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Slick Watts: The Grind Don’t Stop

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The old saying goes: When opportunity knocks, answer the door, and for Martins Ferry, Ohio native, Slick Watts, he’s answered the door often. From early on hip- hop was a hobby but took a backseat for his love of basketball, it enabled him to travel out of the Ohio Valley and see what else the world offers. But with a successful college career on the court what’s the next step? A new challenge emerges: turning his hobby into his passion.Being a newcomer in the game Slick has been able to garner a lot of attention outside of the O.V., winning awards and accolades. His hustle and determination has enabled him to be able to do shows, go on tours, and being sponsored by clothing company Mitchell & Ness. Slick’s ability to become a chameleon within the bass lines makes him to look out for in the future.  Just like on the court versatility helps a lot. AllHipHop spoke with the burgeoning artist to see what is happening in his world of music, sports, and things in between.   Music“Yada Yada Yada” “Whisper In My Ear To Me”      AllHipHop.com: Who is Slick Watts?Slick Watts: Slick Watts, is an up and coming rapper from a small town in Ohio, [called] Martins Ferry. That was focused on his dreams after college, and just trying to do big things, and been working real hard at it.AllHipHop.com: What sets you different from the pack?Slick Watts: I think , basically, the hard work, putting in hard work- and being a universal artist; I can get on a track with anybody and I’m not stuck in one box where a lot of people are just lyrical, or, just rap southern or whatever. I think I can do a little bit of everything, so I think kinda separates me. Also, a lot of artists aren’t humble; I’m always willing to learn. I’m always trying to be at where ever I need to be at conventions or whatever, trying to soak up everything I can.AllHipHop.com: Oh, you played A.A.U. ball?Slick Watts: Well, A.A.U., and  I was player of the year my senior year in high school. Division III I was player of the year in the state of Ohio.AllHipHop.com: How’s you get into rap? Was it something you did to pass the time between games?Slick Watts: Yeah, that’s what it was. It was like basically just playing ball passing the time on the buses and stuff, and I had raps from when I was younger, me and my cousins had a group which didn’t pan out. I got a lot of good responses everyone was telling me I was nice, but at the time I was just so focused on basketball. So basically, it was just always a hobby and then I sat down with my manager after I was done with college and decided this is what I wanted to do with my life.AllHipHop.com: So when you finished college, why didn’t you try to further your B-ball career?Slick Watts: Well, after my junior year going into my regular senior year of college. I would have had a chance to go overseas and play if I would of played my regular year, but I had to sit out a year. So, after that it was just like on to the next one; and this was next for me.AllHipHop.com: Due to injury or something?Slick Watts: No, just not doing the right stuff in school. [Laughs]AllHipHop.com: Who were your influences?Slick Watts: Tupac was a big influence for me. Biggie. I was just really into entertainers like Michael Jackson just seeing how they controlled the crowd and being onstage and stuff like that.AllHipHop.com: How’d you link up with Ohio DJ Mick Boogie for the 25 to Life Mixtape?Slick Watts: I just hooked up with him because at the time we were doing a lot of research and he was the biggest DJ in Ohio at the time, now he’s moved to NYC. He did that Viva La Hov Mixtape that did something crazy like 600,000 downloads in a day or whatever. He was the guy to do it with and I sent him some of my music. He liked it and we just went on from there.AllHipHop.com: For an unsigned artist, you really have some clout, how’d you link with Stall & Dean Clothing?Slick Watts: It was actually a blessing, man. I was up in Cleveland for the new music seminar and we [publicist] had been talking to Tone Capone Executive VP of Universal/ Motown/SRC. We were actually meeting with Tone, sitting down with him trying to pick his brain just getting different information and taking notes. The Director of Marketing for Stall & Dean actually walked up to Tone and was talking to him at the time. He remembered me from the Underground Music Awards from the year before and it kind of just snowballed from there. Just being in the right place at the right time, and being affiliated with the right people.AllHipHop.com: New opportunities open doors…Slick Watts: Right. Right. When he heard the music and seen the work ethic he was definitely on board. So, big shout out to Rikers of Stall & Dean.AllHipHop.com: What was it like winning the ‘Best Midwest Artist’ at this past years Underground Music Awards in NYC?Slick Watts: Yeah, that was definitely the goal. The year before I was up for it and lost. To actually win it that was definitely the goal, and it let us know that we’re moving in the right direction, cause a lot of times you know I might get frustrated and think we’re just standing still but, it let us know we’re moving in the right direction and people were checking for me outside of Ohio. It’s the biggest thing to happen to date.AllHipHop.com: You got a club joint with Mike Jones called “Danger” it has a different feel and vibe to it from the other joints that I’ve heard.Slick Watts:  See, that’s what I was trying to do. Basically, I’m always trying to go a little bit further, so a lot of people would put me in a hole like, ‘Oh, he’s just a mixtape artist.’ So, I wanted to show them that I could get away from the mixtapes for a little and make national hit records. AllHipHop.com: I see showing depth and also not just being one dimensional. How’d you link with Mike for the track?Slick Watts:  Just through networking, you know. I don’t know who Arica [publicist] had talked to or whatever. We were networking, I actually did a show with him last month down here in the O.V., which was a big success and we actually performed “Danger” at the show, so, not only did we come together but we also did the song too and it snowballed into that.AllHipHop.com: How’d you get to be part of the Russ Parr bus tour?Slick Watts:  It was basically my manager and the people who voted.  Basically, I put my song in for the Russ Parr show competition called “Yes We Can”, which was on AllHipHop.com on the day of the election. They [the show staff] really liked the song, and the fans voted me in. It was a great opportunity Letoya Luckett was there, and Yo Gotti. There was all kind of people there.AllHipHop.com: Hey you can’t go wrong with a presidential song especially on that monumental day. That’s a bonafide winner.Slick Watts: Exactly.AllHipHop.com: Any other projects that you are working on?Slick Watts:  Right now, I just hooked up with world famous DJ Fresh he’s on Cleveland 107.9fm he’s actually playing “Yada Yada Yada” there. He also has a set on the Russ Parr Morning show as well. So, we just linked up and he became my official DJ, and he’s also with the League Crew with Mick Boogie which is a large DJ collective. Mick Boogie has a lot of DJ’s under him and he’s real big in Cleveland. Right now we’re  also working on a mixtape before I drop my album 1000 Watts.AllHipHop.com: Sounds good. Do you have a set date for dropping the album or is it still up in the air?Slick Watts: It’s still tentative. I want to see how the song “Danger” does. I think that might be the first single off the album, so we’re still waiting on that.  Also, I need to talk with DJ Fresh as far as what we’re gonna do with the mixtape  and everything.AllHipHop.com: How can fans contact you?Slick Watts: Wattsymusic.com, which is my official website. Twitter.com/slickwatts. You can get me on Myspace.com/wattsymusic. That’s basically it Twitter, MySpace, and my official site.AllHipHop.com: Cool. Thanks for the time, man.Slick Watts: Oh and real quick, I wanna give Steve [Raze] a big shout out, too. I met him in Cleveland at the New Music Seminar and then he seen me at the Underground Music Awards, we were talking up there he congratulated me and everything. He only plays it if it’s hot, it’s basically a good way for me to get my music judged by him. Steve won’t put it up there if it isn’t; I appreciate him keeping it real like that.Video “I’m Goin In”Visit Slick Watts at:Wattsymusic.com Twitter.com/slickwattsMyspace.com/wattsymusic

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