Q&A: West Coast rapper Skeme brings a fresh hip-hop perspective

Media Credit: Photo courtesy of Skeme's Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Skeme's Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Skeme’s Facebook page.

Interview by Hatchet reporter Elliot Greiner

Los Angeles-born rapper Skeme recently released his new album “Ingleworld,” which features the likes of Wale and Iggy Azalea, among other contributors. Now he’s on a 30-date tour opening for Dom Kennedy.

On the second night of the tour, The Hatchet sat down with Skeme to talk about his West Coast roots, rise to fame and future projects.

Hatchet: You started making music only a few years ago when you were 17. Now you’re 24, what do you contribute to your relatively rapid rise?

Skeme: You know just consistency, as far as the art form itself, and just really continuing to stay at it. Having a constant recording process, constantly listening to music and trying to gauge what’s happening, and constantly trying to inhale what’s new.

Hatchet: How has the West Coast formed you as a rapper?

Skeme: I think its how you grow up, and it affects your point of view all the way. I think that’s a major factor for me. I think deep down you can’t point out just one fact for being “this is the reason it’s different for me.” But it just changes your point of view on how you look at things coming up. So you know, all of these things make for you to be a different person, thus, making you a different artist. Especially if you’re sincere with your conduct, and the things that you’re saying in your music is coming from a sincere place. I think what’s really going on with you is going to take place in your music for sure.

Hatchet: What do you try to accomplish with your music? Is it to give social commentary, to make innovative sounds, or to just get people moving?

Skeme: I think it’s all three. I don’t think I got into having like one specific goal, but now that I’m getting older I’m starting to sit back and kinda gauge what is it I do. I think before it was just mindlessly making music and continuing to work, just whatever comes across is what it is. I think all three of those things are actually what I’m trying to touch on. The direct task is like changing those within my immediate circle, you know what I’m saying. A lot of these guys that I came up around, a lot of these guys haven’t left Inglewood, haven’t left L.A. in general. It’s a big thing. I really want to be able to have a broader look on life, instead of just money, cars, bitches or gang banging.

Hatchet: From a contemporary standpoint there are a lot of kids trying to make it by rapping, yet only a few ever do. Was there ever a time when you thought, “this is just too much”?

Skeme: Not really, I think at that time when it could have been a thought of mine, I wasn’t really making money from music, but I was making money from other shit. At the time I wasn’t really tripping about it, I just liked music. You know what I’m saying, it’s something I would be doing even if it was a free thing, you know, just because I liked doing it. A lot of people worry about the money before they worry about the art form, which is a problem. If you’re heart is in it you need to be here regardless. Otherwise you should take a bow and let people who actually want to be here solely because of the music. The money will figure itself out along the way, that’s how I look at it.

Hatchet: What’s next for you?

Skeme: I’m doing a mixtape right now; we’re trying to see who can host a joint. It will be a collective work of mine, something dope along the way until we put the next album out.  We will probably put the next album out October next year. I put out “Ingleworld” Dec. 17 and the crazy part of it is all the offices closed around the same time, and you’re coming into the new year… to sustain the momentum of that project is kind of hard just because of the way shit is in the music game right now. Two, three weeks after something is out it is almost considered old which is a problem. But it is what it is. I think next time around we will be a little smarter with the timing of things.

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