24: Introduce yourself to everyone that doesn’t already know who you are.
Free: I go by the name Free, I was born and raised in Miami,FL (Dade County)! I grew up in a single parent home. My mother raised me father was killed when my mom was pregnant with me. Mother struggled with drugs(she’s clean now). I grew up like most black males in the hood raised by the streets. Always hung around the older dudes grew up faster than most kids my age, seen it all did it all but never was a follower. Growin up I always played sports it kept me busy and mostly out of trouble. I got my own independent label called GRIND Hard Ent. I started doing music about 4 years ago and now I love creating music. I just dropped a mixtape called (Grind Season), it’s on datpiff! http://www.datpiff.com/FREE-Grind-Season-mixtape.492285.html
24: Before we get into your music, can you describe your history about how you got into and what inspired you?
Free: The way I got into music was crazy! I was in college playing football, when we had breaks for holidays I would come down(back to Miami) and be chilling with my homeboys, and everybody talking bout they rap now. I’m laughing because I aint never hear none of them rap before or freestyle.And the dudes I know, I knew them as long as I knew myself. So I would ride with them to the studio I watch em make a song. Most of the time they was just high as hell free styling! But I watched the engineer fix up the freestyle when they would mess up.The engineer would just punch them in from the point they messed up. At the end it would come out sounding like a real song. I’m like I can do that cuz when they told me they was freestylin I thought they made the whole song without messing up! So I started freestylin with em making songs. When I would go back to up to college I would let people I played football with hear it and everybody was liken it. Some dudes would try to link me with people they knew who did music, then I started recording a lil up there. I remember I came back down to Miami, me and my homeboy name Skinnyman went to this club in Miami nothing major a lil after hour spot! He knew the DJ so I told him to give him a cd with one of my songs on it. When he played it he backed the song up bout 4 times straight! That’s when I knew I had something! What inspired me was seeing the success of many black males owning their own company’s given their friends and others jobs because the system or society was done with them because of their criminal history. And most people don’t even have a violent criminal history. To see people go against the grain who wasn’t allowed to even vote, to see them own something with there name own it, give back to their community, help others feed their families by a talent of expressing words with rhythm, that people can relate to. To see a person going from being a drug dealer to a entrepreneur inspired me. To listen to Jeezy, Birdman, Jay Z, Gucci, Yo Gotti, and plenty more. To hear their stories and to know you really come from that and to see their success is inspiration 4real. Its hard to get a job even if u got a degree, I went to school on a free football scholarship, I know people paid for school got to payback loans and still aint got a job in they field of study. I’m trying to follow the blueprint of people who made something out of nothing. I bought my studio equipment, learned how to engineer my self, I record myself, bought a canon 7d. Taught my self how to shoot and edit these videos. Got the label now it’s time to Grind Hard 4real!
24: What was the Hip-Hop scene like for you growing up where your from?
Free: It really never was a big Hip Hop scene where I’m from. Everybody was raised by Trick Daddy down here. Everybody love Trick! Then you got Trina, then Poe Boy seemed to open up doors for Miami. That boy Brisco been killin’ it for a minute, you got Billy Blue, Flo Rida, Iceberg be doing his thang, Brianna, and of course you got The Boss Rick Ross! Everybody else trying to get exposure, it’s tough down here a bunch of crabs in a bucket.No unity at all everybody for self shot out to DJ Khaled he bout unity! That boy PitBull a beast too!
24: What makes you Unique as a artist and different from other rappers out now?
Free: What makes me different is I can relate to different people in all aspects of life! I started hustling when I was 12 years old! I played football my last 2 years of high school. People I hung around when I was young were really millionaires from selling drugs! I seen money, I seen bricks,pounds, i seen murders, shootings, home invasions,friends who were tight set one another up even kill each other. This was everyday life grown up, it’s sad to say but it was normal. I also been on the college side where most people don’t know anything about the ghetto life. I seen people in college who never saw drugs before.They might try crack in college because they roommate in college introduced them to that, while I knew better because I seen my mother on it when I was young so I knew not to try it. But also going to college showed me that everybody ain’t crazy everybody don’t tought guns 24/7. Living out of town showed me it’s places where people actually help strangers in need and it’s crazy to think the conditions most black people are raised in I thought was actually normal. I didn’t see police harassing people for nothing while living out of town. I think hood people need to go live in college conditions and people who are not from those conditions should live in the hood for a lil. So fortunate people can see where we come from and for blacks and ghetto kids to see that we shouldn’t settle for less. I’m also a reader. I then read the Bible, some of the Quran, all types of books u want find in stores that’s deep. Stuff they ain’t go teach u in the school system about our real history. That’s what makes me different or unique I can rap about the Trap life, Politics, or even about God. It’s all in my music, a variety of different topics! I’m not just on one subject. I got deep tracks on standby that might cause some commotion, I’m just trying to get a buzz up first!
24: Tell us about what you are working on.
