gemstar

Gemstar Da Goldenchild: Star Quality

Finding substance in the South isn’t hard to find, in Lexington, South Carolina, Gemstar Da Goldenchild

is a prime example of an artist that sticks to kicking raw rhymes as

opposed to leanin’ and rockin’. Gemstar embodies the essence of a MC

capable to spitting metaphoric rhymes and witty punchlines, a style

once thought to be restricted to Northern rappers.

In

early 2006, Gemstar turned heads with his punchline heavy flows on his

debut mixtape “A Star Is Born Pt. 1,” hosted by Big Mike. And Gemstar’s

follow up mixtapes, “A Star Is Born Pt. 2″ with DJ P-Cutta and “Star

Stuck” hosted by DJ Jelly, further accentuated Gemstar as an anomalous

Southern rapper where the SC newcomer delivered hard hitting lines that

can be found on his new single “Holla At ‘Cha Boy,” Gemstar is seeking separation from the Southern MC herd with his lyrical prowess.

But,

it was Gemstar’s mixtape with the South’s most notorious DJ, DJ Drama,

that convincingly solidified Gemstar as a rising star in South

Carolina’s burgeoning rap scene. After releasing four praiseworthy

mixtapes over the past year, and a new one on the way, and a new single

“Diamondz,”

picking up momentum in the Carolinas, Gemstar has successfully taped

the mixtape circuit that allowed his star quality to shine.

AllHipHop.com: You were born and raised in Lexington, SC, how did you develop a Northern flow?

Gemstar:

The first record I bought back in the days was the Rap Pack. I used to

listen to the Rap Pack, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, LL Cool J. I didn’t grow

up listening to Southern [music]. Southern music wasn’t poppin’ in the

late ‘80s, early ‘90s. So that’s what I really came up off of,

listening to the Big Daddy Kane and all them. Cause that’s what was

poppin’. I’d still listen to UGK but they didn’t have that mainstream

appeal that the East Coast had.

AllHipHop.com:

You chose to go the mixtape route in order to build your buzz in the

Carolinas. No one had ever done it on that kind of level as far as

working with big named DJ’s. Why did you choose to go that route?

Gemstar:

The main reason was that it was an untapped market, no one was doing

it. At the time everybody was putting out stuff for the hood so I

figured if you’re going to do it why not do what the majors do?

AllHipHop.com: You did mixtapes with P-Cutta, Big Mike and DJ Jelly first, so how did you hook up with those DJ’s?

Gemstar:

I was a Big Mike fan, he’s really heavy on the mixtape scene and he’s

always had the exclusive music. What I did was call the number on his

mixtape. We got in touch with his manager and chopped it up with [Big

Mike] on the phone. I told him what I was trying to do and he was like

cool. He helped me distribute a lot of CDs that I did with him to help

me get a buzz up North. And then P-Cutta, I had a homeboy from DC that

grew up with P-Cutta. He linked me up with P-Cutta. And Jelly, I

started shooting out to the A cause Atlanta started getting hot. And DJ

Jelly had never hosted a mixtape for anyone outside of the [Big Oomp]

Camp. And he’s a pioneer down there in Atlanta. So I went to one of

Oomp’s stores and was kicking it with Jelly like every other weekend,

just choppin’ it up with him and we put [a mixtape] out like that.

AllHipHop.com:

You hooked up with DJ Drama for the Gangsta Grillz mixtape “Star

Studded,” which was your biggest mixtape to date. How did you get with

Drama to make that happen?

Gemstar:

Around the time when the Jelly mixtape came out, they were shooting the

ATL movie and I had a lot of people come up to me like, “you did the

Jelly [mixtape], that was hot but you need to do the Gangsta Grillz.”

The same guy that put me on to P-Cutta, he connected me with La The

Darkman, who used to be with Wu Tang. Come to find out, I hooked up

with La and he’s like, “I’m part of the Aphilliates.” We went down to

their studio in Atlanta. Drama was there and I was like, “I wanna do a

Gangsta Grillz.” He was like my name carries weight. If it ain’t hot

then I can’t mess with you. At the time I had the DJ Jelly [mixtape], I

let Drama hear it. He heard a good 40 seconds and he said it’s a go.

AllHipHop.com: What was the response when you put out the Gangsta Grillz mixtape?

