With the recent resurgence in Harlem hip-hop, rapper/producer Webstar recently talked to SOHH about his Manhattan neighborhood’s rap scene and thoughts on newcomer Azealia Banks.
Webstar pointed out the versatility in today’s Harlem hip-hop acts.
“New York City is the Mecca for music. Hip-hop started in the Bronx. If you think about it, somebody new every year comes from Harlem. Whether it’s me or Vado or A$AP Rocky. I just think it’s a good thing to have. The more people that get record deals and that are coming from Harlem, it makes it easier for other people from Harlem to come out. I think if all of us stuck together more, we could have so much power. But we’re all cool. We all grew up together. Me and A$AP, me and Vado, Teyana Taylor, all of us are coming from the same place. We just don’t all work together for some reason. I’m not sure what that reason is but I think if we could all work together, we would be really, really powerful.” (SOHH)
He also gave a strong co-sign on hip-hop newcomer Azealia Banks.
“She’s dope, she’s dope,” Webstar added when asked for his take on Azealia Banks. “She’s from Harlem and has a different sound. I just think that it’s showing us evolving, coming from Harlem. We’ve got so many styles at the end of the day and so much swagger. I’m hyped for her. She’s dope. So far, so good.” (SOHH)
Last spring, Banks downplayed getting mainstream co-signs courtesy of artists like Kanye West.
The Harlem-born 20-year-old seems almost aggressively unastonished by the attention. “I definitely have more money [now] and sh*t,” she admits, “but that’s all virtual stuff. I’ve been making music for a while. And I could read about myself on the Internet for a while.” And meeting the likes of Kanye? “It’s cool, but they’re just people. The skies don’t part and glow orange.” As Banks begins recording her first album, is she listening to anyone for inspiration? “Everyone,” she says, but mostly “Azealia Banks.” (GQ)
Recently, fellow Harlem producer Dame Grease recently spoke to SOHH about his thougths on the state of New York rap.
“We’ve brought the whole New York rap scene back twice,” Grease told SOHH. “I want you to print that in big letters. I’ve brought the rap scene back twice. In 1998 and in 2008-2009. Ten years later with me, Max B and French [Montana], the whole Wave movement. The first Ruff Ryders movement and the Wave movement. New York classics. And it’s printed in history. The mixtapes for the streets got you to see some of the next big artists that’s coming up. That’s why I went back underground with the mixtapes because I was looking for that hunger.” (SOHH)