13 April 2012
The Gift of Giving and Receiving Love with SoulBrotha
First and foremost, who is Soulbrotha and how long have you been rhyming?
SoulBrotha is an emcee committed to delivering quality music to inspire, motivate and uplift the masses. I’ve been rhyming professionally for 7 years, before that it was just for fun.
Your biography states that you are Nigerian and that you reside in Texas. Would you mind describing how your upbringing shaped you as a man and human being?
Growing up and living in Nigeria has helped keep me grounded spiritually and mentally. It’s given me an appreciation for life and a society where the system works. Coming from a place where even basic amenities such as electricity, food and water are luxuries as opposed to being readily accessible to the people, in my view has helped fuel my drive to beat the odds no matter how great or small. As human beings I believe there is something in us that rises to the occasion when challenged. Seeing and experiencing some of the hardships like poverty, deprivation and gross corruption that my people still face today keeps me motivated to keep attacking life. My mentality is no matter how many times I’m knocked down I will get up.
Recently you released a project called 4letterwrd that was entirely produced by Aeon (of Tanya Morgan and Lessondary fame). How did you link up with Aeon and describe working with him?
In 2008 or so Aeon dropped a beat tape that got a lot of fanfare on the web. The following year, I recorded two songs (“The Twitter Song,” “Life is Crazy”) over beats I got from the project that received a lot of favorable reviews and buzz and later reached out to him via OkayPlayer (the Roots’ website) for beats for a different project that I later scrapped, but we kept in touch since then. During the course of our communication for the scrapped project, one of the beats (which later became the song, “Happy Valentimez”) stuck in my head and never went away. The idea for a chorus came to mind which blossomed into a concept for a project (which eventually became 4letterwrd) towards the end of last year (2011). We exchanged emails back and forth about it and once he was on board, he sent me more material and the rest is history.
Describe the concept of 4letterwrd... and why should people download 4letterwrd?
4letterwrd as the name implies is based on love. Human beings fundamentally need love and express it in different aspects of our existence, from our faith/religion to our families, friendships and romantic relationships. Life is short, recent deaths that I’ve known about personally and in the news seem to drive this point home for me all the time. This project is my way of encouraging or reminding everyone including myself about the importance of love in our lives and why we need to continue expressing it to the ones we care about the most. Aesthetically, it is feel good music too that you can pop in the whip, for a cookout/BBQ or if you’re just cleaning around the house. As a matter of fact I did the latter this weekend and it is DOPE if I may say so myself, lol!
You can download 4letterwrd HERE.
I love the honesty that you pour into your music. Recently, I was able to watch the video for "Look of Love" from your Southpaw EP. What was the motivation behind the song and what is your fascination with the concept of love?
Thanks for the compliment. I went through a divorce last year and “Look of Love” was the story of the relationship from my point of view and how that affected me emotionally as a man and a human being. I just wanted people to know that as men this kind of thing affects us too and can mess one’s psyche up if one isn’t allowed to process, deal, heal and eventually move on which thankfully has happened for me. I’m not happy it occurred to begin with but I learnt a lot about myself, about relationships and what I want and don’t want moving forward. I guess deep down, I am a lover (not in an LL Cool J smack your lips kinda way, no diss to Uncle L of course but). I believe in love, I believe in its power to heal people to change societies. I think if people accepted love and gave love we’d all be the better for it.
The success of the Southpaw EP made it easier for you to connect with the blogs. Talk about the importance of music blogs and the power of networking?
Music blogs are the new labels in a way. They have become the premier outlet for artists such as myself to get heard by people all over the world because of the access they already possess by way of readership or followers. As far as networking is concerned, the popular saying, “its all about who you know” holds true not just in the music business but in every aspect of business and life period. Knowing for instance the hiring manager for a job to which you applied is the difference between getting that job or getting your resume tossed into a recycle bin. The same is true for music, if you know for instance Kevin Lyle’s publicist or manager the chances of you getting heard by him already increase significantly than say you waited outside at his favorite restaurant and handed him a CD. Networking provides a “circle of trust” where a product or person of interest has already received a stamp of approval because of the pre-existing relationship between the middle man in the relationship and the person who said artist wants to be heard by.
Your mini-bio also states that you are an unapologetic Christian. What is an unapologetic Christian?
That’s a good question. In my opinion an unapologetic Christian is one who isn’t ashamed about their faith or beliefs in Christ. As Christians, the Bible encourages us to possess this attitude. The world in recent times has become increasingly harsh towards Christianity and sometimes understandably so, we haven’t been the best examples of what we preach but we’re not Jesus either so with that in mind there will unfortunately be mixed results. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re absolutely flawless as an individual. In fact quite the contrary, it does mean you are a work in progress. Knowing this, I am what I am and shouldn’t have to deny what I am just to make someone else feel comfortable about who they are. I think people operate at their best when they are allowed to be comfortable being their true selves. Live and let live.
How can the fans get in contact with you?
I am on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.
Any final words?
Love Hip Hop, hug a rapper today.