First and foremost who is Born One?
Rose based on the concept of love and appreciation, I grew up in a fairly modest environment with an immediate sense of gratitude. Born Robert R. Gonzales III, I was chosen by the GOD to carry my father's last name which I managed to do quite well so far. As an 80's baby, I was conceived through KFC drumsticks and Tower Of Power records so that SOUL I seem to belt through a 16 is in my nature. Through trials and tribulations I've developed an interesting personality which coincides with my way of rhyming. Overall I'm a good dude with good intentions and a hood state of mind.
How long have you been emceeing and making beats?
I started with the wordplay in the late 90's when the "game" wasn't as foulball as it is now. I found the 4 elements so intriguing I literally gravitated toward the culture. I tried break dancing but I couldn't ninety without passing gas. I tried tagging but I couldn't piece to save my life. I tried to cut it up on the wheels of steel but I couldn't cut it on the ones and twos. So I started writing (not free styling) and building within the loose leaf on some "I rock the mic" type ish. Got my rep up and started spitting for the homies on the block till I earned my self proclaimed name BORN.
Punching them rubber pads was something totally different. Before the Internet became such a useful resource, rocking a legitimate sounding instrumental was hardly an option (The OG's can attest to that). So in 05' I started dabbling with some local cat's MPC2000xl (And stacking wax) until I was able to afford my own and the rest is history.
Who influenced you growing up and who would you love to collaborate with today?
It's such a cliche to say Pac and BIG but it is what it is. Pac had just released All Eyez On Me and BIG dropped Life After Death and the way they approached those particular records was and is so significant in my development as an emcee. I gradually became more aware of my options and started thinking outside of the box or radio if you will. I was constantly copping CLUE and TONE TOUCH mix tapes which eventually exposed me to the underground scene. J-Live of NY dropped Shiesty and Dilated Peoples of CA dropped Work The Angles and I was hooked. Mos Def, The Rebel INS (Wu), Defari, J5...Man I couldn't begin to list em' all.
Phonte of Little Brother/Foreign Exchange would have to be an artist I would love to get down with. He's versatile, charismatic and a true performer. In fact if he is not where DRAKE and them are soon than I'm throwing in the towel ha ha.
Born One is different from the multitude of rappers because...
He ain't a Rapper, he's a man that writes and rhymes what life hands him. True Story, I was once asked if I think one day there might not be anything else to rhyme about. If ya'll could have seen my face ha ha. As long as the mind stays open and you take your time you can drop dimes all day. This generation of "rappers" take the trade way to serious. Listen to a few "People Under The Stairs" records and then spit your single ha ha. This ish is supposed to be fun and MAYBE you get paid from it. I want doe too but I refuse to compromise my integrity to get it. What they hear from me is me. My word is my bond.
In 2010, you released like two or three projects through your own independent label NuWurd Records. What propelled you to start your own record label and do you have more currents in the works?
Direction. I was Fortunate to have been involved with a couple talented collectives in the past which made me realize that in order to progress you must understand the direction you want to go. That and that alone was the main reason why I decided to ultimately create my own label. It's also an obvious advantage that has its benefits in the long run. It gives you the ability to work at your own pace.
I am currently wrapping up my third self produced/written album which will more than likely be released in a couple months. I will also be releasing a NuWurd Compilation album in the winter of 2012 which will feature artists that will eventually be under my indie label.
What was the concept behind Push N Wait and Hand Me Downs?
Push N Wait was a very interesting and complex concept for both me and producer Nikademus (Canada) for the simple fact that we were trying to combine our very own person to each individual track within the album. He being a christian and me not following religion at all seemed to challenge us both in so many different angles that we couldn't pass up the opportunity. We tended to pick each others brains between tracks which became more and more personal in conversation. That made for an emotional conclusion.
All of my self produced/written albums are personal in substance and Hand Me Downs was no exception. During the process of creating the album me and my child's mother weren't in the best of terms and I have a tendency to vent on paper which I eventually record. That being said Hand Me Downs was a mixture of emotional thoughts or essentially a man diary ha ha. Often touching base with issues that require a certain amount of sensitivity and respect, the truth becomes a major factor. That's something I pride myself in and I make sure it reflects on my solo projects. The Title itself holds a lot of weight which I prefer not to get into because some might take offense to it but its never my intention to disrespect, only to get a point across.
The masses should support your discography because...
I got a story to tell. Everybody and their mama rhymes now so I consider it a blessing in disguise. It just makes it that much easier to distinguish the real from the fake or wack for that matter. It takes discipline to maintain focus so I cut records under the assumption that cats still appreciate the rhyme and what it does for them.
Explain the creative process involved with the conception of SOul Wat record. Did you find it difficult working with a beat maker through the Internet?
Purposely putting emphasis on the S and the O. in SOul Wat, me and IMMO (Germany) simply said let's put in work and let it do what it do. Apparently it became a little more than that because after getting much praise overseas we decided to drop a whole album together. This album was without route intentionally to give the fans a taste of what could come from two SOUL brothers from another mother.
The benefit from working with producers overseas is you really get to experience another culture through conversation. In order to be satisfied with the outcome you have to know what your getting into and in this case that wasn't a concern at all because Immortal Beats and I were obviously on the same page.
Describe the hip-hop scene in Arizona. Is there a sense of unity there or is chaotic?
Like the state itself, the Hip Hop scene is very segregated. A lot of locals might disagree with me but like Chuck, I say it how I see it. That's why we don't got a Little Brother like North Carolina or a Freeway like Philly. It's like a High School in Scottsdale. You got your click and I got mine. I personally don't help the situation but then again I don't feel its my responsibility. If AZ's own Governor can't act right I don't see change in any shape or form. It's a sad outlook and I might be criticized for my comments but I wouldn't be doing me if I didn't say how I feel and I feel like the state of AZ has got a lot of issues.
What motivates you to continue to record music nowadays given the over saturation of the genre?
Same thing that makes you still write and rhyme P, it makes us happy and life would not be the same if we couldn't let em know ha ha. I have excepted the fact that my chances of making it big are slim but that don't mean that I don't appreciate the love I get from the 15 year kid from Seattle letting me know that I go hard.
How can the masses get in touch with you?
I got the droid x so your man Born is very accessible nowadays ha.
Any Final Thoughts?
I love you fam...I love you baby Boy....Much love to everybody who still supports me...RIP to Mrs. Wells (glad2mechas mama)...thank you Jesus..lets keep it moving.
God bless and goodnight.
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