AllStarrDaGreat is here to make sure real Hip-Hop remains seen and heard, putting quality music back in the rap game. The Newark, New Jersey native arrives with phenomenal wordplay and bars, with his moniker (ADG) deriving from his status as a top-notch Division 1 basketball player — on par with his talents as an MC.
His East Coast sound and influence comes directly from the greats who came before him, such as Jay-Z and Biggie.
A teenage ADG would travel the world thanks to his basketball skills, but he never stopped writing and recording. His ear for prolific rhymes combined with that heartfelt, R&B soul translates directly into his music, gifting fans with endless gems as his career rises.
Most recently, he teamed up with the one and only Benny The Butcher on “Randy Foye,” a hip-hop collab if there ever was one. The two are well-respected for their ability to tell stories over a bass-heavy beat. Of course, the record pays tribute to the NBA legend from his hometown.
AllHipHop caught up with AllStarrDaGreat to discuss how he landed into a distribution deal with entrepreneur Jason Geter’s Heavy Sound Labs after years of hard work. The two ended up meeting in New York and the next day, they shot the music video with Benny The Butcher with Geter in the hood.
AllHipHop: Where are you located?
AllStarrDaGreat: I’m in Jersey, outside getting a cut. It’s alright. I don’t know how it is out there but we’re probably the furthest behind everybody. We’re #2 in the country. New York’s #1, then we’re #2.
AllHipHop: What’s it like growing up in North New Jersey??
AllStarrDaGreat: It was real. If you can make in Newark, you can make it anywhere. This is where rappers come and get robbed at. Do the research, every rapper who came here got robbed. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. It’s a good place, it’s good people here, but you move accordingly to how you live your life. Don’t try to be nothing you’re not and you’ll be alright. If you play that game, a lot come with that.
AllHipHop: When did music become real for you?
AllStarrDaGreat: I’ve always loved music since I was kid, but I recognized and started taking it real serious 4 years ago. Understanding the game, understanding how to make stuff happen.
AllHipHop: Who were you bumping growing up?
AllStarrDaGreat: I was bumping Jeezy growing up. Hov of course. Biggie of course. I grew up in a household full of music, so it wasn’t only rap. Prince playing my house, Teddy Pendergrass, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Rick James. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, you have to wake up and clean the house. A whole bunch of music be blasting. After you do that, you might get to go to the mall or something. If you don’t clean up, it’s a dub for you. You don’t get to do nothing! That was real regular, waking up Saturday and Sunday mornings to music blasting.
AllHipHop: How did you get your name?
AllStarrDaGreat: Playing ball. I played basketball, I was good in ball. I do the music too. I’m trying to be a star so I put AllStar with that. You know when you’re in school learning history, you learn about Alexander the Great. I threw “TheGreat” on there. That’s how it really came, being good at ball and putting all that together.
AllHipHop: How’d you link with Benny the Butcher on “Randy Foye”?
AllStarrDaGreat: Working man, being in different studios moving around. Just grinding. When you can spit, you’re going to get aligned with other spitters at some point. I had a record and a good friend of his heard it like “yo, we should put Benny on this.” He made the call and it happened.
AllHipHop: Just like that?
AllStarrDaGreat: Yeah, he’s my mans too. I didn’t work with him off the strength of Benny, I work with him because he’s the type to make things happen. He’s like “yo, Benny my mans. You can spit, you should jump on something with him.” He sent the record and that’s what happened. It’s about relationships man, rap is about that more than anything.
AllHipHop: What does it mean to link with a real spitter?
AllStarrDaGreat: Honestly, that’s what me and all my people do. I only really deal with people who can spit. I came from that, that’s my core. It wasn’t anything different, it’s like being in the studio with the homes. All my people can really rap. That’s what it is. I need to have the best verse, he’s trying to have the best best verse, we’re going at it. It’s like y’all battling each other, but just on a beat. We’re going to leave it on the beat. It was dope, I’m like “yo jump on here, I’ma display my talent.” He’s real hot right now, that was when Drake had just posted him. We had to come with it.
AllHipHop: What was the best memory from the video shoot?
AllStarrDaGreat: We bogarted a spot in Harlem, in some projects. We’re like “yo we’re going to shoot in front of these projects” so that was gangsta. [laughs] No G pass, no nothing. Just out there deep and made it happen, that was dope. Seeing that he’s a real one, that was the highlight of the video shoot. My man Jason Geter was there, we had Jason in the hood too.
AllHipHop: What’s the influence NBA player Randy Foye had on you?
AllStarrDaGreat: Randy Foye’s from the city. He’s from Newark. I wanted to make a reference to somebody from the city who did it in a positive way. I always try to give back to my city. I could have used anybody’s name. I could have said Akbar Pray, but I didn’t really want to. I wanted to give it to somebody else like Randy who really came from the bottom. He has a whole story about himself. His organs on the other side of his body, he’s really built different. His parents got killed, he still made it out. To make it out from Newark after your parents got killed… I said “yo, if I can show kids this, then other kids from the city can say ‘yo I’m from Newark, I can make it out!’” He made it out, you can do it too.
AllHipHop: Being a real lyricist, Is it hard for real hip-hop to be seen nowadays?
AllStarrDaGreat: I mean, it was. But all the funny color hair, the raps you can’t really understand, people lying, it’s going to get played out after a while. You can be a dope lyricist, but it’s about being true to you. The other day, somebody had the Lil Dicky show on. I wasn’t rocking with it. Now as I watch Dave, I rock with Dicky. Because I know his story, I see what he’s doing. I get it now. You don’t always have to be a lyricist but if that’s what you do, then definitely. It’s about being true to yourself and putting that on wax.
AllHipHop: What’s one thing you want fans to get from GODSPEED?
AllStarrDaGreat: All my music has some form of a lesson in it. When I was coming up, it was cats older than me who’d put you on game. It’s about being thorough. Where I’m from, a lot of people try to be gangsta and they get caught up. They don’t understand what’s going on. It’s about being thorough. I want to give you a story in GODSPEED. When you’re in that situation, you can look at that say “yo I heard Starr talk about this, I know how to move in this situation.” It’s all types of different situations in there, but I’m dropping jewels in the music. I want the jewels to get caught. Even when I give you a word that you might not use in your regular vocabulary, I drop that word in there but I’m not preaching to you. It’s something you hear. I want people to go back and check it out.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself at this point of your career?
AllStarrDaGreat: To get my label running man. I know it’s a lot of talent out here. I’m trying to put the talent out, put the best talent forward. I’m working on this film, I’m trying to put this film out.
AllHipHop: What’s the film about?
AllStarrDaGreat: I got a track on my tape called “Newark Weather.” If you want to know about Newark, go listen to “Newark Weather” on GODSPEED and watch the video. The video’s out, that’s what the film’s going be about. Everything I do in the music, I’ma do it in a movie. Let’s say how Malcolm X was killed by people from Newark, I’ll put that in a movie but it’s not going to be a history lesson. It’s going to be people talking. You’re getting the knowledge within a film.
AllHipHop: Who’s in your Top 5?
AllStarrDaGreat: HOV, Biggie, Slick Rick. I’m not going to say Eminem just to say it. Give me 3 and leave the other 2. The other 2 can swap out for me any day. If I’m in that bag and it’s not even the best rapper… Thug Motivation meant so much to me that I’d throw that in there. I can’t put Jeezy in my top 5 though, no disrespect. I’ma just stick with 3. I really care about the music.
AllHipHop: Anything else you wanna let us know?
AllStarrDaGreat: Check out that “Randy Foye “video. Check out that GOODSPEED. Look out for what we got going on.