One of Def Jam's newest artists speaks about his regular guy vibe, growing up on N.W.A. and Nirvana, and medical marijuana and ex-girlfriends.
Blackalicious' Gift of Gab famously rhymed, "A 40 ounce for breakfast gets a brother through the day..." Def Jam Records rookie Wax is a testament to that. Like Devin The Dude or Rhymefest, Wax brings on an every-man aesthetic, which is apparent when the twenty-something speaks about his life.
From the suburbs of Maryland to the streets of Los Angeles, Wax has quite a story. However, what is starting to make him appeal to the masses more and more is that he is just like everyone else, apparent in his Scrublife mantra (and mixtape). DXnext's latest artist speaks about his style, his influence and the journey that's made it all possible.
MTV and Music: "Well my Dad was a real couch potato so ever since I can remember we had cable. I was real influenced by the people on MTV. MTV definitely helped in making me interested in music from an early age whether it was the Rock bands or N.W.A. and stuff like that. I got a guitar when I was 10 and my brother was playing drums and bass from an early age. It was more of my brother and I being little kids and wanting to be the people we saw on TV like Kurt Cobain and Eazy-E and people like that."
Singing or Rapping First: "Honestly I did not really separate anything. I listen to a lot of different music and try to play a lot of different instruments while singing and rapping. I don’t really consider myself a singer, I more just get by with singing. There was not really a conscious decision to incorporate both it kind of just happened at the same time. A lot of rapping is singing and a lot of singing is rapping."
Homophobia In Hip Hop: "It is funny because a lot of the images portrayed in Hip Hop are super gay. The whole, shirtless jailhouse look. Homophobia in Hip Hop is funny because of the images that I have been seeing recently I say to myself “God damn, that’s gay." I am not homophobic, I am just pointing out that’s gay."
San Diego: "I had a girlfriend at the time and she got a job out there and I was not doing shit at the time, so I moved to San Diego. Then we broke up after a year and a half and I was working construction. I was just getting fucked up all the time and not really doing anything. So one day it hit me that I needed to get the fuck out of here and so I moved to Los Angeles and so far shit has been going real good."
Dispensary Girl: "Well I have my medical marijuana card here. You can get weed at a store if you have a card, it's great. So there was this girl that worked at the store I went too. A lot of these stores have good looking girls working there. It's kind of nice seeing a hot girl selling you weed that is really nice and helpful. One day this girl that I would see working all the time there, we were flirting and shit and then on my way home I started humming the melody in the car and then I went to the studio, made the beat and wrote the song. After I wrote the song though she got fired or quit or something, kind of sucks."
Touring With A Band: "We started the band in high school and I was probably there for like six years. We were a six piece band all with different lives, jobs and girlfriends that we had to deal with. I learned a lot about organizing and stuff like that. Whenever we wanted to book a show there were always issues with people trying to take off work and stuff like that. We did a bunch of shows and sold merchandise but when it came down to it and you only get $300 per show between six people and you have to pay for gas and stuff it doesn’t come out to be much. From a touring aspect, I learned that it’s a lot harder to depend on other people. From a musical aspect, I learned a lot in regards to performing live and writing songs. As far as live shows, I think the shows I did back then are better than the shows I do now because it was a live band. Now I got a live band so that will be changing."
Building of the Brand: "Building your brand is so important now. The tools are all there with the social media. For me, YouTube was the biggest thing. Anyone trying to get into the music industry, the days of demos off the street is over. You have to get a fan-base or someone behind you for them to look at you. Whether you are on American Idol, a touring Rock band or getting popular on YouTube, you have to have something. When labels were looking at me they realized that I actually had fans buying my shit and supporting me and that helped a lot. It’s real important."
Scrublife Mixtape: "The concept of scrublife is really just being happy with what you have. You don’t need a lot of fancy things and just be happy with yourself. That is the way I live my life, kinda messy and dirty. If you walk into my house there is like one piece of furniture. 'Scrublife' is like the opposite of excess. The mixtape is like 17 songs mostly produced by EOM (Elements of Music), he is from Virginia and is moving out to L.A. soon. I produced a few songs myself, Nobody Famous produced one of the songs and my boy Dumbfounded. think it’s a good representation of what I do. I also have a track from the Fyre Department on there with Adam Deitz."
Am I Famous?: "I wouldn’t say that I have had any real big names reach out to me, but definitely people I would say I am a fan of. I have done some shit with a producer named Nottz, a band called Soulive who I have been a fan of since they started. I also did something with Consequence who I am a huge fan of. No real big names or anything, most of the people that listen to my stuff are just your average every day people. I don’t have that kind of buzz yet I guess. No Kanye [West] or anything hitting me up on my phone."
What is in a Name?: "I like to think my name Wax represents versatility. Since I can play different instruments and rap and now I am getting into comedy and stuff. Wax is a versatile substance being that you can mold it any way you want."