interview, Interviews

Cipherella Drops ‘Moments’. Take A Moment To Get To Know Her

It was Cipherella’s captivating visuals in her new music video for her song “Moments” that caught my attention. The video’s…

It was Cipherella’s captivating visuals in her new music video for her song “Moments” that caught my attention. The video’s concept was so intriguing because we all have that one friend who’s always calling asking for money or the friend that wants to talk about their relationship 24/7 — Moments is the byproduct of encounters like those. The idea that we all want a moment to unplug ourselves from having to listen to everyone’s problems and never getting a chance to introspect, or even talk about our problems resonates. We all need a moment to “zone in and zone out and be bout what [we’re] bout.” What began as merely a diary entry has evolved into a music video that keeps you in tune. But don’t take my word for it, check it out below. With that, it was only right to get to know Cipherella a bit.

Cipherella considers herself a musical genius, who always knew she was destined to be someone of a great caliber as a child. She began playing the guitar in her youth and wrote to express herself. After a tornado had destroyed her home in Alabama, she decided to move to NYC four years ago and pursue her music career. Living in Alabama, Cipherella felt the scene was stagnant, as she only got to experience a limited amount of cultures coexisting at once. The cultural expansion that Cipherella sought after was found in NYC because of the abundance of cultures present there. It has shaped her outlook and impacted the content within her music. As a female hip-hop artist, she aspires to pave the way.

As a woman in a “predominantly male” industry do you feel it’s your job to advocate?

It’s not my “responsibility” to talk about issues, but I do regardless. Some people do it because it seems to be a trend, I do it because it’s about self-expression, but it’s not my job, too. Many don’t realize that you can support and advocate in silence.

You’re a writer whose outlet is music, are you into any other mediums like poetry?
Absolutely– I host an open mic at NuYorican’s Poets Café. But, I’ve never been a poet specifically. It’s funny; actually, I used to consider myself a poet and then one of my friends checked me on it. Simply because she asked me why did I think I was a poet and I was like, “well have you listened to the lyrics of my songs.” And she was like “well listen to what you just said… poets don’t make their music directly to music… Poets don’t have hooks” Well some of them do but yea. So, I stopped calling myself a poet, because I’m not a poet. I don’t ever want to disrespect their craft like that. I am not a poet, but I love poetry.

So, you majored in psychology, why didn’t you pursue a career in psych?

Honestly, I think I’m still doing something with psych. Because you can understand what the generation is going through just by what the generation as a whole subscribes to. So, I try to incorporate that into my music regarding the messages I’m relaying and the psychological effects it may have. Psychology expanded the way I incorporated social aspects into music. I produce music to relate experiences.

Mind sharing your short-term goals/ what’s coming up next?

I’ve been selected for music video competitions; it’s my goal to receive those awards. I don’t have a lot of short-term goals actually, for me it’s all about steady moving forward. I want to diversify what we have on the female platform when it comes to female MCs, and encourage other women to find their voice– I want that to be a revolving goal.
2018– I’m releasing an album. Out of 130 songs, maybe I’ve released four so far, so there’s so much to choose from. I’ll be releasing singles up until then. I’m still growing as an artist, taking the time to plan it all out.

Cipherella is an incredibly humble, talented being. The most influential message she has left me with was– “I don’t think we ever truly find ourselves. The most we can do is work at being the best us in the now that we can be– and continue to find things that expand who we are. “

Meet Sasha Bentley -- a Bronx native with a global state of mind. She is currently navigating her way through undergraduate studies as a marketing major and finding ways to cultivate her creativity outside of the classroom. She assists in creating programming for her colleges annual hip hop week and blogs vehemently. She fuses her passion for writing and desire to cultivate good music together to forge a path that is all her own. Sasha is very passionate about keeping culture alive and inciting change through music. You can follow her journey on IG @sash.del.sol
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Reily Marte Keeps it Authentic For His Fans

“Always keep it real … people [will] feel what you’re saying in your music.”

