Peace OK-Tho community. Today I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with up and coming Queens based MC Focus The Truth.
1. My first question is how you got into Hip-Hop? What was your first introduction to the culture and your first influences?
Focus - Hip-Hop was just always around as the popular culture for me. When I was in elementary, I remember listening to a lot of the old Bad Boy music because at the time they were killing with Biggie, Kim and even Mase. I think my earliest memories ofHip-Hopwere Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer, but I would say I really started getting into around the time Biggie's second album. I remember knowing all the words for a lot of those songs. I used to listen to the "Notorious Thugs" song over and over just to get his verse memorized. I used to and still think that is the bestHip-Hopalbum of all time.
2. How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene?
Focus - Honestly, I thinkHip-Hopis in a great place because of the internet. There is room for everybody to flourish. If you are a fan of melody-driven trap rap or even old-school boom bap it is readily available at your hands. The direct to consumer model has given power to the marketplace. There are far fewer barriers to entry, and I feel like there is room for anyone to choose what they want to champion. I'm more of a lyric-driven artist myself, but I listen to artist like xxxtentacion and Young Thug then I may turn around and listen to Roc Marciano and Pusha T. Although these artists are polar opposites artistically, I'm just glad there is room for everybody to do their thing.
3. Who are some of your all-time favorite MC's, producers, and deejays? And who are some of your favorite today?
Focus - I love a lot of different artists but some of my all-time favorite MC's would be Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, The Lox, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Kanye, Raekwon, Rick Ross and Pusha T. Some of the contemporary artists I enjoy are Myself, Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad and a lot of others. As far as producers I would say everything Alchemist, Kanye, Smoking Indoors, Dj Premier, and I also like Harry Fraud.
4. What MC's and producers would you like to collab with the most?
Focus - I would say Styles P or Nas for MC and Alchemist or Kanye as a producer.
5. How'd you get your foot in the door as an artist?
Focus - Just working to be honest. Doing as many shows as possible and uploading as much content as I could. I don't really consider my foot in the door yet. I feel like I still have a long way to go but as my manager Ben would say I think we are just building all of the roots and roots turn into trees. Although I've been putting in groundwork for years, I still think I'm doing that now but it is still a labor of love.
6. With you being from New York I have to ask, past and present, in your opinion who's the best rapper from each borough, and who's the best rapper from New York?
Focus - That is a good question. I think from Queens it is Nas, Brooklyn- Biggie, the Bronx- Big Pun, Staten Island - Raekwon, Manhattan- Camron, and if you consider Long Island a borough I would say Rakim
7. What do you hope to accomplish with your music?
Focus - I think my music documents where I am in life. All of my music is kind of a time marker for me because what I'm going through or what people close to me are going through is documented in it because all of my music comes from a real place and a lot of it is introspective. For me, I feel like when I have grandkids and they look back at what I have done they can go back and say "This is what my grandfather was into during this period of life". Maybe that will help them in the future. I hope they can grab that, and I hope my fans can just hear my music and stories and get inspiration. Or sometimes just some insight on life being that music is reality driven for the most part. I honestly just want to create and inspire people to do what they love.
8. What's next for you as a solo artist?
Focus - As a solo artist, I'm working on some more visuals for my latest project "Love Will Get You Killed" while also working on multiple music projects. My team is working on a tour this year but all in all I'm just grinding as much as I can to get my music to the highest level it can be.
That's dope man. Anybody you want to say peace to or Shoutout before we wrap it up?
Focus - I want to give a huge shoutout Queens, NY and to all of my supporters around the world who have been riding with me on this journey by purchasing/streaming my music and coming to my shows. That type of support can help a lot when those negative doubts come to mind when creating. Also, a big shoutout to my producer Smoking Indoors and my manager Ben. Love is Love.