From Selling Lead Pencils In Elementary To Signing To Empire
By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
Suigeneris is here to prove dreams do come true, even if you’re only 15 years.
Hailing from San Jose in the Bay Area, the “Lucifer” rapper named himself after the Latin word “sui generis” meaning ‘unique’ — the adjective that carries over into both his life and music.
If you like that new melodic trap sound, this is your guy. AllHipHop caught up with Suigeneris at his listening party in downtown Los Angeles to chat about his come up and relationship with Lil Skies.
AllHipHop: Being that you’re only 15, when did you start recording?
Suigeneris: About a year and a half ago. I’ve been making music for a long time, but I haven't been recording it. When I was around 10 or 11 trying to write songs, it was a dream to record it. It’s not something I can maintain, $50 an hour for studio time is pretty hard. I got $50 every 3 months as a kid, so I couldn’t do that. I’d just try to rap, listen to rap, write music, just practiced.
AllHipHop: You’re still in high school right?
Suigeneris: I do online school. School is very important.
AllHipHop: How does being from SJ play into your life and career?
Suigeneris: I love being from San Jose. Sometimes, it’s easier to f##k with someone who’s from Los Angeles, places more recognizable. “Oh LA, this and that.” They hear San Jose, it’s “I don’t know.” But it’s getting to a point where regardless where I’m from, my age, what race I am, no matter what it is, I’m still gonna to do good. I just put myself out there.
AllHipHop: How’d you link with Skies?
Suigeneris: Probably 2 years ago, me and Skies were both on our grind. He wasn’t as big as he is now, I wasn’t as big as I am now. Coming up, we seen each other and just f##ked with each other’s vision. His video guy Nick was telling me “yo I want to shoot some videos, I shoot videos for Skies.”
Suigeneris: I was like “that’s awesome.” He told me Skies liked my music, and I was telling him I’m a big fan of Skies too. We ended up linking through Instagram and making a song.
Suigeneris: We had a song before we met, with his homies through the internet, FaceTime, all that. Now we’re real tight.
AllHipHop: Where did you link up? ‘Cause you’re in the Bay.
Suigeneris: We linked up in LA. We were both signed already. It was deep in already, but it was awesome. Now we’re together all the time.
AllHipHop: Congrats on Suinami! What are you favorite records on the project?
Suigeneris: “How I Feel,” “Trenches” ft. NLE Chapo. It’s so hard, I love every song on there! “Waste Away,” those songs have a lot of meaning to me. “Trenches” is me rapping as hard as I can, saying a lot of s##t. A lot of people say my raps, “oh, you’re not really doing that, you’re not really doing this.” But regardless if it’s something I’m doing, it’s something I’ve seen, something I’ve experienced.
Seeing people around me lose their life to pills is something I’d rap about. Just because I didn’t lose my life to pills, it’s not like I’m not living that. I’ve seen my brothers lose their life to pills, shootings, s##t like that. I put a lot of my real s##t into them. Before, I wouldn’t put a lot of real s##t into my music because I was scared to. I didn’t want people to look at me the way they look at me after saying that.
When you listen to “Waste Away,” I expect you to not sing along. Just sit there, listen, close your eyes. It’s the closer of the album, real chill, a lot of melody. “How I Feel” and “Trenches” are really just me pouring my heart on the song.
AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story on this one?
Suigeneris: Understand from me that there’s no age limit. There’s no certain race you have to be, no certain city you have to come from, no certain money you should have when you start. I want people to know they can do it regardless of where they come from, what age.
A lot of people don’t make music and they tell me it’s because they’re broke. They don’t understand that money is something you can aquire off of hard work. Obviously growing up I had a lot of money situations — I’m still having money situations till this day.
It was bad for me, me and my brother sharing a room, scrambling change for our school clothes. Those things built me into who I am today. I’d sell chocolate to get my studio equipment.
Everything I’m wearing in my “Pull Up” video, I worked multiple months to get each item. I was wearing Yeezys, I worked my ass off to get those Yeezys. Off-White sweater, I worked my ass off for that. I worked my ass off for that chain, everything in that video, we shot it on an iPhone 7. My brother shot it.
AllHipHop: How old’s your brother?
Suigeneris: He’s 18. We recorded that in my room, in a real trap house. No matter what, you don’t have to be a certain age, race, city you gotta from, certain amount of money you could have — now I don’t struggle with studio time. I don’t struggle with my music videos. Obviously there’s always going to be money situations, but I’m not like I was a year ago.
That’s some real s##t. Even my closest homies tell me, “I don’t got the money to rap.” I didn’t have the money to rap, I worked my ass off. They’ll say “I can’t get a job, I have school,” this and this.
Bro you have school, you’re around 300 to 1000 kids a day — sell chocolate! I sold lead pencils in elementary school to get money to buy whatever I wanted to buy. If you work hard enough, you get anything you want.
AllHipHop: You don’t take anything for your anxiety right?
Suigeneris: I don’t take anything for my anxiety, I don’t do no drugs.
AllHipHop: You can’t, you’re 15!
Suigeneris: Everything’s maintainable to me, I can get whatever I want. I choose not to because that’s the easy way out. Some people need it. I don’t do that personally because I don’t need it. I can fight my anxiety myself. I have trouble with a lot of interviews. I’m a smart kid but once I’m interviewing, I forget every word that comes out my mouth. It’s weird.
AllHipHop: What about when you perform?
Suigeneris: I went on two tours already, one with Skies one with Landon. I get anxiety before the shows but two hours before I perform, put the mic in my hand, no anxiety nothing. I’m just living life.
AllHipHop: You rap a lot about VVS & designer brands. Do you ever worry about getting robbed or your chain snatched like YBN Almighty Jay?
Suigeneris: Of course, that’s definitely a worry. My prayers to YBN, that sucks that happened to him. People are really out here to get you. I have worries of course, I just gotta keep the right people around me. I don’t try to put myself in a situation where people would want to rob me, I don’t have no funk with anybody, no beef. It’s all about positivity. I’m not trying to be that guy who talks s##t about anybody, just trying to make money for my family and do my thing.
AllHipHop: Do you have security?
Suigeneris: Of course! Shout out King George. He’s here with me today.