Illinois is unquestionably a hotbed of talent and power forces within the landscape of hip-hop; from Lupe Fiasco to Lil’ Durk, the city has a scope of sounds that it’s become synonymous with. One new voice hoping to make a wave from the Midwest is young Pinoy rapper MPYRE. Currently on the cusp of dropping his debut EP/Mixtape, TWO STOCK, he’s hoping to make his name ring with his unique brand of freestyle infused hip-hop.

Take a listen to his latest single and quick Q&A below.

How did you get involved in hip-hop?

Always loved hip-hop. I freestyled a bit throughout high school. I got more into it when I moved near UIC/Greektown (neighborhood in Chicago) while I was at art school. Met a lot of dope rappers and writers to trade bars with. I started recording my first mixtape last July and had my first show at The Empty Bottle in November.

Who are some of your influences?

Kanye, Nas, Pharcyde, Andre, Em, Kendrick. And I’m always influenced by Chicago’s local scene. Chance, Mick Jenkins. Used to really fuck with these groups called Supreme Regime (RIP) & Hurt Everybody (RIP).

Tell me more about your music – what are you currently working on?

Just finished up an eight-song mixtape: TWO STOCK. Worked with a lot of dope people on it: Sports Boyfriend, Becca Brown, girlJewells and Madison Scion. Got a verse from Saba, a couple from my homie Goose.

It drops March 26. I’ve got a release show at HQ (1914 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL) that evening. Rich Jones, Blaise B and hella talented artists are on the bill. It’s gonna be dope.

Any last words for our blog?

Check out the singles. Come to the show. March 26.