My Generation: Interview with Rap/ R&B artist Scribes, as he talks about “Green” controversy and equity
~ Shout out to an old friend. Scribes is musically talented and unequivocally one of Seattle’s next best up and coming R&B artists. All the best. (Go to Scribesmusic.com to hear more! and download his work)
When did you begin your music career?
“I started writing raps when I was 15 or so. I had been a fan of hip hop since I was probably in the 3rd or 4th grade. I had always been kinda hesitant to start rappin cuz I was white haha and I didn’t wanna look like a fool. But during high school I remember seeing a bunch of different freestyle battles and I couldn’t help but get involved in it. It started with free styling just goofin off, then developed into writing raps, then to recording songs, and then to cutting entire albums. I’ve kept progressing ever since. I dropped my first album in August of 04 before going into my junior year of high school. By the time I was finished with the album my mind was set on pursuing rap/music as a career.”
“I’m hoping to release my full length album sometime between Nov. 2010 and Feb. 2011.”
What is your take on sustainability? Is it just a buzz word, or is it important?
“I would say that the word sustainability is kinda beyond me. I understand what it means and its significance but I don’t feel like I’d ever personally use it in a casual conversation or even in an intellectual conversation. Haha I would probably just say “doing shit that’s good for the environment”. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for it and I do think it’s a very important issue if not the most important but it’s a really complicated one.”
“It’s obviously important to help preserve the environment and echo system for this generation and generations to come just for the simple fact that we as humans won’t survive without it. But, actually successfully going green and reversing some of the negative things we as humans have done to the environment is a complicated and difficult task.”
Is there any talk about the music industry trying to become more “green”?
“People talk about going green in the music world but to be completely honest it is not really in my genre of music. In general rock artists (haha and just about everything not rap) are more willing to talk about the environment. And I definitely feel em. I’m all about it too. It’s just that i see the issue as being a little bit more complicated than just going green. I personally don’t live a green lifestyle at all. I mean don’t get me wrong I don’t own a car but that’s ‘cuz’ I’m too broke. Before I got rid of my car I was ‘whippin’ a 92 gas guzzling ford explorer. I recycle or whatever but that’s about it. Really to be completely honest I don’t pay attention to news on the environment or going green cuz frankly I don’t have the luxury to. I’m morally all about improving the environment in a black and white sense but I feel like because of the economic level I’m at I don’t really have very good access to the necessary resources. The problem is that there are too many people who gotta go work entry level positions for big business who exploit the environment.”
“Here in America we talk shit about big companies while much of our economy is held up by those businesses. But there are few people here who are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. If we are going to successfully improve the environment we have to make “going green” more accessible to normal folks. A lot of companies have made tremendous strides. For example, one of my jobs is being an assistant manager at an apartment building. The company has replaced all of the toxic cleaning supplies that are bad for the environment with cleaning supplies that are less harmful. That’s a step in the right direction. But it’s too often that folks like me have to work for business that don’t care about the benefit of the environment. Then with the little bit of money we are paid we put the money back into businesses similar to the ones we work for by buying the cheapest products available on the market, anything from food, to clothes, gas, cars, whatever else. If u are struggling financially are u gonna support an organic company that costs bank or are u gonna buy some cheap food?!?”
“So when it comes to rap music specifically u gotta remember that although it’s become one of the dominating genres of the world it still comes from the hood. Cats in the hood have too many struggles in their day to day life to rap about shoppin at whole foods or whippin a prius (Not to mention to few of the people in the hood gain access to higher education. Education is very important when it comes to informing people about the environment.) Hopefully it will change but it won’t change until environmentally friendly products become more accessible to blue collar people (which certain companies have done, I believe the Prius is surprisingly cheap). And yeah it’s arguable that some of those rap artist who have been successful should be rapping about the issue but a lot of those artists are still carrying the scars and pressures of the street. A lot of cats overcame huge obstacles and struggles. Just about anybody in their shoes would have came out the same (some worse). The rap game isn’t all about being politically correct it’s about surviving. Few people are strong enough to maintain their morality and survive. The rap game is honestly an animalistic game. That’s largely the reason that it for a long time hasn’t been understood by middle and upper class white America. But at the same time, it’s starting to change. Things are becoming less gangster. Folks are beginning to expand and have a little more room to be themselves as artists in hip hop. People from all different ethnic and economic backgrounds are involved in the music. I think because of it more rappers will be promoting going green. I think it’s tight. It’s kind of exciting to see but at the same time it’s a trade off. People have to pay fewer dues to the street to gain success in hip hop so therefore more artists come out lacking a real understanding of the struggle that hip hop came out of. But whatever the case is something has to change. The world as we know it won’t survive without change. And the world is a big thing to throw away. I think change starts with improving the lives of working folks. Like I said improving the environment might very well be the most important issue we face but there are so many other issues tied to it.”
If you could travel to one place in the world where would it be, and why?
“I don’t know specifically where I’d travel to if I had the option to go anywhere but in all honesty it would probably be a place where I could relax and get my mind off of the day to day work of my life. Some place where I could have fun.”
If you could be any type of animal in the world what would it be?
“haha, I have no idea what animal I’d be. Maybe a bird? Flying seems like it’d be fun. I like being a human.”