28 April 2011
The Rhyme Perspective: Armond
First and foremost, who is Armond?
Armond’s a simple individual. He enjoys day old popcorn, peanut butter M&Ms, McDonalds and sipping the finest of lemonades & freshly brewed teas, commonly referred to as an Arnold Palmer. And I guess he raps OK too.
Your project The Havilland Savage Theory is a great listen where you display all faucets of your personality. What were you trying to convey with the project?
Every year for Valentine’s Day I do a mixtape based off of a movie to address different aspects of love. Love is a subject that all of us deal with everyday of our lives, but our perception of what it really is, is wrong. Our vertical relationships are easy (kids, parents, God, etc) but our horizontal relationships (boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse) are extremely difficult. Yet, it's something that all of us aspire to have and succeed at. The view of love in today’s society is unrealistic; too much emphasis on sex and physical attributes, but not as much invested in communication and patience. So with The Havilland Savage Theory & The Nina Mosley Experience, I tried to present questions that will generate healthy dialogue between men & women. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I think if you ask the right questions, we can come together & work out an effective conclusion.
You stated on your blog that the project has reached a lot of people. What opportunities have you been blessed with as a byproduct of the project's success?
The most exciting opportunities I’m getting now are speaking at colleges. I think 18-25 is such a vital age. They’re no longer children; they’re out on their own taking baby steps as adults. If I would’ve had someone teach me about love, credit scores, and the way the world works, I wouldn’t be in half the stuff I’m in now.
Your discography consists of like six or seven projects and each presents a different vibe. What are some of the obstacles that prevent you putting together a full project? are you a perfectionist?
I am my obstacle. I struggle with procrastination. I actually recorded and mixed 12 tracks off The Havilland Savage Theory the night before it was released actually. I was up working on it until 3am because I kept pushing it off. I have a home studio, producers, engineers and I create really fast; I’m doing 5 projects this year and they’re already done in my head. So the musical side isn’t an issue. I’m learning more about promotion and marketing, branding, and getting the music out there. It’s kinda difficult when you’re doing all of that yourself.
You reside in Columbus, Ohio and you have had the opportunity to perform with Eric Roberson. Describe the experience...
Performing with Erro was crazy. I’m such a big fan of his music, anytime I can interact with someone who’s impacted my life, I’m all for it.
Being on stage allows Armond to...
Convey what the music doesn’t say. Looking in the eyes of my audience is a high for me. I always focus on the one person who isn’t paying attention and I won’t leave them alone til they totally engage me. I enjoy doing my music acapella because it’s so easy to hide behind a beat and a hook; I want the words to captivate the audience. The biggest fear artists have is wondering if the world really hears you. There are so many intangibles that people look at when it comes to music that have absolutely nothing to do with music. But at the end of the day, is what I’m saying to you just noise? Or crystal clear? Will it impact your life? Motivate you to change? Or am I just entertaining you. Being on stage allows me to gauge that.
I also respect you for your ability to present music as an artist who has a Christian background. What is your overall feeling about the Christian Hip-Hop Genre and will you gravitate towards it one day?
I think Christian hip-hop is getting a LOT better sonically, which was always my biggest issue with it. I don’t think the issue is in the music, it’s the people. Once the church is open and honest with itself as imperfect humans and not Jesus robots who spit fire and brimstone, you’ll see a renaissance within the culture, which in turn will penetrate the world. People want authenticity; cats wanna preach and give truth, which is cool, but the gospel is much more effective when you’re able to link your personality and your life and who God is to you within it. Including your flaws. Because God does not make you perfect. God’s perfect, we’re not. A lot of people don’t have a grasp on that, so it hurts more than it helps. Will I 'gravitate towards it'? I can't control how people label my music, it's just music to me.
Your next project is called The Residue and the lead single features Marsha Ambrosius. What are the expectations for this project?
The Havilland Savage Theory was the reality TV season. The Residue is the reunion show. There are some things that didn’t fit within the context of the original project that still need to be said. This one is a lot more personal. Right after The Havilland Savage Theory dropped, I went through some things that I address on the EP.
If you had the chance to present a perfect album who would you enlist as features and for production?
Honestly I would handle the rhymes myself, the only features I’d have are the cats that were with me from jump; Rich Tunes, L-Win & Flex. For the most part I’d keep production in house with producers I already have relationships with; Doc, Sandman & Pizzie. If I had the budget to reach out, I’d go with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, The Inkredibles, Just Blaze, & Noah ‘40’ Shebib.
Great choices! This ties into the previous question, who would you like to collaborate with and why?
I don’t hear a rapper & say “you know, I’d love to RAP with them!!!” I’m moreso into having a conversation; what were you thinking about when you wrote this, when you said this, what message were you trying to convey? In that case there’s a LOT of cats who I respect as lyricists that I’d want to talk to. Phonte, Joe Budden, Sade, Anita Baker, Ryan Tedder, Ne-Yo, and Esparanza Spalding. I wanna talk to OJ Da Juiceman. How he was able to parallel selling drugs & fast food on “I Sell Chickens” is amazing to me.
What are some your of your interests outside of hip-hop?
I am a HOMEBODY!!! I will watch old wrestling videos on YouTube, play PS3 and Netflix all day and be content. Growing up as a military brat, I’ve traveled my entire life, so now after 26 years I’m finally in one place and I enjoy sitting still, if that makes sense.
How can the fans get in contact with you?
I’m on twitter all day everyday, Armond on Twitter. My website has my music, blogs, & other randomness of mine as well.