When you think of the evolution of the Hip Hop Artist, one can only wonder what the future holds.
“What happened to the passion in Hip Hop? it’s just about image.” When you think of the evolution of the Hip Hop Artist, one can only wonder what the future holds. Since Raps inception, Hip Hop has touched the boundaries of Rock, Soul, Disco, R&B and even Gospel.
Artist has fraternized with Politics, Religion, and Parody in order to a have a message in their music. No matter what their niche, one thing seems constant, the artist’s love and passion for their craft. One thing you rarely hear in the interview is that a musician is in it for the money. Although getting paid well for something you love is gravy, artists’ all seem to have a sense of urgency that comes from having a passion for music.
Ty Hickson, born and raised in New York City, was exposed to Hip Hop at birth. At an early age his moms, a talented artist, and producer, gave him the tools of the trade. He plays the guitar and the violin. He loves all genres of music.
As a teenager, he became consumed with photography and is still honing his skills. He believes that photography is the art of capture, the art of immortality and he will tell you, in a minute, that his eye is like no other. Ty’s taste for music is complex.
He recently formed his band the 35mms. He is Public Enemy, Kool G Rap, Nas and Kanye rapped in the favor Janelle Monáe in a masculine perspective. I chit chatted with him and he put me on to a couple things about him and the band.
Where does your inspiration and motivation come from? I would say the current state of Hip Hop and where it went as opposed to where it was. I feel like it’s my duty to make music
What is the state of Hip Hop in your opinion? Right now, to me, Hip Hop is weird it’s not really hip-hop. Originally, Hip Hop was the voice of the people. Now it’s just Bubble Gum music.
It’s a black version of pop it’s marketing, it’s commercial. Music videos aren’t music videos anymore. They are just commercials. I just don’t like the content. I don’t like what Hip Hop is today.
What about your views on Hip Hop past? Hip-hop yesterday was poetic it was real it was soulful it was beautiful. It was music. People don’t even do the live band anymore, that’s why I have a band
Who are some of the old school artist that have inspired you? Common, The Roots all day, Talib Kweli. Of course: A Tribe Call Quest, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, A, and Nas. All the greats. Another one of my favorites is Big L
What about some of the contemporary Artist?
I’m feeling Lupe, definitely feeling Kanye (College Dropout days) and Jay-Z Given your opinion about Hip Hop, past and present, as we look at the evolution of Hip Hop, as an art form, as a commodity, as a means for the people to deliver a message- could you be mad at a new artist trying to find their own niche?
I want to trick people in a way that I want people to listen to my music. The first thing people look for is a nice beat with a catchy hook. So, what I’m going to do is, I’m gonna have all and have messages in my rhymes. It may not hit you at first but eventually, when you hear the song over and over again people will say, Oh Wow! that’s deep. I’ll be taking that approach.
What makes you unique? what do you have that the others don’t? I have an aggressive delivery when I rap. If you were to see a picture of me you would have a different idea of what I might sound like. You would be caught completely off guard by my music. If I was in the eighties I would be like Public Enemy. To be honest, I’m still finding my niche. I’m learning something new about myself every day. My content is getting stronger
Let’s talk about fashion I’m very, very old school. All the way back to like Frank Sinatra, Count Basie era. I loved the way they dressed. I listened to a lot of that music from that era. I like that era because that music is timeless That’s what I would like for my music, to become timeless. 50 years from now I want someone to look back at my videos and wonder what time period it’s from. I’m trying to be a straight gentleman.
Who produces your music? I do all of my stuff. I like strings and orchestra sounds. Trying to do something new like Hip Hop Classical. So it’s going to take a lot of vision but I and my band members are on the same page. They are young and creative they fuse together Jazz Rock Hip hop the whole nine.
Let’s Talk about the band?I named the band the 35mms cause I’m a Photographer. KC/Drum – Ant Reed/Bass – T-Mack/Guitar – Rob/Keys – Mike Andrews/MD/Drums. The background singers are Karla, Ambrosina, and Victoria.
Anything else you want to add? I just want to say that my music and photography go hand in hand. One day I’ll be featured on the cover of a magazine. At the same time, I will be shooting magazine covers.
Norman A. Anderson