Interviews

Emanuel Releases “Nevermore”, Talks Tupac And Rakim Influence

Hip hop artist Emanuel, who now calls Ohio home, releases his new single ‘Nevermore’ as he prepares for a huge 2022.

Raised by his mother who had a total of eight kids, music became Emanuel’s outlet. To go along with the music was education. Emanuel attended Columbus Community College and majored in Business where he also studied poetry, acting, philosophy, videography, photography, storyboarding, and creative writing. Education played a role in his music adding more to his lyrical content and expanding his writing ability.

Years later after participating in open mics, Emanuel released his debut album ‘I Come In Peace’ in 2015. Since then he has released various projects including his 2017 ‘Emanuel’ with no explicit content. His latest project ‘Purgatory’ in 2020 shed light on his journey through life. Fast forward to 2022, Emanuel drops his new single ‘Nevermore’ setting the tone for the new year.

With God as his foundation and rock, as well as those who truly support him, Emanuel is ready for 2022. Speaking with Hip Hop XXIV, the talented artist spoke about the current state of music, advice to up and coming artists, and future plans.

Who is Emauel as he goes into 2022?

Wiser. Trial and error has taught me a lot. Also seeing and hearing what others has gone through and experienced or currently experiencing is priceless information. Free game. Going into 2022 father and a role model, influencer, a child of the most high, king of kings, I might even be that brain that Tupac planned on sparking to change the world.

In what areas are you looking to apply that experience and “free game” in 2022?

Life, family, business. I’m convinced I’m one of the chosen so many things will take place and happen in my life this year and moving forward. I just have to be on point when it does.

What better way to kick off the year then with your new single ‘Nevermore.’

This single I feel is my breakout track. True I got albums but my spirit wasn’t moved to push those projects like I’m being compelled to push this one. Strategically my previous projects were created for people to check out after hearing my newest project. If that makes sense. It’s project for thinkers. I told my producer I was channeling Rakim and Tupac on this one. (Laughs)

I felt the need to be socially conscious on this project so the topics and concepts I touched on were about respect, which is missing in the world at large. The Lord of course (count your blessings). Question peoples motives and remind people it’s okay to be intelligent. The effects of Covid (physically and psychologically. Crime. This song touches on a variety of things in just 2 verses.

Tell us about your record label which the new single will be released under.

My label is called Next at Bat Records. I was watching baseball when I came up with it of course. I had a few potential artists, but they liked the streets more than the thought of being known as hip hop artist. Was kind of discouraging because I saw where they were headed and there was nothing I could do about it.

You mentioned Tupac and Rakim, did they inspire you to become a music artist?

They influenced me after I had been writing for some time. Pac’s militant approach eventually infected me. Sometimes I feel I wouldn’t be doing music if Pac was still alive. It was like the Thug Life torch was passed onto me when he physically left the music scene, not spiritually. You can clearly hear his impact on my life when listening to my music because I represent Thug Life also. How I came to rep Thug Life is a story within itself. A lot of artists wouldn’t have a career if he was still alive. I’ve paid homage to both Pac and Rakim on at least one of my albums. I often joke that I was drill music before drill music was drill music.

My first real influence was a guy from Detroit named Esham. He was the first artist I heard rap about God and the devil. Esham is the original demon time rapper. Esham took me for a walk on the dark side and Pac guided me back to the light. I even got thug life tattooed on me.

Which are some of the artists you listen to today?

When I listen to hip hop/rap I listen to Mac Dre Pandora station. I added Pac, E-40, Esham, Rakim, BTNH (Bone Thugs), Lil Durk, Nasir Jones, Outkast. By doing so it adds various artist that I wouldn’t think of. But I also got a classical music station, Thelonius Monk, Bob Marley, to name a few.

Speaking of drill music and hip hop overall, how do you view the genre now? What is missing or is the genre heading in the right direction?

It’s kind of empty. Angrier than what it was in the past. It glorifies violence and puts people with money on a pedestal why at the same time making them targets for robberies and murder. Kind of falls along the lines of what Pac was eluding to when he spoke of the future generations. Also one of the reasons I didn’t feel the need to push for fame.

Soulless in a sense. Maybe it’s my job to change the direction. (Laugh) Naw. They kill people that make changes. I hear Tupac saying, “Can’t reach the children cause they illing. Addicted to killing and thee appeal from the cap peeling. Without feeling. Will they last or be blasted hard headed bastards, maybe he’ll listen in his casket.”

Artist lost creative control some time back that’s why a lot of the music out at present moment sounds the similar even identical in some instances. The machine has no feelings, it only cares about numbers.

What advice would you give any up and coming artist?

People don’t necessarily listen to me when I give advice but for those who are willing to listen. I’d say, ask yourself why you are doing this. Are you in it for the money or for the artistry? Because everyone has their own reasons. Some are in it for the fame while others are in it for the money. As I stated earlier, I’m chosen. Misfortune kept befalling me when I tried to do something other than music. It was somewhat scary. (Laughs)

Something else you do is gaming. Tell us about that and any future plans with your Twitch and YouTube accounts.

I’m working towards being consistent. I broadcast on Facebook mostly for the time being. Starting this week I’m going to get back to being on twitch. I recently started posting gaming clips with my music on my YouTube. Learning the in, outs, and what can and can’t monetized, when it can be monetized. My YouTube page is certified though. I got that little music note by my name.

What else can we expect from you in 2022?

I plan on releasing an album and shooting a few videos. Really it’s whatever the Lord has planned for me. I know it will involve or revolve around music. I need to get on somebodies stage and rock the crowd. That’s on my to do list. Do some photography also. I got a mirror less camera that needs my attention.

For more on Emanuel, visit his official website here.

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