Fly-B (Bricksquad) Interview with Bill Oxford September 2012
“Fly By Day. Fly By Night. Fly-B is Ready for Take Off!”
OG Mack Drama of Brick Squad Mafia (BSM) has recently discovered one of Hip Hop’s hidden
gems by the name of Fly-B from Portsmouth, Virginia. As a 23 year old emcee and former athlete, Fly-B stands strong in both mind and body respectively. He’s just coming into his own as an artist; one who’s relatively new to the Hip Hop industry, but not afraid of speaking his mind. With DJ Ace, Waka Flocka and Gucci Mane in his corner, Fly-B is well on his way to establishing himself as a key player in the game with fame already imprinted in the BSM Movement.
Thanks to Jacque Schauls of Coda Grooves
Entertainment, I was always able to take a stroll through the mind of one Fly emcee. Here are some of his thoughts on the fly.
So you’re from Portsmouth, VA. What’s it like out there? Describe what part of town you represent and what I’d see if I visited your city.
I’m from the Uptown side of Portsmouth. I’m 23 so when you’re as young as I am, growing up seeing people driving green Benz’ and Lexus’ and all that, it grows on you. Other than that, I’d get into sports. I would've been involved in one or the other. In high school I played basketball, football and ran track. I had a full-ride scholarship in football and then had a son, so I decided to focus on the music.
In your own way of explaining it, how’s having a son changed your perspective and affected you?
It’s about just knowing that you’re not living for yourself anymore. If I don’t eat then my son doesn't eat, you know what I mean? If you don’t have any money, then your kids go hungry.
What other people in your life have played important roles in your recent success?
My mom, because she’s always been a Go-Getta. I’ve seen her come up out of situations that I couldn't see possible. My uncles and the way they raised me and showed me how to live and come up to get things on a business tip. OG MackDrama, with the way he brought me in. I really have to say all that hard work made me who I am today.
Do you have a musical background in your family?
My grandmother played the piano in church for about 60 years.
How did you end up meeting OG MackDrama?
I ran into him one day and he was telling me about this new division he was starting up. I passed him a couple tracks and it was a wrap! Rest is history. I’ve been working with Brick Squad Mafia ever since.
Describe your experience from that point on?
It’s been a lot of work. Of course you have people that didn’t really want to mess with you at first.
Now they want to mess with you because you’re on the Brick Squad. I’ve got a lot of haters in different states, but I get more positive than negative feedback. I just did a track last night with Jock Mig Migraine of the Crime Mob. I’ve been working with a lot people I never thought I’d really be able to get in touch with.
What’s the name of the most recent project you’re working on?
I working on my project called, “#TU$EA$ON” and I’m also working on the new BSM project with Chicago Santana and Money Pistols. They’re 2 of my label mates. My solo project is hosted by DJ 5X and DJ Hypnotize. DJ 5X; he’s out of San Diego. He does his thing! He just did a mix tape with Jadakiss and works with Yo Gotti and 2Chainz, among others. Check out the brand new issue of SOBEIT MAGAZINE, featuring the infamous DJ 5X. DJ Hypnotize does his thing too! He’s worked with Souljah Boy recently.
Any featured artists that you want to shout out in your solo album?
To be honest, there really aren’t too many features. I want the world to get to know me and my label mates, Chicago Santana and Money Pistols. I had other features, but decided against bringing them out.
I really want you to know who I am as a person.
What’s your greatest moment as an artist so far, other than being signed to BSM?
It’s being one of the first real artists from around here in a long time to make it on the radio. There are a lot of people out here trying to do it and never even come close to the radio stations. Being from where I grew up, it humbles you. Not to say that my city doesn’t show love, but at the same time they play more out-of-city artists rather than artists from within the city. I’ve had a few radio plugs that have blessed me with that chance to get on radio.
Outside of being a father and providing for your son, what’s your biggest motivation?
Life, period. Just seeing how far you can take it. There are no limitations. You can go as far as you want to go. You just have to work on the steps to get there. With life, you only live once so why not go hard while you’re living. Once you’re gone, you’re nothing but a memory. Some people think it’s crazy, but it’s the TRUTH. I don’t believe that everyone in life should just live a normal life. I think everyone should at least try to get rich so you can live comfortably. You only live once so try to get rich.