Brooklyn-born Florida resident Reily Marte is currently making noise with his new single “Nobody Else,” which is presently steaming on all important platforms. The song is the second drop from his upcoming album Patience, a title that is a subtle plea to his fanbase. “The album stands for being patient with the songs I’m creating,” he tells AAHH. “Be patient; I got vibes for you all to listen to coming soon.”

Reily was introduced to the music industry at the young age of 13 by his father. “Dad was more focused on the Spanish scene,” he notes, “but there’s still little tips I get from him and learn from him.” Fast forward, he’s now a multi-faceted creative and a one-man team. “[I] record, mix and master all [my] songs,” he states proudly.

The upcoming LP promises to deliver a plethora of vibes to attract a multitude of different listeners to his music. “My sound can go from a dark feel to an uptempo dancehall style to a soulful RnB type of sound,” he says, citing Eli Sostre, Drake, and a handful of regional artists as influences.

“My goal in the industry is to show the younger generation that you can create different types of sounds and still get support from fans,” he states confidently. “If you’re authentic with your music people will respect it.”

“Always keep it real … people [will] feel what you’re saying in your music.”

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#FireFriday, Editorial, interview

Famous Dex Talks New Album & Dual Identities In Exclusive Interview

“I didn’t [really] just discover them, it’s always been like that.”

Coated in Diamonds, with a Gucci bag draped at his hip, Chicago rapper Famous Dex took the stage in a black werewolf T-shirt at New York’s Gold Bar on March 27 to premiere his new album Dex Vs. Dexter, and to receive a gold certification plaque for his bouncy track “Pick It Up” with A$AP Rocky. The album, while still flux in braggadocio lyrics, demonstrates creative growth for the rapper. Released on April 6th, the date was personally chosen by Dex to coincide with the three year anniversary of his mother’s passing from breast cancer. “It’s influenced my hustle. Everything I do now has a greater purpose because of her,” Dex told Above Average Hip-Hop. “The decisions I make with my family and my career, I always consider what she would tell me.”

The project’s theme of separate entities, while not a foreign concept in Hip-Hop, paints the audacious artist as someone more than how he appears to fans. “I didn’t [really] just discover them, it’s always been like that,” the artist said of his two identities. “Dex is the romantic guy,” he said with a laugh, “Dex is single, well both Dex and Dexter are single, but Dex loves women, chilling, vibing, [and] not doing too much. Sometimes people see me on a video, and I’m really laid back, that’s Dex.” In contrast, ‘Dexter’ is the artist everyone is familiar with. “He’s a clown, wild, crazy with ad-libs and everything. Dexter is who most people know in my music.” The two characters are fully realized on the albums cover art, with “Dex” sprawled on a green leather couch with a girl on his lap, while “Dexter” zooms around the couch in an animated form.

In contrast to Dex’s previous work, the rapper’s official debut is heavy on pop influences. The hook on “Prove It,” is layered in a pop-rock guitar riff and steady 808 drums. “Take this ride with me, sip this Hennessy, I got bands on me…Ooh girl you so sweet,” Dex sings in the third verse. Another drastic musical departure for the mumble rapper comes in the form of “LIGHT,” a radio-ready single featuring pop-rock quartet Drax Project. “Aw man, Drax! I love those guys,” Dex said of working with the band. “It just happened, I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I’m not going to question God because it’s dope! I’ve never made a song like that before.” Dex sings on the track alongside the group, his gooey auto-tuned vocals harmonizing with Drax.

However, Dex still makes room on his debut to tackle familiar territory. “LIGHT” is followed by “Celine,” a barely-two-minute bouncy interlude that finds the rapper reassuring his fans not everything has changed. “My favorite track to get hype to is ‘Celine.’ That song is fire,” Dex said. “It’s so natural to me, and I love to perform it.” Other tracks like the lead single “Japan,” “Take Her” with Wiz Khalifa and the album’s intro “DMD” find Dex in his comfort zone as he tackles beats by Pi’erre Bourne and J Gramm, among others. “This whole album is a celebration,” Dex said. Even with a new album just released, Dex is already planning his next steps. “I’m already working on my next album, Rich Forever got something fire coming out soon, so be on the lookout for that.”

