Q. What were your first memories of Hip-Hop growing up?
A. Just listening to the music like everyone else, and seeing the videos on TV when I was allowed.
Q. Who are your musical influences both past and also present if any?A. Rakim, DMX, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest
Q. When did you first began to do music? Do you remember your first freestyle or first song ever recorded?
A. I started writing my own material at 8 years old. My first freestyle was that same week. First song I ever recorded was a song called “Me & My Crew”.
Q. You were born in Los Angeles and then raised out in New York. How has both coasts influenced your music and sound?A. I left LA when I was very young, so most of my influence came from New York. I liked how the west coast kept you bouncing, and how the east coast had so much meaning behind the words.
Q. How did you get the name Word One?
A. Long Story. Let’s just say it involves beepers, being a New Yorker, High School, and a DJ. lol
Q. When did you first know or realize that you had a special way with words that could impact and reach people?
A. Not really something I ever gave any thought to. All I’ve ever wanted is for people to hear my message, enjoy my music, and to change the presentation of the current state of hip hop.
Q. In a few words, how would you describe your music to a first time listener of Word One?
A. “Indescribable”. If I was able to describe it (especially in a few words) I’m clearly not doing my job right. lol
Q. What motivates and inspires your drive to continually do music? Where does that come from? –
A. My mother and my kids. With the money that comes from music, I can give my mother the highest quality of medical care that would get her healthy again and ultimately save her life. I’d also like for my kids financial futures to be secure. I don’t want them to endure the same struggles that I had to.
Q. You have been open about doing prison time and even being broke and living in Mexico of all places. How did these experiences shape you as both an artist and as a man?
A. It kept me hungry. I got to see first hand what a quitter’s mentality can do to a person.
Q. You recently just signed to DMX’s label Bloodline. Talk to us about how that came about and how does it feel to be working with one of the best MCs ever to both spit on the mic and come from New York?
A. I met him on tour as his opener. He loved the way I spit bars and rocked the crowds. X is a living legend. I am one of a handful of artists who can say that they’ve rocked a mic on stage next to him; so I’m honored that someone notorious for not liking 95% of rappers is one of my biggest supporters. He gives me a lot of insight and I continue to grow as an artist through him.
Q. What is it like working with X both in the studio and on stage? Is it surreal at times?
A. I try to remain a professional. So as far as getting caught in the moment; I try to save that for when the work is done – never during. But it is all very exciting. X has a specific formula that he’s relied on in the studio. I try to take that formula and add to it to create an even better version of my own sound.
Q. What’s the best advice that DMX has given you about both the music industry and life as well?
A. That patience is everything in this game. And about how people around you will treat you as you come up.Q. What goals do you have that you want to accomplish for your career? What type of impact do you wanna leave on the Hip-Hop culture when its all said and done?A. I’d like to bring that positive element back to rap music. Not saying I want to be a goodie-2-shoes. I just want to be known for making “relatable” music. I want millions on millions of fans who see me as one of their own and not the guy in the limelight.
Q. What project(s) do you have coming that fans can be looking out for?
A. I’m doing a re-release of my infamous “2 Feet and a Heartbeat” project and I’ll also be releasing “Best of Freestyles: Vol 3 (Ruff Ryder Edition)” very soon.Q. You have lived life and been through everything imaginable. What advice would you give to the urban youth wanting to be successful in life?
A. Never let those who gave up on their dreams convince you to give up on yours.Q. How can Word One’s movement be found online?
A. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud with @Word1One. On facebook, I can be found at facebook.com/wordonemusic. Also, my official site: www.wordonemusic.com. Don’t forget to hashtag #UnderdogMovementQ. Any last words or shout-outs?A. Shout-out to Cece Vance for being awesome at what she does. My bro Synna. All of the Ruff Ryder Nation repping that RR across the globe. Pepa, Teddy, HateRR, OveRRwatch, Cuban, Crunk, DeeDee, Nuno, Rel Melon, Paul Johnson, Diamond, Reckless, Yak Yak, Leslie Crist and ALL OF MY FELLOW “UNDERDOGS” ACROSS THE GLOBE!