He pulled out his PSP and played us a track. My head bobbed along, and I was smiling. I liked the beat. Then he started in on his rhymes, and I glanced at my friend and we both burst into a fit of giggles mimicking some of his lines that fell flat.
That’s how I was introduced to Justin Daniel’s, better known as H3RO now, music. Since that time he’s moved away and apparently tightened up his game and become serious. I was pleasantly surprised when his single came across my Facebook entitled “Game Over”
This is a third interview conducted on Yahoo Messenger, and these are snippets. They are out of order to help facilitate cohesiveness between different parts. Now let’s just see what this H3RO is all about.
Me: So how’ve u been, long time no talk!
H3RO: I’ve been good, man!!! Just busy, ripping tracks, you know?
Me: Yeah, I just heard the New Single!
H3RO: Oh yea? what’d you think about it?
H3RO: Awesome right?
Me: Yeah awesomeness!! So different from the Justin I remember!
H3RO: LOL how so? ? ? ?
Me: Kit-kat… give me a break. Remember those lyrics?
Me: It was on a song you did on your PSP with your sister in the back ground.
H3RO: I remember lol. I’ve been trying to forget
Me: hahaha. You can’t forget where you come from!
H3RO: True true…matter of fact, I think it was THAT song that made me even want to become a rapper
Me: It’ll be kind of cool though right, you’ll have your friends here in South Carolina that will remember where you started from and will support you in whatever you do! But do you remember the name of that song? I don’t even remember
H3RO: I actually called it 16 bars…cuz that’s what it was…16 bars…16 bars of whack…
Me: Your lyric game has stepped up so much in what… the 2- 3 years since I last heard something by you… what do you attribute that to?
H3RO: That’s an easy one. It was all hate & motivation
Me: That’s wow… like it’s bad that it was so much hate but good that you used it to push you.
H3RO: Exactly…not to mention all the great artists I had to study in order to deliver on such a higher platform. 3 years ago, the only REAL rappers I knew were Eminem and 50 Cent…
Me: Who did you study and how did you study them?
H3RO: No Offense to Em, who’s still one of my favorites, I studied more of the 90s New York rap: Biggie, Big L, Jay- Z, Nas. Classics
Me: Yeah, like you can feel that influence in your music.
H3RO: Really? ? ? I heard from somebody once I sounded like Big L XD But yea, as far as lyrics go, thats the main thing I focused on. Listening to the radio nowadays, lyrics mean nothing
Me: You want to change that?
H3RO: Exactly. I want to bring back a time where lyrics meant something
Me: That’s a big task isn’t it?
H3RO: Oooh yea
Me: Like you’re coming into the game to change it
H3RO: That would be me: H3RO, the savior of hip- hop .
Me: Hahaha so instead of being like everyone else and saying you’re bringing something new to the game you’re bringing something old?
H3RO: Lol well you could say in a way I’m not bringing something other, rather forcing an insurgence of something that should be. The definition of hip- hop has been swayed and I’m here to set it back on track one verse at a time…lol
Me: Can you elaborate?
H3RO: Yea of course. Real Rap Music was once a staple in the industry…in order to get signed, you had to have talent…but now everythings out- of- wack
Me: So you’re saying that right now what’s out there under the label of hip hop isn’t actually hip hop
H3RO: YESSSSSS. Now you got it.
Me: What do you think it is then?
H3RO: Its…definitely something else…
Me: Like is it personas that sell records? Catchy phrases?
H3RO: In a way yes…I do…its America’s way of controlling the black community…but THATS on a different subject…
Me: Woah, let’s go there.
H3RO: Do we have to? lol
Me: you brought it up
H3RO: Here’s a story about Little Brother, a North Carolina Hip Hop Group that debuted about 4 years back. They tried to get their single (video) played on BET, but BET refused to air it, deeming it “Too Intelligent” for their audience. So by dumbing down black television, all those watching it are by comparison, dumb. It’s the same with rap music: if nobody is introspective anymore, the black community will no longer think outside the box
Me: Oh.. so you’re bringing intelligence to the game?
H3RO: Basically yes, but I’m not saying that it wasn’t already there though
Me: True… but is that what you’re basing yourself on right?
H3RO: Yea I would call intelligence my platform, but more so it becomes a battle of meaning than it is a battle for superior intellect
Me: You make your own beats too right?
H3RO: My beats suck lol. I had some good friends at soundclick who handle that for me
H3RO (11:08 AM):
Me (11:09 AM): Ohh.. okay.. So do you consider yourself a lyricist?
H3RO (11:10 AM): Exactly…I dropped beat making so I could focus 110% on that, and 3 years later, I’m still going strong…stronger.
Me: That’s amazing… do you sit down and make yourself write or is it like something will inspire you
H3RO: Unfortunately, I have to play a beat, and wait for that inspirational spark… so sometimes I sit down and nothing comes out on paper…other times it just flows and I might write two or three songs in a day
Me: Okay so it really is work for you?
H3RO: Lol its my job away from the job XD
Me: Do you consider it an art form?
H3RO: Oh yes definitely, any form of expression to me is considered art: drawing, breaking stuff….A- R- T. ***punching holes in walls*** lol
Me: So you express yourself in the studio? Like do you normally find writing easier when you’re like at an extreme of an emotion
H3RO: For some songs, it helps that my emotions are unbalanced….like this song I wrote called “Almost Lover” was very nostalgic of a past relationship, but other times without a level head I can’t think straight…
Me: Do you find social networking sites beneficial?
H3RO: Day- by- Day, I always seem to find a new fan using them, so Yea, they definitely make my life easier…
Me: Which ones do you find yourself using?
H3RO: My Favorite has got to be Myspace….cuz I can post my music…but Facebook for my closer friends and then Twitter is just the wild card XD
Me: Woah i didn’t know you were a tweeter!
H3RO: Lol oh yea, I tweet every now and then…LOL tweet XD
Me: wow!! that’s… tweet!… hahaha I tweeted about you earlier. I’m definitely going to find you on there. But Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.. Those are your only online accounts? There’s nothing that is like unique to a musician?
H3RO (11:22 AM): There actually is one more, called broadjam. you can find me at broadjam.com/yourH3RO where I upload all my latest tracks and try to put them into any contests I can.
Me: that’s amazing
Me: Okay well I’m not sure if you know, but I’m into fashion, So how would you label your style?
H3RO: Uhhhh…I would say my “Style” is still under construction, but I am trying to get into the whole fashion thing as well
Me: Do you have any idols in the industry right now?
H3RO: Definitely Lupe Fiasco, Nas, I like Kanye, even though 808s wasn’t my favorite, Jay- Z, and as far as new faces go I’d say Kid Cudi.
Me: If you could get on a track with anyone dead or alive.. who would it be?
H3RO: That would be Tupac…I would’ve loved to see what kind of energy he brought to the booth…I mean he’s an icon…a legend…its a shame that he was shot down over a petty beef while still trying to find himself…
Me: Fave color?
H3RO: LOL, red
Me: Okay are there any words that you keep in your head while you’re in the booth
H3RO : There are three words I keep in my head while I’m in the booth, “Don’t Screw up”. But… sadly…I do
Me: What advice would you give someone who wanted to break into the industry?
H3RO: I’d say you can do what Soulja boy did…make a dance song and take the shortcut…for those who want to actually MEAN something though, I’d say be like me…I’m taking the longer road…and I’m not looking back…Epic.