Free: Right now I’m shooting a bunch of videos for this Grind Season mixtape I just dropped! I’m a make sure this mixtape get seen and heard because it aint no average material, this crack need to be heard 4real! On July 13 its going to be featured on Datpiff’s homepage at the top for a week! I’m also recording songs for my second mixtape called “Grind Season 2 Nothing Personal Just Business “! I’m also mixing and mastering 2 mixtapes. The first for my homeboy Yung Psycho called Late Nights and Early Mornings! The second for my homie Big Ant called Grind Hard or Go Home!
24: What producers have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
Free: I’ve worked with these dudes called Hennessymusicgroup, I linked up with them through the internet. They tight work! I worked with my homeboy Heavy Chevy he got Fire beats he be going in hard,he from the 305! I worked with my homeboy Manbeast from Tampa. That’s my dog, he a real beast for real that boy a cook up something in 10 min in your face and be done with it. He then made several tracks for Plies, he did stuff for Jeezy, Ice Berg, Ball Greezy,Billy Blue, Brian from Day 26, and the list goes on.You can contact him at email@example.com.The only other person I worked with is my in house producer name Blackface! This my dog, I Iiterally knew him since I knew myself. He stayed in the house next door to mine, we then been in real life situations together 4 real, crazy shit! He the next to blow a real millionaire in the making(diamond in the rough)! He the one put all this music shit in my head, I bought the stove and he cook the crack! All my dog make is straight crack and he diverse, you can’t pin point his sound. He can make shit for R&B, Rap,Trap, Techno,Gospel whatever u need(Grind Hard)! You can hit blackface up at (firstname.lastname@example.org)! Producers I would like to work with would be Young Chop,Lex Luger,Izze The Producer, Southside,Kanye, Swizz Beats,The Runners,Zaytoven, Man I want to work with anybody who got that fire! Send me something email@example.com!
24: Are you happy with the feedback you have been getting from people on material you have released?
Free: Man, I’m shocked, very! I been getting positive feedback on all my material. My videos and my mixtape. U can see the improvement on the quality of each video I’ve done. I taught myself how to edit and everything else now it’s looking official.People be shocked when I tell them I record myself and do my own videos! I get a lot of views and likes on you tube now! But the feedback I been getting from the mixtape is crazy! Everybody telling me how my mixtape is a complete project because I’m rappin for the Ladies, the Trappers, the oppressed people of the world, I’m talking about Grindin from the bottom, Religion, Politics. I’m even singing on two songs(15.My Name Is Free, and number 21.I Just Wanna Win)!It be crazy, people I passed out my CD to on Memorial Weekend in Miami be calling me telling me how they like it because I put my contact info on the CD. I even had a couple people offer to sign me! I’m more than happy about the feedback I been getting.People sending me free beats and asking for features like I’m somebody! I’m moving up Baby!
24: In today’s free download age, what do you need to do to make your self a household name?
Free: I feel like u got to stand out some how. You got to be different, it’s just like a job interview. Why should we hire you or listen to you? You got to give them that addictive substance! (I got that shit your ears need to hear people). To be a household name you got to be consistent. You got to make them feel like they missing something if they don’t download your mixtape or album! I feel you got to bring the people your religion of music and baptize them in the name of your talent!(Amen)!
24: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene?
Free: I love the current Hip-Hop scene because it seems like fans are embracing new artist more these days. A couple of years ago you only heard a handful of people being played in the clubs and on the radio! These days anybody can come out of nowhere and make a name for themselves! What I like about the current state is you see more artist being them true selves! Seems like more people are independent and creating the art they love and also making fashion statements about themselves, basically just expressing who they really are!
24: Outside of the music what else are you currently working on?
Free: Outside of doing music I’m currently editing videos for a lot people, I got a couple video shoots that I’m doing for other rappers, I’m mixing my homeboy Big Ant Mixtape called “Grind Hard or Go Home”. I’m also writing a movie script, we plan on shooting a lil hood movie, and I’m also learning the ins and outs of the Real Estate game. Me and my homeboy name Marvin Chatman bout to team up and flip these cribs!
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?
Free: I see my self building this Grind Hard brand in 2013! I think by the end of the year people are going to know Free and this Grind Hard Team! I plan on separating myself by staying consistent making great songs, and dropping a lot of visuals. I’m a have so many videos y’all go be like some body please give this boy a deal(Lol)!
24: How can fans go about contacting you?
Free: They can hit me up on my twitter@305free,or my email firstname.lastname@example.org!You tube:305 Free. Facebook: Courtney Denson. For booking or business call 754-422-3133!
24: Thank you for providing 24HourHipHop.com with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for your present and future fans!
Free: I appreciate the support from the fans, for those who don’t know me yet take a second out your day so you can listen to a G! www.datpiff.com/FREE-Grind-Season-mixtape.492285.html I appreciate the love and support , thank you 24HourHipHop for having me and I want to thank God for letting me get recognized and blessing me with health and strength! Grind Hard!
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