Hip Hop Interviews from the Underground: Freddie Black, a Rhode Island Independent MC Powerhouse

Published on 22 June 2022 at 17:03


Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, which as an artist, comes with its own challenges. As Freddie Black put it, "most people think we are part of New York." But it is far from being like New York in anyway, it is quite unknown, the biggest city is Providence with a population at around 190,000 and the next biggest city, Cranston has about 83,000 people. 

With less population generally means less support and less infrastructure to help you get the things you need (like famous venues to catapult your career or less known studios that give you less ears to listen to your music and less opportunities to get noticed). There are many factures that go into gaining a fanbase to build a career in music and coming from a state with a microscopic population is definitely one of them. It is why many musicians opt to move to a more populated area to give them the chance to propel themselves in the dog-eat-dog-world that is the music industry. 

It is a hard path to travel, when you really look at it, there are only about (give or take) 30 or so artists that are "chosen" in an era to make it to sky high super fame. Some just have that one album that take them to a space where they can eat off of it their whole lives. Some have that one hit that they use to buy a house and start a business. Music is an investment and can give many marketing opportunities to come in contact with other worthwhile ventures for success. Some use it as an outlet to make good art, sell albums and merchandise to pay for their next project. Some just invest money to release their heart and soul out into the world, because they have to...music is their passion.


Rhode Island is a place full of underrated Hip Hop artists, why don't you guys get the shine that a lot of other people get from the East Coast? How are you able to rise above that, you get love from Hip Hop Heads and artists from all over, like Tash from the Alkaholics, DJ Eclipse and DJ Riz from Shady 45, DJ Premier (to name a few), and a ton of other Hip-Hop publications and podcasts? 

Being from the smallest state, we don't get a lot of respect. Most people think we are part of New York. I think longevity has been my friend and just consistently releasing music has helped a lot. I've met some really good people along the way and thankful for support that I get from mentioned names. Only difference between me and others is just I never stopped.


What was your first project (EP or album) and what was it about that project that gave you further motivation to continue your Hip Hop music journey? What did you learn about yourself doing this project? What did this project do to your craft, how did it increase your skill? Did you go with one producer and how did you go about getting your features (if any)? 


I first started rhyming wit my bro K Biz (rip), he produced and mixed everything. It was incredible we had a group called Ghostown. We dropped an album called Mental Therapy, you might be able to find that online somewhere that was over 20 yrs ago. Its crazy been making music for that long. We had no features just our crew and I would not be the MC I am today if it weren't everyone involved that; shit molded me.


What do you think is the difference between NY based Hip Hop and other areas in New England? Is it just location or is there something that defines other areas over NY? I know that NY has a lot more opportunity than most areas in the East Coast.


NY def has more opportunities but I think New England has more of an authentic east coast sound now-a-days. There are so many amazing artists from this area its insane.

What was it like hearing your music on podcasts and radio shows for the first time? Did it change your music in anyway or did it just simply tell you that you are on the right path? Which one gave you the most significant boost to your fandom? 


Everytime I hear Eclipse Preemo Pf Cuttin or the Wake Up Show play my music, its surreal not gonna lie and I definitely get an uptick in streams. Shazams everytime I'm just thankful I can send those guys my music and they rock wit it definitely lets me know I'm doing something right.


With the de-escalation of popularity in Boom Bap since the mid 2000s-ish, how come do you think it is still alive and well? Is it due to a certain age of people still giving it attention or is it because people are still searching for that good lyrical content? It seems like the mainstream left it for dead, but it seems to be re-emerging and a true emergence comes from the youth (being the heaviest music consuming demographic), why is this? 


Really think the whole Griselda wave is to thank for that cuz we been doing the same shit never switched but there popularity is definitely shining light on that style of music cuz there is a lot of good music out there.


Do you think that the Hip Hop culture should've never hit the mainstream? Maybe it was meant for just the underground and a cult following, what do you think? It looks like he mainstream tries to leave the culture behind, why do you think that is? Do you feel the culture is worth fighting for and why? How do you feel you fit in with the culture and how do you feel you empower it? 


Definitely Hip Hop is the biggest music in the world, it was meant for the world. Its just what the masses decide to push. They use to push the positive stuff now its mostly negative. I fight everyday for the culture and try to empower by staying true to myself and my music. 

If there is anything you would change about how you came up in the Hip Hop scene, what would it be? Are you satisfied with what you have accomplished so far? What do you feel that you have accomplished so far?


I wouldn't change a thing and I'm happy but i could always accomplish more.


What has Hip Hop as a culture accomplished and what is there left for it to accomplish? What does Hip Hop give to the world that you feel the culture should never stop giving? What artists and producers do you feel, off the top, that provide these necessities to the culture?


Hip Hop runs the world the way we; dress, talk, dance, everything. As far as producers, I'm rocking wit Tone Spliff, Mephux, Spliftou,t Gemcrates, and Ras Beats. They all killing shit ya I'm bias but they all dope. Rome Streetz and Stove God Cooks my favorites right now.


Do you have any new projects coming out and what is it about this new project that has you motivated to drop it, what does it offer to your listeners? What makes it different than any of the other projects you have dropped? Who are some of the people that are a part of this project?


I dropped an album in October wit producer Ras Beats, "Black Beats Peyote Cookies And Late Nights". I dropped a single every month this year my single Mama's Baby, I dropped for June. I don't have any projects coming soon but I'm currently working wit Brutal Caesar, Mr. Fitzgerald, and Mephux on 3 different projects.

What is the difference of dropping an independent album to an album dropped with a label? Does the label help you out with a lot of distribution and funding? Does it make the process of dropping a project easier? Why do you chose to drop it independently over with a label and visa versa? 


Never had the opportunity to work with a label everything to this point has all been independent and outta my own pocket. I love the freedom to drop music whenever I feel like it but given the right situation I would definitely be down to work with a label.


Being a father of very successfully driven kids, I am sure, makes you proud. What is the difference between you as an artist with kids verses without? Did it help mature you as an artist and/ or person? How did it change you as an artist? 


Definitely help me mature being more conscience of what i say and do definitely motivates me and inspires me musically.


Much appreciated for the interview fam, check out his links below...



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