In Monday's mix bag we plugged a video, "It's About Damn Time" by under-the-radar - maybe not for long - 24 year-old hip-hop artist Gotty. You know, when we first took a listen, we were really digging it, but we took it for what it was - probably a track being played all over 97.9.
We assumed this because we felt it was definitely a good-enough, catchy radio track, but we are anti-radio, so we weren't for sure, because we don't listen to it - at all - and we turned out to be wrong. It's not getting much airplay according to our conversation with Gotty, but he was on his way to New Orleans for a radio-media tour so perhaps it'll break soon.
Gotty and Rocks Off have a mutual friend in our boy Will Paz, who works with OG Ron C's Gizzle Management and is always introducing us to hot Houston music. He introduced Rocks Off to the video, and after dozens of listens (we work well to the track), we said to ourselves, "You know, with all the B.S. and hate going on in the world, this could be a 'stand up for change' type of track," but we're constant soul-searchers and there are times when we cry when seeing beautiful flowers, so maybe we were looking too much into it.
Or were we? Meet East-sider Gotty, more than meets the eye or the hip-hop ear.
Rocks Off: One of the biggest tests we give Houston hip-hop is sending it outside the state and asking our music geek friends in places like New York to see what they think. We didn't do this with this particular track but a dear friend of ours in Los Angeles, Ngoc Nguyen, picked up on your video when we featured it in the Mix Bag. She isn't a hip-hop head at all, but she knows good music in other genres. We trade CDs all the time, she's never in her life commented on anything we've written for Rocks Off. But in this instance, she said, and we quote, "'It's About Damn Time' will be playing in my car real soon." Do you think that's an indication that your track has crossover appeal?
Gotty: I feel the song is a statement that can apply to all ages' nationalities and creeds. I believe the song appeals to anyone that realizes it's about damn time. We as a people should start doing better in our everyday lifestyle.
RO: So we haven't heard any of your music. The merit of this interview is based on one song and one video. How do you classify your style hip-hop?
G: I classify my style of hip hop as real rap that is both motivational and relatable to all. There are many more hits to anticipate that have already been produced on my album Da Game Needs Instructions. And also unproduced in my train of thought.
RO: What did you want to convey with this track?
G: "It's About Damn Time" is self-explainable but my goal with this track was to wake everyday sleepers on life and uplift them and make them realize it's about damn time we not only make a change within the music we make, but in the life we live.
RO: "It's About Damn Time" has to have a remix coming out. Are you working on one?
G: At the moment no, but I'm waiting for other artists that have major influence to reach out and contact me to help spread this movement that I've established. With their help we'll be able to help the non motivated make much needed changes within their lives.
RO: Did you read about the geometry teacher in Alabama accused of using a hypothetical assassination plot on President Barack Obama as a way to teach geometric angels? What's it like for a young black man in America to see the disdain people are having for Barack Obama?
G: I didn't get a chance to catch that headline, but Barack Obama is a great example of "It's About Damn Time". With him being in office for young people of my nationality, it is not only inspiration for me, it tells me I can also achieve greatness. Barack Obama, in my opinion, has chosen to take on a responsibility that the majority of all nationalities wouldn't be capable of taking on. So with that being said, I myself, am proud of him for the initiative he has taken to do what it takes to be the first black president of America.
RO: Do you think he'll get elected?
G: He should, unless someone else seems to be a better prospect at the time of election.
RO: We see you don't have tons of MySpace visits on your page, but that's not any indication of talent. How do you think you're seen in the hip-hop underground scene in Houston?
G: Right now I'm seen as a rising artist striving to be great. It would be a great accomplishment to be able to put Houston back where it's supposed to be. Because I haven't really focused on promoting my MySpace page it's really sitting idle right now but now since pushing the single "It's About Damn Time" I expect a rapid rise in those views.
RO: Why do you call your lable Follow Your Dreams Entertainment? That's not something that many hip-hop artists would have picked for their label name. We like the message though.
G: Follow Your Dreams Entertainment was chosen because I wanted to go in more of a positive direction with a label name that related to everyone's personal goal. Follow Your Dreams entertainment is a movement. It's not just about music. It's about helping everyone achieve their full potential in life.
RO: We have a hunch that you're a spiritual cat.
G: I am currently studying with the Moorish Science Temple of America and Islamism is the religion of the Moslem organization. No religion is singled out in my studies. My belief is that knowledge should be obtained on all religions because there is truth found in all religions.
RO: Amen, Gotty. Amen.
Follow Gotty on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube. Email him at Fydentertainment@gmail.com.
Rolando Rodriguez is the managing editor of RedBrownandBlue.com. Follow him on MySpace and on Twitter, or befriend him on Facebook.