This month, I was able to sit down and interview Poetic Theory, a hip hop artist that I've been fortunate enough to collaborate with on a previous project, the Good Guy Remix. In this interview, we talked about current projects, future projects, and the importance of ownership in the Music game
Explain the name Poetic Theory. What does it mean to you, and what do you want it to mean to anyone listening to you?
I actually came up with my name when I transitioned from poet to rapper. I always felt like hip hop was just poetry with a beat and poetry is just hip hop without one. But I still wanted to have a reminder of who I was in my stage name above all else. So, once I got the poetic part I came up with theory which is a belief that can guide behavior. So whether it’s through my music, my poetry, or my personal life experiences I want to be able to change lives and make people feel good on and off the stage.
What artists have influenced you and helped you get to this point?
Outside of my top 10 which are: Tupac, J.Cole, K Dot, Joe Budden, Jon Connor, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9, Crooked I, LL, and Jay Z, I remember listening to a lot of Ice Cube, Dj Quik, Westside Connection, Mack 10 and DMX CD’s in my mom and dad cars. Everybody my parents listened to had a message and meaning behind their lyrics and that’s why I think I am the lyricist I am today.
Where are you from? And how has that influence been portrayed in your music?
I was born in LA but my family moved to the IE when I was 10. I’ve been here ever since; Rancho Cucamonga to be exact lol. I feel like the I.E. has a lot of slept on talent that goes unnoticed. Whenever I tell people I’m from the I.E. I’ve seen a lot of people make faces like they never heard of it or automatically assume we’re all just a bunch of stuck up sell outs, which is far from the case. I think that face that people make is what pushes my pen even harder because I wanna prove that a rapper from the” Suburbs” can rap circles around anybody from any area code. The I.E. is dope! Shout out to Audio Push! In the IE we’re known for throwing parties and making party music, but we’re also known for holding our city down.
If you had to pick one project that defines Poetic Theory, one project that I could give someone who’s never heard of you, and tell them “this is what he’s about”, which one would it be?
Stolen Property. If you want to hear an MC to the core listen to Stolen Property. Still one of my favorite projects and I made it when I was 22 I’m turning 27 now so I Guess you can say it aged well.
From that project, what central message or philosophy have you used as a foundation for future projects?
No matter what I create if it’s R&B, Trap, EDM, Rock, or some acoustic cover type project, I’m gonna rap my a** off lmao. I don’t want people to ever forget that I am and always will be a real MC and I give a s*** about what I put out to the world.
My favorite song of yours is Snakes. Tell me a little bit about that one. What experiences wrote that song for you?
Lol…Man, where do I start? From toxic relationships to toxic friendships. I’ve seen both sides of the fence and got my hand bit by different snakes in different places. Having a good heart can leave you open to getting screwed over and played by people you would think would never do it to you. When I wrote that song I didn’t think it was gonna hit and affect people the way it did. It was just one of those records I made and was like well we will see. People don’t really want to hear no deep rap anymore, so I’ll just put it out and see what happens. Fast forward to now I probably have the most streams on that song than any of my other ones. So, in that I did gain hope that there are real people out there that wanna hear real sh** in this watered down culture.
How do you deal with those experiences now? I imagine things get a little more hectic now, friends and family that may not have known the artist before know him now, and with social media pretty much dominating life as an artist, how do you deal with all eyes on you?
I try not to let get it to me. Only thing I can do is remain myself through it all. My real fans of my are gonna always be my fans. I probably offended some fake family and fake friends when I put that song out, but it was real to me so if the shoes fits *Shrugs* you’re probably who I wrote it for. I am more cautious about who I let around me now though because nowadays everybody’s looking for a come up. Always want a handout but never got they hands in anything to get it. Feel me?
Talk a bit about your latest single, Range Rover. The song’s good enough to be considered a summer anthem. It’s got that feel to it. Instead of just going for that, how do you plan to use that momentum and show fans and other artists “hey, I’m just getting started. You like that one? Here’s 5 more“
Range Rover was really fun to make. I was sitting at home and I remember I was drinking Cîroc when I heard the beat and I probably wrote the whole song in a couple days. I like to make music based on the season and what’s gonna make people feel good. That record felt good beginning to end. I just wanted to give people something to knock in their whip in the summer or in the living room since we’re all quarantined till next year lol, but I got new music still OTW. Since Range Rover, I’ve also dropped a single called Spaceship and a single called Ride 2 The Beat featuring Kali Malia that just dropped August 23rd. Both songs are available on all streaming platforms. You should check it out when you get a chance. As for as the momentum I’ll just say I dropped three singles in three months. Who else has done that consistently and not missed? I think my respect as a multi-layered artist is long overdue but I’m coming for it one track at a time.
We talked awhile ago about an album, is that on the way? And when?
You know what man. The album is done it’s been finished for a minute now I actually finished it early July and wanted to drop in August or September. However, after talking to my manger, watching a bunch of Russ interviews, and talking with close friends I’ve decided to hold off on releasing the album. We’re in a time nowadays we’re people are more drawn to singles then they are albums. Cardi B ate off Bodak Yellow for idk how many years before she made an album and look at where she’s at now. So, In the meantime I’m just gonna start working on my second album and when the worlds ready for the first one the second one will already be finished..
What are you planning to say with this album?
This album is strictly made for the people that like to turn up. I wanted to flex a little bit this time around and give people something they can party to. I made a good majority of this album during the pandemic. It actually gave me a lot of time to just get things done and by the time I looked up I was like wow I have a whole album just sitting here on my phone. I just want people to appreciate my project for what it is. Trust me when It finally drops you won’t be disappointed! This album deserves to go gold and platinum within the first week.
As an independent artist, you know the importance of ownership. Maintaining control of your music, your masters, your message, and your method. On top of that, you have to learn some entrepreneurial skills, because you literally run every aspect of your music career. Do you plan to one day use that to manage and guide others in their music careers, by having your own label? Do you plan to take these skills elsewhere into the business world someday?
I would love nothing more than to own my own independent label. It’s literally been my dream since day one is just having something that nobody else can touch but my family and taking that company and protecting somebody else’s sons or daughters music. I think everybody should own their publishing and their masters. I don’t see how people can sleep at night knowing they screwed somebody over or got somebody to sign a bad deal or sign to a major label period. One thing I want to teach everybody is something they should already know. You don’t need the label. The labels need you. As soon as you can get that concept I don’t see their being anymore major labels around for too much longer.
You’re an artist, so I know you play the long game. So, with that being said, 5, 10 years from now, where is Poetic Theory?
I want to be in my mansion in Las Vegas; as far away from Hollywood as possible. I want to move my family there and keep in touch and hang with the real ones when they come out for the weekend. Other than that, I just want to be ducked off like Chance the Rapper dropping music when I want to with nobody to answer to and just living my best life as a bachelor or a husband lol. I think I want the respect more than the fame. I never visualized myself being the guy all over TMZ and Shaderoom. I just want to live a happy, fun life with no drama and no stress for as long as God has me here. I want to be iconic, legendary, and a lowkey “Rockstar” that made it and didn’t have to sell his soul to get it. In closing, I just want to thank you for always showing love and support brother. It’s been real and I can’t wait till we can do it again. *Side note to the fans* if you haven’t heard “Good Guy” by J Jamal or the Good Guy Remix feat me idk what you’re doing with your life. Lol. Literally real R&B to the core. But anyways I love yall and thank you for tapping in. Stay safe out there. One love.