Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Hitting the Jackpot!

"Now I'm heavy in the game, call me Cecil Fielder/the late Kirby Puckett, fam I'm after duckets/wanted a career putting basketballs into a bucket/didn't grow to be 6 ft 6, so I said f**k it!"

These are the lyrics from unsigned Chicago emcee Lottery, the latest to come out of the "City of Wind." Growing up Derrick Martin Hardy, Lottery was raised by parents that made sure that he was around music 24/7. "Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, and other greats were always being played in my home," says the Chi-Town rapper. "While my friends were going to D-Nice and Digital Underground concerts, my mom was taking me to see Stevie Wonder."

Lottery eventually was inspired to write once he heard Kris Kross, and figured that if they can do it, so can he. Then with childhood friend
Eugene "Aftershock" Shuford pushing him, 11 year-old Lottery began to record. Trips back and forth from his parents' home on Michigan Ave to Princeton Park began to really pay off because it was there that Lottery gained his skill for writing.

By the time Lottery entered high School at famed Simeon Vocational, a school that has produced star athletes from Nick Anderson to Derrick Rose, and most recently artist such as Shady Records artist Ca$his, G.O.O.D. Music artist GLC and Courtney Vantrease of the R&B group One Chance. It was there that Lottery lettered in two-sports, being a member of the Football and Track & Field teams. Upon graduation, Lottery went on to
Jackson State University. There Lottery would see an artist that would inspire him to get serious about Music again. "Seeing David Banner at every mall, social gathering, barbershop, and sporting event pushing his music, inspired me to write again."

After two years at JSU, Lottery dropped out of school. Lottery would resurface, but this time at
Chicago State University, where his department chair was non-other than the late Dr. Donda West. Dr. West's son, Kanye West had just started out with his rap career, but already had numerous producer credits under his belt. Kanye would give Lottery the best advice that he ever received. "Don't be afraid to fly!" By the time Kanye's debut album "The College Dropout" hit stores; Lottery did something else that his idol did. Lottery dropped out of Chicago State University. After a trip to New York City for the inaugural National Political Hip Hop Convention, Lottery came back to Chicago and enrolled at Columbia College Chicago., an arts school, where he was introduced to the recording of music.

HipHopInformant: How long have you been involved in Hip-Hop?

Lottery: As a fan since 1988. I grew up BDP, MC Lyte, D-Nice and others, but what influenced me to pick up a pen was when I heard Totally Krossed Out and I was like "Damn, they my age, so I know i can do this too." Then when I heard The Chronic, I basically had the mentality that either I'mma be in the NBA or in the music industry.

HipHopInformant: How did you get involved in Hip-Hop?

Lottery: The one event that happened to where I felt like I was contributing something was when i got on the bus to get people to register to vote. We went everywhere from Michigan to Ohio to Pittsburgh, to Harlem and finally Newark. We were a part of the first annual HipHop Political Convention. I was heavily motivated after that because i was on the bus with nothing but other Hip-Hop artist such as FIC, The C.O.R.E., Neo, Mastermind, Rock City, and other hungry artist. That was the first time that I ever hit a stage and actually rocked it in a city other than my own.

HipHopInformant: Where are you from and does where you're from influence your music?

Lottery: I'm from the South Side of Chicago. I lived on 91st and Michigan Ave, but was raised on 95th. I hooped there, macked chicks there, ate there, and went to school there. It influences my music heavily because there, cats are looking for a hope. When Nookie (Dallas Mavericks player Juwan Howard) was drafted, everyone was happy on 95th because he was our hope, same as Corleone (Boston Celtics player Tony Allen) when he entered the league. I also went to Simeon Career Academy so I got that winners mentality. My football coach Reggie Evans once cursed me out on the sidelines for saying that we will not lose this game. He told me later on that winners don't even have that word in their vocabulary. It stuck with me. Having all that behind me, it fuels my desire to be the best. in my rhymes I will always shout out those places becuase they made me who i am today.

HipHopInformant: Where did the name Lottery come from?

Lottery: I use to always tell cats, "whoever signs me is going to hit the jackpot," and with chicks I would ask "who wants to hit the Lottery?" The name stuck lol.

HipHopInformant: Are there any artists that influence you and who would you like to work with?

Lottery: Its crazy. I get influenced off of everyone from Marvin Gaye to Portishead, but what really motivates or influences me is when people that I knew get on. They inspire me. When One Chance first came out I was motivated to see Courtney make it, because I saw him on his grind at Simeon or Ca$his doing his thing with Shady because I've seen his work ethic, or The Cool Kids having labels chasing after them, because I remember when they were doing shows at Columbia, or David Banner killing it down south after all the grinding I saw him doing when I was at Jackson State. Even seeing what Derrick Rose did in the NCAA tournament had me motivated to write, just because he's from Simeon. As far as work with, thats an easy answer, Kanye West.

HipHopInformant: You said that the best Hip-Hop album of all time is A Tribe Called Quest's- Midnight Marauders. Why do you think this is the best Hip-Hop album?

Lottery: I never have to skip when I put that album in. When I first heard the tape in my cousin Toine's car up in Saginaw, MI. I was in love with that album. I played it so much, that my cousin would get mad and throw on Big Mike, and hide the tape and act like he forgot it at home when we would get in the car. The rhymes and beats were parallel and I have been hardpressed to find another album like it. Illmatic is very close though.

HipHopInformant: What is the most enjoyable thing about performing to you?

Lottery: Being able to see how people respond to you. I actually look at faces and see how they feel about what I am bringing to the table. I also enjoy being able to showcase my creativity because I live for the spotlight. The best feeling in the world is when people know your lyrics and spit them back at you.

HipHopInformant: I always ask what artists think of the Hip-Hop industry, what are your views on the industry?

Lottery: I feel like the industry is changing, but for the better. Change wont show right now, because the digital age is new, but I listen to all these new cats that are coming into the game that are tired of not eating and they are really bringing it. HipHop is starting to feel new and fresh again, because every artist is searching for new ideas. HipHop was never dead, its just that the people who feel that way were not looking at all these new emcees that are finna come into the game that have no cameras on them.

HipHopInformant: Does your music have a message? If so, what is that message?

Lottery: My music overall is for that person who is tired of people telling him what he should do, or how he should do it! I've had people honestly ask me, "Oh you're serious about this rap thing." It only fuels me and you can hear that in songs like "Can't Tell Me S***" I will never tell another man/woman to give up on what he wants to do with his life!

HipHopInformant: Are there any underground artists that you would like to work with?

Lottery: No particular order, but Vanysh, Ill Legit, Nick Campbell, Pro2je, Slot-A, Bullet, Add-2, Gerald Walker, Doe Boy, Haz Solo, Chicago Ro, Big Wiz, Verse, Dr
unken Monkeee, Severe, Starsky, Neo, KM, Brock St. James, Ike Luv, anyone from Flyy City or League Entertainment, TEO, Ill Subliminal, Miltone, Young Blaze, Q, ummmmmm......is that enough names lol.

HipHopInformant: Finally what does the future hold for Lottery?


vanysh said...

Good read. my man lottery doin his thing. don't sleep yall!!

Anonymous said...

Good interview, feelin the interviews man, feelin ure work keep it up site is hot!!!

Anonymous said...

I like his view on things nice interview.

Derrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

chicago got anotha one huh?

Anonymous said...

Lottery is definitely destined for greatness. His love for hip hop definitely shows through not only this interview, but through his music and even his actions... Success is coming soon for him... In his words, "He's about to hit the JACKPOT!!!!!!" :0) I Love you Cousin -Beatrice

Anonymous said...

the kid is dope!

Anonymous said...

If he was 6ft 6 she surely would have made a great basketball player, but getting into hip-hop isnt a bad career either

Anonymous said...

I'm excited for you Lottery, you gon be doin big things soon =] <3

Dani Marie said...

Lottery is destined to do great things. He is passionate about his love for music and he will bring Chicago music scene to new heights. I can truly say that this man is talented. I admire his passionate, hunger and talent. I wish him nothing but the best!!!!

Anonymous said...

I wish Lottery much success not only because he is so talented but because of the fact that he's passionate and he's not in it for self....he wants to help as many people as he can.....I love that about him.....

Anonymous said...

I wish you must success!!! You have had so many influences around you, so keep working hard at it! Good Luck To You!!! The interview was great!