UFO Fev Talks The High Enterprise, His Roots In Harlem, Black Rob Inspiring his Name, & “Sunsets in the Ghetto”


AllHipHop caught up with UFO Fev to discuss his roots, favorite artists, being discovered by Dre from Cool & Dre, his past relationship with Black Rob, his new release “Sunsets in the Ghetto,” working with the Queen of Dancehall, Spice, and more!

UFO Fev has landed, and he’s here to rep for his East Harlem, New York City hometown. Coming from humble beginnings living in the Jefferson housing projects, the East Coast spitter is a true student of the rap game, inspired directly by the greats surrounding him. 

In fact, he lived in the same building as Black Rob, who gave him his name Fev (short for Fever).

In describing himself, UFO Fev states, “I’m a man, I’m a dad first. I raise my two girls. After that, I’m an artist. I’m a full-time independent artist.”

Fast forward to today, Fev unveils his newest single and visual titled “Sunsets in the Ghetto,” also the name of his forthcoming project arriving July 15th. Additionally, he’s as proud as ever to have his independent label, The High Enterprise, consistently putting out music and new merch — comparable to the West Coast movement with Drakeo The Ruler and RalfyThePlug’s of the world. 

The goal? To be self-sufficient, putting on other independent artists and giving them the resources to take their music to the next level.

AllHipHop caught up with UFO Fev to discuss his roots, favorite artists, being discovered by Dre from Cool & Dre, his past relationship with Black Rob, his new release “Sunsets in the Ghetto,” working with the Queen of Dancehall, Spice, and more!

AllHipHop: What was that like growing up in the East Harlem projects?

UFO Fev: For me, it was a beautiful thing growing up in my neighborhood, it’s predominantly Black and Latino. Public housing, NYCHA development, seven floors in my building. Very, very tough in the late 90’s, 2000’s. All that good stuff. A very eclectic neighborhood. We got a lot of Latino stuff going. A lot of street culture, hip hop culture, New York stuff. That was it. I grew up playing basketball and hanging out with older guys.

AllHipHop: Did you have hoop dreams?

UFO Fev: Yes ma’am, I certainly did. I moved to Upstate, NY in ninth grade to try to get to better schools. My dad took me Upstate to East Fishkill, so I played for a high school there called John Jay. I had played varsity basketball, but I got homesick. I was pretty young my ninth grade year, so I wanted to come back to Harlem. When I came back to East Harlem, I started playing basketball for my new high school, Urban Peace Academy, and then I broke my leg. I was 15 years old, when I broke my leg during practice. We had a Saturday morning practice and I ended up breaking my fibula and tibula. From there, it was a wrap. That’s when I picked up the mic.

AllHipHop: I know your dad was a musician, right? Is that how you fell in love with music?

UFO Fev: Yeah, my dad was in a freestyle group. A dance group called TKA back in the days, they were pretty successful. They had a great run. I’ve always been in love with music, surrounded by it from New York City in the 90’s to early 2000’s. Being and growing up outside, there was predominantly music blasting all the time. Boomboxes, cars, speakers, everything. It was all kinds of music. 

But when I fell in love with creating music, and crossed over to being from a fan to an emcee was when I broke my leg. I was house ridden. I had a cast that went all the way up to my thigh, so I was bedridden. I started listening to more music and writing rhymes, that’s when I started taking everything more seriously. Thinking I could do music, there weren’t any outlets back then for people. There weren’t any platforms like that, so it wasn’t much of an aspiration as compared to a hobby. Something to keep me busy and away from outside where the trouble was. 

Because at that age at 16, 17, I was very influenced by the wrong people. Music saved me, to the fact that I was doing it so much that people knew I was rapping. It kept them off me, as far as trying to influence me to do other things.

AllHipHop: Are there certain artists you fell in love with early on, that made you want to do it as well?

UFO Fev: Yes ma’am. From far away, it was Beanie Sigel. I fell in love with Beanie Sigel first, that was the first. It was my eighth and ninth grade year. From close, seeing it first-hand was G.Dep and Black Rob. Those are the guys I have real real love for. Superheroes, because I saw them. They’d come around, so it was more tangible. I can touch and feel this success, as opposed to it being someone I liked from afar.