Gemstar:

When the Gangsta Grillz came out people were like this dude is serious,

he’s messing with the #1 DJ in the game. It sent the buzz through the

roof. When it came out, everybody looked at it like, “who are you

signed to?” Cause Drama always put out Gangsta Grillz with artists that

have major deals. So people were like, “you must be signed now.” We got

a lot more phones calls. Cats want me to be on their records, host

their mixtapes. And I ain’t going to lie to you, South Carolina didn’t

really support me on this. We had a lot of advertisements on this,

running all the way up to Maryland. We did radio and television cable.

AllHipHop.com: So how has radio taken to you so far?

Gemstar:

At first you might get a little “Push it or Kick it” now and then, but

now they’re starting to put me in the mixshows. I’m killin’ them on the

Internet right now. But as far as the hometown, it’s hard to get radio

play in [my] hometown Columbia, SC. I don’t know why that is. The radio

came to me and set up a meeting but they still ain’t put it in full

rotation. I had a song called “Holla At ‘Cha Boy,” that was in [mixshow] rotation. Songs called “Fall Back” and “Leanin’ In My Ride” [in mixshow rotation]. We made a bunch of singles and just let the DJs pick what they wanted to play at that time.

AllHipHop.com: Have your shows picked up as a result of the Gangsta Grillz?

Gemstar:

Yeah, everything has picked up. La told me, “You’re dealing with Nike

now.” And I didn’t realize what he was talking about until after the

tape came out. As far as shows, my name is on more flyers now. The

shows have picked up probably about 200%. The recognition is crazy.

AllHipHop.com: How did South Carolina take to the mixtapes you put out?

Gemstar:

The first thing they said was he ain’t from around here cause of how I

rap. I don’t have a Southern drawl or that much of a Southern slang. So

first of all they were like this kid ain’t from around here. Then the

buzz was so crazy because we were putting out so much product. As far

as down here, we were pumping out more product than probably anyone

ever did in South Carolina. Then we started getting a fan base. Once we

had the fan base, I knew it was a wrap.

AllHipHop.com: A lot of people have been comparing you to Cassidy when they hear you. How do you feel about those comparisons?

Gemstar:

Whenever anyone new comes out they always compare them to somebody. As

long as it’s a major artist that they’re comparing me to, someone that

gets their props on the mic. [Cassidy] gets it in. They’re probably

comparing me punchline wise cause nobody in the South raps like that

but I’m my own person.

AllHipHop.com: You produced a lot of records that you’ve put out, how did you get into producing?

Gemstar:

I started off producing when I got my studio. At the time we didn’t

have anyone to do the productions, so I had to teach myself how to work

the equipment. I started making beats and just thought I’d use some of

them. Then as I got better and ventured out we started making income

off of it. I produced about 40% of the Gangsta Grillz myself.

AllHipHop.com: You have your own company, Street Gallery Entertainment right?

Gemstar:

We started up in 2004, me and my brother [Rayco]. It really came out of

nowhere. One day my brother came up to me and was like I wanna build a

studio. Built a studio, he called me in like two weeks and was like

it’s time to get things registered and trademarked, think of a name. I

was like painting pictures for the streets, Street Gallery

Entertainment. Ever since then, that’s what it been.

AllHipHop.com:

You’ve worked with other up-and-coming artists on your mixtapes like

Willie The Kid, Short Dawg and Ransom. Why did you choose those artists

to work with?

Gemstar:

I looked at it like, I wanted to find some artists that are making a

movement into the future cause the same guys aren’t gonna be around

forever. I was like these dudes right here, Gemstar, Ransom, Short

Dawg, Willie The Kid, these those next people right here in the rap

game. Working with them, they make you go harder and make you write

harder. They’re as sick with the wordplay as any of these veterans out

here.

AllHipHop.com:

You’ve been going hard on the mixtape scene for a minute. But the

mixtape scene took a hit with Drama’s situation, are you going to

continue to pump out mixtapes?

Gemstar:

Yeah, when I came out with the Gangsta Grillz that’s the only thing

that slowed it down, when [Drama] got into that situation. A lot of

people were like we ain’t gonna mess with Drama for a little bit. He’s

too hot right now. And now he’s hot the other way, they’re putting him

on magazine covers now and people are ready to mess with him again.

We’re going full force. We’re going to re-release the Gangsta Grillz.

In the future, I got about 4 mixtapes dropping in the next 3, 4 months.

Right now, it ain’t stopping.

Gemstar Da Goldenchild’s website is www.gemstardagoldenchild.com

Gemstar Da Goldenchild’s Myspace Page is www.myspace.com/gemstardagoldenchild

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