Guest Star: "I Don't Even Think I Had A Deal Yet When I Was Goin' At Trinidad [James] About The Song"
Monday, Mar 18, 2013 12:28AM
[After an eventful, star-studded South by Southwest adventure this month, SOHH's highlighting urban music's rising stars from the music festival and letting them reflect on their journey from a regional buzz toward national acclaim. In this exclusive series, we're connecting with artists who "Started From the Bottom." Today, Def Jam's August Alsina details his rise from the city streets to joining a music empire rap gods Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys and more helped build.]
What sort of grind does it take to go from the local scene to a national forefront?
The grind and networking is probably more important than actually performing and letting people see you as an artist. I'm just a young n*gga hustling. Last year, I was without a deal -- I was homeless. I was blessed with an opportunity. My manager said, "Gimme six months" now I'm here. My grind is for all the n*ggas that can't do this. It's for the n*ggas that's dead, in jail and everyone else that didn't get the opportunity.
Tell us about your rise and particularly what performing at an event like this means to you.
It's a blessing to be here because last year I was here and nobody knew me. That was before the deal and I just came here to watch. This year I did the show with The-Dream and turned up. I heard the T.I. show was turned up, I heard he set the speaker on fire or something. But tonight, we're gonna rock out.
Tell us about a major cosign you received.
Trinidad James, that's my homie. I don't say this word too much, but that's one of my friends. I f*ck with him. I don't even think I had a deal yet when I was goin' at Trinidad about the song. We got mutual friends outside of this industry in the same tattoo shop. We get tatted at the same spot, and they was tryna connect us for a long time and it just finally happened. But yeah, I'm about to put the mixtape out on April 15. I didn't choose that date, but the beautiful thing about that is that's the date of my brother's birthday who got killed.
[Editor's Note: The Def Jam artist opened the Diamond Supply X Def Jam show, which also featured T.I., B.o.B. and Trinidad James at SXSW. August received a major cosign from Trinidad James who appears on the track "I Love This Sh*t," which dropped a few weeks ago.]
Born and bred from the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, enter into the game, 20-year-old August Alsina. With the love and hustle of the Crescent City running through his veins, August is eager to follow in the footsteps of the NOLA music legends that paved his way. His recently inked deal Def Jam Recordings looks to be a great step in the right direction, but music wasn't always in his future. In an attempt to escape his reality, August took to Youtube, where he posted dozens of homemade performance videos. His clips covering Musiq Soulchild, Lyfe Jennings and others went viral, generating millions of views in just over a month. With Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter The Dream prepping August's debut project for release through his Radio Killa/Def Jam imprint, the path to success has been laid. Look for August to make 2013 his official coming out party.
Peep August Alsina's "I Love This Sh*t" featuring Trinidad James: