OK, Moxxie what would be your top 3 influences in rap & hip hop?
T-Bone, Chamillionaire, and John Reuben
T-Bone and Chamillionaire have some of the best sounding flow and most interesting wordplay of any rappers I’ve heard. Both are tremendously underrated and kill different types of fast paced yet easy to understand flows. T-Bone is also bilingual which is cool.
John Reuben approaches rap from a less hip hop perspective but has great messages. KJ-52 was another one I grew up on. To copout a bit, I also draw influence from rock fusion rap acts like the Beastie Boys and Manafest.
Where do you go for beats and how do you OWN THEM?!
The ends of the earth ha! Most of my beats are free from youtube or beatmakers’ direct websites. I add my own background effects and often move parts of the beats around. On most tracks I play at least a little bass, keys, and/or guitar as well.
What would you say are some of the essential "tricks of the trade"?
1. A notebook or notes app on your phone. You never know when inspiration will hit and it’s awful to miss out on a great concept because you don’t write it down.
2. A USB microphone and basic recording software. It’s extremely useful to have the power to lay down a track on the spot, record and listen to yourself , and also get concepts down without automatically blowing lots of money on studio time.
What do you do to stand out?
I have a very distinct glam influenced image. It is very different than how most rap artists present themselves.
Thematically I focus on real topics , relevant issues, and true experiences. So many indie artists just rap about money and how awesome they think they are, it becomes tiring and white noise.
How do you really write Christian rap?
As a professing Christian I suppose all the rap I write is “Christian rap” though I don’t really compartmentalize my songs as “Christian” vs “secular” vs something else or whatever other categories people like to use. That said I try to keep my message biblical, positive and encouraging even in angry and aggressive songs. My goal is to glorify God and show His love to people through my music. It is also to provoke thought and be a channel to release emotion and creativity.
What are some lyrics in modern rap that make you scratch your head?
Pretty much everything Lil Yachty says? There’s a lot of modern rap that sounds more like sounds and effects smashed together than actual words, a lot of it’s difficult to decipher.
What are your favorite venues to perform in? And why?
I like small to midsize club/bar venues. It is very cool to have an intimate venue where you can directly interact with most members in the audience. I’ve never really played an arena or large festival so we may have to revisit that one if it happens!
What do you think of the "old school" VS. "new school" rap debate?
That’s a complicated one, especially as I do not listen to a ton of new rap music so my opinion will not be the most informed.
I greatly respect the work of Tupac, DMX, NWA, and the like though I was like 2 years old or not even born during their heyday. That era combined with the late 90s to late 2000s with Eminem, 50 Cent, Chamillionaire, Jay-Z, 116 Clique, and others certainly seems to have better lyrics and writing than what I hear in more recent years (definitely a generalization though).
Things seem to be so obnoxiously repetitive these days and having “bars” or “lyrical rap” being a special thing instead of a given just seems strange. There’s definitely some life though, Bizzle and NF (just discovered him this year, kinda sad) have some incredible material and I like a bunch of Yelawolf’s songs.
How did you "invent your image"?
I have always worn tie dye to symbolize equality and unity across all cultures and “colors.” It’s a theme I like to maintain and I think it looks rad. I like to dress in excessive and over the top fashion because I believe visual is an important part of music that is often overlooked, especially in the present.
Image can’t take precedent over quality but if image is thrown out the window, particularly in a live setting, it can get bland.
Lastly, what can we expect to hear from you in the upcoming years?
God willing quite a lot. I have an ambitious triple album concept in the works inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy. Albums will be called Moxxie’s Inferno, Moxxie’s Purgatorio, and Moxxie’s Paradiso. I am also working on another rap album called Moxxiecontin which will feature some already released singles like Struggle on 98th and Demonic Ragz. In addition to that I have a solo (and friends) metalcore project called The Desecration of Pragmatism and still contribute to alt rock bands Psychodelix and The E-Villes.
Anything else you'd like to add, friend?
STAY CLASSY HOMIES!!!