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The Story Behind Skyzoo’s “Honor Amongst Thieves” Outro

If you’ve slept on Skyzoo’s latest LP, In Celebration Of Us, then shame on you. It’s masterpiece centered around equal…

If you’ve slept on Skyzoo’s latest LP, In Celebration Of Us, then shame on you. It’s masterpiece centered around equal parts social injustice and commentary, and — more endearing — fatherhood, and the role it played in his life.

RELATED: Read my review of the album.

One of the more compelling tracks, the outro “Honour Amongst Thieves,” features a lengthy live recording of Skyzoo telling the story of how his Father played a quintessential role in his early life; a story made all the more touching considering he is now a father.

As Skyzoo explains, the story itself just came to him. “It [was told on] a public access network in Brooklyn called BRIC TV. I did a show with some people there,” he said. “They had this segment where it was storytellers … they had people come in to tell a story, any story that they wanted to a crowd. I was invited by a woman named Angela to be on that show. It was me, and a bunch of other people and everyone told their story over the course of like five or 10 minutes.”

As Skyzoo explains, he showed up unprepared. “I had a lot going on, but I promised I would do it. She’s a great person. So, I said, ‘Okay, let me do this,’ he says.

“I kind of didn’t think of a story ahead of time. I was ripping and running a lot. So, when I got there and the clock was ticking. It was like, ‘All right, this guy’s up next.’ I’m thinking: ‘what the hell am I going to talk about?’ And, then, it just came.

“It came to me on the spot. Once I did it, after the applause you hear and everything at the end, [I knew] it came out dope,” he said. “I asked the people at the network for the audio … I knew this would be fly to put on the album.”

Check out the full story, below.

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interview, Main

Manny P Makes Debut With Single/Video “Facts” [Interview]

Manny P is an artist to put on your watchlist for the coming months. In the meantime, check out his latest visual, “Facts.”

Rapper Manny P regards himself as molded by the culture of the world, having lived in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Vermont, London, and currently, the Mecca, New York City. “Music has always been apart of my life … since before I was born,” the Mexican rapper tells AAHH. “My mom did a lot of musical theatre back then, so [I] was backstage immersed in all that while still in the womb.

Currently working on his debut album, Manny has been recording music since High School. “My sound kinda goes anywhere from really abstract, highly personal, to turn up raps,” he says. “I don’t stick to one type of beat/sound. One minute I’m on a dark ass lofi beat rapping the whole shit in a real monotone voice, and the next I’m loud and expressive over something more up-tempo.”

“Different beats give me different energies … they put me in different places in my head,” he continues. “All the pieces come together [though] to make up the full picture.”

Manny cites Pro Era head honcho Joey Bada$$ as the reason He started rapping seriously. “I was chilling with some homies real late one school night, and one of them had thrown on ‘Suspect’ from his first mixtape 1999,” he notes. “I penned my first shit to that beat. The verse still sits at the top of my google doc … like 50 pages ago. Through him I learned about pro era, then beast coast, and all that spiritual third eye indigo shit – I used to be on that.”

He recently dropped his official debut single on all streaming services and doesn’t plan on slowing his pace going forward. “I’m working on a lot of music, getting a live set together so I can start doing some more shows, and eventually I’ll have an album,” he says.

Manny P is an artist to put on your watchlist for the coming months. In the meantime, check out his latest visual, “Facts,” a colourfully trippy, and engaging visual feast to accompany the must-bump single. Manny has a clear delivery, and some surprisingly focused bars for new artist. The instrumental has a soulful undertone, dripping with a late 90s southern tinge that seems to get more infectious with each listen.

Add this joint to your playlists!


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