– RAP RULES
Local artist Sam Adams
is the future king of rap and hip-hop and his growing number of fans
agree that their shared vision of this genre’s evolution is placed
perfectly in his extremities. And at a recent Adams show at the House
of Blues, this writer witnessed one thousand fans, most of them cute
college-aged females, scream every word to every song in Sam’s catalog.
After hearing his tunes and seeing this young performer entertain the
crowd like an aged veteran, one can only agree that the legacy of this
type of music is indeed in safe hands. Read on and listen to Sam rap
without any backing instruments.
Noise: “I Hate College” had more than four million
views on YouTube. What will it take for you to do to reach five million
views on your next release?
Sam: To reach five million views on the next release,
the music will have to be incredible. The song will have to be strong
in itself. If the fans love it, it will do well.
Noise: “Driving Me Crazy” had the top spot on
iTunes for new releases and reached the top ten in Billboard for hip-hop singles without much promotion.
How did this happen and why did this happen?
Sam: It happened because of my amazing fans. They
bought the records, loved the album, and it grew from there.
Noise: You used social networking and grassroots
efforts to promote Boston’s
Boy, bypassing major record
labels to outsell known rap artists. How will this work out for you
in the long run?
Sam: Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
will always be huge outlets for me to reach fans, earn new fans, and
expand. In the long run I’ll have to solidify my individual team both
on the management side, and the record label side to have a lasting
career in the music industry.
Noise: Were the major labels embarrassed that you
Sam: Haha. I’d say they were, however surprised
is probably a better way of putting it. I think they were surprised
I embarrassed them.
Noise: Will you ever sign with a major label? Can
you continue your independent success and what will you have to do to
allow you to continue being independent?
Sam: I’ll probably sign a major deal in the
future. Independent success is something we’ve been fortunate to have,
which again I point out as a testament to the loyal fans I have. They
love the music and buy the records, if I didn’t have them there would
be no Sam Adams.
Noise: You grew up in Cambridge. A lot of rap talent
is now coming out of Boston. Name some of the local talent you recommend
we keep an eye on?
Noise: I hear traces of Eminem in your style. Who
has influenced you in the past and who influences you now?
Sam: Everyone influences me whether or not I am
a fan of their music or not. Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Big L, the Beatles,
the Police, Led Zeppelin, Ben Harper, Eric Clapton, the list goes on.
Depending on which style of music I’m producing or creating, I tend
to have certain people in certain playlists.
Noise: You went to a private school growing up and
you are descended from President John Adams. Does this give you a credibility
problem in the hip-hop world? What do you tell critics when they say
you’re Vanilla Ice part two?
Sam: I don’t tell the critics anything, it’s
their job to talk about me, not vice versa. In terms of a credibility
problem in the hip hop world, sure, I’m not as widely accepted as
other upcoming artists, but I’m slowly gaining the respect I deserve.
Noise: What is hip-hop electronica rap and how is
Sam: It’s a new genre that’s fun, upbeat,
and enjoyable. It’s not about beef, or being a G, yet it’s real,
and people relate to it. It’s different because of how many genres
it joins into one. In its essence it’s genre-less and that’s what
makes it beautiful.
Noise: Your September 23 release of Party Records: A Mixtape was done in London. Where was the record release
party and did anyone important show up to help you celebrate?
Sam: There was no party, no cameos. We just dropped
it at midnight that night for the fans, to show them how much we appreciate
their support, and then I went and ate dinner with my parents at their
place and crashed in my old bed. It was amazing giving them free music.
They deserve it more than any fans in the world.
Noise: Are you getting to know any hip-hop celebrities?
Sam: From the few hip-hop celebrities that I’ve
met, they’ve all been real cool. I’ve had the unreal opportunity
to learn from them and apply what they do to my music and artistic process.
Noise: Fact or fiction: during a college fraternity
gig in Manhattan, Kansas, the police stormed the stage and arrested
you for inciting a riot and disturbing the peace after you said, “F**k
the police” over the P.A. What were they offended by the song
lyrics? The loud noise? Or your anti-authority attitude? And how
has your fan base learning of this event strengthened your reputation?
Sam: Fiction. I got arrested in Manhattan, Kansas,
for no good reason. I was simply trying to give my fans their
favorite song, “Driving Me Crazy,” to wrap the show up because it
was apparently being cut short. The kids at the fraternity paid a lot
of money to have me come perform, so I was simply trying to satisfy
them and my fans that came to see me. However, by trying to do my job,
to perform, my noise permit was revoked without my knowledge, and I
was charged with citing a riot and civil disobedience. I think the crowd
scared the police because of how excited they were to hear “Driving
Me Crazy.” I guess it strengthened my reputation. My fans were more
just pissed off that I got arrested for such a weak reason. Charge me
with being loyal to my fans—I’ll take it.
Noise: Would you ever consider recording darker
less pop-oriented music?
Sam: Perhaps, pop is one of my favorite genres
of music to make, along with hip-hop, and dubstep productions, so we
will see. Anything can happen in this crazy life so I have to live a
little longer to make some darker music because life is good, I’m
having fun, and fortunately I am in a great place.