Savvy Spotlight: Meet Lyriciss Flowz!

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 9:57 PM

Allow me to present to some and introduce to others the very talented Mr. Lyriciss Flowz. Born and raised in the Washington DC Metropolitan area (aka THE DMV), Lyriciss proves that there's more to the nation's capital than go-go music and mumbo sauce - there's hip-hop. Click here to check out his brand new mixtape, The Day Job!

What’s good Lyriciss?
Lyriciss Flowz: Man I’m feelin wonderful man. Stayin on this grind man.

SS: So represent one time, tell the Sound-Savvy audience where u from and where you reppin!
Lyriciss: Yeah, man you know me. I’m reppin the DMV - DC, Maryland Virginia. I been all over so I can’t come out here and say I’m from one area, I’ve been all over man. Anybody that’s in the city, PG County, to Northern Virginia, I’m out chea!!

SS: Aight. So how long have you been doing hip-hop?
Lyriciss: I been rappin’ since I was 9. So I guess that’s 12 years since I just turned 21. Been rappin’ since 9, been in the booth since 16. So it’s been a lot of years put into this.

SS: So what made you start rapping? Was there a major music influence and what made you pick up a mic?
Lyriciss: I’ve always loved hip-hop since I was a baby. I distinctly remember in my brain, plus my mother reassured me that I used to rock in the crib to It Takes Two by Rob Base. So I had the hip-hop influence around me all the time. My mother raised me with hip-hop because she loved it as much, if not more than I do. I remember the first song I ever did; when I was in elementary school, I would take people’s songs and put my own words to ‘em. First song I did that with was Money, Power, Respect by the Lox, DMX and Lil’ Kim. That beat was just crazy to me. I just started doin it like that and from there I would hop in the ciphers when I giot in middle school, hopped into the battles. High school I kept that going and I finally got the chance to record when I ran into my man Ace Chips. He had his whole FCG thing goin on. I got down with the squad, we started recordin’ at his crib in the closet at 16 years old. He was 15 at the time and we just kept it going from there.

SS: Listening to your new mixtape, I noticed a lot of old school samples, who are some the artists, rappers or singers that you draw inspiration from?
Lyriciss: Definitely Big L plays a big inspiration, rest in peace to him; the 10th anniversary of his death just passed on the 15th. Rakim, Kool G Rap, Jay-Z, AZ, Nas; Joe Budden nowadays has a lot of influence; I’m a big Joe Budden fan. Wale played a big part ‘cause that was the first time I heard somebody from the area that was really lyrical with the rhymes but still sounded like somebody from this area… with the accent and everything!

Shouts to Wale!
Lyriciss: Yeah so they all had an influence in what I do today

SS: Being from the DMV, how much of an influence does go-go play in your style?
Lyriciss: As far as my style in my songs, you don’t hear much go-go. The biggest song that I had before anything I got right now is probably They Fakin’ which had a Backyard sample on it. But just being somebody from the area, go-go has always been a big part of my life and you come up as a child and a teenager rappin’ over go-go beats. It helps you get your flow in the pocket so that’s something you’re always gonna have from a DMV rapper – a lot of the flows are very on point because if you can rock over a go-go beat then you can rock over any hip-hop beat. So that always played an influence on my flow, but not so much into the actual songs I do nowadays.

SS: So let’s talk about the new mix tape, The Day Job. What inspired the title?
Lyriciss: Well the truth of it is rap is my day job. I don’t have any other jobs right now. The economy is messed up! I had a part time working at Lids for a while, but I had to leave there. If you hear Blue Collar Chronicles, you know I worked at grocery stores, video game stores, all that. I worked at UPS, all of it. But right now rap is my day job: I wake up, I write songs, I record and I send the music out to the people and they just happen to like it.

SS: That’s wassup, that’s an inspiration. Blue Collar Chronicles is definitely one of m y favorites, there was a lot of imagery in the lyrics, it took me back to Spaceship from Kanye’s first album, similar concept but I like your spin on it.
Lyriciss: Yeah I had to talk about that and put some humor into it, didn’t want it to be completely serious.
SS: One of the tracks I’m really feelin’ is Misunderstood… there’s a lot of passion in the way the whole track was put together and it’s one I can really relate to. Where did that track come from?
Lyriciss: The first verse is basically speaking on how the rap game tries to make it seem that the mainstream does not have a place for an artist like me that would cover a bunch of topics and be lyrical. Even from this area, they try to make it seem like we’re not made to be rappers if you’re not talking about snappin’, drinkin’, makin’ it rain or whatever, you don’t really have a place in this rap game right now. The second verse was more so explaining a situation I had with a former management team/record label if they wanna call themselves that; just letting it be known that a lot of things they were saying about me after the fallout was very slanderous, it just wasn’t true. So I gave my side on it, and put my heart into it and let it be known that I still don’t have a problem with them, but this is the truth. They gon’ understand. No more misunderstanding what my side is on it.

SS: I hear that, put the truth out! Your first joint on the mix tape is called The Voice of the Metro. What is it about you as an artist that makes you able to claim that title over other artists from the DMV? Or is that something you would consider a shared title.
Lyriciss: Oh definitely, I’d definitely share that title. I’m just the one that will say it; I’ll say that I’m the voice of the metro but there’s plenty of other people that I feel are the voice of the metro. I feel that if you come out of this area and you’re dope, then you are a voice of the metro. If you talk about what goes on in our area and you do it without soundin’ like a damn fool, then you’re the voice of the metro. I would never claim to be the top dog of this or the king of DC or anything like that ‘cause that’s not my place to do. I feel like we should all be able to pull up and make it in this game together anyway.

