By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
With each record, each visual, each post, each everything, New York-born, Florida-raised MC Hi-Rez makes sure he is always saying something substantial.
Exuding hope, optimism, and humility, the “3 Ft Tall” rapper is a walking testimony to any aspiring artist with a dream.
With his latest project, Humble But Hungry<https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/humble-but-hungry/1416840654>, fans are welcomed with a more mature and sophisticated Hi-Rez, while still appreciating the substance in his lyrics.
AllHipHop caught up with Hi-Rez to discuss gun control, his take on the music industry, and the new Kanye.
AllHipHop: I know in “We Want Change” you mention you don’t have a solution. How do you feel you can help the world? Is there any hope?
Hi-Rez: A solution. [laughs] Absolutely. When I said it in the moment, I literally was just writing. “I know we need a change, I don’t know how the f##k we’re going to change, but we need a change.” Yes, I’m never the one to dive into politics, because I don’t do my research enough to sway fans a certain way. Obviously, gun control needs to be a thing. It needs to be taken more serious. People shouldn’t be able to walk in and get automatic rifles.
That’s a f##king military grade weapon. That’s stupid, that’s dumb. That’s obviously gun control right there. I don’t know. Beefed up security at schools? I have no idea. It sucks. It’s a terrible situation.
AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?
Hi-Rez: Hope. Any struggle can be overcome. Anything you go through, from point A to point B, whatever it is.
From the smallest struggle to the biggest struggle in the world, nothing is impossible to overcome. It’s not easy. From depression to suicide to anxiety to alcoholism, a family member dying, anything.
That’s just life. The sooner people realize that happens to everyone at different stages, the sooner they realize we can relate. You can overcome anything, that’s what I want you to take away.
AllHipHop: What is your take on the music industry?
Hi-Rez: I think it’s special. When I was younger, I was bitter and hated everyone. I thought I was the best rapper around. As I got older, there’s so much room for everyone. It’s such a special time. I love where hip-hop is. It’s changing constantly. I love where music is.
Even though I’m young, I’m an old head when it comes to being a fan. KRS-One, Wu-Tang, Cypress Hill, that’s my s##t. Just being in this world, I love where it is. I’m friendly with anyone who’s dope. I like everyone’s music who’s humble, cool, and seems down-to-earth. If you’re a good person, I like the s##t that comes with you, I like your music too. If you’re a wack person, I don’t like you.
AllHipHop: Do you feel it’s hard for substantial hip-hop to be seen in this day in age?
Hi-Rez: It’s such a cycle. I feel it’s been gone for so long that people are craving it now. Not to the masses yet. In the last 6 months, even though people might’ve forgot about it, there was a time I kept saying, “Black Thought is on the charts, at the same time as Nas, at the same time as Cudi, at the same time as Kanye, and no one is saying anything about this?”
They were all top 10 on the charts in the same week, and no one said anything? But the fact that it happened means people care. They might not be vocal about it like a lot of these younger kids or the newer shit, but it exists.
There’s a new kid, YBN Cordae. Super dope rapper, but people just have been missing rap. He’s in people’s faces now because he reminded people that they’re fucking rapping. It’s tough for rappers.
AllHipHop: Kanye being your favorite artist, what do you think of the new Kanye?
Hi-Rez: If you dive deep into all the shit — and people might hate me for saying this — he’s been saying the same things forever.
That’s just me. Like I said, I don’t speak about politics. I don’t know anything about politics. I can’t tell you about that world.
To the degree of how he’s acting, I feel it’s always been in the shit. If you listen to the wild shit he was saying in “All Falls Down,” he said “I can’t pronounce Versace,” things like that.
He said he would spend all his money on a Jacobs watch before this and that. He was always doing a sophisticated ignorant thing. That’s what I still think he’s doing: sophisticated ignorance.
That’s how people chalk it up right now. People either think he’s ignorant or genius, I think he’s both.