DGB Exclusive Interview: Azizi Gibson talks owning Record Label, dislike for the new rap era & more

Meet rapper Azizi Gibson who’s constantly breaking barriers within the LA rap scene . Known for his Alternative Rap music, he’s the one to Punk-Rock it but make it Hip Hop with vocals added to give his sound that flare. The LA based rapper has collaborated with artists from BIG K.R.I.T to Waka Flocka. Not only is Azizi gracing us with his sound he also owns his own label named Prehistoric Records due to him wanting to stay as independent as possible.

During our interview Azizi Gibson held nothing back!

Check it out below:

Mikala: Hey, How are you?

 Azizi:  I’m Good! And yourself?  

Mikala: I’m doing good as well! 

Mikala: I was doing some research and saw that you were raised out of the country! Could you tell me about that experience? 

Azizi: Yeah! It was fucking great because America sucks right now! I’m very appreciative that I grew up in a Third World Country. Mainly Thailand and Singapore but I mean just getting a grasp on how everything was so different everywhere I think is the best part about growing up overseas.

Mikala: Out of all of the countries that you lived in which one was your favorite?

Azizi: Thailand! The food, the people, the way of life…everything! It was stress free, everything’s cheap and colorful.

Mikala: Who were your musical influences growing up?

Azizi: OutKast, Slim Shady, Pharcyde, so many rappers…I gotta put Lincoln Park on the list. I remember listening to them right before I started freestyling. 

Mikala: Do you feel as though they somewhat played a part in your music?

Azizi: Yeah! Definitely! Making me want to do music more because I liked what they did!

Mikala: When did you discover your passion for music?

Azizi: When I was like 5,6. There’s videos of me rapping when I was 2 years old and shit!

Mikala: Coming from a military background did your family support your interest in Music?

Azizi: Yeah they did which was amazing. They definitely supported me the entire way. It’s hard to find that support from your parent’s especially when you’re going against what your mom and dad said.

Azizi: It’s lovely that my Dad was a musician growing up in New York and definitely wanted to see me do good!

Mikala: I do want to ask, what was their reaction when they heard your very first song?

Azizi: I don’t even know if they heard the first song but the very first song they heard they knew it was good that’s why they supported me. It was a realistic thing. They heard the sound was there or at least it had potential. They made sure I stayed on it. They weren’t like “AYE go in the studio” , they never told me to go make music, they wanted to be involved. 

Mikala: Oh WOW! That’s a blessing, that’s really rare for parents to be super supportive like that.

Azizi: Yeah, Parents are trash these days!

Mikala: (Laughs)

Mikala: You do have your own label, PreHISTORIC Records. How did starting your own label come about?

Azizi: Well the name was just something I made in High School with one of my old friends and I stuck with it, held on to it. Prehistoric kind of meant like before we make history this was the story that was born so that’s why I called it Prehistoric! I turned into a lifestyle. It’s a label because I release my music myself. It’s just a Lifestyle thing!

Mikala: What are some key things you’ve learned along the way with owning your own label?

Azizi: Aww..man…FUCKING READ THE FINE PRINT! GET A LAWYER! Get a lawyer before you do anything!

Mikala: Have you had any mistakes with that?

Azizi: Yeah! I’ve had an old  manager steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from me! I’ve been through a lot of shit and a lot of people act like their independent but take a lot of money from deals.

Azizi: I think my purpose is to let people know that 75% of the shit your favorite rapper says is not even true!

Mikala: Oh Wow! Why do you say that? 

Azizi:  I’ve seen shit, I’ve been around the block, I see everything. Niggas buying chains before they get their mom out of debt! Don’t ever trust any man like that…PERIOD…EVER! You making millions of dollars and you’re not making sure your family is okay?! Half that thing…(Laughs) half that THING (because it’s not even a human anymore) doing is just lying to you! It’s so little substance going on, so little reality!

Mikala: What was the transition like for you starting PreHistoric Records?

Azizi: It just happened! It was no transition, really it was like I knew from day one I never wanted to sign to a label. If you get a 360 Deal it doesn’t make sense. If you don’t have your own fan’s it’s very dangerous! Everything that they give you they want back. I was signed to an Independent Label for a little while and then I just realized that even they could be doing so much more so that was the only transition. Realizing that I could be doing everything myself and it’s not really about taking all of the credit but at the same time that’s what the labels do. A lot of people get credit for something that they didn’t even do!

Azizi: With the transition, I just wanted to protect myself and separate myself from everybody else and have the people who believe in the same things that I do notice what I’m doing from a healthier route than being owned by the industry!

Mikala: Yup! I feel that! Now, Do you feel as though the industry supports Alternative Rap?

Azizi: HELL NO! If you don’t give the labels a reason to promote it they won’t. For example, everyday we hear whatever music, I don’t even want to say it’s garbage, I don’t want to say it’s trash!  It’s all arguable what you think is good and what you think is bad but what I think is it’s just mediocre music. Every single day it’s promoted and blasted in front of us until that one more so “conscious rapper” on the J.Cole or the Kendrick Lamar side organically blows up! The only time labels will promote something realistic is if it organically blows up and lands on their desk now other people are judging them for not promoting it because they rather show Booty Shaking Videos than someone who actually wants to better themselves. That’s the ONLY time a label will ever promote MY TYPE OF SHIT!

Azizi: Labels ain’t gone promote my shit because I feel like music like mine, music like Kendrick, music like J.Cole it has to be condensed because it gives people too much power. People think smarter, that’s never what the World wants, that’s never  what the music industry wants. They want you remain as dumb as possible. That’s why they keep putting these dumb idols. Strip the music away from a lot of these people that are popular and they’re FUCKING IDIOTS! They don’t know Math, they don’t know grammar, they don’t know the capital of the United States. Like I’m not playing. This is all a hoax and it’s all an agenda behind the Music Industry, period!

