Andrew Davis, also known by his rap alias The Aspiring Me, is a 24-year-old Missouri City native who is wise beyond his years. Being the son of Houston rap legend Big Mello, Davis has been exposed to the ways of the game and it helped him find what works for him musically. After dropping his EP The Aspiring Me in 2010, Davis traveled a long road in finding the perfect sound for his self-titled debut album droping in July. Rocks Off got a chance to speak with The Aspiring Me about his album, his father Big Mello and finding himself in music.
RO: So the album drops July 30th and I see you have done some of the production on it as well, correct?
AM: Yes, I produced most of the tracks on there, I executive produced my album myself and Charles Moon who is someone I linked up with a few years ago. He is a part of a production duo called "Those Two."
RO: Do you feel like you have progressed more on the album compared to the EP you released in 2010?
AM: Yes. I recorded that EP back in '09 when I used to go to the Apple store in the Galleria to take Logic classes. There is a lot of growth from then until now. Back when I did that tape I was only 19 and I'm 24 now. When I was 19 my mind state and artistic view on music were very narrow sighted. I had an obstructed view on what hip-hop is and I was one of those kids that was trying to keep it strictly 90's and shit. You know I had to wake up and snap out of it.
RO: What do you think inspired you to be in the mindset of keeping your music strictly '90s style rap?
AM: Oh man just the music I listened to in high school. Of course trying to capture that and that sound my father had. I was basically dedicated to paying homage to my dad and the people he made history with. I just tried to fill those shoes because I felt like I had a point to prove. Back then I used to try to sound like other people I admired a lot so I did a lot of soul searching. At that time it was also trendy to re-invent the '90's wheel and shit. I mean it's still happening now but it was heavy to be '90s around '08 and '09 and I got caught up in it.
RO: So tell me about the song "Easy to See" on the album, was that one of the first songs where you really touched on your fathers passing?
AM: Oh yea definitely. I mapped that song out when I was like 17-years-old. That was like my first time really being able to express myself about it. I wrote that song in my aunt's crib after I got kicked out my house. I remember writing it in my aunt's living room. My dad died when I was 13 in 2002 and I didn't want to address until four years later when I could cohesively talk about it from beginning to end. I used to just comment on it and quickly change the subject.
RO: So you mentioned you once felt like you had something to prove when you rapped. Is your father more than anything the main reason why you felt you needed to prove yourself and keep your music '90s style?
AM: Yea and I used to play my shit for my dad's friends when I went to the barbershop and I could tell that they wanted to vibe with it because of who I was but I could tell that they weren't really into it. The thing is my dad and I came up in two totally different worlds. The things he rapped about were authentic to his nature and his being. I know personal stories from lyrics that he's rapped about and I'm like "Yea I remember when that happened." I felt like I wasn't being myself back then because I would try to rap about those things to keep up a façade and in reality I was really doing music that wasn't for me.
RO: When was it that you realized your father was a legend in Houston hip-hop?
AM: I had been knowing that since I was little kid. I knew he made a difference in Houston as a kid but it wasn't until I got out of high school and started doing research that I discovered that he was like one of the pioneers. It was also a show he had with Westside Connection at the International Ballroom that I saw when I was a kid and realized that man my dad is a big deal.
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RO: So do you play any instruments?
AM: Uh huh. I play the trombone. I taught myself how to play keyboards from the trombone.
RO: Can you give me your top five Houston artists?
AM: Big Mello, Z-Ro, Scarface, DJ Screw and Lil Flip.