Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview With Frederick Lazarus

Freddie Laz is an unsigned New York emcee who started rhyming at the age of 15. I think he's a good example of an artist willing to work at his craft. I expect us to be hearing a lot more about this guy in the future!

1. So ”Frederick Lazarus” the first thing that surprises me about you is your unusual name, how did that come about?

Well, back in 9th grade I was just sitting in class, writing rather than learning, and I wrote a line that went something like "Etch in the gravel, scratch the rhymes in the sheet rock/ See, L smooth like Pete Rock, this is detox/ Dre know(Drano) what I'm talkin bout, I'm cleaning what they clogging out". I stopped and thought, my name doesn't have an 'L' in it. I was Frederick King back then, trying to say that I'm trying to bring people together(Martin Luther King) with my intelligence(Frederick Douglass), but I flipped the message to I'm trying to resurrect(Lazarus) intelligence.

2. Your style is rare for someone so young, when people hear of a “teenage rapper” they might be inclined to think of the likes of a Soulja Boy or Little Bow Wow, but your more of a lyrical emcee, what got you into the more soulful side of hip hop & who are your influences?

Well, really I started off probably at a level lower than that of Soulja Boy. First bars were "In case you ain't know nigga, you rocking with the best/CigaRet's the dude who devised the fucking test", but I left that level of ignorance when my 8th grade English teacher introduced me to my love, which is writing, and I became inclined to learn. I just incorporated it into my lyrics

My influences are little unorthodox, and more current. While Rakim for his lyrics, and KRS for his philosophy are on the list, I've also been influenced by Blu, Folk & Stress, Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, MF DOOM, and many others as well as some other traditional ones like A Tribe Called Quest, Black Thought, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Common.

3. What do you think is responsible for your brand of hip hop being more or less froze out of the mainstream? & can you see a day where cats like you gain more exposure?

I honestly think our lack of exposure is due to a scheme, but I'm not going to go into that. I really can't see a day where we get too much exposure unless someone finds that sweet spot between underground and the mainstream like Common. Exposure's not really an objective of mine though.

4. Being an mc from New York makes for tough competition, why do you think your “the illest”?

I don't really focus on the competition, I'm just in it to write, but I get better by looking at what my fellow emcees do, and basically bettering myself by either adopting an aspect, or avoiding an aspect of their package. I'm not the illest yet, but I have been called a prophet.

5. Your first mixtape was called "J Dilla Changed My Life", if you could work with any other producer dead or alive who would it be and why?

I'd definitely have to say Exile. His work always gives me chills when I hear it, and I'm always finding different parts of the sample that he may have included in chopping it up. I just think there would be great chemistry.

6. Have you got any plans to release some new material soon?

I will be releasing a few projects in the coming months which information will come out on soon.

Well we look forward to hearing from you in the future.

Peace out Freddie.

Freddie was nice enough to include a download of a hot new freestyle he's done over "Thieves In The Night Instrumental". Plus he posted up the lyrics for you to check out.

Thieves In The Night Freestyle


(Right click to save then zoom in)

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