You know how they say, “remember where you came from”, so when you make it to the top of the game, how would you give back to your hometown?
I’d make sure there were more community and recreational centers. Give back to the homeless.
There are a lot people sleeping outside on the streets, so definitely on Christmas, Thanksgiving, even Valentine’s Day, ect… I’d do something extra. Just always give back because I know it’s rough where I come from.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’m just me more or less. Virginia itself. I just stick to being me. Some people want to say this artist has a New York style, or he sounds like he’s from the West Coast. Pretty much any type of beat you give me, I’ll kill it! I can work with anybody.
What’s your biggest strength as an artist?
I’m not one of those artists that can only do one thing. No, I can’t sing, but let’s say Ciara wanted me to get on a dance record, I could do that easily. If Gucci Mane had a track with a street vibe to it and wanted me to feature then I could do that too. If Jennifer Lopez wanted me on her song that’s more commercial, I wouldn’t have a problem adjusting. If I recorded with different established producers I’d work with Just Blaze, Swizz Beats, Polo the Don, Lil’ Jon, Lex Luger, DJ Twist who works with Ross.
Man, there are so many producers out here these days, it’s hard to pick from. Especially, Cool and Dre, then of course Dr. Dre and Timbaland too. I can’t forget him. I’d work with Missy Elliot. She makes hot beats. Kanye, definitely him! That’s a dream come true in the making.
Where did the ideas come from when making the songs, “I Swagg” and “#TMU”?
They came from the idea that a lot of artists, well I don’t know if I can call them “artists”, but we come from situations where there’s a lot going on, so when you come around here on a lyrical level, you better have bars! That’s just how I feel about it. There are a lot of bubble gum rappers and I can’t say they don’t have a gift, otherwise they wouldn’t have that fame, but it’s less lyrical and more about a catchy beat with someone who sounds like they can rap. There will be more one-hit wonders and in
the next couple years. There will be more artists you’ll never hear from and they’ll be back in the same position?
There are artists who speak with content, but it’s like the powers that be don’t want that voice to be heard on the same scale. What’s your perspective on that?
It’s more or less just what the people want to hear. It’s less about hearing what you think and more so about hearing what the people want to hear. At the end of the day, we’re in the business to entertain.
Fans will like you one minute and if your second album isn’t as good or better than your first, that’s it. You only get one chance. Artists have to step their game up lyrically, because all this “swag” will eventually be played out and you’re back to square one. Lyrics.
If there’s one thing you could improve upon most, what would it be?
Patience. Lil’ Wayne said, “Patience isn’t God given. It’s a talent.” I stay working at the music all day, every day. It’s not going to come to you overnight. It just won’t work like that. Anything worth having will take time.
Excluding you and your Brick Squad Mafia label mates, who is the emcee you mostly aspire to be?
Let me start off with Jay-Z, then Kanye, Lil’ Wayne, Eminem, Jadakiss and the whole D-Block camp. My favorite of all time is Biggie. The way he put his bars together; nobody will ever do it like that again.
What’s the best advice you’d give a young child planning on following in your footsteps?
First of all, stay in school and graduate. You see these rappers who say they never graduated. They did other “things” to get to where they are. Those things, you don’t want to do, so stay in school. Once you finish school, enroll in a music and/or creative arts school. Instead of just learning how to rap, learn how to mix down your own music. There are times when there’s an engineer who’s there all day or night in studio and you can just go in and do what you have to do lyrically. Learn how to mix and master; even
make your own beats. There’s a lot you need to know. Learn the business side too!The music you make is the last part that gets exposed to the world. Everything before that is business-related.
Any last comments?
Shout out to my whole Brick Squad Mafia family! Of course, my city of Portsmouth and my state of Virginia!
Courtesy of Coda Grooves Ent. CEO, Jacque Schauls.
Written by: Bill Oxford-Chicago, IL firstname.lastname@example.org