A talk with Lyriqs da Lyraciss, solo artist and member of the New Orlean’s hip-hop group Tygah Woodz. (Check out our video of them performing live at Turnin Headz this past July)
First off, why don’t you introduce yourself, and let us know where your from. Also about your group, as well as your solo work.
First, My name is Lyriqs da Lyraciss (or Lyriqs da lyriciss for itunes purposes). Born and raised in New Orleans, La. Ive been apart of the Hip-hop group “Tygah Woods” since 2009 and Ive been doing music solo professionally since June 6th, 2009.
How old where you when you first started to rap (write or freestyle)? Give us a little detail about how and why you got into the game, and about some of your early projects.
I was 6 when i started becoming interested in rap. My brothers would play a lot of rap around me so i couldn’t help but hear it. The first rap album I heard was Redman “Muddy Waters”. I actually started rapping to try and impress my brothers, to which i was successful lol. Around 14 I heard “Food and Liquor” from Lupe fiasco and it was a rap from there (no pun intended). I dropped my first project on 9/09/09. It was called “Bluology”. I was fresh outta high school and ready to take over the world. From there i met people who would change my life forever.
What sort genres of music did you grow up on? What other genres beside rap influence you and your music today?
When it came to music i grew up on 70’s soul, funk and r&b. Its all I know and i listen to that more than i listen to hiphop. I have my mother to blame for that. Today, I listen to alot of electronic music…dubbstep…things like that.
New Orleans it’s sort of unlike all other U.S. cities. It’s got a ton of history and culture, and just has a different atmosphere than most places. How does/did NOLA effect your music? What sort of influence does it have on the sound, or lyrics?
Nola affects my music in the sense that it teaches me to be honest. New Orleans is one of the most dangerous cities in america and were not ashamed of that. we speak our minds…were open…free. That’s my music in a nutshell. The flavor of my city kinda rubs off in my music. Granted, you wont here trombones or trumpets in my shyt but you can hear where i come from.
How’s the Hip-Hop scene in New Orleans? From the other rappers, to the crowds. Y’all have had some huge acts out of New Orleans, does that hurt or help you? (I mean, obviously it’s helpful to get the shine on the city, but does it make people stereotype your sound?)
In new orleans, the scene is growing. Crabs in the bucket is everywhere i suppose and New orleans is no different. But, our scene is starting to garner attention with the likes of K.gates and Dee-1. Being from the south though, people automatically assume your level of intelligence is low. Some of us N.O cats meet that level dead on…some of us surpass it and shock the
crowds we rap in front of.
We first met you in Houston, at the Turnin Headz Monthly Hip-Hop showcase. Do you do a lot of touring outside of Louisiana? What sort of reception do you get, to your music and your stage show? What are some of your favorite places to perform overall?
As of late ive been doing alot of traveling. Thanks to Slangston Hughes i was able to perform where I met you guys. In the last months ive done a few cities in Mississippi, Texas, and of course Louisiana. I travel with Lyrikill, Truth Universal, Tony Scratchere and Slangston Hughes alot. I pride myself off my stage show, and my secret is having fun. Most people like the music that i perform but they love they way i portray it. CD sales translate into people actually taking that next step in support.So in that case, I get alot of love lol.
What do you think of the state of hip-hop in general? And do you feel like people outside the South automatically stereotype you as a ‘trap rapper’, or anything like that? I personally feel like that sort of thing is getting some what better, as the south has shown, especially recently, that we do have rappers than can actual spit. Agree, disagree?
Hiphop is funny right now. investing into a recording studio nowadays is 1/3 of what it costed about 10 years ago. Because of that, there are RAPPERS GALORE. The music industry is flooded and watered down heavily. But with all of that, you get to see many different styles of music. As i stated earlier, because I’m from N.O, people automatically think certain things. Once i do my thing, they are usually shocked or left in awe. Recently, the bigger emcees from the south have shown that there are some spitters down here. Im not to fond of any of them but i respect what they do enough to recognize them and salute.
What rappers/music do you listen to personally? Who are some of your all-time favorite lyricists? I see on your bio a few of them are Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, and Will Smith. Care to expand on the Will Smith part?
Personally, on a major level i listen to Lupe fiasco,J DILLA!, Charles Hamilton, Mf Doom and Will Smith. When im on some underground stuff, I’m pumping Lyrikill, Alevy, G-eazy, D-lain, J-dubble, Citysparks and cats like that. And as for Will smith, I feel like Will is underrated. Keep in mind Will was apart of the first hiphop act to ever win a grammy. Banannas. over 20 years and almost every album he dropped either went platinum or gold. And his songs were cool to vibe to. He’s one of my favs.
Everyone and their mother is a rapper these days. What sets you apart? Why should people listen to your music?
One thing that sets me apart from all the other rappers out is my honesty. And my dedication. From the heart, I would die for my music. I would give up everything I own just to keep making music. Its more than making tracks to get people to listen to…its all from the heart…the happy stuff…the dark stuff…everything. Music is literally all i got…its the only thing to never turn its back on me or anything like that. i love my music…i love making music…so yea…
What sort of topics & subject matter do you like to write about? Anything off limits?
In my music, I touch on things that are going on with me. Like when i became homeless or when i got my 9-5 or me and my women problems…personal stuff. Actually nothing is off limits..i try not to put limits on my music.
What projects do you have in the works right? (Upcoming mixtapes, albums, videos, etc.)
I just dropped the new single “My style” (prod by G-eazy) so me and my Label (Eupham Multimedia) and my management (Rbs) are pushing that. The video for that is coming asap. My next Project is “The Nobodys Monologues 2”. A follow up to the first project that conjured up 5000 downloads, which im extremely proud of.
Whats some random fact that most people probably don’t know about you?
One random fact about me that people dont know is that im very shy. Cant be shy and be a rapper but outside of music I’m extremely shy. Being around people makes me nervous. I crack jokes to try and play it off.
Anything else you want to let the people know? Shoutouts, etc. Also, any upcoming shows folks could check you out?
I wanna shout out my Eupham family, Rbs, The Hut, Inner Recess, C-wizz, Melvin Burch, Truth Universal, Marcel p Black, Chris Concept, Kaye the beast, My Tygah Woods fam, Coke lagrande, Wes-b and everyone in between.
Finally, where online can people connect with you, and check out your music?
http://underdogcentral.net is the best place to go for all Things Lyriqs. @underdogcentral on twitter….thats it!