From the belly of the beast , rose an artist by the name of Euro League who has been pushing the envelope of contemporary hip hop to the world. It was only right that I caught up with him to speak on what is happening and what we will expect in the near future.
Hello Euro League, how are you doing?
Wassup everybody. I am doing excellent. I’m in a very good space at this moment in time.
Good to hear that man. How did you get your name?
I got my name from the oppression I experienced as a youth growing up in the ghetto of the Bronx , NY. It’s an acronym for : Enlightenment Under Ruling Oppression.
That makes sense now, I like it. Think back to when you were growing up, tell us your first experience with music.
I remember one of my first encounters with hip hop music was when me and my older brother who happens to be a really good DJ would use LL Cool J cassette tapes to remake his songs over the breaks in the beat.
Sounds pretty cool. How did you become involved with hip-hop?
Well, I’m from the Bronx so that kind of makes hip hop a part of who I am as a New Yorker.
Sure. What made you realise that you wanted to pursue a career as a rapper?
I never wanted to pursue a career as a rapper. What I am doing with my music is simply expressing how I feel. I’ve had a rough childhood and I found that I am compelled to write out how I feel in lyrical form.
I hear you loud and clear. Well, we often get different rappers who bring something different to the table, what makes you standout from other rappers?
I standout from the rest because I am truly one of the best lyricists of the genre and I am also a great business man. I built my own production company with my partner MP Williams in NYC. NYC is the hardest place to do anything, especially coming out of the Bronx which I feel gets a lot of shade put on it considering it created hip hop and is the reason we are here today doing this interview.
Your music sounds very conscious, and that’s unfortunately overlooked and often ignored by most hip-hop fans in this modern era. Do you consider that as a problem for your career?
I do not view myself as a conscious lyricist / artist. I feel that people label artists who speak on important subjects as “conscious” as an excuse for concerning themselves with the more unimportant matters going on around us.
I hear what you’re saying, I just feel like we’re bombarded with a lot of nonsensical rap songs at the moment so hearing someone spitting some realness like yourself automatically puts you in the “conscious” category unfortunately. But would you ever surprise those fans with something totally opposite of what you do?
I’m not sure of what you mean when you say “opposite” of what I do. If you mean music that is ignorant, then no I do not make ignorant music. I feel like if you truly have listened to the range of music I make then you would know I do all types of songs whether it be a commercial song such as “Social Network” or “Pretty Girls” to records like “Violence” and “Grandmas Plastic Covered Couch” effortlessly. I feel like it’s those people who look at me as if all I make is “conscious” music that puts a limitation on the range of music I am actually making because if it isn’t totally ignorant then it has to be “conscious”, which is false to me.
Sure. Outside of hip-hop, name 5 artists you’d love to work with?
I’d like to work with artists such as: Toro y Moi , Soulection (collective), Adele, I can’t name anymore specific artists but they would have to be in the Reggae and Soul genres of music.
Why those artists?
Toro y Moi’s music helped me get over a breakup at one point in my life and I feel like an artist like me would be a perfect collaboration on his production. Soulection has this feel good vibe to their music that I feel blends well with my storytelling ability. Adele’s vocals really evoke a certain emotion that I know I can add to to create an extremely touching body of music with.
Sounds good to me – what inspired you to write “Violence”?
At the time I created “Violence” the topic of police violence was the main subject on the headlines throughout the world and I felt a personal duty to give people my perspective on what it is coming from the ghetto, which is “survival”
The visual for the track is outstanding, did you have a hand in directing it?
Yes, I co-directed the video with Matt Schaff and I also did the full edit of the video. I am also responsible for Premiering it on Revolt TV and MTV Jams on Mother day this year.
Congrats on that man. Are you currently working on any new projects?
I am currently finishing up the 2nd instalment of my “Euro Trip” EP series.
What can we expect from your upcoming project?
You can expect for me to keep innovating hip hop music and bringing new sounds and structure to the way independent artists release their music to the world.
Stream the brand new project by Euro League entitled Euro Trip – Continuum