24: Introduce yourself to everyone that doesnt already know who you are
Wem: My name is Wem and I’m a rapper. More than that, I’m an artist, I create. All that life asks of me is that I survive and create. I’m signed to Heartbreaker Records and just give people who I am over dope beats.
24: Before we get into your music, can you describe your history about how you got into hip hop and what inspired you?
Wem: I’ve always been different. I was always chilling back just observing shit. I was the kid others picked on cause he was abstract and always just went about his stuff in weird ways. People always tell me I’m a head of my time and I feel I’m 21 going on 30 sometimes with how my life has manifested. When I was in high school I was going to college parties, in college I was going to Vegas, L.A, Miami, New York and all these crazy clubs and events to party and chase skirts all night. And now that I technically can legally do it I’m sick of it. I guess what inspires me is my unique story. I’m different than anyone I have ever met. My thought process is completely against the norm. For me writing is an escape. I’ve kept written ideas for years now, its always been my way to vent. So to be able to make music, which in itself is so powerful feels amazing to me. Hip-Hop has had such a prolific impact on who I am today that it was just natural to start spitting than to pick up a guitar.
24: What was the Hip-Hop scene like for you growing up where you’re from?
Wem: The Hip-Hop scene for me growing up was rich in culture. I grew up in New Jersey and I grew up on Dipset, Big L, and Pac. I used to listen to Dipset every day for about a year straight. The culture was so diverse and it used to be so different back then. I try to sometimes capture that way of thinking that people had back then in my music. I like bringing people back to times like that. I went to a school that was really diverse and used to freestyle during woodshop and battle people occasionally. I think people never would have expected me to kill it as much as I did cause I wasn’t even taking it serious back then it was more about establishing respect.
24: What makes you unique as a artist and different from other rappers out now?
Wem: This is the sales pitch right? (Laughs) I’m well rounded. My music is full of poignant lyrics and word play. I’m growing everyday I get in the studio and I work hard at what I do. It’s honestly engulfed my life. I rap about real life problems, ideas and issues that people have and also give you my social commentary on everything. Every track is different than the last. It’s my unique way of thinking that people always say is nontraditional and unconventional. Its vulnerable but full of bravado, arrogant but intelligent, and sometimes humorous. I have a purpose to be here, it’s my destiny. I’ll always give my fans exactly what my thought process was, and how I handled stuff. It’s a cluster fuck of ideas, experiences and just lines that will make you think. I think people will relate more and more and see the vision that I have as time passes. My creativity comes from people, art, music, real life experiences, and how my mind organizes them is something that I try to capture in every song.
24: Tell us about what you are working on.
Wem: I’m working on a lot right now. It’s crazy to think how shit just kinda happened as fast as it did. Right now I’m working on putting out different songs with different artists and producers. I want to see how far I can stretch creatively. So I’m in the studio 4-5 times a week for hours at a time just listening to beats and writing. I’m also getting together my sophomore mixtape, which is yet to be named or have a release date. Well I know what its called but I just wanna lock down the concepts before I see if I really like it. I’m also going to do some shows in Brazil in Decemeber and then several shows here when I get back.
24: What producers have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
Wem: I’ve worked with a lot of producers, I have Emkay who helps creatively, I’ve worked with Young Jerz, Johnny Juliano, Jahlil Beats, Desmond, I.D Labs, and I also have some new stuff with Sledgren, Sunny Norway, Sap, Big Jerm and many others being released soon too. It would be dope to work with a lot of dudes I’ve looked up to for a while. Kanye West of course just cause I feel creatively we would just be in sync. D. Smith would be dope too. No I.D, and even some new guys like J. Cole and 1500 or Nothin would be amazing. Basically anyone that can contribute something proactively.
24: Are you happy with the feedback you have been getting from people on material you have released?
Wem: It’s a constant battle. I drive myself crazy with this concept. To me, it’s the fight between knowing what you have, knowing what you want, and knowing what you can get. People have been responding so positively towards everything but I know there are so much more people that I want to hit and present my music to. People have started to take notice and there is an expectation to see where I am going and which direction I’m going to take and that’s really exciting for me.
24: In today’s free download age, what do you need to make yourself a household name?
Wem: I think most importantly than anything you need to be intelligent. A lot of people are so quick to get on a “rappers” intelligence. I feel sometimes that I’ve learned more from hip hop than I’ve learned in school, and I’m a college graduate. These guys that everyone on a global scale talk about and listen to are fucking smart as hell and people shouldn’t sleep on them. They were smart enough to get to where they have gotten, I study people like that and I see myself nothing shy of that, it’s just a matter of timing.
24: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene?
Wem: I think Hip-Hop will live forever. No matter if people say “it’s dead” it’s still alive because people are still acknowledging it and keeping it relevant. I’m fine with that, I think hip hops progression has been exponential and I like all the different directions the creative bunch is taking it. So many artist haven’t grown in hip hop so I like that there are people that are finally pushing the envelope with all sorts of visions.
24: Outside of the music, what else are you currently working on?
Wem: I’m honestly always working. I like different type of stuff though. I’ve written a book and I’m writing another now. I started getting into photography and throwing paint on a canvas and calling it art. I have shows coming up, and I like learning how to do random stuff so I’m always thinking and experiencing stuff. It’s a matter of just finding time, music keeps me pretty busy and I put every fiber of my being to it, it’s so easy for me to get lost in the process of creating. I’m working on my new project set to be release early 2012. I love getting into that mindset to create from scratch. So much has happened since DJ ILL Will and I dropped The Unexpected and I’m ready to let the world know.
24: Where do you see yourself going in 2011 and how do you plan to separate yourself from the other artists out today to get the recognition you feel you deserve?
Wem: It’s unpredictable, life is crazy like that. I have no fucking idea of anything. The sky is honestly the limit and I live everyday like that. I would never live life with regrets so I do what feels right and follow my instincts. It’s all I have to guide me. My music speaks for itself, whether you like it or not its nothing personal, I think with so many of the same “types” of rappers out there its refreshing to have people that are different and stand out. People really appreciate that.
24: How can fans go about contacting you
Wem: They can contact me on twitter @RealWem, on facebook www.facebook.com/realwem and of course on heartbreakerrecords.com and also at concerts and shows.
24: Thank you for providing 24hourhiphop.com with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for your present and future fans?
Yeah, no problem, I’ve been such a fan that it’s dope that I’m on here. I appreciate everyone who goes and listens to me, the love I’ve received so far feels amazing so thank you to everyone who fucks with me. If you haven’t listened to my debut mixtape called The Unexpected hosted by DJ Ill Will I suggest you download that, it’s free and it will give you an introductory sense of what I’m about. I’ll be in your city soon, and keep checking back for new music I’m only getting started.