When it comes to California in the southern region, hip hop usually is thought to reside in Compton for obvious reasons, the LBC thanks to Snoop and that’s about it. We never really think of Orange County, but I can assure we will not thanks to Modern Day Soulja. He’s a young emcee who takes his music as seriously as he does his community. He talks about that, his latest album Spiritual Warfare and more in the latest from our Hip Hop Shop.
Kendra: You seem pretty connected to your local community. Is that something you saw in another rapper that you admired, or did that spawn from somewhere else?
Modern Day Soulja: To be honest, I never saw myself being really involved in my community as a Hip-Hop artist like I am today. My hometown and the city I grew up in my whole life, La Puente, is known for a lot of other negative things instead of music. Things such as: gang violence, senseless murders, poverty, and various crimes. It was a tough place to grow up and I lost a lot over the years growing up in LP, but I realized that is what made me who I am today and just embraced it. After filming my beloved single and music video, “Huero’s Pueblo,” which is my story growing up in La Puente, it connected me a lot more to my former high school, community, and gave me a sense of pride. It’s really a beautiful place when you look at it from the right perspective.
Kendra: How is the rap scene down in the OC?
Modern Day Soulja: The rap scene in the Orange County is very vibrant and very much alive and well for independent hip-hop artists like myself. A few OC emcees have really begun to make a name for them selves like PHORA, which then in turned created an inevitable love for hip-hop and artists such as myself. It has been a hot spot recently for up and comers in the independent scene and I definitely tapped into that. Orange County actually has a lot going for them since being a hit with mainstream TV. I built a fan base out there, which is the reason I hosted my release party for my latest album Spiritual Warfare in Santa Ana.
Kendra: What do you currently have going on when it comes to new music, videos, touring?
Modern Day Soulja: As of now, almost five months out of my latest release of my latest album Spiritual Warfare, I’m actually already in the completion phase of two more albums, two smaller EP projects, and a string of new videos that I will release month to month if all goes well. Been working hard behind the scenes on new music and am excited for what’s to come by the end of summer. Believe it or not, I been working on a R&B album with an amazing vocalist entitled A Love Like This. It’s a little out of the norm as far as my patented inspirational Hip-Hop, but I been having a lot of fun with it and wanted to show my versatility as an artist / songwriter and do something for the ladies. On top of that, my other album and two EP projects in the works will get back to the roots of what I’m known for musically; which is creative, inspirational, and powerful Hip-Hop with substance and purpose. If all goes according to plan, each of the projects will be promoted and marketed with high production music videos to various singles on each album and EP. Last but not least, with all my new material and after building some momentum, I’m looking to put together my own tour to visit various cities, perform my new music, meet my fans, and promote all my new material.
Kendra: In a year’s time, where you hope to be musically?
Modern Day Soulja: Man, a years time will fly by with all that I got in the works and just staying productive and busy…but at this point and time in my career, I’m looking to make that next big step for myself and all those in my community and beyond that believe in me. I don’t know exactly what that is, but obviously the key is to stay consistent, keep progressing, & continue doing what I love and am passionate about. I never envisioned myself in the position I am now: being on itunes, spotify, having toured throughout the US, been on radio and TV, performing alongside some of the legends of my time, and creating a fan base of listeners who listen to my music everyday and love what I do. It’s truly a blessing and I am humbled and just want to stay grateful to even be where I am at this very moment, but greatness is never content. Though I couldn’t envision this when I was just freestyling and writing raps for fun in high school, now I have a lot of people who support me and I truly want to break that next barrier for them so to speak. Maybe sign with a label, perform on bigger stages/festivals, get a single on the radio etc. As of now I keep my mind focused on smaller goals and just building my catalog and taking it 1 step at a time. I came this far and am excited to see where I can take it not only for myself, but for my family and all my SOULJAS!
Kendra: Can you let us know the song that made you want to rap, and the song you currently can’t get enough of and how you think the two compare?
Modern Day Soulja: To be honest, there wasn’t one particular song that made me want to rap. I never aspired to be like anyone else in a sense. I used to love listening to Tupac in high school and do accredit him as an inspiration of mine all the time. I even honored him in a mixtape I made in 2011 titled Modern Day Shakur. The way I got into music was very interesting. It started as poetry for me early in my early years but developed as something me and a bunch of friends used to love to do in our high school. After us going through so much and losing childhood friends, it became something therapeutic for all of us. It was a way to express our deepest feelings and honor those who we would rap with that passed on before their time. Then I decided to embark on my solo career as an artist and I’ve kept the same tradition with my music. Now my music is not only medicinal for me with everything I’ve overcome, but for others as well when they listen. Music is a beautiful thing to me, it’s powerful, and it’s special. Without the ability to create music and express myself through my rhymes, I honestly don’t know where I would be today. Someone must have been looking out for me when they gave me the gift of gab and the love for making music. This is me in my purest form, This is the reason why I go by Modern Day Soulja, and this is music!