Photo by: Yatoo Takashi

Family man rhyme slayer artist and all around taking care of business, business being…The MC known as Substantial takes a break to give us some inside scoops on his life as an mc and more..

Peace Substantial.. how are you and where are you from?

Peace fam. All is well. I’m originally from a little place called Landover in P.G. County, Maryland.

How did you get the name Substantial?

My friend Beef gave it to me after he booked me for an event and decided that he didn’t like my original stage name. I thought it was dope and stuck with it.

Are you signed to Mello Music Group? What type of deal is it, and how did it come about?

I licensed my last solo album to Mello but I was never an official artist on there roster. My connect to them came through Oddisee who produced some of and mixed my last record.

Can you describe HiPNOTT Records what is all about.. and your role there?

HiPNOTT Records is an independent label that currently releases mostly Hip Hop/Rap. I am signed to HiPNOTT as an artist but I am also Head of A&R.

If you could give an Indie artist advice on how to survive as an indie in todays rap game what would it be?

Build and protect your brand. Labels are constantly looking for opportunities to build and preserve their brand. You as an indie artists need to be constantly working to do the same considering that most contracts are only for two years and there’s a chance that your career may outlive your label.

What are you doing when your not in the studio or at the office, any other hidden talents?

Spending time with my wife and daughter, working with kids and graphic design/art.

Your new release Always whats it about and where can we find it?

‘Always’ is an EP that reflects on the constants in my life and legacy we’ll ultimately leave behind. It’s available on most digital media outlets: iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, etc.

What other music besides Hip-hop motivates you? Do you listen to commercial radio?

I listen to a wide variety of music. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Menahan Street Band & Daft Punk. I don’t listen to commercial radio.

Who’s your all time favorite Emcee.. If you could narrow it down to maybe one or two??

Probably the two I’ve listened to the most are Nas & Common.

Any shows or tours coming up we should know about?

Next show is on the 5th of September in Frederick, MD with my man DJ Jav. Doing a short East Coast Tour in Early October as well!

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EDITOR: La Mont Reed
IMAGE: Substantial