Friday, 8 February 2008

The CAUSE of Hip-Hop: New York Hip-Hop gets stronger and stronger

CAUSE, born and raised in the
Bronx, often compared to having lyrical abilities such as Common or Talib Kweli with the mainstream appeal of Kanye West, is quickly gaining a loyal fan base at the young age of 21. Taking on the burdens of his community while passionately painting a picture of greatness in leadership, CAUSE is ready to transcend a new movement in Hip-Hop. His mission: To show the music listener that dominance as an MC does not come from following trend, but proving to be a versatile, trailblazing artist skilled at not only making crowds move but taking them to the depths of their emotions.

HipHopInformant: What made you get involved with Hip-hop?

Cause: Well actually the whole Harlem movement back in the 90’s is what got me involved with Hip-Hop. Back when I was in elementary school, I went to a school that was right there in the urban community across the street from the projects, right there where Hip-Hop was and still is the most predominant music. I went to this school in Harlem, and this was right around the time Biggie, MASE, Puffy and Bad Boy Records were on the rise and blowing up. If you remember a rapper by the name of MASE, this was when he was in his prime. Nothing but up tempo, bright, high energy music that was sort of irresistible. I would hear his album “Harlem World” bumping out of every car trunk during the spring time and it became the background music to my life. Then later down the road I got into an artist by the name of Tupac, who is actually the artist that made me want to become an emcee. That was my introduction to Hip-Hop.

HipHopInformant: How long have you been involved in the industry?

Cause: Well I haven’t really been “involved” with the industry, I’ve been pursuing the chance to be involved though haha. It’s very tough to become a part of the industry especially in this day and age where nothing has the same stability it used to. But in terms of how long I’ve made Hip-Hop my career, it has only been about a year and a half and already I’ve made great progress so hopefully the future stays bright. I’m only 21 years old and I hope to soon be dominant figure in the game.

HipHopInformant: What is your current view of Hip-hop now?

Cause: I believe it’s constantly evolving. Commercially Hip-Hop is bigger than it’s ever been and that just sets up a bigger stage with more room to experiment musically and artistically. There have been more collaboration’s outside of the genre which has really helped to bring new listeners in and to make it more universal. I think it’s in a great position and we just need to maintain the integrity and we'll be fine.

HipHopInformant: You did a show with Donny Goines, Hired Gun and NY Oil. Do you think both of your styles are similar?

Cause: I think we all have very different styles which was dope to see because on that night it was all brought together. For instance Hired Gun has a very underground grit to his style, making it more about content than music, which is dope because that’s what the pioneers of Hip-Hop used to do; Donny has that classic urban/ soulful feel to his style that’ll be relatable to a lot of older folks as well as a lot of young folks who are old souls and appreciate good music. NY Oil reminds me of an old freedom fighter haha he is very controversial and brash, but very honest at the same time. With me, my style is more musical. I really enjoy the process and the art of making music. I also believe I appeal to a lot of different people because of the versatility in my music. I hope to continue to make music that has content which is relatable to a wide range of people and that is also enjoyable to listen to.

HipHopInformant: Being compared to Common or Talib Kweli is a big honour how do you feel about being compared to big names in the Hip Hop industry like them?

Cause: I think it’s great. It shows how people view me. These are people who have succeeded and who receive a great amount of respect from the Hip-Hop community so I’m glad to be mentioned in the same breath as a Common or a Talib. Its also dope because they are both older guys who have been in the industry for a while and are seasoned, so for people to be comparing me to them at my young age, it’s a great indication of how people view my talent and skill.

HipHopInformant: Were there any artists who influenced you to start rapping?

Cause: I mentioned earlier Tupac who was really the most influential in inspiring me to rap because of the way he told his story with such a depth and realism. That’s the one thing that he inspired me to do; to make music that is appealing while still encouraging personal and community change in others. There were others as well such as Big L, NAS, Big Pun, Jay-Z, Biggie, Lauren Hill, Black Thought, KRS One, Blackstar (Talib Kweli & Mos. Def.), Immortal Technique, Jurassic 5, and Blackalicious just to name a few but I have mainly been inspired by a bunch of the East Coast greats with a few special exceptions.

HipHopInformant: Are there any artists who you would like to be as big as?

Cause: I would give you a name but honestly I’m trying to be bigger than that artist so it doesn’t really matter Haha! I don’t care what anyone says we’re all trying to be the best, but the difference between me and them is I’ve got a message and a CAUSE (no pun intended haha). I’m trying to break boundaries and barriers that the previous artists have set before me. I would like to one day go down in history as one of the artists who used Hip-Hop as a tool for advocacy and to change the conditions of the world for the better. I want to be bigger than the genre.

HipHopInformant: Do you think that Hip Hop still gives out a message as it did in previous decades?

Cause: Its hard to say because there have always been so many different messages in Hip-Hop. There has never been just ONE message. What has though, is the popular message. What was the popular message back in the day was more political and rebellious, now its more watered down and light. People don’t take the time to use the power of their words anymore. It’s now all about making the song that will make the dollar instead of making the song that will make the change. Even the party songs from back in the day had more depth, they told a story and were more descriptive, now its just about mentioning your sponsors and getting paid for it haha. Its all good though I believe it'll all come back in time. I'll help bring it back as much as I can.

HipHopInformant: What are your views about Hip-Hop in New York at the moment?

Cause: Hip-Hop in New York is ME! Haha I am New York so I think it’s great!! I don’t think we ever fell off, our presence in the industry has just faded a little but we’re still out here in these streets, in these ciphers and we're still the best.

HipHopInformant: What does the future hold for CAUSE?

Cause: The future for me is consistency! I can't really promise anything else. The only thing I can really guarantee is that as long as I'm CAUSE, and as long as I'm making this music, I'll be the best I can be and I'll always put up a fight! I want to not only change the face of Hip-Hop, but also change the way young black youth are perceived by continuing to portray excellence as a MC as well as a leader. The future is something I'm learning to never take for granted. I have to live for today and just hope to see tomorrow. But you better believe as long as those "tomorrow's" keep coming, the potential of my "today's" are great!

HipHopInformant: Finally do you think that the industry needs to change? If so, why?

Cause: The industry didn’t do this, we did. We made some wack sh#t popular, people bought it in large amounts, and now we can’t go back. It’s our fault the industry just gave us the money to do it they didn’t actually make the music, we as people made the music. What does need to change are the people making the music. We need to set a higher expectation as listeners too instead of buying into the garbage and then complaining.



Anonymous said...

creativity is what makes an artist who they are, it's the same with hip-hop

Anonymous said...

hiya interesting interview...keep up the good work!! x