Oop God: Q&A

Oop God: Q&A with Consciousness Magazine
Q: What is your motivation behind rapping?
A: My personal motivation to rapping is to constantly feed the hunger of my audience and to receive positive feedback from the projects that I present to my audience. I love to see heads rocking back and forth in cars riding down the street while they’re listening to my music. I love to see people running up to me rapping verses from my songs. It just lets you know that your music is reaching people and that your work is not going unnoticed.
Q: Who are some of your influences?
A: Some of my influences are Eminem, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, T.I., definitely Drake at this point, Common, and Jada Kiss. I say those people because aside from Drake those guys came from poor beginnings and somehow found a way to achieve their dreams to their fullest potential. They all are in the same business, but they all found a way to coin their own style of rap and be unique to the ears of their listeners.
Q: For some listeners a portion of your music may appear to come off profane or a little hardcore. How do you take accountability for your music?
A: In Hip-Hop you have to be very versatile and be able to appeal to all types of audiences. That means you’re going to have to be able to put out different types of music that’s going to catch different ears. Everyone isn’t going to like the lyrical content in every song you put out...it’s just the nature of the industry. It’s all about building a fan base and being able to sell CD’s. That’s what this entire music industry is about, whose selling records and who is. People have to realize that the music industry is a BUSINESS….and if you’re not selling CD’s then you are not going to be in business very long. Some people want to hear obscene and profane things like shooting somebody, killing somebody, selling drugs, etc, because that’s what they like and that’s the type of music they’re going to buy no matter what anyone has to say about it. It’s up to the artist to find out what people want to hear and try to cater to the listener’s ears. Conservative or non-conservative...everyone’s money looks the same to the industry.
Q: What are some of the challenges that you face as an artist?
A: Coming from a small town like Hopkins Park, Illinois, which is extremely small and impoverished, I think getting noticed and known to a large scaled audience is one of the biggest challenges. Mainly because there’s not a lot of people in the town to begin with and when we do shows in other places there’s not much hometown support because travel is difficult due to a lack of funds. Secondly, there aren’t any significant venues to book a large scale concert in Hopkins Park in which we could market and draw in a larger fan base. So, now I’m promoting our music through online media sites such as Youtube, Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter, Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes, and iTunes to reach an audience more massive than I ever could have imagined. There are always other options.
Q: In a world where there is so much violence amongst our young black men, what do you think is the solution to counteract violence?
A: I think preoccupation is definitely one effective way. If our young black men were already preoccupied doing positive things, then they wouldn’t have the time or energy to be hanging with the wrong crowd or getting into any negative situations. A parent’s job is never done. We as parents have to be more involved in our kids’ lives and stop letting them loose too soon to run the streets and get into trouble. We have to be mindful of the things our kids like and what they’re good at and push them to pursue a career in those areas. We have to constantly remind them that there’s no future in jail, there’s no future in killing, and that life is even harder without an education. We have to at least plant the seeds of success before we can expect them to do anything worthy of obtaining success.
Q: What words of encouragement would you share with the youth who seem to have no way out to fulfill their dreams or lack the hope to live to their fullest potential?
A: I always tell the youth to never ever give up hope just because life is looking bleak. Life comes with its ups and downs. The fact that you’re young is more reason to keep your head up because you have the time to assess what you’re doing wrong and pinpoint what it is you need to do right to dig yourself out of the hole that you’re in….you just have to continue to do positive things in your life to get positive things out of life. Make your positive actions outweigh your negative actions and positive results will soon follow. Once you have a goal set that you want to achieve, it’s easier to recognize what activities are going to be productive or unproductive based on the goal you have set for yourself. A person young or old has to constantly be working towards something in order to keep from falling into needless and unnecessary activities. Your motivation and determination to keep conquering goals will keep you busy for a lifetime. Shoot for the stars….and if you just make it to the moon you still will have fulfilled your wildest dreams!!
Q: What is the name of your record label and latest album?
A: I am currently CEO of our record label Graveyard Entertainment Inc. which releases all songs and albums made by our group, The Graveyard Boyz, which consists of Maja D and Timmy G who actually started the group and who are brothers. The latest album we released was the I Am My Hood Mixtape Vol. 1 which received very positive reviews from the community and various online music promotional websites that we uploaded our music to. I am currently working on my newest album entitled “Undisputed;” the first single “Turn It Up” is on our Reverbnation website along with about 19 or 20 other Graveyard Boyz songs. We have a huge portfolio of other music to distribute that record companies would have no problem marketing.
Q: Would you like to share some words of advice when it comes to the music industry?
A: Yes. If you are lucky enough or talented enough to get your foot in the door remember that you must OWN your material. Do your best to secure a contract whereas you can own your masters so that you will get paid a high percentage of the proceeds for the music you create. Try to own your own record label because CEOs get paid a lot more than a regular artist does. He actually gets paid off of every artist on his label. If you aren’t able to start your own label then at least negotiate an artist contract where you’re not getting just pennies on the dollar for all your hard work that you put into your projects. The music industry does not care about you personally...they care about making money. You have to know your worth and be smart enough to know how to get what you’re worth.

Q: Do you have anything else you would like to add before we close?
A: Yes. You can go to www.reverbnation.com/oopgod to get a good feel for the type of music we create. You can even download most of the songs on there. You can hit me up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lamar.lillard or on twitter at www.twitter.com/oopgod. For booking email me at graveyardceo@gmail.com or lamarlillard@yahoo.com. You may also contact me at 815-401-2970.


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