As the end of 2014 draws near close, fans of Hip-Hop can certainly agree that this year has been impressive for not only the genre as a whole but also with the release of a number of solid projects from the next crop of emcees. From artists such as Your Old Droog, Dave East and Isaiah Rashad, Hip-Hop from all over the country definitely looks to be in good hands with guys like these leading the way.
Adding his name to the list of dope projects released in 2014 is Cincinnati, Ohio’s own Buggs Tha Rocka. Under the tutelage of one of my favorite producers Hi-Tek and critically acclaimed emcee Talib Kweli, Buggs creates something special with his upcoming new project “Scattered Thoughs of an American Poet”. Officially dropping this Wednesday (12/10) as a free download, Scattered Thoughts features the lyricist leaving his mark on the 19 track project which features production and guest appearances from Tanya Morgan, MOOD, Chuck Inglish, !llmind and Jake One.
Led by the project’s first single “Bad Habits”, Scattered Thoughts is a just a warmup for Buggs, who aims to release a new EP and album due for commercial release in 2015.
Prior to the release of the album I was able to catch up with Buggs to talk about Cincinnati’s musical influence, “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet”, performing at A3C and more.
Train of Thought: Interview with Buggs Tha Rocka
My friend Tawon actually started calling me Buggs, said it on a track and it stuck. People started thinking it was my rap name, so it just came alive.
It came from Bugsy Siegel, the baby face mobster who was one of the most dangerous, but you couldn’t tell off sight. So he was comparing him to me in the sense of a rapper, that I didn’t look like the typical rapper but my skills on the mic are dangerous. Tha Rocka part I added because of my love for other genres, like alternative rock, and that people always looked at me crazy in my neighborhood. So I wanted to make it something that stuck with me forever cause it’s part of who I am, going against the grain and being true to who I am.
Describe Cincinnati’s Hip-Hop scene and were you musically influenced by it directly or more outside influences growing up?
Well Ohio in general is a melting pot of different cultures and the home of Bootsy Collins, so funk music played a huge part in my life. So ultimately it was a little of both cause I loved the New York rap scene as well. Obviously guys like MOOD, Hi Tek, DJ Clockwork and Tanya Morgan have all played a major role in the hip hop scene here, and of course there are loads more operating independently. Because of some of the limitations here, we’re always looking to reach out across the borders, but my own album represents a lot of local talent
What to you was the most important thing you learned under Hi-Tek about the music business or music period?
Quality over quantity, simple as that.
Speak on the concept of your debut album “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet”, which I’ve listened to numerous times and love overall.
Thank you and it’s exactly what it’s entitled. It’s my scattered thoughts from an American poet, all my emotions, experiences, wins and losses. Musically it also represents my eclectic range of musical tastes, so as the subject matter varies so too does the sound. It’s like everything about me as an overall artist in one record, that’s what I wanted to put across this time around.
Describe the atmosphere of the A3C Festival from an artist and fan perspective.
Crazy intense, a lot of real hip hop fans going crazy, just a great experience. I met a lot of people who were fans and were excited to see me, and a lot of people who never heard of me and showed me so much love and became space invaders! Space Invaders is like the name we give all those who have followed the movement over the years!!
What was it like meeting Pharrell and finding out he is a fan of your music at the Flog Gnaw Carnival performance?
Unbelievable, no other way to describe a feeling like that. Honestly, he is one of my biggest inspirations!
What were the highlights of 2014 for you as an artist, and what do you have planned for 2015?
Me linking with Talib Kweli for sure, being co-signed by him meant a lot because I always looked up to him as a legendary wordsmith. I have a few new projects in the pipeline and plan touring both in the States and overseas off the back of this current project. But it’s all about “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet” right now! I’ll be releasing more visuals from it in the new year also.
Finally, what do you feel is your overall aim & purpose as an artist?
To take over planet earth, bring my energy to the music game and be remembered many years after I am no longer here!!!
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