Hey y’all! So last week I hit you guys with a review on A-Class’ Deathsuit and I decided to follow up with a short interview in order to give you guys a bit more insight on the project and A-Class as an artist. When I reached out to Baltimore, Maryland’s A-Class for an interview he automatically agreed to participate.
Lils: Hey, A-Class! So let’s just jump directly into the album. How does Deathsuit differ from your first album, Motive Response?
A-Class: “Deathsuit is more personal, I [get] deep on a few tracks and others I just have fun on. Motive Response’s lyrics are harder to understand and is a much more [self-indulgent] type record. I had listeners more in mind this time around.”
Lils: Going into detail, usually artists tend to feel most enthusiastic about certain song(s) on their albums. What song(s) on Deathsuit do you feel most enthusiastic about, and why?
A-Class: “I felt most enthusiastic about “So Filthy” because of the beat mostly and “Deathsuit Tux” came out nice with the help of The Great Muta and Tom Delay, and I fucks [with] my verse! Fo’ real though I was excited about the whole project because I’ve been sitting on some of these tracks for dumb long.”
Lils: Glad you mentioned time! As the years go by, what areas of growth do you most see in yourself as an artist?
A-Class: “I see myself growing musically as I write, it comes more natural and I’m better at writing good material now.”
Lils: Speaking of writing, what does your current writing process look like?
A-Class: “HA! I find a track that I like and can see myself on. I just start saying stuff that fits the mood of the beat and usually can flip-in a topic or a hook. As I start writing raps I try and add some kind of song structure. If I don’t write the whole song then and there (which rarely happens) I’ll come back to it later and be repeating it in my head ‘til I come up with the next line that sparks the rest of the song.”
Lils: Switching gears here, every emcee has an Achilles heel when it comes to their music. With that said, where do you feel is your area of weakness as an artist and how do you make up for that?
A-Class: “I think it’s my pronunciation. Some combos of words just get my tongue tied and I’ll say them funny as shit. I compensate by selecting my words and adjusting my cadence ‘til it sounds right.”
Lils: Interesting. I don’t see anything wrong with your pronunciation. Haha. Moving along, something that is common knowledge is that the Hip Hop field is a very competitive one. So, how do you deal with the competitiveness from other emcees?
A-Class: “I just do my own thing and make the best music I can possibly make. I stay conscious of what’s dope now and what others are doing.”
Lils: I’d agree that research is definitely important when trying to stay ahead of the race. I’d figure since you’re also a battler, you might be used to competition. With that in mind, many people, who are familiar with you, know that you are a Grindtime veteran. There is a negative stereotype about battle emcees not being too good at making actual songs. What is your opinion on this stereotype and how has this stereotype affected your career as an emcee?
A-Class: “I think that’s a myth hella battlers make dope music. The thing is some consumers don’t take their music seriously because they see them as a battler more [than] a regular person. It’s like when a b-list sitcom actor tries to start a rap career people are like, ‘seriously?’ That’s an extreme reference but that’s how some are perceived. I think this has affected me, but peep this…
I hear hella cats say ‘fuck battling!’ ‘ I don’t wanna be known as a battler.’ (‘Cause I’m sure they have an illustrious industry career ahead of them and can’t ruin it with battling, right?) Just do that shit!”
Lils: Great response! Since we’re on the topic of battling I’ll expand on that and ask, how do you feel being a Grindtime battler has helped your skills as an emcee?
A-Class: “Battling has made me a stronger writer, mos’ def’! From the depths of straining my brain for the most ingenious lines I can muster comes a better song writer. If I write a bunch of battles I’ll go back to writing songs and this writing process is different but still rap is fresh to me and I come up with decent shit.”
Lils: I could see how the battling would sharpen your skills. Also, I believe part of being a great artist means constantly growing and improving. What advice would you give to other emcees on how to further evolve and grow as an overall artist?
A-Class: “I would tell them to identify your target fan base, start young, and be good at rapping. Don’t give into trying to look cute and shit spit that raw shit at the same time talk to women and your market, homie! Get all social networks on lock and get a YouTube channel and make vids, collab with people everywhere, talk to a lot of people, PRACTICE, take every opportunity and go with the flow of opportunity because it comes in waves at times and you must ride it as far as it can go, go out at night, move to NYC, LA, TOR, UK ect.”
Lils: All useful advice! Okay, let’s wrap this up with a fun question. Since “super heroes” are a hot topic right now, if you could have any “Rap superpower” (which means, perfecting and surpassing the ability to do a certain skill better than your peers in the aspect of rapping) what would your rap super power be?
A-Class: “Niceeee question! Two answers are inevitable but this may be fair.
As a song making rapper- Having the dopest voice. Like eargasm type shit.
As a battler- Capable of the most unbelievably hard-hitting haymaker punchlines.”
Lils: Great choices! Thanks for your time, A-Class! I hope to keep in touch with you!
And for you, the readers, stay tuned because A-Class will be dropping another video off Deathsuit. This time it will be a video for “Sniper”! Look out for A-Class, he’s everywhere!