This month we’re introducing those of you sleeping on the local hip hop has to offer to Habit Blcx
Inspired by what’s around him, he rhymes about real issues and is introspective when he does. We caught up with him from the road to talk stigmas facing the hip hop community, what he’s up to next and more.
Kendra: You rhyme about self-love, which isn’t too common in hip hop. Neither is openly talking about depression. With just went down with Kid Cudi going into treatment for that, do you think things are about to shift in mainstream hip hop in terms of lyrical content?
Habit Blcx: I believe that self-love is very prevalent in hip hop, in fact it’s much of reason I wanted to become an artist myself. I’ve been inspired by artist who have unapologetically spoke their truth and told their stories from real places. I see music and writing is a form of therapy when we hear these stories of trials, tribulations and triumph I’m hearing the artist at least, attempting to heal themselves by being so vulnerable. A brief survey of some of our most talented artist will reveal that they a lot of them suffered from depression and other mental ailments.
It takes a lot to be that authentic and if time has taught us anything is that what makes records classic is they are able to connect with people on a deeper level. With that being said it doesn’t always have to be the most lyrical song that to evoke these feelings. We are complicated and nuanced beings, and the beauty of hip hop is that it embodies all of that. From the flashiest, and violent to the humblest and chill, and everything between. Everything that bothers people about hip hop is what is found in society, because the music reflects American Culture; the good, bad, ugly and indifferent.
I agree that mental health especially in Black Communities is stigmatized. I commend Cudi for realizing he had an issue and sought treatment. Given his status, I do believe we can begin to engage in health dialogue around mental issues in the community. With all of that being said, anyone wanting more “lyrical content” I’m here to tell you that is it out there; you just need to go get it and stop expecting it to be given to you on the radio. We love to hold artist responsible for what they create, while not holding ourselves accountable for the content we consume.
Kendra: Life is one of your biggest influences, but what three moments thus far have made the biggest impact on your sound and style?
Habit Blcx: My father is a huge music head, and when I was younger he would make us do karaoke. I hated it at first, but it grew on me. He loved the Motown era, and would always be playing those records. He had a shelf full of CDs from Brian McKnight to Garth Brooks. Every other Friday he would buy some Nikes and a new record. I definitely blame him.
When I was in 7th grade, this girl that liked me asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told her I wanted the new Ludacris album Word of Mouf. I wrote the lyrics to just about every song on that record down and memorized it. From there I started writing my own raps. From that point on, I was super into rap.
When I was in 11th grade, I considered myself a “hip hop head” until a friend of mine put me up on some underground music. That was a game changer for me. While I love my rap songs, I didn’t gang bang, I wasn’t having sex, didn’t’ drive a car, or anything the rappers I like were talking about. I didn’t even to aspire for much of that stuff. I just liked the way they rapped and the beats. When I discovered artist like Foreign exchange, MF Doom, Rakim just to name a few, they spoke to my soul. I was mind blown because they were speaking about something I could relate with.
Growing up in the hood and getting bussed to school in the suburbs I definitely was able to gain some perspective, of which can be found in my music. Though growing up in Los Angeles, much of my music style was influenced by east coast rappers.
Kendra: Last time you dropped a record was back at the start of 2015 with a Progress is a Process. Can we expect a follow up record soon?
Habit Blcx: Currently wrapping up Progress is a Process 2 due to drop early 2017.
Kendra: When you released that record you noted, “Bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be is a process.” Are you where you want to be yet?
Habit Blcx: I’ve come to realize that it’s not about the product, or end point but rather the process to get there. So yes, while I’m not where I want to be yet, I am where I need to be right now. Learning what I need to know, for the next level.