It’s An Infinite Cycle Interviews… S-Preme
This time around, I had the chance to interview Chicago artist S-Preme. If you read after the jump, you will read where we talked about his sound, his newest mixtape and more.
What are your earliest memories with hip hop and when did you begin making music?
My earliest memories of hip-hop was listening to Crucial Conflict in the car with my older cousins. (West Siiiide!) I think that’s what really put me onto the whole genre, cuz I was never a head when I was a kid, but I messed with Pac heavy. I really got into hip hop, though when I was like 10 or 11 because of Outkast, I remember being enthrawled by Babylon.
What motivates you to do music?
I’ve always been the type who needs some type of creative outlet to get things off of my mind, whether that be painting, drawing, poetry or music. I just say what I need to say and try and make it dope, and I think hip-hop is the most relatable medium for me to do that in.
The type of music you make isn’t the typical hip hop sound. Why do you think hip hop heads will appreciate your music?
Lyrically I am on a hundred. Anyone who says they appreciate lyricism can’t deny me, and that’s not really on any type of cocky shit. I just take great pride in the way I can craft words. Other than that I usually grab great beats and I think I can create a pleasing sound, so even if its not your typical thing you’ll find yourself nodding your head to it anway. I’m also very ecclectic, like on my mixtape [The Sicktape: Volume Two] there is defeinitely something for everyone from more street sounding records like Hold it Down to soulful joints like Home and even some hipster shit like Swagger Change. I bring a wide array of choices and that’s what I think will be appreciated the most.
Chicago isn’t the first place you’d think of when it comes to hip hop, so what other things influence you and your music?
To set that record straight…Chicago got heat. Twista, Common, Kanye, Lupe and S-Preme got heat…naw for real tho I think art of any kind influences my music. Van Gogh specifically. Most of his paintings really communicate to me, and with my music that’s what I try to do. I try to approach life really, to make it fresh and interesting but still have you come away understanding what I’m thinking or feeling. A lot of modern artists like Jeff Koons really influence me as a person too, just in daring to be different, not giving a ef what anyone thinks as long as you are satisfied with your content. You gotta remember too that Chicago itself is a dichotomy…I came up seein’ two very different worlds. I think that had the greatest influence on me as a person, I can see things from all sides and understand and empathize with alot of viewpoints.
The Sicktape 2 was your most recent release (November 10th). How is The Sicktape 2 different from the first Sicktape?
It’s very different. It’s mostly original instrumentation. Outside of two beats (Glass Ceiling and Still Fly) everything is an original track. It’s also different because the whole entire mixtape is a concept/story about the rise to and fall from fame, and all the little things associated with that. It really let me flex my mind and push my creative boundaries, trying to fit beats and songs in a way that made logical sense. Cliche not withstanding, it’s a movie.
How was the process for creating the mixtape?
The process was crazy. We outlined the whole joint in the outro of the tape, but the short version is it was just going to be a regular ass street mixtape with industry beats, but I did ONE song on an original and loved it, so I started looking for more. I was gonna do half and half (original/industry) but decided I wanted the whole joint to be original beats. That whole process was crazy. Exploring producers, features and song concepts was a journey in and of itself. Everyone in Lim and Co definitely contributed to the overall project.
Charles Hamilton produced “Test Your Might” (not on The Sicktape 2) and because of the Charles Hamilton situation, I can imagine that your affiliation with him might keep people from listening to your music. How are you handling that?
I think that Charles’ talent is undeniable. It might not be someone’s cup of tea, but noone can say he’s not talented. I think if someone can’t separate an artist from their actual self then they aren’t worth the time to try and convert them. If people sat and got to know most of their favorite rappers they’d probably be a little turned off their music. Charles is just real vocal about his positions on things…I let my music speak for itself and if you don’t take the time to listen, you really can’t have an informed opinion, so any talking at that point is just hating or ignorance.
How do you want to be perceived as an artist?
I just want my music to be respected. Whether or not people feel every track, I want them to acknowledge the artistry and craft behind it. I’m someone willing to experiment and willing to push boundaries with my music so as long as people understand that, then I’m good. Obviously I’d prefer people think I’m dope, though.
What’s your next move in music?
The Sicktape 2 was such a big chunk of time that I’m gonna let it ride a little bit, shoot a couple videos maybe, see what it can do as a body of work. Meanwhile I’m crunching numbers tryna figure out what the next project will be. I’m definitely not going to rush it. The Sicktape 2 is really good work and I need to not match it but move forward artistically. Doin’ shows, shooting videos, really just letting these songs from this project have a life of their own, and THEN we can figure out what’s the next major move.
Download: The Sicktape, Vol. 2