AllHipHop: Talk about how black Rob influenced your name.

UFO Fev: I was rhyming in my neighborhood, but I had another name. They would call me Mookie in my projects, that was my street nickname. So that’s what I was rhyming by, I was Young Mook. I didn’t know I had to have a name, I thought who you are is what you are. As I’m rhyming, I’m not saying my name. I didn’t have a name. I’m anonymous. I’m rhyming, and people would say “Yo, you heard of that Puerto Rican kid?” That’s what most people say: “yo, he’s a Puerto Rican kid from Jeff. He’s nice.” A lot of times, people wouldn’t know it was me because I was playing basketball. When a cypher would break out, and I start rhyming, everyone’s minds would be blown. They’d say “oh, we didn’t expect that.” 

Rob one time, we met each other at the park. I was going back home, he was walking towards Lexington Avenue. He’s a family friend so he gave me a hug, he asked about my mom and my dad. As I’m walking off, like a movie I’ll never forget it, I’m walking past him and he stops me. I turn around, he’s like “yo I heard you got a little Fever out here. I heard you’re rhyming, I heard you’re doing some things.” I was giddy. I blushed, because he was one of my mentors. My idol and he didn’t even know it. 

I’m blushing, I said “yeah I do my thing Rob.” He’s like “alright, keep doing your thing.” From then on, I was Fev. I liked that name, Fever, it’s a dope name. It came from Rob so I stuck with it. My tattoo artist cut the name in half. He said “Yo, you should just be Fev.” Because I was trying to match up what works with Fever. It wasn’t really working well, because it’s a funny name. [laughs] That’s when the UFO came too, because people weren’t used to seeing a Spanish kid like myself, a Puerto Rican kid rap the way I was.

AllHipHop: How was it having Black Rob as a neighbor though?

UFO Fev: He was an amazing man, RIP! Rob was a great guy. Even though he did some bad things in my neighborhood. He was a part of a popular crew in my projects that ran those buildings. Rob has always been the man, where I’m from. His best friend was the guy. He was always popular in the streets as far as playing basketball, then getting into trouble. 

Obviously, he was older than me, he was one of my dad’s good friends. I had my first fight and Rob picked me up from school. My first fist fight was in the third grade. I was crying because a bully messed up my school project. I had built a little castle out of a brown box and he crushed it. I was crying and Rob came to pick me up with my dad. My dad and Rob said “man, we gon’ be back,” and they made me address the issue in the school yard.

AllHipHop: You were first discovered by Dre from producers Cool & Dre. How did that happen?

UFO Fev: Dre got in contact with me through social media. One of the bloggers had posted me rapping in the studio, it was getting a lot of views. Somewhere down the line, a friend of mine had pulled me like “Yo, I got somebody who wants to talk to you man.” It ended up being Dre from Cool & Dre, which led to him telling me he had played the music. Saw the freestyle and played it for Joe, which led to the meeting with Joe as well. All within the same 24 hours

AllHipHop: How were those conversations?

UFO Fev: They gave me nothing but guidance. We have a lot of hip hop conversations. I’m a hip hop guy, as are they. Although people might think they’re more mainstream, for the most part, we have arguments for hours about who’s the best MCs. Also the knowledge of the business, it’s like a masterclass for independence around those guys. Seeing how to play with the big boys, and how to do things on a level I’m at right now. Keep my nose clean and try to stay as business savvy as I can. 

I’ve also had a relationship with Puff [Sean Diddy Combs], that’s led to opportunities where I’m meeting other artists who were on my level at one time, and have leveled up now as they’ve grown. Also his interns and his assistants, getting knowledge from those people as well. Those conversations are mostly knowledgeable, I’m like the fly. When I’m with those guys, I’m the student. I’m the Jedi, learning from the masters.

AllHipHop: How would you describe your rhymes? I know you’re big on storytelling.

