The underground Chicago hip-hop scene was shaken when Wordz
surfaced more than a decade ago. First collaborating with Basement Crew, a
collective putting out "basement" bootleg tapes for fun and small groups of
fans, and then Wordz went solo in 2001. His debut LP “Haven't Heard Me Yet”
gave hungry hip-hop fans an outstanding album littered with fresh lyrics and
How did you begin rapping?
I started rapping around 89. I guess I was influenced by the early groups of
NWA, Ice-T, Public Enemy, KRS-one and others. I remember when I was in high
school I used to rap along with Easy-E and people would say stuff like “you
should do that for real” and I went for it. I had always been performing
since I was young in dance crews and talent shows. We would battle in
peoples basements and dance parties.
What influenced you to become an emcee?
I think it was the outlet for expression for me that drew me to the mic. I
dipped in all elements of hip hop at some point except DJing. But As I got
older the only thing that stuck was rhyming. I had a love for reading,
English and writing so I naturally took to the flow. Plus I felt like hip
hop gave me a platform for giving a message, giving my perspective of the
What are the hardships of being an emcee?
I think the game is way oversaturated right now. Everyone wants to rhyme so
one of the hardships is getting heard. There is nothing worse for an emcee
than having something to say but getting drowned out by pop music,
conglomerate record labels and radio repetition. Besides that I don’t see
much downside. I’m not trying to BE an emcee, I AM an emcee.
How did you hook up with ReSERVED Records?
I was writing a hip hop article for an old school hip hop magazine called
“Underground Fire” on the Chicago hip hop scene. I was interviewing Dj
Deftone for the article and he happened to tell me about Crewvention down in
Orlando Flordia. I was with a group called Basement Crew at the time and was
doing the youth group rap thing in Chicago. Deftone started up his label
and put out the infamous ReSERVED Project featuring KJ52, Mars ILL, Sev
Statik and other crews. My track “The Mic Extremist” was featured #2 on the
cd and got a really good response so we decided to work on a album. More
recently I’ve moved on over creative differences and I’ll be putting out
projects independently. I’m sure we’ll still work together on something in
You recently released your debut LP “You Haven’t Heard Me
Yet”, what will listeners hear on this release?
Its got 13 songs and is a pretty solid album with production by Deftone,
Dust, and Overflo. The album ranges from total battle rap songs to
heartfelt songs. Ive got a cut on there called “Restless” that kinda
expresses my feelings waiting for a soulmate. Album highlights would be
“Weekend” with Manchild and Adeem, “Above Average” and “Don’t Sleep” where I
totally rip every wack mc out there. Also I put on there a few interviews
with Kevin Beecham from Rhymesayers Entertainment to tell a little bit about
me to everyone.
This LP was classified as the most unanticipated album of
year, but has been declared a classic by many, did the think the album would
do as well as it did and what were your expectations?
The most unanticipated album of the year is a joke I made up cause everyone
always advertises these “Christian rap albums” as highly anticipated. As if
half the country can’t wait for them to drop. I think maybe about 5 people
were really waiting for my album to drop so I rather be honest in
advertising it as the most UNanticipated album. I haven’t heard it referred
to as a classic and it could do better. Compared to the junk I’m about to
release its grimmy. My expectations of the album was actually to do more…I
think I could have gotten more diverse production on the album. But overall
I am satisfied.
What is your favorite song off this album and how come?
Ummm... probably Welcome To America. The track is a loop that Dust threw to
me. I don’t know if he made it on Acid Pro or if he just digged through his
trash can and sent it to me in the mail, but its dope either way. I like the
track because it reflects more of my personality as a critic sifting through
the perils of our beloved country. The song ends with a moral of the story
being that its great to live in a country where we have freedom of speech,
religion and expression.
Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
As I said in the last answer, I’m a critic, synic and street reporter. I
get inspiration for my songs from the contrast between they way things are
and the way they should be. My ideology stems from my faith in God and a
desire to see change within my generation. Sometimes my music can be
confused with complaining or being critical in a bad sense or pushy. My
goal, as with any artist, is to try and display the world through a
perspective that maybe you haven’t seen yet. More recently I have begun to
see how my music can be used by God and have been giving more direction over
to the Holy Spirit to create through me…the ultimate creator.
Any guest appearances currently in the works?
Umm... I just recorded a hip hop/dancehall track with a friend of mine Jus-J
from Chicago. The track is called “Burn” and is a highly selected track to
be a single. Besides that I’ve got some upcoming appearances by Rhymescheme
from Molemen and Rusty Chains. I’ve spoke with Gibraan and a few other
people to see what they’re feelin to maybe colabo. Mostly it will just have
to be a surprise to see who’s on the next project. I pretty much only do
colabo’s with people I like and think would flow well with my style and
flow. I’m not the type to get a guest appearance to boost my exposure like
some artists. Oh and for anyone who ever questioned…I don’t pay people to
appear on my songs.
What’s in store in the future for Wordz?
I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. Currently I’m in the studio
dumping out about 50 songs, or at least close to it. I’m going to select
the best of the best to complete my second album titled “Superheavy” set to
drop January 16th 05. I have a lot of work to do so I’m chilling
on the performing tip to put in work in the studio. As for other things
I’ll be launching a website by the end of October which will have
downloadable songs, a store to pick up t-shirts, posters and junk along with
a type of “food-for-thought” section. I believe I have something to say to
the young people of this generation and the website will be another outlet
for that. In the future I’ll be starting Wordz Media conglomerate and take
over CBS, TBN and Clearchannel.
Any last words?
Yea stay away from religious people who try and steal your freedom in