Guest Star: "I'd Go With Maybach Music Group Over Everyone Else"

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 12:50AM

Written by J. Bachelor & Cyrus Langhorne

[After an eventful, star-studded South by Southwest adventure this month, SOHH's highlighting urban music's rising stars whose consistent hustle and unique sound have taken them from regional buzz to online and street acclaim. In this exclusive series, we're connecting with artists who "Started From the Bottom." Today, Brooklyn's Troy Ave details his early grind and plans for the future.]

What sort of grind does it take to go from the local scene to a national forefront?

Alotta consistency, really. Constantly revaluating what you're doing and making it bigger and better. I even thought about that last night. I been havin' label meetings just tryna figure out which label I'mma go with. Right now I'm just holdin' out, tryna figure out what I'm gonna do with these next couple chess moves I got to make my stock rise even more. If it don't make sense for me to bust a move right now, then it don't. In most cases, you should stay independent as long as you can.

You've built a nice brand for yourself, why not remain indie?

There's things you can't do independent that you can do major if you have certain aspirations. But if you got all your ducks in a row when you go into the majors, you can have a lot of things set up that you'll see blossom later on.

Tell us what impact music festivals and similar live performances can do for an artist's career.

My shows be dope, but it's more so because of the energy, and me being a dope n*gga. If you just a fly n*gga and you do fly sh*t, I don't think you necessarily have to prep ... it's like knowin' how to dance - you got people that can dance naturally and you got people that gotta do the dance steps. One two, one two. You know what I mean? With me, I do my thing regularly, so with music festivals, it depends on what type of artist you are and your audience. The same people you see at the music festivals, you gonna hear about on the internet so it's more important to be in the streets and in the community with your music.

Do you have a dream collaboration?

Nah, not at all. If it comes along, it come along, but it's nobody that I'm like, "I really wanna get in the studio with them." My own sh*t is unique, man. I got my own unique sound. If I wanna collab, I collab with my artists. Like I really wanted to get in the studio with Pusha T, because he talk that lingo like I talk it and I believe it's authentic, so we got that out the way.

Tell us about your first major artist cosign.

My first major cosign would be Fabolous. That just developed from the friendship that we had and he seen what I was doin'. I wasn't even takin' rap serious until I started gettin' money and being successful. I was gonna have him on a song on Bricks in My Backpack 1, but then I was like it don't even make sense to have him on a song just yet because I was still tryna get my weight up and I didn't want to waste a feature. So I asked him to do the intro, and he was like, "No doubt." Got him on the intro and that was my first big cosign and that was dope.

Given the choice of Maybach Music Group, Young Money or G.O.O.D. Music, which label would you go with and why?

I'd go with MMG over everyone else. Don't get me wrong, if the G.O.O.D. Music or Young Money offer was right I would definitely consider it, but I think MMG fits more with my style of music. The front man of MMG is Rick Ross and the front man of Young Money is Lil' Wayne and that's totally different style wise and look wise. Kanye West is the front man of G.O.O.D. Music and me and him are totally different. You always feel like people won't relate to what you're doing, because they do sh*t that I be like, "Man I'd never do that." I wouldn't dress like this, or do a song about this - but to each his own, that's what makes them unique. But I would never do that, so if was to be aligned with somebody it would have to be somebody who I feel could relate to what I'm sayin'. You don't wanna be in a situation where you sayin' some ill sh*t and that label don't get it because they not from that or they don't relate to that.

Troy Ave, taken from the name of the block he grew up on in Brooklyn, has been buzzing in New York since 2004. Bringing heat in the form of hype songs with real lyrics, this high energy MC got music made by and for the streets. In 2003, he heard 50 Cent's first album and was inspired to pick up the mic. Since then he's dropped four mixtapes, which he sold over 70,000 copies of right out his trunk. In fact, his music has been so hot on the streets that he's the first unsigned rapper out of New York to get bootlegged. His biggest influences include 50 Cent, Master P, Lil' Flip, Young Jeezy and the late, great Notorious B.I.G. With a cinematic sound that paints a vivid picture, Troy Ave's music is autobiographical and he hopes to turn his hobby into a profession where he can build and add on.

Check out Troy Ave's "Started from the Bottom" KEYMix

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