Mistah Wilson: Yo, Wildcard! Thanx for coming thru for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock. It's an honor to have you. What's good wit cha?
Wildcard: WHATS UP! THANX FOR TAKING THE TIME TO REACH OUT AND INCLUDE ME IN THIS INTERVIEW FOR THAWILSONBLOCK...I’VE BEEN TAKING THE SHOW ON THE ROAD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE LATELY, RATHER THAN WAITING FOR ANYONE TO HELP ME OUT.
Mistah Wilson: Just so our audience can get a clear understanding of where you're from, what place do you consider home? Wildcard: I CONSIDER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME. PASADENA/ THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, IS WHERE I GREW UP AND LIVED FOR 20+ YEARS. IN RECENT HISTORY, SOME OF MY FAMILY MOVED UP TO SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TO PERFORM AND NETWORK LOTS UP THERE AS WELL.
Mistah Wilson: We first heard you while you were on The Weekend Warriors tour and seen you perform at The Old Towne Pub in Pasadena. How'd that tour turn out for you?
Wildcard: TOURS ARE ALWAYS LOTS OF WORK, BUT THE REWARD IS BRINGING THE MUSIC STRAIGHT TO THE PEOPLE, AND MAKING OUR OWN MOVES. WHEN PEOPLE SHOW UP AND SUPPORT, IT’S A GREAT EXPERIENCE. MY PERSONAL FAVORITE SPOTS ON THAT PARTICULAR TOUR WERE HELENA, MT/ SEQUIM, WA/ AND OF COURSE DENA.
Mistah Wilson: You are one of thee illest lyricists from Pasadena. What let you to become a rapper? Wildcard: I GREW UP WITH MUSIC. MY POPS ALWAYS PLAYED GUITAR, AND MY MOM USED TO BUY ME CASSETTES WHILE I WAS A YOUNGSTER. I REMEMBER HAVING ICE-T TAPES/ DR. DRE TAPES FROM MY OLDER COUSIN THAT ID HAVE TO HIDE FROM MY STEPDAD BECAUSE THEY WERE EXPLICIT. I WAS SENT AWAY TO A BOYS HOME WHEN I WAS 16, AND REALLY HONED MY CRAFT (OF RAPPING) THERE, MOSTLY BECAUSE IT WAS A WAY TO ESCAPE THE WALLS WE WERE IN. WE USED TO CYPHER IN THIS WALK-IN CLOSET IN ONE OF THE DORM ROOMS AND HAVE PEOPLE BE LOOKOUTS FOR US BECAUSE RAPPING AND CONGREGATING WASN’T ALLOWED.
Mistah Wilson: Your music video The Odyssey was pretty graphic, man lol. Not to mention crazy dope! I was a fan after the first 30 seconds of the video. What message were you trying to get across with that song & video and how was the production process? Wildcard: TRUTHFULLY. I WAS THAT LITLE KID IN THE VIDEO AT A TIME IN MY LIFE. THERES PIECES OF ACTUAL FOOTAGE OF ME IN MY TEEN YEARS SPLICED IN THERE TOO. THE TOUGHEST AND DOPEST ARTIST I KNOW GAVE ME PROPS FOR THAT VIDEO BECAUSE A LOT OF US GREW UP THAT WAY. I WANTED TO CUT THROUGH THE CINEMATIC STUFF AND GET STRAIGHT TO THE DARK TRUTH.
Mistah Wilson: You just released your new music video "Suicide King Blues" off of The Odyssey project. Crazy! Can I ask what store that was lol? Wildcard: YES WE FILMED THAT WITH THE HELP OF A MULTI-TALENTED CREW IN SPOKANE, WA. WITH THE HELP OF MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE, MYSELF AND MY MANAGER WERE ABLE TO BRING THE WHOLE THING TO LIFE.
Mistah Wilson: We checked out your show schedule and it looks like you're pretty busy this Summer. Based on what you know about other cities and their respective music scenes, what are some local Hip Hop hot spots along the West Coast? Wildcard: TO BE HONEST, I STILL LOVE PASADENA, AND SOUTHERN CALI. MAYBE BECAUSE WHEN I RETURN I SEE FACES OF PEOPLE I LOVE AND GREW UP WITH IN THE CROWD. BUT THERE ARE MANY SPOTS THAT ARE HOT ALL OVER. SOME THAT ARE HIDDEN, LIKE THE WASHINGTON PENINSULA. THEY SHOW LOVE OUT THERE.
Mistah Wilson: Generally speaking, how important is an independent music scene? Wildcard: ANY COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE TRYING TO DO SOMETHING CREATIVE THAT FEEDS THEIR SOUL IS IMPORTANT. AN INDEPENDENT MUSIC SCENE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO SHOW PEOPLE THAT THEY DON’T HAVE TO SIGN WITH A BIG LABEL TO GET EXPOSURE. IT’S VERY HARD WORK THOUGH. IT HAS BECOME MY LIFE, SO I GET IRRITATED THAT SO MANY CATS ARE WISHY WASHY WITH IT AND JUST JUMP IN BECAUSE IT’S THE FAD.
Mistah Wilson: Name some artists you have worked with and some you'd like to work with... Wildcard: NAME DROPPING TIME! I DID A CUT WITH KRAYZIE BONE IN 2006. THAT WAS AN HONOR. I’VE RECENTLY WORKED WITH SLAINE OF LA COKA NOSTRA, CES CRU FROM STRANGE MUSIC, AND MEMBERS OF BOTH TYPICAL CATS AND SANDPEOPLE.
I’D LIKE TO WORK WITH: CROOKED I RA THE RUGGED MAN APATHY VINNIE PAZ
Wildcard: DIFFERENT REASONS. ONE OF THE MAIN ONES IS THAT PEOPLE DON’T SEE ME COMING. THEY JUDGE ME BY LOOKS FIRST AND THEN MY FIRE LEAVES A MARK ON THEM. ITS WORKED IN MY FAVOR ACTUALLY. PLUS IVE BEEN CRAZY FROM TIME TO TIME IN MY LIFE, SO WILDCARD WAS ALWAYS A NICKNAME FOR SOMEONE LIKE THAT.
Mistah Wilson: As far as you're concerned, is there a difference between rap and hip hop? Wildcard: I DON’T REALLY KNOW ANYMORE. PEOPLE WOULD PROBABLY SAY, DEAD PREZ IS ‘HIP-HOP’ AND N.W.A. IS ‘RAP,’ I JUST ALWAYS WANTED TO MAKE QUALITY MUSIC. So you rockin' with any management these days or what? MY MANAGER MARY HAS BEEN AN AWESOME ADDITION TO MY LIFE. ALWAYS TRYING TO BUILD NEW THINGS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
Mistah Wilson: What is the most challenging thing about being an independent artist? Wildcard: THE GRIND! THE EXPOSURE! ALL OF IT REALLY. THINGS AREN’T HANDED TO YOU, SO YOU HAVE TO WORK TO THE BONE SOMETIMES ON TRYING TO GET EXPOSURE, ETC. IT HELPS ME APPRECIATE THE BIG CROWD AT A SHOW SINGING ALONG, BECAUSE I KNOW HOW IT FEELS TO ROCK FOR 3 PEOPLE BECAUSE I WASN’T A BIG NAME. IT TAKES A CERTAIN TYPE OF AMBITION AND PERSONALITY TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH IT.
Mistah Wilson: What is your favorite thing about being an independent artist? Wildcard: BEING ABLE TO DO/SAY WHAT I WANT. IF THE DEAL WAS RIGHT, I WOULD TAKE IT, BUT CREATIVELY I APPRECIATE BEING ABLE TO EXPRESS MYSELF. IT’S IMPORTANT TO ME.
Mistah Wilson: What is your perception on mainstream music today and where it's headed? Wildcard: AS A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK, THERE ARE A FEW GOOD THINGS IN MAINSTREAM, BUT MOST ARE FEEDING THE CORPORATE MACHINE. I STRUGGLE WITH ACCEPTING IT. I JUST HAVE TO KEEP DOING ME AND MY BRAND/STYLE OF MUSIC.
Mistah Wilson: So how do you scout your music production? Wildcard: I’VE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO NETWORK WITH SOME TALENTED ARTISTS OVER THE YEARS. SMOKE M2D6 AND SIMPLE ARE MY ULTIMATE FAVES.
Mistah Wilson: So, how did you come up with the title "The Odyssey" for your latest album project? Wildcard: JUST AS THE OLD BOOK BY HOMER GOES, A MAN TRYING TO RETURN HOME AND HAS TO FIGHT MONSTERS AND OBSTACLES ON HIS WAY BACK. I CAN RELATE TO THAT TO THE FULLEST. I’VE MET MANY A CHARACTER THROUGHOUT MY JOURNEY OF LIFE, AND HAVE STRUGGLED TO HOLD ONTO MYSELF.
Mistah Wilson: Working on any new material? Wildcard: ALWAYS. I HAVE PLENTY OF NEW STUFF THAT I WILL RELEASE WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT.
Mistah Wilson: Are you a better freestyle or songwriter? Wildcard: I FEEL IF YOU ARE A TRUE MC, YOU CAN BE ABLE TO DO BOTH. I GREW UP FREESTYLING, TELLING STORIES, BEING QUICK WITTED. FREESTYLE IS PART OF THE ART AND FUN. IF I’M REALLY TRYING TO SAY SOMETHING WITH CONVICTION THOUGH, I’LL WRITE IT FOR SURE.
Mistah Wilson: Your lyrics are impeccable. Your songs are so good that they have a marketing feature within them. Your lyrics are so cold & fast that people have to listen a few times to catch the full message. That's real art that true Hip Hop heads love and appreciate. Were you always a hot spitter? Wildcard: I APPRECIATE THAT. I WANT TO BE A WELL ROUNDED LYRICIST. FAST TO SHOW I CAN, PUNCHLINES FOR ENTERTAINMENT, AND REAL LIFE STRUGGLES TO BE ABLE TO RELATE TO. IT’S BEEN ALMOST 15 YEARS OF DOING IT, SO IT’S DEFINITELY TAKEN ALL THE DIFFERENT STAGES I’VE BEEN THROUGH TO BE WHERE I AM NOW.
Mistah Wilson: How important is giving back to the communities we live in? Wildcard: REAL IMPORTANT. BUT MUSIC SPEAKS TO ALL IN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. IF I CAN HIT PEOPLE WITH A MESSAGE IN MY MUSIC, THEN I’M ALREADY DOING WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO.
Mistah Wilson: What do you plan on accomplishing through and with your music? Wildcard: OF COURSE I WANT TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. BUT IF PEOPLE WITH SIMILAR ISSUES AS ME CAN GET SOMETHING OUT OF IT, THEN MY JOB IS DONE AT THE END OF THE DAY.
Mistah Wilson: Thanx for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this exclusive interview with us, Wildcard. It’s been real. Looking forward to seeing you around the scene, man. Got any shout outs, let’s hear it! Wildcard: THX TO YOU FOR THIS INTERVIEW, THE PEOPLE THAT INSPIRED ME, MARY, AND THE WHOLE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, CA! AND SPOKANE! AND ANYONE WHO LISTENS TO MY MUSIC. AND MY GRANDPA FOR TEACHING ME CREATIVE WRITING. I’M OUT! NOW GO CHECK THE NEW VIDEO!