Royalty Magazine: What's good? How's everything on your end?
Young Dirt: I can't complain! There's been ups and downs this year but every day above ground is a good day!
Royalty Magazine: How are you feeling about 2013 so far? Is it what you expected? Have you accomplished what you set out to accomplish?
Young Dirt: To be totally honest I don't think I'll ever have that feeling of "I did everything I could and accomplished all I wanted to accomplish" because as soon as I accomplish something I always set new goals immediately to push the movement further. Like they say, you're only as good as your last power move, so the more I do the more I feel like I need to do. As far as business though, I feel I have done a good amount of work this year and I hope to continue if not increase the work flow into 2014!
Royalty Magazine: 2014 is a few months away. What are your predictions about the upcoming year? Do you see the economy getting better or worse? Why or why not?
Young Dirt: Aw man I don't even know about this economy. My goal is to stack my bread and move my family outta the country somewhere lol. America is all kinds of fucked up and I'mma leave it at that. But on a real note, I'm very much hoping once Obama's 2nd term is over the Republicans can get outta their feelings and get back with the program of helping this country be something worth living in again, but you never know...
Royalty Magazine: In 2013 the envelope has continued to be pushed. Reality shows are getting wilder, men entertainers have start wearing skirts, more and more people are talking about the "illuminati", etc. What are your thoughts about these issues?Young Dirt: Man, all I can speak on is myself, and with that being said I have NO problem saying I have NO interest in anything that goes against the one and only God in heaven. I'm not perfect by any means but if I gotta wear women's clothes and do some kinda homo or sacrilegious activity to get on I guess I'll continue to be the hottest nigga in the streets without mainstream success. I love my family and label and would do anything within my limits for them but yeah... I think that's enough said lol.
Royalty Magazine: On a lighter note, what can we expect to see or hear from you later this year or early next year? Any upcoming projects we should be looking out for?Young Dirt: Most definitely I have been blessed to partner up with You World/Caroline/Capitol Records to work on my very first studio album aimed for the industry. I've got the "25/8" video and the "I Be Errywhere" video both in the rafters ready to drop this winter or early spring, the album is looking like it will drop nationwide late spring 2014 as of right now. I'm really excited about that, I believe this will be some of my best work to date!
Royalty Magazine: You used to spit on legendary hiphop boards like Rap Network back when hiphop was more real and rappers had that "Elevate or Get Ate" mentality. Do you feel that experience helped you grow as an artist? What do you think upcoming rappers today could have learned from networking on forums like Rap Network vs. now where mostly everybody just uses twitter & facebook?Young Dirt: I think rap boards were kind of a gift and a curse. You learn a lot about hip hop and the lyrical aspect but we never really talked about the business side and how the industry is on a serious note. I was blindsided by a lot of the business once I decided to take things more serious because I was so focused on being the "best rapper" I didn't recognize the difference between being the best and being the fan favorite. There's a lot that goes into this business besides just the music and that's something I beat into my teams head every day. Just because WE like a song doesn't mean the clubs and radio and streets are going to like it. But if we do find that song that EVERYBODY loves, then you've got something special. When you have the hype without the lyrics you can still make money, but when you have the hype AND the lyrics that's when you can create careers for yourself and your entire team.
Royalty Magazine: Speaking of Rap Network, Glasses Malone used to be on that site before he got signed. How does it feel knowing that you used to rap & battle with cats like G Malone as well as an array of other dope emcees from all over?
especially from people I respect as much as the OG's I came up listening to as a fan.
Royalty Magazine: What are some of your greatest accomplishments to date so far music wise and why? Tell us one thing that you will do differently next year than you've done previous years before?Young Dirt: I think my greatest accomplishments have been the movements in Atlanta and North Carolina and reconnecting with some of my family members that do music and of course the partnership with You World/Caroline/Capitol. Also I was recently blessed to win the Carolina Music Award for best male hip hop artist and the North Carolina Underground Music Awards' "On The Radar" award. I'm nominated for the Queen City Award for "Best Male Hip Hop Artist" also this year. It feels great to be getting that kind of recognition around my state.
One thing I believe I'm doing a lot different here lately and definitely planning on taking with me into next year is doing WAY less collaborations and features. I got mad love for the up and coming artists and for that I found myself doing a lot of free collabs, verses and hooks, but the problem with that is in the eyes of my label partners and my future customers it makes the value of a "Young Dirt" verse go down. How can I explain to one artist why they had to pay and the next artist didn't? Its a hard thing to create that separation between business and friendship, but the way I see it if you support my career you wouldn't want me to work for free. If you value my artistry then you should have no problem paying my fee because I still will work with you, it just won't be free. This business is a cutthroat business and if you dont understand that you shouldn't be taking steps into the battle zone unarmed!
Royalty Magazine: Any last thoughts or comments? Anything you want to touch basis on that we haven't already?
Young Dirt: I just want to say that based on what people thought, I wasn't supposed to be where I am right now. So to the people reading this with a dream that nobody believes in but you, that's all you need. Keep working if you REALLY love what you're doing NEVER give up. You're never too old to be a success story and you've never tried too many times to succeed! Also for those who don't truly love music and making music and every aspect of music, step outta the way so that people who do can be heard!! No shade to anybody but there's a lot of people just making music because it seems like a cool thing to do! There's been people putting their whole life into this business to get it off the ground! Research the history of hip hop and r&b! It was not about hoes, jewelry and bullshit! It started as a way to express yourself and let off steam about things you couldn't control. With that being said I can respect if you aren't lyrically inclined but you truly have something to say. But those people that jus wake up smoke a blunt one day and decide you want to be a rapper today but the rest of the week you don't think about rap, stop poisoning our artform!! And that's all I have to say about that!!
Royalty Magazine: Any peeps you want to shot out? How can people keep up with you or check out some of your work?
Young Dirt: I gotta shoutout all my family, friends and fans that support the movement and keep me motivated to stay strong through this journey into the game, all my big homeys that offer advice and a swift kick in the ass when I start feeling like its too much haha. My GHSL fam, You World Global Media, Caroline Records, Capitol Records, DRS Productions, MSLB Management, every person that ever clicked a link, liked a status or retweeted a tweet I appreciate each and every single one of you and I hope you enjoy where we take it next!!