Braille is a phenomenal emcee who debuted in 1999 with “Life
First: Half the Battle” and now is back with an extremely anticipated
sophomore solo album “Shades of Grey”. Braille is also part of super crew
Lightheaded with members Ohmega Watts, Othello and Muneshine, which released
“Pure Thoughts” in 2003 to great success and praise.
What is the logic behind the name Braille?
I've been named Braille now for like 6 or 7 years. It almost feels like my
birth name sometimes. The definition of "braille" is text for the blind. I
take it as, using the text I write to help people understand the things they
can't see, to express the unseen, to express emotions and to communicate
How did you begin rapping and who was your inspiration?
I grew up in one of the many golden eras of hiphop. My favorite groups were
tribe called quest, de la soul, leaders of the new school and so forth. I
hardly remember what first got me into it, like, I can't remember the day
that I sat down and decided to write a rap. I think I used to rap other
peoples lyrics and then slowly started writing my own. This was at a very
young age. It was recreational for the first year or two. I started
recording songs in studios around age 14 and that just got me amped to keep
working at it.
What albums are in your discography?
As a solo artist I've released "Lifefirst: Half the Battle (1999)"
and "Shades of Grey (2004)". Aside from many tapes and such, the other
release I'm still pushing is with my group Lightheaded, "Pure Thoughts
(2003)". I've also featured on a lot of different cds through the years.
How did the groups Acts 29 and Lightheaded form?
Acts 29 was the name of a youth group that I attended. The CD was
originally created to give to youth visitors at the church. Syntax wanted a
solo record from me and I didn't have one at the time, so I gave them the
church project. The main base of my groups started with Return to Sender (Ohmega
and I) but since we never had the chance to expand much we just always
included each other in everything we did. The end result right now is
"Lightheaded" which also has Othello, Muneshine and now our official DJ is
DJ Bombay from Ohio. Ohmega Watts, Othello, and I are just a grouping of
best friends who all happen to be fans of each others work.
How did you hook up with Syntax Records?
I've known Tim (sir roc) for a long time now. We've always chatted back and
forth on-line. When they were working on Fashion Expo they talked with me
about doing a solo record with them. We did the songs for fashion expo and
I consistently featured on most all of their releases. Funny thing is, they
never had the chance to release a solo record from me. At this time I'm not
signed with them anymore but we are still great friends. We are both in the
process of building our futures and re-building the foundations of our
careers. I'm sure we'll always be involved in each others projects
What does the title of your latest release "Shades of Grey"
I believe in absolutes. The "Shades of Grey" are the areas of confusion in
our life. When we allow them to remain grey and don't establish a direction
based on either truth or faith.....then these areas eventually take over our
way of living. No boundaries, no direction....just existing in the grey.
How did you come up with the idea for a Limited Edition "Shades
of Grey", complete with signatures?
In the process of working things out with Syntax, I was just so excited to
get this album into people’s hands that I decided to release it myself. I
made the first 1,000 limited because I didn't know how soon it would
officially release. However, I have now decided to start my own label, so
it is officially released now through that label.
What do you feel is your favorite track off the album?
That's a really hard question. I spent 3 years piecing it together, so
everything on the record means a lot to me. Some of my personal favorites
are towards the end. Songs like "goliath", "nobody", "shades
of grey" and in the middle songs like "keep on" and "poetry in
motion part two".
How did you hook up with Rob Swift from X-Ecutioners for the
song "Hiphop Music" and 9th Wonder for "10 Years"?
I just wanted to connect with them, so I reached out and we were able to
make it happen. This was before 9th Wonder was producing for artists like
Jay-Z. As for Rob Swift, he's just a mad cool guy.
What would the ultimate reward for you be?
I'm really trying to do my best to serve God with my whole heart. Knowing
that he's pleased with me at any given time is the greatest possible reward,
beyond that, just being part of what he's doing in my life and seeing it
un-fold. I have so many things I want to accomplish during my life span,
but really, none of it matters if it gets in the way of where God is taking
What can we look forward to in the near future from Braille
Next releases on the way...
1. Pick up Braille "Shades of Grey" from
www.ughh.com and many other great places. For more store info e-mail me
2. Braille "Box of Rhymes" EP releases on Domination Recordings in
3. Lightheaded "Wrong Way" EP releases on my new label during the
first quater of 2005. I'm excited for all of that.
4. Also check for a re-release of Lightheaded "Pure Thoughts" coming
soon. It will include a new bonus cut. Last but not least, I'm also doing
the U.S. release of Othello and the Hipnotiks (jazz project) titled "Classic".
This will have complete mixes of the jazz project, and includes 3 bonus
songs with production from Muneshine and Mr. J of the Procussions. That
will drop September of this year.
5. Keep an eye out for "Heavy Rotation" also presented by my new
label hopefully later this year. I know that's all confusing but if you
keep up at
www.braillehiphop.com then it will soon all make sense.