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BREEDING GROUND: SparkDawg

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The “Lone Star” state has managed to produce some pretty memorable talent. Bun B, Pimp C. and Scarface are a few who come to mind when thinking of artists from the Southern borders of Texas. Speaking of Scarface, this current rapper managed to land an album deal with the man himself as a member of the group GreenCity. The opportunity opened a lot of doors for this native Texan including an Ozone Award nomination. Now SparkDawg hopes to make it as a solo artist in an industry where he already has made some significant moves. Everyone wants to rep their city and Killeen is waiting to get their shine according to SparkDawg. Being from a lesser known area in a huge sstate with more popularly recognized cities, only feeds SparkDawg’s want to create a name not only for himself but his city too. 

The current rock influenced track “Loser” is making some noise on the underground circuit. The song has some straight talent featured such as, Wayne, Ortiz and Tyga which gives SparkDawg some exposure and credibility points. The way to create a buzz today is completely different than in the past. Internet has played a huge part in making or breaking some careers and SparkDawg uses the outlet to the fullest. Not just sticking to the web to get things going, he’s also has been featured on countless mixtapes. One thing to learn from SparkDawg is he definitely has the drive and determination to create a name for himself and make moves.

AllHipHop: Where did you get your name from?

SparkDawg: Back in high school I used to make gold grills. They were the removable kind. That’s how I got kinda popular in high school. Everybody started calling me “Spraky.” Once I got kinda older I didn’t really feel comfortable with anybody calling me Sparky anymore. I basically dropped the “y” and everybody started calling me Spark. I added the Dawg part because I felt it sounded cool and I used to own a few Pitbulls. I always had a love for dogs so why not.

AllHipHop: I heard you were signed with Scarface…what’s the story with that?

SparkDawg: I definitely, definitely want to be clear things up on this situation. The situation with Scarface is that I was signed to him as a member of a group. It was actually a one album deal. With that being said, I’m still an unsigned artist as far as my solo career is concerned. I’m definitely glad you asked that question, I want to make sure everyone knows that. I am still unsigned and the situation with Scarface was a one time deal for an album with GreenCity which was the group name. The album “Brand New Money” is in stores right now and if you ain’t got it go and get it.

AllHipHop: So you are indefinitely an unsigned artist?

Sprakdawg: Yes, definitely. What happened was me and my group put out an underground album called “1st You Get the Money”. We’re from Killeen, Texas and that is right in the middle of the state. We actually had some friends who were from Kileen named Bubba and Marcus that boxed for James Prince’s boxing organization. They were working out in a gym down in Houston. Scarface happened to be around working out as well. He heard the music they were working out to which was the “1st You get the Money” album. He went and told them that the CD they were listening to really got him pumped up in the gym. My friends ended up telling him it wasn’t in stores or anything like that it’s just their homie’s from back home. Scarface was like “yo I need to get on the phone with these dudes and put out a CD with them.” The rest was history after that.

AllHipHop: Were you planning on keeping it a group thing after Scarface contacted you? Were you hoping it would go further than a one album deal?

SparkDawg: Scarface actually asked us if we wanted to do another album. It’s not like we ever fell off, it’s just that the deal was signed for a one album situation. It was just good to even have our name associated with somebody like Scarface. I really wanted to use the situation as a stepping stone to catapult my solo career. As a group we’re still weighing our options for a second album. As of right now my main focus is securing a major solo situation for my solo album “Da Lone Star Kid”.  What did happen after the Scarface deal is a lot of doors opened. We were interviewed in the Source Magazine; a week after that we were interviewed in XXL. We were nominated for an Ozone award in the category called “Patiently Waiting” which was real cool. Scarface really introduced us to the world. I am forever in his debt for that. It’s a beautiful situation. My whole thing is to use that situation to catapult my solo career. Even before we got that deal I was trying to be a solo artist and that was my main focus.

AllHipHop: Describe the grind out in Texas.

