By Carlos Cureno
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
There are plenty of talented artist coming up. At one point, people would say they are all coming from the South. But, with Desiigner coming from Brooklyn that isn’t the case, but the South does have some notable artists.
Cran Neely isn’t necessarily a new artist, as he has had his regional bangers, over the years. However, he has yet to taste the success of the mainstream. That doesn’t slow him down, as he has even more new music coming.
With his next project due in August, Cran Neely spoke to Hip Hop Vibe for an On The Rise interview. During the interview, Cran Neely spoke on his influences. While he is definitely a South Carolina artist, he is inspired by the Deep South.
Read the entire interview below:
It seems like everyone in the younger generation has had dreams of being a rapper, when and why did you decide to take this dream seriously? I feel like music is everything. We all love it and need it. Everybody has a voices and ideas that they want heard. I can honestly say when I watched BET, back in the day, with “Video Soul,” and shows like “Rap City,” I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.
What is it that you enjoy the most about the mixtape scene? The thing I love about the mixtape scene is that we dont need record deals to be seen and heard, these days. We have so many other outlets to gain exposure. It also makes it easier for the fans and the consumers.
Being a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, you had to grow up watching the Hornets, and then the Bobcats. How did you feel about the amazing season they had, this year? You know we got the Carolina Panthers too. Everytime they won, everybody bought donuts (laughs). But, yeah, you gotta love the Hornets. Playoff bound this year. I think if we would have had a healthy Kidd-Gilchrist, we wouldve went deeper in the playoffs. Oh, and Kemba
Walker shouldve been an All-Star this year. And I’m making a prediction that Steph Curry ends up in Charlotte real soon. Him and his little brother, Seth.
When it comes to your music, what is the one thing you want the fans to know about you, as an artist? I want the fans to know I’m a real guy. I’m not a gangsta, I’m not a thug. I’m just a real MG with a message. I represent for the people. I’m not afraid to be me. I’m from South Carolina man, we ain’t never had
nothing. So I’m bringing that pride back. I want to see more masculinity in hip hop, man. Every state in the South been heard expect for my state, South Carolina. It’s so much talent down here. I want open doors.
Speaking of music, when is your next project due? I’m working on my mixtape right now. Can’t Ban Tha Cran Man. Should be finished in August. I will have features from artists like Fabo (formerly of D4L), Pastor Troy, Mr. Flip, Chaz Gotti, and Lil Bizzy Bone (son of rapper Bizzy Bone), just to name a few.
Can you tell us more about you attending Tuskegee University when Rich Boy was there? I got accepted to Tuskegee Univerity in 2005 on academic probation. I was surprised they let me in. I had a good SAT score. I heard so much about it, I wanted to go. I didnt graduate, but I’m still alumni (laughs). They know me real well, down there. Oh, and Rich Boy left before I got there, I think a year. But, yeah, he was Engineer Major, word is, he was the weed man on campus (laughs).
Was Rich Boy just a fellow school-mate, or did you two know each other? No, I never met Rich Boy, but he blew up around the time I was there. But, I knew a lot of people where he is from, Mobile Alabama aka 2.5. MFN 1. They also had the rapper Mr Biggz (R.i.p.). I was heavily influcenced from Alabama rappers, because they remind me so much of my home state. Shout out 2 the legendary rap group, Dirty. They was right down the road in
You said Rich Boy’s success inspired you, what is it that you hope to inspire in others who may look to you? Yeah, Rich Boy dropped out and took a chance. He won. He went for it. The main way I want to inspire others is by letting them know be yourself and believe. Go hard and don’t quit. When a hardship comes, embrace because it’s like getting a promotion. It’s only going to make you better. Then you inspire the next, because we all go through shit. Everybody going respect real!
Can you let everyone know where they can find you on social media? If you looking for me on social media, Cran Neely everything. Instagram, @cranneely; Twitter, @cranneely; YouTube, @cranneely.
Watch “We Hungry” by Cran Neely below:
Follow Carlos Cureno on Twitter @DjayyCharliee.