Beyond the Boulevard
Who do you owe this to? Torn between guidance and guilt BLVD wrote his music from the soul. He was never given anything but love. Learned early to get it yourself and create your own lane. His name birthed of the many streets him and his family resided. Many different places but all to familiar scenarios. His music is a mix of truth, pain and hunger. As he grows closer to his goals, more tours, more fans, he constructed a brand to stay loyal to the craft and stay hungry for more. This is the exclusive interview of Brandon BLVD.
Tell us who is Brandon Blvd?
Brandon Blvd is the unapologetically awkward soul to reckoned with. I rap too...lol
How was life growing up in Memphis TN?
Life where I'm from was bittersweet but nothing short of a blessing. I was exposed to our city's culture, art, and music. This city is everything that I am, and is everything that I need.
Who was the first person that inspired you to rap?
Don't judge me at all....please lol. I started rapping at the age of 8 when Bow Wow was just starting out. I saw how the girls at school reacted to a simple poster of him. How they could have such uncompromising admiration towards someone they've never met was beyond my 8 year old comprehension lol. I told myself I was going to be the next 'Bow Wow'. Once I realized that wasn't going to work because I was big boned and weird I took to Jay-Z for future hip-hop inspiration.
Your grandparents being highly religious did they ever look down on hiphop or you?
They didn't necessarily look down on hip-hop or myself. That's not in their character. I just subconsciously feel as though my hip-hop aspirations weren't realistic or concrete enough to match the high hopes they had for me as a young adult. I dropped out of college to pursue a rap career. Not necessarily something you're eager to tell your successful college educated family.
When did you really start to take hiphop seriously.
I started taking hip hop serious once I realized my words had power. I could alter moods, move crowds, inspire youth, educate masses. That realization alone was enough to keep me focused on learning how to increase and properly channel that power and responsibility.
It was primarily lack of support, understanding, input. I was in a dark place at that time (still am) and for whatever reason I felt as though I needed her full undying support. I feel as though we weren't on the same page and I got the vibe that our hopes for my future weren't one in the same. I was discouraged, and was willing to give up the idea of being this legendary hip hop entity for the benefit of our broken and empty relationship. That was extremely light skinned of me to say that but, yeah.
Stay Hungry is this idea that people can obtain their own perception of success if they remain focused, motivated, and disciplined. It's the motivating perpetual force that reinstates the importance of good old fashioned grind. I.e. Anything is possible if you stay hungry.
What advice would you give Kanye West at his current state?
Kanye, take all the time that you need to realize that at the end of the day. It's only you, your daughter and a world full of people that feed off of your contributions to Hip-Hop. Don't let Kim dim your flashing lights bruh
How do you like your studio sessions? What's the perfect vibe for you.
I like to have closed private studio sessions 80% of the time. Just myself and the engineer. I need space in order to illustrate the best embodiment of my soul and spirit. When you have too many souls in one confined environment that illustration isn't as concentrated or as raw.
Would you say people would describe you as a hustler? Any influences, or you kind of picked it up on your own?
I would like to think so. When I was in the 8th grade I started a record label (Background Music Entertainment). I stayed up all night before school drawing up individual contracts for each artist on my roster for them to sign. I had a CEO, a chairman and COO. I wanted to create my own Roc-a-fella dynasty. Naturally the business model and power moves of Dame and Hov inspired me to want to wear those same hats, and fill those same shoes.
What has so far has been your favorite "moment" while being a artist. And what's something you hope to accomplish before your career is over.
My favorite moment thus far I would have to say would be when I turned some of my naturally explicit material into a clean spoken word piece that I recited at a church function. The looks on the faces of the people in the audience warmed my soul. The same lyrics that someone who has never set foot in a church would easily enjoy, could also captivate an entire room full of preachers, ministers, and the First Lady. Before my career is over, I simply would love to experience that feeling again.
Name 3 artist that could best describe you?
I'd have to go with Tech N9NE, Kendrick Lamar, uhhhh Starlito.
Tell us about this viral challenge you started.
So everyone was caught up in the infamous #SoGoneChallenge. I saw how people that didn't even rap, sing, or have never even thought of picking up a pen to write a quick sixteen all chimed in to participate in this challenge. I saw how that brought people together, I saw new friendships being formed over that challenge. I saw relationships blossom from one person spitting corny bars about their loved ones. I loved it. I wanted to be apart of that positive energy while showcasing my own skill and lyrical ability. I knew that was the day everyone spent time with their families and ate after church and I wanted to create a similar atmosphere. I took that concept and energy and created this thing called #StayHungrySunday. Every , I rap over people's favorite instrumentals/beats at their request. I feed that energy to the streets, the hip hop heads, the music lovers etc.
So now you are touring and traveling and have a mixtape that is about to drop?
Let's just say 2017 will be a busy year and leave it at that for now.
Any shoutouts, Projects, sites. Where can the people of Viralvoice find Brandon Blvd?
I just want to thank my entire team for their consistent work & support. T.O.M.G, Ronnita, Paris Jett, my brother Ted, and everybody that's blessed me by supporting this crazy dream I have called #StayHungry.
My website will be available soon, however, in the meantime my music is available via www.soundcloud.com/Brandonblvd
My recent mixtape, "Vengeance Is Mine: Memoirs of a Lost Soul" is available via datpiff.com