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HaZiq aLi: More Than Just Rap

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“I try my best to take myself out of it and help the people around me and see how it comes back.” -HaZiQFor

all those that think music is more than entertainment, feel free to

look here. Rappers have come and gone, some leaving impressions, some

looking to impress. Moving the world with lines like, ‘Music is

supposed to inspire / So how come we ain’t getting no higher?’ Lauryn

Hill reminded people that the gift of song has a responsibility too.

Carrying the same spirit is DC rapper HaZiQ whose delivery of ‘Champion

Sounds’ may put more money in your pocket than tips from “trap stars.”

And he gets DEEP. AllHipHop had a chance to get “un-miseducated” by the

artist firsthand:Music/Videos:HaZiq aLi “Live Large”HaZiq aLi “On Point”“Freedom/Hustla”

AllHipHop.com: In terms of your persona ‘You can do it music.’  Can you describe that?

HaZiQ:

Anybody that spends any time around me, they just press me out about

how I need to be a motivational speaker and just how I need to be

sharing these different messages with people on a wider platform. I’m a

serial entrepreneur. I started my first business when I was in junior

high school and they put me on 60 Minutes for that. Ever since then

I’ve been building different businesses and what not. I just decided to

combine my love for helping other people with my love for music along

with my love for business and that’s how we come up with ‘Champion

Sounds’…I personally feel like the best thing anybody could do with

themselves is to use passion and mix that in with service. They call

that entrepreneurship. [Laughter].

AllHipHop.com: That’s

a very interesting concept but the industry is pushing that “other

white meat,” straight pork, you know what I mean? So how do you

compete with that?Haziq: That’s straight up. Its

like I always say: the killers got theme music, dope dealers got theme

music, the idiots got theme music…what about the winners? What about

the people that want to chase their dreams and need a soundtrack for

that? And that’s what I feel like I’m creating a lane for. Half the

people that are listening to this dope dealer music ain’t even dope

dealers, you know what I mean? Take for instance some of the biggest

artist in the game that may be on the side of the drug-dealing music: I

love Jay-Z, but Jay-Z’s top selling album sold 5 mil, but then you look

at a group like the Fugees who put up 18 million bringing a light to

the world. So you cant trick me into thinking the people want the

darkness and not the light, you know what I mean? I ain’t going for it.

My mind ain’t going for it. So my whole job is to undo the brainwashing

and keep it positive, without being lame, you know? That’s why a lot of

us don’t be receiving the message ’cause a lot of the cats that be

talking to us and telling us what we need to hear be lame as hell. AllHipHop.com:

That’s word. Because of this thing called perception and opinion you’re

either real or real wack.  How do you keep sheer definition to what

you’re doing so that you don’t get caught on that thin line between

real and real wack?Haziq: I feel like it comes down

to the quality of music. Its like u gotta take what your saying

seriously. You can have the most beautiful things to say you can have

the most beautiful thing to give in the world but if the package it

comes in ain’t in the type of way where people want to receive it then,

like, you really don’t matter. To a point, intentions don’t matter. The

reason why MTV is showing love to me is because the video looks good,

lets be real, it ain’t about my message and how I’m keeping it 100 wit me

and mine…nah, they want something that looks good to they people. So

you asking me how do I keep from diving over that line like, these so

called “conscious” cats so wack? And its because they self-elate. They

just be gassin’ themselves up like “nah I don’t need no hook, I don’t

need no hook” and I’m like son, you do need a hook cuz if you goin’

fishing then you need something to bait’em with to catch the people. 

Don’t nobody love that but you, ya homeboys–chewing on them licorice

sticks down there in ya basement. The people ain’t feelin that and

because you got ya head buried like an ostrich and you’re surrounded by

a bunch of yes men, you falling off. Mike Tyson said something…he said

‘The minute you feel totally secure in your position, you in the

perfect place to lose it, know what I mean? And Mike Tyson would know.

I’m just listening.AllHipHop.com: You definitely

have style. Your voice is wild and your flow is really different. How

did you come into that flow and in this season of rap, is it hard to

maintain your own style?  Haziq: That’s a good

question. I listen to the track. See one thing that I like about Ski [Ski Beatz] he worked for Jay-Z, he worked for Jay Electronica, he

worked for Mos Def, he worked with all those cats and he would marvel

at how quick I would write. And I’m able to write that quick because

I’m letting the beat talk to me, you know what I mean? And so if like,

one beat is telling me to use this type of style, then thats gonna be

my style. If the next beat is telling me to do this then that’s what

I’ll do. In terms of it being a hard thing to maintain in this

industry: music is getting back to the hands of the people. Now that the

record labels are dying, its getting back to like, real fans. There’s

people that are just destroying the music scene that you don’t even see

coming. When a cat like Drake popped up, they didn’t even see him

coming and then he just exploded cause the people voted for him, they

made him king, u know what I mean? Don’t get me wrong, he had this and

that going for him. My point is that now, people are choosing what they

like so I don’t feel scared at all. I feel like I’m in the best

position I could possibly be in right now because its the people voting

for who they want in office now. I’m just trying to do my Barack Obama

thing, you feel me?AllHipHop.com: Ha! You just set

yourself up for my next question…or maybe I set you up—but you just

mentioned Drake. He has a flow about him that everybody is mimicking.

