The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper(s): Affiliated Soldierz
This Week's Subject(s): Longevity in the rap hustle; does bedding enough video vixens equate to a successful career
Ask A Rapper: Okay, so you all are now on your 10th(!) album, right? That's amazing. We figure we should talk about that some. First question: How? You guys haven't had anything really take off on the radio, right? So how have you been able to sustain for so long?
Affiliated Soldierz: Yes, we have hit the radio, but not in Houston. We was found by DJ Smallz in '05 and we did a DJ Vlad [tape] in '06, had meetings with Bad Boy, Def Jam, Universal and [are] still in talks with Universal. We write for your favorite rapper. We been in the game. We did two DJ Good Grief mixtapes. We was on DJ Screw tapes and Lil Randy [tapes].
We was picked up from Florida, so we stayed on the road a lot. We work with a lot of major artists. But it takes time, we're just now getting our pull. But we are worldwide, we on itunes etc. Look us up you will see we are not lying. I know a lot of artist sign to majors from Houston that's now here in the H. We just bringing it back. I know this sounds funny but Google us and you will see.
AAR: Second question: Why? Ten albums is a long, long time. Why continue to make music after, say, six or seven? Haven't you made your mark?
AS: I mean, music is a passion not just for a quick turnaround to make some change. You have to want to pursue your career in music just like any opportunity, whether 9 to 5 or whatever you want to pursue in life. A mark hasn't been made until the whole world feels you and understand what you bringing to the table. So is it a time limit when to stop?
No. I think as time moves on you get wiser and more business-savvy. You learn the business and find yourself in due time, so hip-hop can go on forever. When you are ready to give up, then you make that decision. Otherwise, as long as you are progressing, hey, gotta keep moving.
AAR: How many albums represent a successful career? Or is that not how a successful career is measured? Then how is a successful career measured? Is it the number of video hos one sleeps with? That's it, isn't it? And over the course of one's career, is it more enviable to have eight good-but-not-great albums or one classic album and seven underwhelming albums?
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AS: Who's to say how many albums make a successful career? To me, it seems like every album we work on we treat it like it was the first so we are still considered [a] new artist. And I don't think you can measure a successful career when you need a beginning and an end point. And for us, this is the beginning, so ain't no stopping us right now.
We will make music forever, whether if we behind the scenes or on the screens. It's just raw talent; either you have it or you don't. Women? Naw, I doubt that. I don't think that; definitely doesn't fall into play. [laughs] If so, well ...I'm straight. [laughs]. But on another note, remember, all you need is one classic.
Follow Affiliated Soldierz on Twitter at @asoldierz.