Splurge has been a close friend of mine for years. I met him at Stronghold Shop in Bloomfield, New Jersey in 2014 and he has been supporting me ever since. Recently, we linked up at INEFFABLE's Lower East Side showroom to shoot him in our most recent collection and chop it up about his upbringing, influences and current projects. Check out the full interview and editorial below:
What was your childhood like? How does that influence who you have become?
My childhood was crazy. I was raised by both of my parents. They split when I was 7 but I still have a bond with both of them. My pops was a hustler and super smooth and my mom was like a firecracker cause she had a ton of energy and was sweet. Put them both together you got me. I was around nothing but hustlers my entire life, so that taught me the game before I learned it. It influenced me and made me want to give people direction–both my peers and people younger than me…there’s a lot of lost people out there. My childhood was good. I was a bad kid in class but I always had good grades. My childhood was fun though, with all my cousins, it was fun man. I loved it.
What made you decide to start rapping? When did you decide to pursue it as a career as opposed to a hobby?
I always wanted to be a rapper. My favorite song when I was a little little kid was Candy Rain by Soul4real and it was like Big Pun, too. But when I got older…like five, six it was Hot Boyz - Juvenile, Lil Wayne. I took it seriously when I realized I could definitely get a bag off of it.
It seems like rap is such a saturated space. Everyone wants to be a rapper nowadays. Do you feel like it’s too late to jump in?
It’s definitely oversaturated. But, I feel like everyone has their own identity. We've all been in different situations, even if we learn the same lessons, we could've learned them different ways. You need to find a way to jump in and do it your own way. You got to be your own person.
Recently you released Balla Blockk'n and I’m interested in learning about your creative process behind it. When putting that together, how important is song selection and how do you decide the order of the tracks?
Yeah go get that Balla Blockk'n it’s out on every platform. I uploaded it on Soundcloud too. My creative process for Balla Blockk'n was simple honestly. I was playing NBA Ballers on PS2 and that's where the font for the cover art came from. Around the same time, I watched the Cash Money movie "Baller Blockin" which inspired me to put out a project that's about never giving up, being authentic and getting it by any means neccessary. The whole thing is like…stop hating…so I picked all the tracks that revolved around that type of energy…not so much partying…but like you might get a party record. Balla Blockk'n…it’s about people hating on my music, people hating on me by not letting me in doors and me having to stick up.
How often do you go to the studio? What’s your process when creating a new track? Do you ever hit roadblocks or have moments when you can’t come up with anything?
I’m in the studio every day. That’s my second home. I mean…if the beats fire and I’m in my zone, the song will be fire. And of course I hit roadblocks, we all do. I run out of things to talk about when I’m not inspired, so I definitely have to be inspired. I have to go somewhere, see something, feel something, excite my senses.
What was the highlight and the lowest point in your career thus far?
The highlight of my career is probably when I dropped the single Jerome Jhamal…or probably when I went to Texas for SXSW. I’d say the lowest point is when I wasn’t putting music out. I never lost the name, I just hadn’t put the name on.
What do you do outside of music? What are some of your hobbies?
Outside of music I like to shop, workout, you know..go to nice places. One thing I started doing recently is finding fire restaurants and eating at them and giving them reviews on yelp. I’m also going to start a little side project on IGTV.
How important do you feel an artist’s image is nowadays?
I mean now your image is everything of course. In this day and age, people want to see how you look and people want to look like you. You live in the internet era and you gotta look the part.
Favorite INEFFABLE piece?
The reversible denims, black side with white women, white side with black women. Second piece would be the unreleased reversible bomber…that shit is ridiculous. Third piece would be the contrast stitch hoodie..the black and green one.
Favorite song you’ve ever made?
My favorite song I ever made is probably Balenciaga. It’s unreleased, but it’ll be coming out on my new project Flosstin Powers in august.
Craziest thing you’ve ever experienced as a rapper?
Yo, I’ve experienced a lot of crazy shit but one thing that stuck out to me the most was when I was in California and I hadn’t made a name for myself yet. So it’d have to be when I was out of town and people would know who I am. At ComplexCon kids were running up to me taking pictures. I signed a kids jean jacket the other day at SOB’s…it was crazy.
Favorite artist besides yourself?
Future. I feel like he captures the male view of things. The street male view of things. He covers topics like women and even just living life.
What can we expect from you next?
Next up I’m shooting videos for Balla Blockk'n and my new project Flosstin Powers in August.