Photo credit: wn.com
“If your heart and your brain is saying the same thing, enjoy the pursuit.” – AP the Mayor
Between Philadelphia and NYC on the Northeast Corridor, you’ll find Trenton; a small city by population, but thefifth wealthiest metropolitan area in the country. In Hip-Hop, the city is known for artists like Poor Righteous Teachers, production from Tony D (rest in peace) and the Legendary DJ Juice. And since the ’80s, Trenton Hip-Hop has influenced many artists; and while East Trenton grew, it didn’t birth a Rap icon.
Today, with a bustling Hip-Hop scene, the Trenton area is working towards making the industry take notice. One of the many artists on the campaign is AP the Mayor. AP is a technician, with backpack MC qualities. He calls his style of Rap music “Blue Collar,” and he doesn’t mind telling people that he writes down his lyrics. In his conversation with AllHipHop.com, AP the Mayor talks about his expanding work ethic, his authentic approach to songwriting, and his lowly Philadelphia Eagles (*Chuck Creekmur voice*):
AllHipHop.com: How long have you been rapping? And how much of that time have you taken it seriously?
AP the Mayor (@APtheMAYOR): I’ve been rapping for 12 years. And have been taking it seriously for the past four. I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting and perfecting my flow, growing into my sound. When I first started, I noticed that nobody recited my verses. I represent Underworld Entertainment, and nobody was reciting my verses, not even my crew. I remember spending one summer writing verse after verse, throwing them in the trash, perfecting my flow. On the next project, people began reciting my lines, then my verses. I knew I was on the right path then.
AllHipHop.com: You’re very proud of being authentic – that you’re a 9-5, and the streets weren’t your vice. Who does your music speak to, and who does it speak for?
AP the Mayor: My music speaks to everybody that has a grind, to everybody that has a hustle, that Blue-collar Hip-Hop. I don’t feel that people necessarily have to live the way I do; having that 9-5, doing things the positive way. I represent results. I represent the people that are doing anything to win.
AllHipHop.com: Authenticity led you down a path of showing vulnerability through your music. Talk about songs like “Pride” and “Depression”.
AP the Mayor: Each time I do songs like “Pride” and “Depression”, I receive positive feedback from conscious listeners of the music. Those are real records. I write down whatever comes to me. It’s pure emotion. And sometimes it doesn’t even rhyme. I don’t scribble out lyrics by weak or strong.
AllHipHop.com: Be honest, how do you feel about your Eagles this year?
AP the Mayor: Destroy and Rebuild. I’m a prideful Philadelphia Eagles fan. I feel that’s why other fans hate us. Because no matter what our team is going through, we feel we’ll be back. We just need to destroy what we have and start all over.
AllHipHop.com: If you were the GM, what would be your first move?
AP the Mayor: I would get rid of the entire coaching staff. I’ve been a fan of the Eagles since ’96. And it would feel like every year, you’d hear rumblings about getting rid of Andy Reid. I didn’t support it until this year. I’ve seen some things with Andy during his press conferences that showed me it was time. He’s a great coach, but the team needs a new voice.
AllHipHop.com: Being a long time staple in the Trenton Rap scene, give a few reasons why major labels should pay more attention to the area.
AP the Mayor: We’re a melting pot for Hip-Hop. We’re located in the center of two major markets (Philly and NYC). Trenton is small compared to Philly and NYC. But if you come here and get introduced to the scene, you’ll be amazed by the stories being told here. There’s a unique source of talent here.
AllHIpHop.com: Who is in your Top 5?
AP the Mayor: The Notorious B.i.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Joe Budden, Lil’ Wayne
AllHipHop.com: To close this out, talk about “Stay”.
AP the Mayor: “Stay” is a remake from Nas’ latest album, Life is Good. What we’re (Dre Skuffs) talking about in the record is the struggle of an independent artist. Personally, I have my moments where I fall in and out of love with the grind of making it. It’s personal, I’m talking about wanting to spread my brand against all odds. But at the end of my verse, I talk about how every time I want to quit, something tells me to just stay. I want to give a quick shout to my team, Deuce Jones, Alamaj, Levi Lennon, Jaya Creates, Spiz, Boowie, Val the Grain, Surg, and Hellfire.