Exclusive: An Interview With Add-2
Posted by The Maven
Posted in Uncategorized
We got a chance to catch up a little bit with the Chicago emcee Add-2 and I must admit the discussion was great.
TCT: How did you come up with the name Add-2?
It came from my initials A.D.D., mixed with being the 2nd of three kids. My father always told me that no matter what you do never take away from anything, only “add to” it. So I took that and used it as a metaphor for growth and progression.
TCT: You’ve been on the rap scene for quite some time, but since the release of Save.Our.Souls your popularity is now at an all-time high. What kept you motivated?
I honestly just love music, it’s one of the few things that keeps my attention and continues to challenge me. I love trying to write something sicker than the rhyme I wrote before, or making a song that means something to someone. Not to mention I have fans that have been with me for a long time and have been bragging on my behalf, so I don’t want to let them down. If anything I want to keep giving them a reason to brag haha.
TCT: How do you feel about the huge success of Save.Our.Souls? Did you see it coming?
I’m proud of Save.Our.Souls. Some of the success caught me off guard because I wasn’t expecting some of the blessings that have come along since its release, but overall I think I knew this could be a big stepping stone. There was a lot of hard work and effort put into this project and I’m a firm believer in when you do something to help reach a certain goal, don’t be surprised to receive the results you were seeking. I try my best not to dwell on success because there is so much more work to do. When you get complacent or celebrate too much then you fall off.
TCT: What does the city of Chicago mean to you?
Chicago is everything. It helped shape my existence, my attitude, my intelligence, my charity, my heart and is the place that helped make me the man I am. I go to New York a lot and even though it’s a great place, full of opportunity, it doesn’t compete with Chicago in my mind. I love how real the city is, how soulful the city is and how beautiful and ugly it can be. No matter where I go I feel like I’m taking Chicago with me.
TCT: You have some pretty impressive production on your latest drop. How did you get connected with 9th Wonder & Khrysis?
9th Wonder had somehow heard my music and was saying how he was a fan. He told me he was in Toronto when he first heard one of my songs, which led to him to invite me to record with him at his studio in North Carolina. As a fan I was so excited, I don’t think I slept the entire night before. Khrysis was one of the first people I met while being there and we clicked immediately. Homey is funny as hell and as I would like to call it “mad niggerish” which is right up my alley so it was a lot of joking. While we were chilling he would play a few beats and I would pick out something if it jumped at me or he would call me in the room to write to something he literally just finished. One of the records was “Keep Walking” with Sundown of Act Proof. When I was working with 9th on “Going Going Gone” it was only the 2nd time I came to NC and he had flipped 4 beats right in front of me, Rapsody and Sundown like it was nothing. I wrote another song to the beat but we scraped it because it didn’t really connect as well. 9th told me “give me that feeling about the struggle of a kid growing up on the Southside who has a dream” and that stuck with me. That’s why “Going Going Gone” is pretty much the way it is.
TCT: One thing I’ve noticed in your music is that you’re not afraid to discuss some troubling issues in the Black community (Cotton Fields, Modern Day Coons, etc.). Were you surprised to see the level of support in the Black community following the death of Trayvon Martin?
Yeah I was because hundreds of young black teens die every day without any sort of public uproar, so it was encouraging to see that a young black life means something. Hopefully soon we can unite in the same fashion when we kill our own or when we see people or things destroying our communities. I’ve been making these songs for years discussing hot button issues but I feel we can’t be afraid to check ourselves or say what’s really going on no matter if it’s unpopular. Otherwise it’s just a fad. Just like in Chicago, every rapper had a Derrion Albert dedication and one year later some of the same ones were back to saying the same things, promoting negativity. I just want us to continue to give people a balance and strive for better.
TCT: On “Won’t Do/My Uncle’s Words” you discuss your late Uncle. Could you describe the type of relationship you had with him and his impact on your life?
My uncle was the personification of what a man was. We were tight, he was always giving me advice and would take time to talk to me about life and the things I couldn’t discuss with my father. One of our last conversations was him just randomly calling me just to tell me how proud he was of the man I became. When he passed it was so sudden and I volunteered to help take care of my grandma to fill in for him so I had to put my grief to the side to help my grandmother get through hers. I still have a hard time accepting that he’s gone. It still hurts like it happened yesterday but I think I have a little comfort knowing that my family has one of the best angels watching over us that we could ever ask for.
TCT: We all know many artists are only in the game for monetary reasons. What’s your main reason for making music?
My main reason is to give someone that same feeling Reflection Eternal Train Of Thought gave me or that Reasonable Doubt, Illmatic, College Dropout, Be and other albums gave. I want to make the music that’s the soundtrack to someone’s life. I want them to hear the beginning of a song and they lose their mind saying “Ohhhh this my shit!” or something that makes them see the world differently or gets them through something. I just hope I can be what other great musicians were to me.
TCT: It’s clear to see that you are very proud of you lyrical skills. Do you think conscious lyricism is returning to Hip Hop?
Could be because Hip Hop, like most forms of culture, goes in cycles. Every now and then it goes through a lyrical phase then people’s ears get tired and then we go through a party phase and then people get tired of the clubs and go back to the lyrics again. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either and I love that right now you have a mixture of both because life is never one thing. I hope it stays at a good middle ground of both lyrics that people can listen to and appreciate and still go to a party and get wild as they want to.
TCT: What’s up next for you? Are you working on your next project?
Gearing up to hit the road, do more shows, drop more videos from Save.Our.Souls like Sunday Morning, Modern Day Coons, Love Jones, All the Kings etc. I’m not writing towards another project just yet still just living in the moment and making sure people hear Save.Our.Souls.