By Carlos Cureno
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Historically, Dallas is one of the most-important cities in America. In the past, Dallas has experienced all kinds of success, but they haven’t made much of a mark in hip hop. A few artists from Dallas have had some success, but nothing close to what AV The Great hopes to do.
AV The Great is a highly-touted free agent and he is going to do his thing, regardless of a deal. However, this doesn’t mean he is not interested in signing with someone. In fact, AV The Great has done work with Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group.
In our latest On The Rise interview, Hip Hop Vibe had the chance to speak to AV The Great about his rising success. Being a local in his city, he explained how he has made the moves he has made. AV speaks on linking with Timbaland, getting the co-sign, and much more.
Read the entire interview below:
It says a lot about an up-and-coming artist when they receive a co-sign from Timbaland. How did this relationship come about? Yeah, it’s a pretty cool story. I was in New York meeting with a A&R from Atlantic, when I received a call from Rick, one of my producers in VA. He said he gave my album to Chris Fisher of Mosley Music Group, and they liked what they listened to. We talked on three-way and the next thing I knew, I had beats in my email produced by Velly, a really dope beatsmith signed to Timbo’s Bluestone Pub. So thanks to every single person apart of it for the opportunity!
Is all of your recent success a little overwhelming, or are you similar to Big Sean in the sense of it being everything that you expected? Word to Big Sean, it is everything I expect with so much more to do and learn. I envisioned this and truly believe a whole lot more is to come.
After grinding for so long, how does it feel to begin to become a well-recognized brand? Honestly man, I really haven’t done enough to soak anything in. It’s just so much more to do and accomplish, but it is a hell of a feeling to go from performing in front of five people to 500 and they sing along in the crowd. Signing a licensing deal with Platform Music Group for commercials, movies, and TV for the song, “Living out Dreams.” Actually getting paid for gigs. But, I have much more to accomplish before I can actually tell you how it feels. Check back in 10 years.
Can you talk more about your single, “Stay?” I recorded the song hours before I went to a wake. One of the OG’s of rap in my hometown, “Shagg,” passed away early in his mid 30’s. I was watching my childhood friend, MT, get sentenced in court for 45 years behind some shit he didn’t do. My other homie, J Flame, got hit with decades of time. Plus, I was making these moves, but Dallas media was basically ignoring my accomplishments and giving others who haven’t done as much hell of press. All of these frustrations were running through my head combined with motivation from hearing a freestyle I did to YG’s “Who Do You Love” on the radio for the first time. All of the knowledge and emotions just came out GOD body.
Even though Dallas is a big city and has produced some noteworthy figures, they have yet to have a true breakout star. Do you feel as if this is your time to fill that void? Without a fucking doubt in my mind, I am. I can’t be the only one though. In order for a real movement to pop off in a metropolitan, there needs to be at least 3 to 5 artists that can ring off around the same time from different parts of the area. History shows, no matter where you are from, as long as it’s just one, their will be resentment, and jealousy from people of surrounding cities towards that artist, therefore not getting the full backing of the city. We have a stable of more than capable artists in Denton-Dallas, Fort Worth, that can make a splash in any branch of Hip-Hop worldwide but I am most def capable of being the best overall representation of what we have to offer.
You are all over the place right now, what is your next move going to be? Well, it’s good to know people are paying attention. I have a joint EP with Gas House Smitty dropping in June and my solo project No Fake Hand Shakes around September. Consistently releasing quality visuals of fan favorites and new songs as well. Staying involved in the community and I want to make a quarter million this year. That is the goal. Let’s speak it into existence (laughs).
Seeing how you’re already working with Mosley Music Group, could this be a potential label home for you? The potential is definitely there, as our relationship continues to build! Also I really like what Nas and Mass Appeal Records are doing a lot. I know I could fit in and add to what Pusha is doing at GOOD Music. MMG, Hustle Gang, G-Unit a few more. Who wouldn’t love to get a call from Roc Nation? I’m a small giant now, but I do know who ever passes on me will be in deep shit.
Where can the people find you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat? Everything is @AVTHEGREAT. Just started a Snapchat so add me but most importantly follow the music. Peace and light. #NoFakeHandShakes.
Watch “Stay” by AV The Great below:
Follow Carlos Cureno on Twitter @DjayyCharliee.