New York, New York: What is there to say about the city that never sleeps and the impact it's had on Hip-Hop mainstream and underground. It has shaped some of the best artists to ever grace the game and one artist from the NY has began the work needed to leave his name among the top of that list. I'm honored to present to you Iron Solomon, Battle Rap Champion and Recording Phenom. Solomon, very well known as one of the best ever in the underground battle scene, has recently let the battles go to the side and has began to push himself as more of a Recording Artists with the release of his album "Monster". I was privledged to interview him and find out his input in the game and where he is headed next. Be on the lookout for much much more from Solomon in the next few months and be sure to check him out later this month at Summer Madness 2: The Return of The Legends where he is set to battle Murda Mook. Get Hip to the Underground and check out his latest visual for The Empire Ft. Talib Kweli!
1. How'd you get the name Iron Solomon?
I played with a lot of different names coming up, but nothing felt quite right. My actual name is Aaron Solomon, and the more I started to think about the significance and power of each of those names the more I felt like anything that deviated too far from that would be settling for less. I changed Aaron to Iron so super-hero it out a little bit, sometimes you need to set the bar higher for yourself and grow into the person you aim to be.
2. Big battle coming up against Murda Mook, how are you preparing for the event?
I've been in the studio heavy working on this "Killer" mixtape I'm releasing with the battle, so that's been a huge focus. But as far as the battle itself I just study what's been going on, try to catch up to where all these up and coming guys are at, because even the newest new jacks are pretty incredible these days. The scene has evolved to such a high level of wordplay, its mad impressive and exciting. Just brainstorming the most creative ways to be a fucking asshole in rhyme form. Ha!
3. I know you've recently been touring, how's the transition from Battle rap to being more of a recording artist?
It's cool, I've been recording since I was a little kid, so I'm familiar with the process, but creating the "Monster" album really taught me that I didn't know shit! There's never an end to how much you can learn about this craft, so I just try to stay open to everything, constantly experimenting and working to improve. Student of the game, student of the art.
4. Whats it like coming out of NYC? How does your image effect or benefit you?
NYC really has shaped and defined who I am as a person and as an artist. Its such a collage of people, cultures, sounds, sites, everything you can imagine. I feel like interacting with so many people and experiencing such a range of things has helped me create music that's relatable to people from broader walks of life. NYC is the mecca. My fucking heart for real.
5. Whats your favorite Pre-show meal?
Nothing. Ha! Actually, alcohol. I don't like to be full or really have much in my stomach when I'm on stage except for the excess fat that's already there, ha!
6. Whats your favorite track you have recorded?
Man, I'm not sure. It changes day to day. Every song I do is so different from the last one its tough to pick. "Get On My Level" from the Monster album might be the most fun one off that project, but "Breathe," "The Empire," & "Wake Up" really speak to me on a personal level. Off this Killer mixtape one of my favorite joints is called "When I Die," its pretty out there creatively, but so fucking hard and the flow is retarded.
7. Whats next for Iron Solomon?
Just continuing to strive to take music, production, lyricism and my live show to the next level. Continuing to elevate. I'll be touring a lot more, and releasing music on a much more consistent basis. Then maybe running for president. Ha!
8. Do you game at all? If so, Xbox or PS3?
Super Nintendo, regular ass NES, or maybe Genesis.
9. Any advice for these younger cats that look up to you?
You don't know shit! Ha! Nah, but seriously just always be open to learning more, studying greats, even studying people you don't like. Never be afraid to try new things creatively, and NEVER be afraid to fail. You'll learn more from things that didn't work than things that did. I rap along to every pitch, word and rhythm of every song that comes on the radio no matter how much I love or hate it. Building a better understanding of how your voice works and what other people are doing with theirs will really help your recording game. Counting syllables, and really analyzing and breaking down what other MC's are doing is super helpful too. Then listen to some shit that's not Hip-Hop. Try to figure out what other artists outside the genre are doing to create classic songs that live beyond the life of the artist.
10. Where can the people find more Iron Solomon?