UFO Fev: I’m a big storyteller. In my rhymes, I try to keep that aspect of the genre alive. Subconsciously, I don’t even know I do it sometimes. I guess I’m a big fan of Nas, I grew up on Nas. I’m a huge Slick Rick fan, I love Slick Rick. I love Black Rob, he was one of the greatest storytellers as well. Big Pun as well, peace to Pun. Keeping that in my tool belt, making sure I’m able to visualize my rhymes, it means the world to me. Hip hop is everything to me, the culture is everything to me. I don’t want to let it down, so it’s like a burden sometimes.

AllHipHop: You just released “Sunsets in the Ghetto,” what inspired this record?

UFO Fev: “Sunsets in the Ghetto” was a record that I wanted to come out in the summer. Sometimes I don’t write the rhymes beforehand, I like going to the studio with a clear mind. Try to hear the beat and come up with a good idea, so that was that. “Sunsets in the Ghetto,” I didn’t really have any expectations for it. When I heard the beat, I actually said it sounds like the Sunset in the Ghetto. That’s where that line came from, I had ran with it and created the hook. 

It feels like a good summertime record. When you grow up, the summers are very important to us. The smell of it, liking that first girlfriend or boyfriend. Getting dressed up, going outside with your friends, that’s what I wanted to capture on the record. I felt like my younger self thinking about a 6pm or 7pm late afternoon in the summertime, when you were outside. You take a shower, you got your gear on, and you’re trying to find a vibe as a youngin’ outside. That’s the mindframe I was in when I captured the rhymes.

AllHipHop: Talk about working with Spice too, that’s incredible.

UFO Fev: Oh my goodness man, Spice is a queen. What can I say, I was in her presence. I’m a be honest, I knew who she was, but when she walked in the studio and my friends lost it, oh man she’s important. I figured it out after that. I knew who Vybz was and I knew Spice, but when the street guys walked in, “Yo, that’s Spice!” I’m like “how do you know Spice?” They said “yo, my girl loves Spice.” I thought, “Oh man, we got one.” 

It was a favor coming from Miss Jackie Rowe, Mike Tyson’s sister. Shout out to Miss Jackie Rowe, she connected us. She’s a longtime friend with Fat Joe, so it wasn’t too much of a headache to get them on the line. Spice is the best! She didn’t have to come through. She’s such a queen. I’m just a guy coming up. She came through the studio, she vibed with us. We had fun. She was in the studio together making the record. I watched her lay the hook, I have footage of it. It was a great time man. I thank her so much because like I said, she’s a queen. She didn’t have to come down from her throne to rock with us like that. She shot the vid too. Shout out to Spice because she came out for the vid and she looked amazing.

AllHipHop: What does fatherhood mean to you?

UFO Fev: Fatherhood to me is the best neighborhood in the world. It’s the best place you can live. Sometimes, it’s hard. It’s not easy, I don’t want to sell it like it’s easy. Being a parent is very tough. Balancing your relationship with your children and your spouse is very hard, so hats off to everybody that does their thing with it. 

For me, I grew up in a broken home so it was very important to try to get my kids an opportunity to have a dad in the picture. So it wasn’t nothing, I wasn’t really second guessing it. Once the opportunity was allotted to me, I just jumped in. I wanted my kids to have a fun dad, a cool dad. Alright bet, we’re gonna try and make this the best we can. I ended up personally growing with my daughters. I have an 8-year-old, we’re growing up together. Now I have a 2-year-old as well. They teach me all the things I need to know that didn’t come from the streets: patience, love, all that stuff. Good vibes.

AllHipHop: What can we expect next? What do you have going on?

UFO Fev: Sunsets in the Ghetto, the album, July 15th 2022. We got some shows coming up in August as well. I’ll be in Spain in September, I’m looking forward to that. Some more projects by the end of the year. Couple more, like 3 or 4 more projects.

AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?

UFO Fev: Follow me on all social media: @UFOFev. My website, thehighenterprise.com. You’re the coolest, thank you.