Ohio Emcee, Buggs tha Rocka is not just any Hip Hop artist. He is a Poet. A lyricist that elevates your emotions through sounds and syllables. On his latest album, “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet”, he symbolically transcends his story of life, politics and perceptions track for track. Each song and musical style on the album is as diverse as Buggs the Rocka, himself. In this GTPS exclusive interview, MidWest Melly connects with the “Hip Hop Supa Hero” to discuss his Midwest roots, collabing with other famous creatives and the concept behind the new album.
Cincinnati in the HOUSE! Being that we are both born and raised in the Midwest… What is one quality you possess, as a result of living in OH, that you are most proud of?
Staying grounded and looking at things from every angle. I think coming from Ohio, a place with little or no outlets, but huge in diversity forces a certain mentality you have to live by or you get lost. We grow up a lot quicker than a lot of other spots, and learn about a lot of survival skills. Ain’t no hunting in the west coast! (Laughs).
Mainly, I can adapt to any climate living in the Midwest, especially Ohio. You know about how bi-polar the weather can be. One day it’s a 60 degree Winter day, next day it’s literally a 6 degree Winter day. (Laughs). It prepares you for anything living here.
Tell me about the album title: “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet”. What does this title symbolize to you and where did you come up with the concept?
Honestly the title is just what it says, every track was a scattered thought or emotion I wanted to share with the World and the Space Invaders out there! I decided to let things flow naturally and organically for this project. I tried not get stuck in a concept and let the raw emotion take over the whole project.
Are there any specific moments in your life that have contributed to the content of the album lyrically?
Yes indeed, every record was like that for me. That’s where I draw my inspiration from as an artist. My real life and situations, and the people around me. Watching the Mike Brown case in Ferguson. The case of the guy getting killed by police in Walmart in Ohio for purchasing one of their BB guns in the store thinking it was real and so on. That specifically inspired “Rapture”, but that’s just one case. As you can probably hear from the records, I try to keep it honest and open from my perspective in every song.
The album is a diverse blend of “golden era” flavor mixed with an “up-tempo, modern” feel which seems to be your signature style. It’s conscious and creative. What has shaped your musical taste or style as an artist?
Thank you; yes that is indeed what I strive for in my music. And again, life being receptive to what’s around me. I think me being from Cincinnati, Ohio helps. It’s a melting pot of different styles so I grew up listening to everything… although hip hop is my first love.
You have already worked with some respected names in the hip hop game like Mick Boogie on your first mixtape “Hip Hop Supa Hero” and Freeway and Little Brother on your first album “Mutant Level 5”. This album is no exception with production by !llmind and Jake One and features from Tanya Morgan, MOOD, Chuck Inglish from The Cool Kids and Piakhan. Tell me about how long this project has been in the works and some of the creative process of building with some of the producers/artists/poets.
I’ve worked on this particular project for a year. I took some time in between to just let things come together organically and I went out to Amsterdam for the first time last Summer which really shaped the whole project. It was a holiday but I ended up peforming freestyles in the street and in one of their biggest clubs, so that re-focused me on my solo career. From there I reached out to all of the different artists and producers to put the album together, which of course takes time. The whole project was just completed late in September. I wanted to work with those I had a close relationship with, and there’s strong representation from the local scene as a result.
Being that you stand behind the theme of Poetry in this album, it’s only right you have performed amongst the likes of one of Hip Hop’s most recognized Poet, Talib Kweli at A3C Festival this year. Do you have any upcoming plans to work with Talib again in the near future?
Yes of course, that’s the OG and mentor. We stay connected. I just had an event October 30th at the Rhinegeist Brewery when I brought together him and Hi-Tek, another Cincinnati native, for a Reflection Eternal reunion. MOOD also performed, it was insane! We plan to make some music together as well. Just waiting for the right time.
What is in store for Buggs tha Rocka in 2015? Do you have any future visuals for the album, tours, etc. in the works?
Many visuals off the new project will be released soon and planning a tour now. Also plan on releasing a new EP and God willing, a new album for commercial release. But for right now the focus is promoting the new project “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet”. It will be available as a free download from December 10th on BuggsThaRocka.com and all mobile devices on MyMixtapez – just download the app!
The album “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet” releases on 10th December through Monopoli Management Group.
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