Sparkdawg: Honestly, the internet has been really crazy for my career. With the sites like MySpace and of course Twitter it has definitely helped to explode my fan base. Everyday people clock in to a 9-5 and sit at a desk and work. I actually sit down in front of my computer just like anybody else and grind out my music. It’s not necessarily clocking in from 9-5, but, I definitely work from a computer half of the day. That’s basically where my grind comes from.  

AllHipHop: How has your hometown grind molded you as an artist?

SparkDawg: I feel like Killeen is in the middle of the state and often ignored. It’s like an untapped resource. I plan on using that to bring out a name for myself and creating a buzz for a less known area. 

AllHipHop: Did you always want to be a rapper?

Sparkdawg: Yea, yea, definitely. I really pursued it around 2000 when I moved away from Killeen. I went to Atlanta to try and get a record deal. I ended up doing a lot of shows and ended up signing a management contract. It was a management contract with the same people who manage Lil Scrappy and Crime Mob at the time. I had a 2-3 year stint as a member of one of Lil Scrappy’s groups at the time called “G’s Up.” It got to the point where I figured that I could either stay in Atlanta and just be known as that Texas dude in Lil Scrappy’s group or I can step outside that shadow and go back home. If I go home I could at least incorporate everything that I’ve learned from my Atlanta experience and do it on my own. I chose to go home and do just that. Around ‘04 when I came back and was chillin’ with my high school homies, GreenCity and that’s when we came out with our first CD that got us the record deal with Scarface.  

AllHipHop: Who were some of your influences growing up?

SparkDawg: Me being from Texas of course I grew up listening to people like Swisha House. Outside of Texas I was definitely into people like Jay-Z, Fabolous and Ludacris being some of my favorites. Of course you have the OG Bun B. I’m just blown away by how somebody his age can just be on a record with anybody in the game and still be able to flow or even go harder than the people he’s on the record with. I forever tip my hat to Bun B. because he’s so consistent with the music. He never let’s you down regardless of who he’s on the record with. Bun, Luda, Fab…people like that I definitely respect in the game.

AllHipHop: The track “Loser” with Wayne, Joell Ortiz, Tyga and Smitty is pretty dope…how did that collabo come about?

SparkDawg: Well I definitely gotta shout out the producers of the record the cat by the name DJ Yoda who has a production team called “Hustle Hard”. He basically heard about my music and about my grind and was a fan of my music. He reached out saying he had a record called “Loser” with Wayne. He felt I would be a good artist to put on the track if I was willing to contribute a verse to the track. Of course I was like hell yea. I really just jumped at the opportunity to be on a record with someone as big as Wayne. It gave me the opportunity to show the world I can rap too. It was a blessing that fell in my lap. To be honest with you it’s looking like it’s about to be poppin’ off from what I hear. Hopefully there will be a video for it soon and I’ll be on BET or MTV real soon. 

AllHipHop: How many mixtapes have you been on?

SparkDawg: I couldn’t answer that question. There has gotta be over at least 500 mixtapes I’ve been on. There’s really know way to check all that. If you go to my MySpace page I haven’t actually updated it for at least a year or two. The CD’s you see on there are so old and it’s definitely at least doubled by now. The proof is in the pudding.

AllHipHop: Ultimately what are you trying to bring to the table that makes you stand out?

SparkDawg: I feel like a lot of people are already aware of the sound big cities like Dallas. They had some early pioneers like DSR, Tum Tum, the TGZ to current rapper Fat Pimp. People are pretty familiar with Houston’s screwed-up swag. They have the big name artists like UGK, Swisha House Trae and Z-Ro. Now the world gets a chance to experience a totally new sound from the middle of the state. It’s the Killeen, Texas sound. I got my fellow GreenCity group members and team Spark-A-Lot. Central Texas is an untapped resource. I’m just glad to be at the forefront. Even though I’m unsigned as a solo artist, Uncle Face’s co-sign had a lot to do with the amount of exposure I’ve received. Now I’m ready to show the people why he put us in the game. Visit SparkDawg MySpace Page at ww.myspace.com/dalonestarkid

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