Tell us about Sellassie, how long you been rhymin? I appreciate the chance to reach your readers, Revolutionary Hip-Hop Report. I’m a Conscience, political, Anti-House Negro Emcee. I take a stand on issues that directly affect poor people, black people all people. I rap about OUR responsibility in the dope game and how it’s destroyed the moral fabric of our cultures and communities, while at the same time bringing attention to the sabotage the higher powers created to destroy of our families. I disturb to increase the peace, I bring awareness to the beast. I’ve been rapping since I was about 13, but professionally about a year and half since the release of my first record “I’m Tryin To Make A Livin Not A Killin” in 2008. So you could say I’m a late bloomer.
You’re from Frisco right? How was that comin up in general and in the Hip-Hop scene? Yes Sir, I came up all over the place in San Francisco, Fillmoe, Lakeview, Hunters Point, you name it..Most San Franciscans did. I came up in all those places. San Francisco is the home of Independent Rap. Jt The Bigga Figga, Rappin 4 Tay, HUGH EMC, Dre Dog, RBL Posse, 11-5, (RIP) COUGNUT so on and so on. Coming up with that sense of independence around me as a youngsta, it rubbed off on me and influenced my personal life and business forever. I knew I didn’t have to sell my soul for the money, I could rap about my struggles, the way I see them, and people would dig it. I knew it would take patience because I watched the greats before me remain patient and the dues would pay off. Remain true to the game and the game remains true to you. I would rap for all the homies when I was coming up and I always separated myself with my flow. Mainly because I was talking about something. So I knew with patience, surviving the streets of San Francisco and staying true to my heart and flow, I would be ok.
Who were your influences early on? Who do you listen to now? My influences early on as far as Hip-Hop are concerned were Too Short, Get Low Playas, Bad Influence, 415, Totally Insane, Dangerous Dame, Mc Lyte, Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap..Off the top of my head, there’s hundreds more but early on, those were the ones. Lots of East Coast artists as well, Queen Latifiah, Special Ed, CL Smooth, its so many man…I grew up off the music so it’s engrained in my DNA. I listen to Tupac. It’s hard for me to get into any of these mainstream artists because I know too much about the industry and I think most of them make house negro inspired music. Straight from the slave masters desk, transferred on to a CD, spread to a bunch of commercial hoes..It’s Pimpin to the highest degree. I Listen to Lot’s of independent artists when I get their C.D’s at shows and stuff. Most of that stuff is heart and original idea inspired. That I can deal with. Not the new “NIGGA” next year that they prop up in a position.
You just dropped a new album Sins of Your Forefathers, is that your 2nd album? What was your motivation behind it? It is my second album, it’s doing quite well right now, I’m blessed. The motivation behind it was, I wanted to drop another record before the summer and keep my buzz buzzing. Keep in people’s faces. Let them know that my last record wasn’t a fluke. I received some cool awards and recognition with I’m Tryin. You could say it “so called” put me on the map here in the Bay Area as an Emcee to be taken serious. So it was a reassurance to my followers that I’m real, my message is real, and it don’t stop til the casket drop with this Revolutionary Black Rap Music. It has a place in hip-hop and it needs a permanent place in hip-hop, and that’s a piece of my destiny.
What other artists did you work with on the album and work with in general? I really work alone, but I network with any and everyone. Especially in the Bay Area. I work hard and promote hard so that’s paid off for me here. I have My boy RJ Boone, Askari X’s Daughter Askara X, Young Life, My cousins Macho and A-1 who do there thang as well. So it was a total family affair.
How about your last album I’m Tryin to Make a Livin, Not a Killin? How are the albums different? I’m Tryin and Sins are produced by my Beat makers The Slap Factory. They are 4 very different producers. I’m Trying was done by a mix of their work the West Coast side of my production team , while Sins is a project as far as the beats are concerned are from my homeboy Dana in Boston. So it has a West Coast, East Coast feel, meaning that I’m straight West Coast while Dana is straight East Coast. As Far as Lyrically, for people used to my in your face style with how I feel about something, that’s all there but with the delight of new beats and topics. Easy listening all the way through. This album is the perfect blend of hip hop from a Revolutionary Gangsta.
You’ve been doing a lot of shows in Cali and on the West Coast, what’s your favorite part of touring and performing? I love to meet the artists, working just as hard as I am. Pushing their music and trying to get heard. That’s the essence of the game. Please listen to my demo. These days of technology where everyone can make a CD, the days of listening to new music are almost extinct. I love to listen to new music. So I’ll go out on the road and by the time I get back home I have 20-30 CDs, different connections, staying connected to the artist community, the real artist community..The Grassroots Artist. I’ve had lots of shows since last year, I’m truly blessed to spread my music to the world and receive mostly positive feedback.
In addition to your music as activism, you are directly involved in struggles, movements, fights, actions, etc, tell us about the kind of work you’ve done and are doing presently. I’m currently involved in the Case of Oscar Grant, The San Francisco 8, the appeal of Mumia Abu Jamal, and The racist Gang injunctions on the youth in the Bay Area. The immediate halt and cease of the gentrification of Hunters Point, My M.Y.G.H.E.T.T.O campaign (MAD YOUNG GENERATION HERE ETERNALLY TO TAKE OVER) Trying to stop the violence and constant flow of illegal drugs in the brains of these youngstas. Stop the War Campaign with the A.N.S.W.E.R coalition. Any and everything I can be involved in to get justice for injustice.
Would you say that there is a “revolutionary hop-hop movement”? How would you like to see that movement evolve? I can’t say I do see a revolutionary hip-hop movement, sad to say. Lots of the brothas and sistas don’t think there is any money in it. They all said to me” Sellassie, going black won’t make it. I told them and tell them, we’ll you can have your slave masters money it’s there for the taking. I got too much integrity. I come from a long pedigree of San Francisco G’s. They tell me they’re absolutely amazed that I have managed to make a decent living with it. But for me it’s not a gimmick, it’s who I am, so It’s obviously not who they are. We need to get the house niggas out of rap, positions of power, and stop selling our culture out for the slave masters loot. PERIOD!!
Any final thoughts? How do we find out about how to get your album and go to your shows? I make the lady sing the blues for all my folks, back in 1874 hanging from the rope, Never let ‘em forget what my people went through, from 2010 back to 1442… Yaa Assantewe, Queen Nzinga, Shaka Zulu..John Henrik Clarke, Asa Hilliard, Mutulu. Chiake anti Diop, Revolutionary Hip-Hop won’t stop, TIL ALL THE HOUSE NIGGAS DROP!!! Thanks a Million to RHHR, Keep up the good work…Revolutionize, Plan, plot, Strategize… Sellassiefrisco.com….For my Independent Concert Series I Co-Produce: WE ALL WE GOT. “Sins of Your Forefathers” New Album OUT NOW! Check out: http://sellassiefrisco.com, http://myspace.com/sellassie, http://youtube.com/sellassiefrisco or Facebook Search Sellassie
Categories: Bay Area Hip-Hop