Hip-Hop still possesses unexpected surprises. This living genre's ever-expanding content and contributors are vastly different. MCs like Fred Knuxx, who continue to champion its core essentials are recognized and applauded. Previously, Delaware's Big Deal earned the distinction of being featured in AllHipHop.com's Breeding Ground Showcase. Today, the determined wordsmith tells AllHipHop.com why one should continue to expect the difference:
AllHipHop.com: RapMania is a highly conceptual project. Following its release, have any unconventional financial or creative avenues presented themselves?
Fred Knuxx: I couldn’t sell it because Vince McMahon - he is pretty much a billionaire - and anything that has to do with wrestling, he wants a piece of. So, we really couldn’t get the songs cleared. The way that we put it out was on a mixtape. That way, we let everybody know that it’s [for] promotional use only. So, we just passed out CDs. The main thing was to get the music out to the people. We didn’t really make a lot of profit off of it. But, from this standpoint, we got the word out. It got traffic. And, hopefully fans will listen to the music that we are selling and that we have out on iTunes. To me, it was just a good promotional tool to get to outside-the-box, Hip-Hop fans that can come back and say, ‘We know Fred Knuxx; he did RapMania. Let’s see what he got now.’
AllHipHop.com: In an interview conducted by BallerStatus.com you say, “Instead of complaining be the change you want to see now. Everybody is crying foul, but look yourself in the mirror and ask, ‘What am I doing to make a change?’” Regarding Hip-Hop, how are your actions challenging the status quo and working to make it better?
Fred Knuxx: Right now, I just pride myself on trying to be different. I’m dropping a project called Outside Within. It’s basically saying I’m outside the industry. Basically, I’m giving you what’s inside of me by just being honest. Man, the artists that I’ve grown up on, the artists that I like, that artists that I listen to, they got substance. Now when you listen to the radio, there’s really no substance like that. You might get a handful of artists that give you product with substance in it. The rest are just putting out the same old thing.
With that essence alone, the material that I’m putting out has substance in it. First off, I’m a fan of Hip-Hop. If people feel how like I feel, then they’re going to gravitate toward the music that I’m putting out as well. So, I think, that’s kinda the change that I’m trying to put back into the music. If you listen to me, the last era where there was really substance within our music was the '90s era. If you want to be honest, you don’t hear much of that on the radio now. So, just being an artist that’s putting substance back into his music, I think that’s already a change.
AllHipHop.com: Recently, I had the opportunity to hear “I Feel Like” and “Zoning.” In relation to a track’s production, how essential is it to create a cohesive sound that complements your conceptual idea?
Fred Knuxx: I’ll come up with an idea like, ‘I want to do a Rock influenced track.’ I’ll reach out to a producer, and I’ll tell him my ideas. ‘This is my idea for a song that’s Rock inspired,’ they may send me three or four beats that I’ll listen to. After I find a beat that I can work with, I’ll just go in the booth and write my lyrics and it’s a wrap. I got a producer out of Germany named X-Plosive, he might just send me beats, because we’ve been working together for so long. He kinda knows what type of sound that I’m shooting for. He automatically will send me something that I like. With new producers, I kinda guide them through the sound that I’m trying to put out at the moment. It’s a little bit different with different producers.
"I’ve been doing the mixtape thing for a while... And, finally I wanted to put together an album. …I want to say the first quarter of 2013 is when I want to put it out. I’ll probably drop it digitally on iTunes. December is when 'I Feel Like' will be on iTunes. Hit me up on Twitter, and let me know how y’all feel about the music. " -Fred Knuxx