24: Introduce yourself to everyone that doesn’t already know who you are.
HMAN: My name is Richard Denton, but I go by HMAN which is abbreviated for Hus$tleman. I was given that alias by the OGs who respected my hustle, determination and grind. As I grew older, the music found it’s way into my life in a positive role and as I began to experiment and exercise my new found talent I needed a name to go with my image and message. So I kept the Hus$tleman moniker to remind myself of what it takes to exceed any hurdle in my way. It’s the Hus$tle..
24: Before we get into your music, can you describe your history about how you got into and what inspired you?
HMAN: It’s been real, I can say that much, lol. I was raised in a Christian home and as a kid, my mother wouldn’t allow us to listen to any type music if it wasn’t gospel, and I wasn’t trying to hear that. I played a lot of sports, football became the main focus and making it to the NFL was the dream I was looking to fulfill. But sometimes life deals you another hand and turned out that football wasn’t what I really wanted at all. The amount of work, commitment and dedication it takes to become a professional athlete is a huge sacrifice for the naturally blessed and any hard working player. I can honestly say my commitment wasn’t 100% in the game, I was more concerned with how I was going to help my mom pay the bills and put food on the table for my family. I was all in on the grind, while trying to stay a float with everything else. In between that time I wrote a lot. Poems and stories, mainly as an escape from some of the things I was going through at the time, and it wasn’t too long after that I put my writing to good use and rhymed my first verse over a homies beat box. 7 years later here I am… on mission to (W)RAP the world.
24: What was the Hip-Hop scene like for you growing up where you’re from?
HMAN: Small. Its like a fish bowl with a lot of sharks swimming in it. Montreal is a little big city, and the Hip-Hop community is a lot louder with its words, than it is with it’s actions. There’s a lot of talent out here, but we lack a certain structure in terms of standards and corporate backing to create a machine big enough for the talent to be discovered. 2 of the main catalyst (Paul “Bad News Brown” Frappier & Matt “Dutch” Garner) leading the way in making that happen, were tragically taken from us a year apart from each other, and the scene is still trying to recover from the loss. One thing I can say for sure is that the fire that they lit still continues to burn inside those, who they inspired to believe that we can make it happen for ourselves, as long as we continue to push it to the limit.
24: What makes you Unique as an artist and different from other artists out now?
HMAN: The mystery… The mystery of who I am, where I come from, what I represent. What my messages brings to the table. I don’t sound like anything, or anyone that’s out right now. My sound is like nothing anyone has ever heard before, and as much as it be can refreshing, it can be a little scary at the same time. I think people like to welcome the prospect of the unknown and find out what’s in store if they take a chance on it. No one likes an underdog with great odds to cause an upset, which does 2 things. Brings in a lot of money and makes a great story.
24: Tell us about what you are working on.
HMAN: I’m working on a few projects to open up the new year with a bang. Firstly, me and the homie Dr.JRed (another dope up and coming artist coming out of Montreal) are currently in the studio putting together a joint project called GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarters). After that I’ll be releasing a cinematic musical mixtape called “Street Diaries” as I continue to prepare my album that I’m looking to put out summertime 2013. But right now its all about my newest EP “H.U.L.K 2.0″, which is set to be released via iTunes, Amazon, Spotify among others, so look out for that in the next couple weeks
24: Are you happy with the feedback you have been getting from people on material you have released?
HMAN: Happy and thankful man. God is good is all the time. You know you’ve touched someone when they’re able to tell you what you were talking about on a track. Or what certain metaphors and lyrics mean after they’ve listened to it an x amount of times. I really have no words to describe the feeling. Cause I’m a fan of great music myself, and I genuinely appreciate anyone who takes the time to give me feedback on my own music, and so far I haven’t come across anyone who has had anything negative to say about what they’ve heard.
24: In today’s free download age, what do you need to do to make yourself a household name.
HMAN: A consistent presence online, I can’t stress it enough. Especially when you at the head of your table and making moves with your team. Grinding heavily is a must, so the more of a presence you have online, in the streets and anywhere your willing to take your product to. The more the people will watch and look out for you. Being accessible is good too, depending on how much access your willing to give up. I think its important to interact with your fans, but more importantly keeping it real and to a 1000.
24: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene?
HMAN: I feel like its time for something new to present itself, and I know I have that element to showcase just that. I believe that I can provide the everyday Hip-Hop head with something real that they can relate to. Everything on radio is mostly a copy off another sound or artist. There’s no difference, just same style and sound to go around and to me that’s boring. I want to keep pushing the envelope. I don’t think there’s enough artists out there doing that anymore. We used to have that a while back and I wanna do my part to help restore that balance that’s been missing from the scene.
24: Outside of the music, what else are you currently working on?
HMAN: A couple things I’m looking at doing, going into the next year one of which is screen writing and directing my first ever short film, through the “Street Diaries” project I’ll be putting out in the first quarter. I also started writing a book a few years back entitled Max-A-Million, I’ve been wanting to finish it for sometime now and, I believe 2013 is the time when I’ll get it done. Once completed I’ll be working closely with a proof reader to go over the story and once everything is properly put together, I can begin looking into a publisher to put the book out.
24: Where do you see yourself going in 2013 and how do you plan to separate yourself from the other artist out today to get the recognition you feel you deserve?
HMAN: To the top, that’s the only other way to go from the bottom. Its my time now, and I have to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself. Not only do I believe that the music I create will be taken in by a larger audience, but the movement from which it came will have the same impact going into 2013 and beyond. The Unknown Battalion is on the rise and its safe to say that we will never stop moving until we get to where we’re going! The difference will be, staying consistent, being persistent and practicing good business to open up larger networks to be a part of.
24: How can fans go about contacting you?
HMAN: You can reach me on Twitter @HTHEMAN, hit me up and I’ll hit you back, or if you on Facebook, like my “H Man fan page” (when you looking for it in the search engine make sure you write it out “H Man” and you’ll find me). I also have a youtube channel (youtube.com/thehmancan) where you can have an interactive look at yours truly.
24: Thank you for providing 24HourHipHop with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for your present and future fans?
HMAN: Thank you for the opportunity, in allowing me to introduce myself to the 24HourHipHop family and the fans that check it out on the daily! Your time and courtesy is greatly appreciated. 1Love to everybody out there doing they thing! Be sure to check out UBATT.tv for the latest and greatest in everything we (as in the Unknown Battalion) think you should know, as well as UBCStore.net for the latest in the EVERYWHERE Gear we put out for you to Wear! #RIGHTHANDSALUTE
Check out the Videos:
Check out the Promo episodes for the “H.U.L.K 2.0″ project: