, (who is now signed with Epic) and he agreed to do the track. We did a video for it and performed a few times together. Then the second single is “Down Low”. I was given the opportunity to do this track with Akon, so of course I did it!
You are said to be no stranger to the stage. How often do you perform and who are some of the well know artist in the industry that you have opened up for?
TRUTH - I opened up for Trick Daddy, Jackie O, Dirt Bag, Young Gunz, and a few others, but then I started to get booked to do shows in clubs on my own. So I performed at several clubs in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Atlanta. I try to perform as much as I can, very rarely will I turn down a show.
Have the radio stations shown you any luv?
TRUTH - Yeah, right now “Shawty Lets Roll” featuring Casely is getting played down here on Power 96, and is getting a good amount of spins and request. And “Down Low” featuring Akon will be released and played on the radio in about a month.
What has the response to your music been like from the streetz?
TRUTH - Its been all love! So many people hit me up, or approach me, telling me they feel the music and to keep staying real. The streets like to hear real shit, something they can relate to. Someone even told me, when I get a big deal, just keep it real like before the deal, and to me that’s some real shit!
What’s the connection between you and Miami’s mixtape king DJ EFN?
TRUTH - EFN is my dog! He helped me out with a lot; whatever he needs I got him! What connected us is that he heard a few tracks and thought that I could do something so he helped me with just about everything and taught me a lot of shit. He is one of the realest people I ever met.
Tell me about your record label and why you decided to create your own.
TRUTH - I’m not the type to sit around and wait for no one, so I figured if I just make music and put it out on my own, the labels would look for me. I wasn’t going to go around shopping my stuff. Most labels want to see what you done and who knows you or if you have a buzz etc. So I started “Tha Truth Records” and put an album in stores, songs on the radio and booked my own shows. Now if a label wants to sign me, they know what I did all while at the same time of learning the music business.
Do you think indie labels are the way to go for up-and-coming artist versus signing with a major label? Explain.
TRUTH - I think to start off, yes. But, to run a successful label you need money, investors or something. You can’t just record music and hope people hear it and every thing in this business cost. I don’t think a new artist trying to get heard needs to go looking for a deal off bat. Do your own shit, get a buzz, and labels will find you. GRIND!! And then try to get a good deal because major labels can put up money that you can’t. You gotta pay your dues and that’s how you pay them.
Good info for the inspiring artists out there. What else does “THE TRUTH” have going on that you want the people to know about?
TRUTH - Right now, I just started to work on my second album. I put together a group called “Sevens” which includes: LayLow, Mo Schemes, Dirty Deeds, Lajit and myself. I’m putting together Truth Records DJs, lead by DJ Gio. We are actually working on his mix tape now. And I’m always working on getting shows. I’ve been trying to stay pretty busy.
That sounds like enough to keep occupied for a minute. Let’m know where they can go to cop your new joint and how they can contact you.
TRUTH - You can go to FYE and pick it up (if it ain’t sold out, lol, it sold out like 3 times down here already) or buy it online on iTunes or whatever digital store you use. If you want to contact me just hit me up on Myspace, http://myspace.com/truthrecords . Or you can email me at Nick@thatruthrecords.com .
Like I said earlier, I think you got a hit on your hands…real talk. Thank you for taking the time to share with our readers. Why don’t you throw some shout outs to your people as we close.
TRUTH - I appreciate it hommie! I’ll shout out: Angie, Lay Low, Dirty Deeds, Mo Schemes, Lajit, DJ Gio, my dogs Gil, Mr. Nickles, Haz, EFN, my dog NORE, Hops, Jess, and my son Dominic. All of the 305 and 954, & Nine5four The Magazine…keep doing your thing!!