Airtight Grizzly is the next person on the (2)Dope hot seat, and we touched on a variety of topics, from music’s presence in the digital world to cartoons. Read what he had to say under the cut.
You’re a London-born Nigerian who was raised in New York. tell us about the facets of growing up exposed to a variety of cultures.
It feels great to know I’ve had exposure to so many cultures, and formed relationships with people from all walks of life. When I was younger I lived very much like a nomad (I still do kinda) It’s like i’ve been touring all my life! I remember weekends and holidays in London with the family (all the cousins that weren’t really my cousins lol) Older folk got together cooked, played dope music and danced. Then weekdays I went to an elementary school where I was the only black child. Dad had a thorough record collection, all genres and he was an early hip hop head so he had me and my brother listening to cats like Rakim, LL and Slick Rick at the age of 5! My family in the US (Maryland/VA stand up) kept me connected to things out here, so when I finally moved to Brooklyn (like I had been plottting since the 4th grade ha) it felt like i’d been here before. Music is the universal language.
Even in this digital age it’s still difficult for an artist to release his music. There was even a time where you considered not releasing your own album. What, if any, difficulties do you face?
I’ve been “releasing” music online since 2003 but its been FREE music. Any buzz i’ve started generating now is because of those listeners i’ve gained thru the years riding for and with me. But the digital age is just like real life in the fact that it takes 10 years to truly become a success, so I would hope that no true artist is detered from not becoming a millionare after posting 1 or 2 mixtapes online. The first song I recorded in a real (basement) studio with an orginal beat n’all was 1999.
Part of the reason why I called the album Everything’s Good Ugly is because for most of us in life to achieve the “good” you have to go thru some “ugly.” So I’d post a song, some people in the Internet world just hear a beat and some rhymes, but they don’t see the scrapping of pennies to get on the subway for a wack temp job that you can barely survive with, long weekends traveling out of state to a studio only to have the material ignored by the “so called” label you’re dealing with, among other issues that you will sometimes hear me refer to in my music. Life is difficult, it’s not supposed to be easy and i’m an indie artist so I have to work harder, but with that said I still “release” music whenever I want lol.
*BONUS* If a cartoon character was created based on you, what cartoon would it appear in and why?
I’d be Coach Airtight on Class of 3000 His character would be the school football coach who really wants to be a rapper and knows EVERYTHING bout hip hop so he tries to substitute for Sonny a lot to rap for the kids. Somebody makes this happen!!!! My daughter and I love Andre 3000’s cartoon network show, and I used UFO Ninja from the soundtrack for the [email protected] mixtape.