So where do you feel your competition lies in being heard and being an

example where people want to imitate you and mimic what you say and how you flow versus “the other white meat?”Haziq: A wise

man once told me that its better to be first in a category than to be

the best at it. In Haiti, they still call a refrigerator a Frigidaire

because they were the first one in there so my thing is that I ain’t

trying to jump in nobody else’s lane cause its like the three little

piggies. Somebody might build their house a little bit quicker…but it

ain’t gonna stop no wolf, you know what I’m saying? I want my house to

be made out of brick, not straw. I feel like if I wanted to copy or do

all this stuff like OJ, that “AY AY”…if I’m a fan, why wouldn’t I

just go to OJ if I wanted OJ, you know what I’m saying? AllHipHop.com:

People are hungry and will do anything but versatility and adaptability

is key. You have in your Twitter “DC to Atlanta.” How have you made

your music transcribe across regional barriers?  Haziq:

I feel down South is known for their music the way up North is known

for their lyricism so I feel like I’m a perfect mixture of those. I

take my lyrics dead serious but at the same time, I know you need music

behind it, its more than just beats now. AllHipHop.com: And in the recession, how are you holding up?HaZiq:

I quote Forbes Magazine and they talk about how there were more

millionaires made during the depression than any other time in history.

So when you talking about a recession, you talking about the sheep

being led to the slaughter, you know what I mean? Don’t get it twisted,

the shepherds are still eating baby. The suffering in the recession is

just to show you that you being a sheep, that a lot of people are

sheep….they’re ‘sheep-ple,’ they not even people. They’re actually like

you were alluding to earlier, they form their opinions based on the

opinions of other people, they make their moves based on the way the

next man is moving, they dress according to how the next man is

dressing. They don’t believe enough in their own ideas to become a

success so of course they hate on you when you chasing your dreams. And

the recession is just like the music industry: The numbers of the poor

are rising while the pockets of the rich are growing, you know what I

mean? The only way to get around that is to be a M.U.R.S. or a Tech 9.

Like a cat like Tech 9 had one of the highest grossing tours all last

year, behind the Beyonce’s and all of them, but that’s cause he’s an

‘entrepren-artist.’ He’s looking at himself like a business. Men gotta do

men things to get men salaries, and that’s the bottom line baby. So the

recession is for the sheep. I’ve never been a sheep. I’m a lion, not a

lamb. My tribe is the champions. I don’t believe in the recession.

That’s something that happens to other people [laughter].AllHipHop.com:

You talk my language, I like it. So tell us about the video you have

out, “Freedom.” That word is heavy…what does that mean to you?HaZiQ:

In the context of that record right there, I was talking about the fact

that it takes a lot of courage to love. It takes almost nothing to hate

on something or hate on somebody. So what I’m talking is about having

freedom to love. I just want to encourage the ladies, like “Nah ma, its

all good.” Like, understanding there’s freedom in just throwing

yourself out there and being vulnerable. You see people wearing these

shirts “WWJD”. That ain’t saying ‘What Would Jay-Z Do.’ They saying

‘What Would Jesus Do.’ And no matter what you believe in, Jesus was a

dope dude.  He was like “Hate on me all you want to, but forgive ‘em

daddy, they don’t even know what they doing right now.” That’s what you

supposed to do. Be like ‘Nah its all good’ and keep showing them that

godly love. Don’t get me wrong. It’s hard. But so is walking on water. [Laughter].AllHipHop.com: In terms of the visual, what is that like?Haziq See

that’s why I did the visual like I did, we in Puerto Rico. There’s some

of the most stereotypically beautiful women in Puerto Rico, but there

ain’t one girl in the video because I want the lady to feel like I’m

taking her on a date, instead of just watching the video, I wanted it

to feel more like romance than lust, you know what I mean? I want the

girl to feel like she’s being courted rather than….uh….AllHipHop.com: SluttedHaziq:

Yea, yea, yea. Exactly, you know what I mean? Thank you (laughter).

Instead of getting slutted out, I want them to feel like they deserve a

little bit more than that. And..not in terms of material things either,

but in terms of different jewels that you supposed to get from your

man. The cultivation of what a woman’s supposed to feel from a man, you

know what I mean? And that’s even a message to all my dawgs out there.

They out there running around saying “These #*#$* ain’t sh*t, these girls

ain’t shit” but that’s cause you ain’t sh*t. And you gonna keep

attracting to you what you is. God don’t ever give you a finished

product. He gives you an idea, not a business. Or he gives you a girl,

in certain ways, not a woman. Its on you to get to grow her into that

woman that you want. When we get back to being cultivators, we get back

to our women making us proud.AllHipHop.com People definitely need to start paying attention to you. What do you have coming up next?HaZiQ:

A gang of shows. But right now I need a manager…because basically

right now I’ve been doing everything myself. I need a manager, a

booking agent, a PR person and some kind of brand ambassador. Those are

the kind of super friends that I’m looking for right now. But other

than that just doing shows, knocking them down one fan at a time.

Hopefully a hundred at a time, a thousand at a time—not just one, but

you get my point. [Laughter]Check out HaZiq at: http://www.haziqali.com   http://www.twitter.com/Haziq

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