Brooklyn Born, City began to pick up his pen to write rhymes at the age of 9 years old. Inspired at that time by greats such as Run DMC, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One Kool G. Rap among other legends of that era. Harnessing his skill free-styling in ciphers and writing songs. After the death of his parents he used his music & running the streets to escape the pain. By the age of 15 he began to experience recording his rhymes in studios.
It wasn't son long before "City aka City the Great" found himself in legal trouble which placed him with a 7 year sentence. During his incarceration he lost his passion for writing and gave up rap and his dream. After tasting freedom for 2 years, happily married with a family of his own and a mind set to never return to jail. He found himself struggling with a simple 9-5 work schedule. tempted to transgress in order to support his family he borrowed his head in prayer. It was at that very moment that he began to write again.
City delivers his story, journey and message displaying a lyrical skill that purely proves himself to be the ultimate recipe that Hip Hop today is lacking. Ready to embrace his destiny dropping his mix tape comeback "In The Belly of The Beast".With the help of his new management Def Jam A&R
Michael "Goldie Mack" Greaux of Goldie Mack Artist Management and Precious Hall of Imprecious Entertainment Services.
Revolution had the opportunity to catch up with City to discuss his up-coming EP titled
"The Journey to Judgement" and life after prison.
R. You have lived an interesting life, unique in someways, yet not uncommon. With your life experience tell us us how music changed it all?
City. Growing up and facing all the dramatic events throughout my journey I held in a lot of problems I was facing. Which resulted in those subdued elements turning into rage and me letting it out in a negative way. My music is my outlet. it allows me to express how I feel as well as fight off a lot of demons as well as fight off a lot at that state and time in a positive and productive way.
R. Your music depicts the harsh realities of growing up in an urban society, along with, the many struggles the that comes with being a street kid. Would you say that this has been more of an advantage to you and your music?
City. Yes and No. Yes because those who been through or are going through the struggle can relate to my story. It can serve as an eye opener making those aware of what they are going through and figuring a change is needed because a lot of people walk around blind folded and accepting the struggle in search of no change. It can also deliver hope to those who feel hopelessly trapped. No because a lot of people who are ignorant to the negative outcome of this struggle will just look at it in a manner of it's OK to go through this struggle and do the things that I have done done.
R. During your years of incarceration you had plenty of time to reflect, was there anyone on the inside that inspired you?
City. Being as though I was the youngest in a prison full of older men, some never going home many of them would try and school me about how fortunate I was to someday receive a 2nd chance at life. So I would say I had many inspirational words told to me by various different people. My main inspiration was on the outside. My uncle Wallace who raised me stuck with me throughout the whole bid with inspirational words. He unfortunately passed away recently but he was the greatest, most positive inspiration I had.
R. So are what you working on next?
City. Currently I am working on various projects. My main focus right now is my EP " The Journey To Judgement" which be releasing later on this year. This will be my greatest work to date so I am putting my all into it.
R. Times are a changing, and so has music. What artist today puts you in the groove?
City. I would say at present Eminem. He is the most lyrical artist in the game still going strong and I respect his realness to express the struggle he is going through. I am constantly tuning into his music.
R. How do you feel about the new wave of Hip Hope music and the direction it has taken?
City. I am really disgusted with the mockery of it. It has become something that requires no skill. The majority of artist in the mainstream are talking about a bunch of nothing. Seems as though it's just a bunch of catchy hooks and banging beats nothing more and nothing less. Hip-Hop was all about creativity, expression, and skill. Now I see it has taken Hollywood direction no longer for people to relate to as well as negative subliminal messages.
Last but not Least...
R. Your on a abandon road, in the distance you see a door opens and there you have reached the gates to heaven. The man himself greets you, what rap do you say to him?
City. I would flow certainly flow my song " Angels & Demons". That song was introduced with scripture and then a verse asking God for help to fight the demons that I face. The 2nd verse I told the story Jesus for the great man he was and is. This song is very dear to me and a dedication to the one and only supreme being that carried me through many situations that if he hadn't I would not be here today to have this interview nor raise my children.
Contact City: www.reverbnation.com/citypro2010