By Carlos Cureno
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
While Gary, Indiana isn’t noted much for its hip hop scene, the city is the birthplace of music royalty. The Jackson 5 group originated from the city of Gary. Obviously, this means Michael Jackson is also a native of the city.
D-Edge is the next star from Gary and is formerly a part of Freddie Gibbs’ camp. Taking a break from working on music, D-Edge recently returned with The Trueprint, his first release since 2012. The new project is inspired by Jay Z’s classic series.
In the latest On the Rise feature, D-Edge spoke to Hip Hop Vibe. He would discuss The Trueprint, his admiration of Jay Z, and the area where he’s from. Not just including Gary, D-Edge is putting on for the whole Northwest Indiana.
Read the entire interview below:
Your latest project is called The Trueprint, which is obviously inspired by Jay Z’s classic series, can you explain the type of influence Jay has had on you and your career? Jay has a big influence on me. His moves in the industry has always been well calculated and nicely executed and the music has always been flawless. I named my album The Trueprint because it’s the guide of being true to self. Jay’s Blueprint album gave me that same feeling. I feel that both albums were inspired by the same emotions.
How have things changed for you since you left your label situation in 2012? I want to make something very clear. I was never signed to ESGN. I was never offered a contract nor any position with that company. Everything I participated in with ESGN was solely off friendship and love for what I thought was family. Yet, I am very appreciative for that opportunity and experience. Things change for the better since that situation. It started off rough, but everything just started going up since that situation. Just stayed working and it all started paying off.
Currently, you have a couple of singles, “Dive” and “Ratchetness” blowing up in the clubs, what’s it like to see the clubs going crazy to your music? Anytime you walk in a club in New York or Chicago or Miami and you see people going crazy off your music, it makes you feel like you have arrived. Those are major markets. To experience that is crazy.
Surely, you haven’t reached all the goals you hope to, but how does it feel to come as far as you have? Feels good. I was the first independent/underground artist to have my album promoted on the Reuters Building TV Screen downtown New York in Manhattan. That’s major. Still got a long way to go though. Although I’m very thankful for where I’m at, I still feel like I really haven’t done anything. I don’t want to stop there I want to go all the way with this.
Like every person in music, especially being from Gary like him, you have to be inspired by Michael Jackson, but why do you consider The Trueprint to be your Thriller? I know people are gonna think I’m crazy but as big as “Thriller” was and still is, I actually like “Off The Wall” better. Yet, “Thriller” is the album I felt like people finally “got it.” They got the understanding that Michael Jackson was official and that he was going to be something special to music. When I was recording this album, I would let people hear songs and they would always say things like, “this is it. This is the album that people is going to respect you for.” When I turned in the album for duplication my co-partner B-Edge was like this is a classic album. He is really hard on music and he has never stamped any of my music near great, let alone classic. Then the attire for photoshoot of the album ironically was similar to Michael Jackson’s for “Thriller.” We were like “Whoa!!!”
What do you think the city of Gary has to do in order to become more recognized in music like such cities as Atlanta? I think artist from Northwest Indiana (Gary, Hammond, East Chicago), have to establish a business approach to this music industry. The talent is there. I could name about 10 artist that could easily be just as good as anybody in the industry but we have to learn how to conduct business. I think once that is establish you will begin to see artist flourish in this game.
Where can fans connect with you on social media? Twitter, @d_edge_xl; Instagram, @d_edge_xl; Facebook, D-Edge XL; Website, www.d-edgemuzik.com.