1. When did you first get into hip-hop?
When I first I heard “Microphone Fiend” by Eric B & Rakim. It was really my oldest brother, who really introduced me to the Hip Hop world since he was doing it. He would making beats, chopping samples with his SP1200 beat machine and I would be in other room reciting raps during my childhood. Hip hop became a lifestyle ever since.
2. I know you were influenced by 90s era hip-hop. Which artists inspired you the most?
Nas, Mobb Deep, Methodman, Outkast, Scarface, Ice Cube, Gangstarr, Ghost & Rae, Snoop Dogg, there’s so many that inspired me in their own distinctive way.
3. When did you first began to take music seriously and pursue the dream of being an artist?
When I first heard “Shook Ones” by Mobb Deep, that’s when I took my rapping serious and tried to formulate some impeccable bars. I would read the thesaurus and dictionary to build up my vocabulary. I did a lot of reading that’ll help broaden my imagination. Being a artist wasn’t necessarily a dream but to showcase my talent to the world. To be able to travel throughout the world and provide my art skills. Whether it was drawing or music.
4. You have opened up for quite a few artists in the game. Which one did you enjoy opening up for the most?
It’s between Cyhi Da Prynce and Action Bronson. Them boys put on a stellar show and perform in rare form. I remember Cyhi checking for me after my performance and gave me his praises. Bronson was boppin’ to my shyt while I was performing and that was a gratifying moment.
5. You are the founder of iLLustrious Music Group. How did it become about? What got this movement started?
The movement started off a brand of good friends who enjoyed creating music we were fans of. I took a trip to NYC to record with two producers (Solidified & Zino) which I never met face to face at the time. We would communicate through online or telephone for months. We took the opportunity to unite at a recording studio and share our thoughts. We had a common goal and were coming from a common ground so it only made common sense to form together. It was Solidified, who came up with the name “iLLustrious” because of the meaning and how well it described our music. Later on, we got Bishop involved, KoJazz situated after and just recently inducted See. Francis. We all share that common goal and we plan to keep the movement moving from here on out. We also got our first lady and singer YoAmanduh to test new waters and broaden our fanbase. Solidified and I just wanted to collaborate with people who share the same passion and willing to risk it all for this music shyt.
6. What project(s) are you currently working on?
I’m still doing my run with my latest album, The Prestige 3. I’ve been prematurely working on a few exclusive things. Coming up with concepts for a few projects. I am planning to work on a new project later this year. My work ethic is crazy. I don’t like to chill. I like to plot and execute. I probably got about 2 projects worth of material in the stash. It’s all about timing and crafting a masterpiece for the public. I actually can not wait to start on my official follow up. The stakes are high this go around.
7. You have a new track coming out called ay of Reckoning with Nas new signee Dave East. How did that track come about?
I’ve been rocking with Dave East ever since I’ve heard “The Offering” from him last project. Due was nice. I first reached out to him via Twitter and he responded but it was Bishop helped make that connection. Shoutout to Wayne O for making it happen as well. Everything came together well.
8. What advice would you give someone wanting to pick up the mic to become an MC?
Your heart will be challenged. Your patience will be tested. This shyt ain’t easy. Never underestimate your worth.
9. How can people keep up with your movement online?
You can pretty much find everything MeRCY related on www.musicbymercy.com
10. Oh yea i noticed in your bio that you are an avid comic book and anime manga junkie. What are your favorite comics and anime characters.
Haha, there’s so many that resonate with me but there’s a few that standout. My favorite comic is the Dark Knight Returns series or the Death of Wolverine. I’m a huge Spider-Man fan. As far as Anime characters, includes (Dragonball Z) Piccolo, Vegeta, (Ninja Scroll) Jubei, (Fullmetal Alchemist), (Naruto) Sasuke, (Vampire Hunter D), so many.
11. Any final words or shout outs?
Shout-out to everyone and anyone that’s been rocking with me and mines. Love yourz. I promise to give you ‘forever music’ forever. May the process of progress continue.