He is not your ‘Average MC‘, and has been ‘rhyming since the doctor smacked him at birth’. Meet AG, a 24 years young rapper from St. Louis, MO who for the past 5-6years has been setting the underground St.Louis rap scene ablaze. His confidence and determined spirit have seen him stay focused on the grand prize. Visit his official website, http://www.itsmeag.com for more info!
Continue reading the interview for more scoop!
You go by the moniker ‘AG’, what’s your real name?
My real name is Allen Gates. AG was a nick name people from my hood gave me while growing up, then my family and people in school started referring to me as AG so it just stuck with me.
I’ve been in the game since birth…when I was like two months, I was rapping with gold chains and Slick Rick to it.’ That is a quote from an interview you did with KDHX 88.1 a while back. A very passionate sentiment to say the least, is music, your all and everything?
Well first off that’s a great question, but outside of my continuing efforts to be the best ME I CAN BE… YES, MUSIC HAS BEEN MY OUTLET, MY LOVE, MY BEST FRIEND, AND SOURCE OF SELF even when it looked like I would be headed down a path where many don’t return. MUSIC STEERED ME CLEAR.
Being a native and resident of St. Louis what is the music scene like, genre wise and opportunity wise?
Well the underground scene in St. Louis is CRAZY!! There are so many good and talented rappers with great unique styles down here and not just in hip hop…. We have singer/songwriters like ALOHA, Folk groups like FOLLOW THE WATER… just so much untapped talent.
On your website www.itsmeag.com, you let it be known that you are not the ‘average MC’. A lot others have said the same, what makes your statement any different than the rest?
The biggest difference is that THOSE ARE MY OWN WORDS. That’s not something I was spoon feed to say as a reply. That’s not me bragging. That’s me seeing the artists that are out now and HEARING the music that has been made in the past 10 years and knowing that I have TALENT to create music that people can FEEL MOTIVATED by without losing that sense of “mainstream appeal ” and still keeping TRUE TO MYSELF.
You can now add modeling to your roaster. Congratulations on winning the ‘Fresh Face of Spring 2010’earlier on in the year for www.DrJays.com. Tell us how that came about.
Well, thank you! It’s really funny because I was bugging my manager Kazia about wanting to keep my wardrobe as plain as possible since we were still BROKE. She was online one day just looking for some shirts and stuff for me to perform in and while trying to place an order for the shirts she entered us in the www.drjays.com contest and the rest is history. It was one of the most exciting times of my life. I am so thankful for all the people across the country that voted for me.
The music industry is saturated with an overabundance of artists, with limited opportunities, in essence making it a cutthroat competitive industry to be in. What strategic moves have you and your management put in place to keep your name buzzing inside and outside of St. Louis?
You are right about that. It has been a challenging road, but one of the things we have done is NOT FEED INTO THE NON-SENSE. It has been so many people that have promised $$$ among other things and we have been able to keep our composure and not CHASE FAME. We have built for the long haul, but we can’t tell ALL of our secrets.
You count, LL Cool J, DMX, and Jay-Z as being some of your influences. Whose hustle are you currently feeling?
I would have to say TWO people, and the first one most definitely is JAY-Z’s. He has done what every artist hopes to do and he has done it HIS WAY. The other is LUPE FIASCO. He has made the decision to create music that INSPIRES people and not care about MONEY OR RECORD SALES. He is a true ARTIST!
The ‘Track Meet’ is your new project coming out in January, talk to us about it.
Well, it is my most complete project to date. It was inspired by my love of sports and a few arguments that I’d had with some people that I had once called friends. It is a direct metaphor for the link in competition between music and sports. I rarely toot my own horn about my music, but “The Track Meet” IS ON POINT.
The various social networking platforms have bridged the artist and fan gap. From a corporate angle, it has eliminated the need for A&R’s, publicists (to some extent). Thus as a result, artists have now been left with the responsibility of generating their own buzz. Tell us how much you have utilized the social networking platforms eg twitter as not only a marketing tool but as a connecting point with your fans in your artistry.
First off, I think many people forget that we are human beings first and artists second. Fans get to see who the “PERSON” is that they see on stage. The social media sites help with that and allow the artist to be personable and accessible. I try not to spend much time on there just being an “ARTIST.” I try to share myself as a person which has seemed to help people connect with AG.
Currently you are an unsigned artist. Is there any major record label that has shown interest or you would be happy to hear from? (Not obligated to answer this question, if there are legal considerations)
I can’t go too much into answering this question but, I have been approached by 3 major labels and 6 indies.
Lyrical content in music is very important. We are now in an era where the wacka flocka’s can get a pass in the name of entertainment. Not too many lyricists getting the deserved attention. What would AG attribute this phenomenon to?
Just think about this… if you are a major label, what is easier to control? Would it be the music and talent such as JAY-Z and LUPE or the recyclable cookie cutter music of a Waka Flocka? I am not hating on the man, but his content is something that has been like a beating drum. What is the difference between Waka Flocka, O.J. Da Juice Man, Gucci, and Plies? Nothing but their names.
Outside of St. Louis, where else can we catch AG? Any tours, concerts?
No tours to speak of right now but I will be posting some shows on my web site. http://www.itsmeag.com
Yeah I have two jobs. I work for the media relations department for the great St.Louis Cardinals when it is baseball season and I am a banquet server for the Holiday Inn. I just keep my priorities in order. I have to have options.
Which established artist or up and comer like yourself would you like to work with in the near future?
I think my passion and skill would work well with J.cole, Kanye West, and Crooked I.
Anything else we need to know?
Yeah call your local radio stations and request “MOVIE STAR” by AG ft.CHRISHAN, and please support the music you like, regardless of who it is!! STAY SEXY, STAY SAFE, BUT NEVER STAY IN PLACE… KEEP IT MOVING!