DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
By Julian Cuebas
Zeu$ the Psychedelics friend and label mate is a musically diverse seventeen-year-old pushing genre boundaries. I haven’t met him personally but his infectious youth and optimistic passion for music has me chanting for the young MC. I reached out to him for some questions and here’s what he had to say:
Who is Blondehero? Has your name changed since you started?
Blondehero is a 17-year-old Chattanooga native who is a rapper, producer, and audio engineer. I am the co-founder of Akashic records, along with Blunt Trauma. For lack of better words we consider ourselves for the people. I thoroughly enjoy creating music that most everyone can relate to, or vibe to in the moment.
As for the name change, yes it has. I originally settled with Noaidi the Shaman, but after multiple mispronunciations, I became Amethyst, after my birthstone. My producer name is still Amethyst unless I feel like using an alias, and the current name blondehero actually comes from a long time friend of mine.
What genre/genre style would you say you fit in?
Blondehero: Generally I would say my content would be filed under experimental hip-hop. Just because I’m still working on a style specific to myself, Though I do love producing a bunch of genres such as trap, boom bap, and emotional songs. I would describe my lyricism to be conscious at times, as well as clever, and always exactly how I feel.
What brought you to that style of music?
Blondehero: Well back in middle school I didn’t really listen to rap until the end of 6th grade. My brother lowkey put me onto Odd Future and I fell in love with all of their music. However I’d only listen to their music until the summer before 7th grade when I heard 1999 by Joey Bada$$ and BetterOffDEAD by Flatbush Zombies. Ever since that summer, I’ve been producing beats on Ableton Live 9.
Who Inspires you?
Blondehero: Music Wise: Kid Cudi, Capital STEEZ, Joey Bada$$, FBZ, TTF the Gang, and Pierre Bourne. More recently I’ve also been inspired by Uno the Activist, Lil Tracy, RIP Eternal, and KEY!
Non Hip-hop influencers are: Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Daft Punk, and Tame Impala.
I am also heavily inspired by all family members who have passed, to achieve my goals and make my way into the industry, especially for Gwoppo, my friend who was killed last March.
Do you prefer collaboration or to work alone?
Blondehero: Right now I’m more into solo/inner circle work. It gives me a little more flexibility and room to explore new techniques. I am open to having a feature or featuring someone, but I am somewhat of a perfectionist, so it’d just be a varying situation. As for production, I do full exclusives for $175. I also have quite a few beats up on my traktrain.
What does your creative process look like?
Blondehero: To be honest, it can be very chaotic and different each time. Sometimes I spend small amounts of time over a week writing, and then i’ll record, mix, and engineer. A lot of times I’ll be in my home studio with friends, or even alone, and it all comes me and my friends in a night. Some projects have even been recorded in one sitting . However when trying to be so creative, running into blocks is inevitable. I usually take breaks and do something completely unrelated to my song or project for a while, eventually something comes to me, Beats are different of course. I usually have no problem producing and mixing a beat in one sitting unless I have trouble coming up with a good melody.
How has your music evolved since you started?
Blondehero: The music that I’ve made with my label has come an insanely long way. We used to be recording at my grandparent’s house after school freshman year with an iPhone. Back then mixing wasn’t even something I paid attention to. So everything was clipping and was almost painful to listen to. I then upgraded to a Blue Yeti microphone, but it still wasn’t good enough. I eventually got a RODE NT1-A microphone and an isolation shield and the quality of everything began to take off from there. As well as beat mixing, everything
I was engineering began to sound studio-like in quality and I was very pleased. I know I still have a long way to go to fully achieve the sound I desire. But I have some plans in store for that.
What project would you like to let people know about right now?
Blondehero: I have quite a few projects going on right now. But the album I’m co-producing with Blunt Trauma for Zeu$ the Psychedelic is going to be very hard. We’re going to continue to put more time into making it the best it can be. Also be on the lookout for a short blondehero EP produced by NYC producer Clyde.
Any other words or comments?
Blondehero: I’d just like to say that I truly appreciate the opportunity to talk to you guys and give some insight into who I am and what I’m all about. I hope that soon everyone else will give my music a listen and enjoy it just as much as I love making it. I never thought music would become my life’s passion. But because it is, my mission is to put some soul and meaning back into the music of the modern day.
Music from Blondehero:
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