SS: And I want to take a second to discuss the Willie Lynch Chip. The concept was different and it has a very unique perspective. How did you come up with that?
Lyriciss: A lot of people may have heard about the Willie Lynch letters. Basically there was a slave master named Willie Lynch from Virginia. He went out and made a speech to other slave owners about how to control the slaves – just the tactics to break the slaves and African families apart so they could control them better. I heard about this when I had a show in New York last year, I was staying with a cousin and he had a DVD with a preacher explaining how every black person is born with the Willie Lynch chip inside of them. It’s instilled in us that we’re not worth anything so we gotta hold ourselves back – we’re holding our own people back. So what I did was with the first verse, I expressed that with how the slave felt toward his slave master and put him above anything else. Then in the second verse, the dark-skinned African American is feelin strife toward the light-skinned African American because he felt like the light-skinned African American was being put ahead of him just because he was light-skinned. Then the 3rd verse, I took it from a woman’s perspective and her problems with the black male and how she’s been dogged out and how she feels she has to cover everything on her own.

SS: Yeah I’m really digging that track, a great way to close out the album. So I know you probably love them all, but do you have a particular favorite or one you would recommend to the Lyriciss fans?
Lyriciss: That’s hard for me to do because the way I put the tape together, I wanted to put songs on there that if one person doesn’t like one song, another song will grab them. There’s something there that everybody’s gonna be able to relate to, whether it’s the Willie Lynch Chip, Blue Collar Chronicles, or if it’s even something like Wild where somebody just wants to hear straight lyrical punchlines, flows, like The Rapture. Something’s gonna grab any type of hip hop fan in there. I can’t call it, I love the whole tape, everybody that got it in advance said that they loved the tape so if you hearin’ the tape, reach in there and see what grabs you.

SS: Yeah I got my advance copy and I’ve been bangin it all week down here in North Carolina!
Lyriciss: I usually don’t even listen to my own music, but I’ve been playing my own tape and if I play my own tape, I think I did something right!

SS: That’s wassup, now who did you work with as far as producers and other artists?
Lyriciss: Well as far as production I have my team, Equinox Professionals – Lord Vada and Tobari. They put me in a position to actually put this tape together so they’re involved in the presentation of it. I got the legendary J-Scrilla of Guns and Butta and In the Loop Records, he threw me a track on there. My man G-Wade from Boston, he threw me a track thanks to the homie Melody from I got some production from my man David E. Beats, he’s from the area. I don’t really think there’s anyone else; if it is, I apologize. Like I said I don’t really listen to my music too much so sometimes I forget; its 22 tracks on there. But yeah I got a lot of love from people on this tape as far as production. For artists, I got Pro’Verb, Cayan, Lando McFly, Mouse aka The Waldorf Posterboy, RA the MC shouts out to her, Strange Music, Theo from Rhode Island – he’s definitely one of the next up and comers in this hip-hop that’s basically gonna takeover. That’s it right there.

SS: Lookin at the rap game now, what do you feel is the biggest problem with the music industry, specifically speaking to the rap genre?
Lyriciss: I feel like the mainstream aspect of hip-hop doesn’t have enough options for people – it’s pretty much one lane. They make it seem like you have to be a party dude in order to make it and that’s not hip hop to me. Not to say that that’s not part of hip-hop, but to have that be your only option – that’s not hip hop. Back in the day, if you were listening to the radio, you’d hear anything from Rakim’s Know The Ledge and then it switch in to It Takes Two, which is a party track. You get (T.R.O.Y.) They Reminisce Over You by Pete Rock and CL Smooth and just switch through a whole bunch of types of tracks and you pick what you feel. They don’t have that option nowadays. It’s basically do your Bird Walk, Jumpin out the Window, Pop Champagne a bunch of party tracks. There’s no options for anyone and they make you feel like there are no more nice rappers. That’s why everybody’s either disgruntled with hip-hop or they’re caught up in the BS. So I feel like we need to bring back the options.

SS: So would you say that one of your goals would be to change the view of the mainstream or just to broaden
Lyriciss: If I could change it, I’d be a very powerful person. In order for me to change hip-hop in that aspect, that means I’d really have to grab a lot of people and the masses would have to love it. If that happens, then I’m blessed, but my goal is just to make good music and have the people enjoy it. That’s all I can really do at this point. I see what the industry is right now. The most I can do is just make good music and have as many people respect it as possible and be respected for what I do

SS: And that’s all the fans can ask for.
Lyriciss: Exactly, and I love my fans so I gotta do that.

SS: So just to switch up for a second. I hear that you’re no stranger to the stage and you’re continuously rockin shows?
Lyriciss: Yeah I do a few shows. I do shows, open mics. I’ll come and rock at a cookout if possible. I just love performing that’s what I love to do. Get me on the mic, let me wild out, do what I do, give the mic back and it’s a wrap from there. Pass me a drink and we can party.

SS: That’s what’s good. As you’re out here on your day job, your daily grind, any words you live by or any inspiration to some of the other cats out there on the grind?
Lyriciss: Always progress and always stay remained in yourself. And know this business. This game is way more business than it is music. If you don’t know the business, don’t deal with it. It’s a shady game out here, you’re most likely to get got!

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