Mikala: Does this sometimes frustrate you or have you blew it off?

Azizi: It frustrates me because I love music so much! My passion doesn’t stem from jealousy at all  or hey I wish I was you. My Passion is like…fuck! These young kids think it’s okay to record a song on your phone and upload, people get famous off that. There’s no skiltry to music anymore. When you popped up on someone’s feed 15 years ago you worked hard to get there! Now It’s like I don’t see a lot of people working hard and just because I know people who have worked with these young artists. A lot of these people have lost a lot of their money because they don’t buy a house, they buy jewelry. They don’t invest in themselves. I’m glad that I am able to look at this but of course it’s going to frustrate me because I love the music game, I love rap , I love everything about it so when I see people in interviews legitimately say they just started rapping, they don’t care. I have no respect for you. If you can say that then just respect that I’m going to keep it 100 with you… I don’t like you in this field. 

Mikala: Yeah! I see what you’re getting at with that!

Azizi: Yeah there’s no threshold or limit you know. It’s like rap is losing its value cause it just doesn’t make any sense. You can be like why is this person more popular than this? And why isn’t this person more…none of it makes sense anymore! So that’s why I tell people it’s at the least value, even though it’s at its most popular market, once something gets too popular that’s when it gets ruined you know what I’m saying! It’s always going to be popular but as a sneakerhead I stopped wearing Supreme because every little kid can go out and buy Supreme now. I had to step my game up. I had to start wearing designer shit and then I just had to figure out a niche pair of things that only I could be apart of and other people who love what I love and are just as passionate about it and caring about it are now apart of this world and we’ve left that world because that world just got too much attention. Just like Bitcoin! People heard about Bitcoin and then people want to get Bitcoin without doing months of research…come on Fam! I’m cool off that! People just don’t think! Everyone’s just “ Oh I’m here, I’m here, here! It’s like if everyone is talking about how much money you can make off Bitcoin, how the fuck you expect to make so much money once EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT BITCOIN! It made no sense so no one made money once Bitcoin blew up! It’s just…mmmm…it’s the same thing, it applies in the rap game, rap culture!  

Mikala: Now I do want to talk about your music. I did notice that the Grim Reaper is used for some of your Cover Art. What is the significance behind the Grim Reaper and your music?

Image result for azizi gibson new life cover art
Cover Art from “New Life” Album (2016)

 Azizi: So I like try to portray myself as the Grim Reaper just because I feel like I’m somebody that a lot of people see but you need to take the time out to learn the story. People think that the Grim Reaper is some Evil Entity when he’s just like the “father of time”. He doesn’t take people who don’t deserve to go he’s not a killer, it’s just like the end of time for you and he’s the person bringing your soul across to make sure you’re free but it’s not that deep it’s more so this person has a misconception from an entire group of people who think he’s related to this, that, and the third but it’s also like a test of knowledge to people. You just glaze through something and you just write it off and you think that this person is connected to this until you actually do the research and you’re like wait…this is actually a beautiful thing. The Grim Reaper to somebody could be just as beautiful because of what he does and his story. I just try to make that connection with everything , to somebody that has power to do whatever they want but still chooses not to fall outside the line of  his duty.

Mikala: Honestly, you just gave me a new perspective of the Grim Reaper, I was definitely one of those who thought he was evil but talking to you. I have a whole new perspective!

Azizi: Yeah, definitely and that’s why I use it. I feel like people don’t generally realize the Reaper is not out here killing and slashing he only comes if people need help going to the other side…that’s the only time! He’s only  here to help!

Mikala: I was observing the Art on your recent album “Chimera Act” as well. I saw Trump, Kanye…what was your  inspiration behind your cover art for this recent album?

Azizi: Alright so a Chimera is an animal that is mixed with different DNA to create a new species. I feel like the world we’re in right now is the “Chimera Act” because nobody is themselves and nobody wants to be themselves. I told the artist I wanted to have a lady giving birth. That’s why you see her legs wide open and then the  doctor and the skeleton.The whole message behind is as soon as you’re being born you’re automatically being influenced to the point where it’s like who are you in the first place? As soon as you’re born everything is out there for you. You really can’t make a decision for yourself especially with Social Media. You could be totally Mutha fucking happy and then look down on the phone and somehow want to compare yourself to somebody who’s unrealistic, no point for you to compare to because they never paid for anything a day in their life but you just do you’re just influenced by the Social Media culture.

Azizi: As far as the artist that I  saw on there like Ariana Grande, Trump, Joe Biden it’s a lot of faces on there. People with scandals, people with large fan bases some of the people like the KKK shit they influence people. It just like a who the fuck do you really want to be and who are you?

Mikala: Ahh I love that!

Mikala: You recently came out with “Now I Give No Phucks” could you give me a little background on how that song came about?

Azizi: Shit…man…these girls are trash, it’s literally a real song about my ex. I started talking to my ex again and it was a bad idea and I made a song about it.

Mikala: Did your ex hear the song? (Laughs)

Azizi: Aw yeah! I sent it to her, I’m petty.

Mikala: (Laughs) What was her response?

Azizi: She wrote back I’m “heartbroken” and some other shit but it was all good, I ain’t going back.

Mikala: (Laughs) What upcoming projects should we be on the lookout for?

Azizi: I’m going to drop another album at the end of March. We’re just going to keep dropping music. I realized the only thing I need to focus on is content. I can’t go away for too long cause people got short term memory and everyone is so distracted. I just need to stay on everybody’s speed to the point where I annoy people and then they finally check it out. They’ll be like “Oh shit this is amazing” and then they look up and see a whole library and then they’ll feel comfortable joining the PreHistoric group! 

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