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An Interview with Ty Statz

Nayomi Charnelle: contributor

He is a super star in every sense of the word. We talked about everything from his start in music to the love of his grandmother. He was extremely candid and he is very comfortable with who he is and what he wants. He reminisced with me on his love for Michael Jackson (I wore a Michael Jackson T-shirt for this interview) and how he and his brother would fight over who would be Michael and who would be Tito. He made a phenomenal video tribute to Michael that was played on MTV called “The Greatest”
His music can also be heard in several vodka commercials that are shown around the world. He has created hit songs such as “ Takin Off”, “Man Of The Year” , “Hotel Room” “ Fux With wit me” and “Hell Yeahhh” which can be heard and seen on ITunes and YouTube.
When he’s not performing on stage or making music in his own personal recording studio, he is spending time with the love of his life- His daughter.

Antoine Boderick (Ty’s birth name) and I talked for a good while over some Curry Chicken. He made a lasting impression on me as someone who will always be true to himself and the music he invents.
Here’s how it all went down:
Where did you grow up? Where are you from?
Ty: Charlotte, NC
Where have you been and do you have a favorite place to visit?
TY: I love to get away every chance I get although Charlotte is my home. I‘ve done shows in just about every single state. I haven’t been to Texas yet though. But I have been everywhere else.
Do you have a favorite state that you have visited? Is there a state that you went to and said that you had to return there?
Ty: Well New York and ATL probably show the most love but Virginia showed my digital unit sales the most love. So I get more sales in VA but I get the most love presence wise and state wise in NY and ATL.
What was your upbringing like? How did you know you wanted to get into music?
Ty: I have said this in a couple of my songs, I was really into New York rap and I was also into Outcast. Goodie Mob came out with a song called “Black Ice” that featured Outkast. Biggie came out with a song called “who shot you?” Cassidy and all those guys who were spitting actual lyrics, it just kind of done something to me so I used to always think about it and dream about it. And I would sit on the back of the bus; I was always on the back since I was the first stop and I would always pic my seat. And I would dream about it. I would be thinking of rap and thinking of bars every time I woke up and every time I went to sleep.
I turned into a battle rapper. I didn’t know anything about a studio or anything like that so guess what; I unleashed my fury on the people in the lunch room every day. I will kill them every day. I was known as the punchline king. The next thing you know I was being taken to all of these lounges and I met all of these legendary battle rappers and they were winning like major competitions with Eminem and those guys. I was slaughtering them but we became good friends and they was like you need to take your talent to the booth and that the battle stuff may not get me that far. A guy name Hook put me in a booth with a guy named LD. I got my very first track and it’s a battle rap track. People liked my music and I was like this is what I’m going to do and the rest is history.
When you talk about battle rap can you recall someone that came up against you that gave you a run for your money?
Ty: Wyle E. Vinyl was probably the only one that ever gave me a run for my money because he was the top reigning champ in the whole state of NC. He was doing the I Challenge I King Battles. It was a major website. There were guys like Eminem being in these. He came from this and this is how he got worldwide recognition. Wyle E was probably the best challenger I ever had but I slaughtered him too. I really think it’s a battle sport and I love it! It’s like a walk in the park for me. I bring that passion with it. When I perform I shut stuff down!
So let me ask you this, with there being so many great female rappers, how do you feel about female rappers being in the game? Are you into helping them?
Ty: If anybody got their budget together, I’m all for it. I help people get shows if they are just coming to NC and don’t know where to start, I can help them out with that. I got plugs everywhere. I help anybody but as far as dedicating a lot of time to their actual career, its not happening. My main focus is on me and what I’m trying to do. I have helped others so much to the point that I put what I needed to do for me to the side. I have true passion and my passion is real for what I do. Like; I can’t get away from it even if I tried. That’s why I opened up my own studio because I wanted to be able to record if I wake up at 4 in the morning I want to go to the studio and drop what I dreamt about right on the spot. My first studio was in my living room and Mary J Blige gave me my first set up.
So how did that come to be?
Ty: One of my closest friends is a guy named Robilah who was signed to Sony and Tommy Matolla ran the whole Sony label which was RCA back then. Mariah Carey had just been signed and they got a million dollar advancement. There were some mishaps that involved Mariah Carey and so Tommy Mottola fired everybody. That threw my friends budget out of the window and groups got disbanded. We ended up at Mary’s house and she said she had all of this equipment that she didn’t even want. She had mixing boards, microphones, computers, interface and a lot of other stuff. She told us to take what we wanted. I took whatever I could fit into the car. But when I got home, I didn’t even touch it for a long time because it looked so complicated. I decided that I was going to force myself to learn this stuff. Mom had took the car so I had no choice but to learn it and when I did,, Maan…I was ready! I finally have my studio.

So with your success like the songs and the commercials have your friends changed?
Ty: Well some of my friends have gotten more famous than me and I don’t even consider myself famous. I keep my circle small. I’m coolin and I don’t want to be famous I’m not into all of that. Plus I do so many services that the individual can benefit off of. I have kept my circles small.
Let’s talk about religion a little bit. Some people would like to say that they are more spiritual than religious. What would you say?
Ty: I believe in a higher power. I go to a Baptist Church – Jesus Christ Holiness Church and I believe that God works in everybody life individually and I know for a fact that there definitely is a higher power. I almost know for a fact, it is a higher power. It protects me at all times and I have walked away from things that I shouldn’t have. I have made decisions that I myself felt like I didn’t choose to do. Like planning to go to a party and then for some reason or another couldn’t make it and the next thing you hear as that there was a shooting at that party. I definitely believe in a higher power.

How do you feel about what’s being played on the radio today? Do you think it’s a good direction of Hip Hop?
Ty: No! I don’t think anybody feels that. The only people that like it are the kids so they can turn up and do the dance called “The Folk” I ain’t trippin but they ain’t saying nothing. They got something called Mumble Rap that’s out now.. What is that? Maybe I should start doing that since that’s what’s selling now. I bet if I came out with something saying “Don’t Smoke and Stay in School” I wouldn’t sell no units at all but it’s the parents fault too. They are doing all the complaining but they are letting their kids listen to this.

Do you feel that it’s because of the way the industry is ran now? How artist have to do certain things to get their songs played on the radio.
Ty: Yes and I have heard stories about people who have done crazy things in order to get a song played. None of that will ever happen over here. I’m not performing any homosexual acts in order to get my music played. Here is the thing. The world is getting smaller and music is getting dumber and I think they are trying to kill the Black voice. You got BET that doesn’t exist anymore and was bought out by Viacom which is a White company. You have people like Bill Cosby who as soon as he was getting ready to buy it, all of a sudden all of these women come out saying he drugged and raped them. The only other person who was powerful enough to buy it was Oprah but she has her own network now that is not dedicated to music at all.

What’s next for you?
So we have a single called “Man of the Year” it’s picking up some really good traction right now and we are going to release that. Then we have another one we are going to drop in the next couple of days called “Party” We have a few singles that we are trying to drop. My first single called taken off did 55 thousand units independently. We went through ITunes and CD Baby and sold 55,000 units and that’s really good for an independent artist with no budget. We shot a nice video that people really liked and that put me on tour with Rick Ross, Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane. I kept promoting that song and sold that many units. I got a good team behind me. Everybody is working and we are on one accord. We grinding.
You don’t strike me as the kind of artist that will do almost anything for a dollar. You are definitely about doing your research and you are going to make the best decision for you and the music you put out and I think we need more of that in music especially our music.
So what I would like for you to do now is for you to tell the people where they can see you perform and also provide your social media handles.
Ty: We got shows all over. We got stuff coming up in Miami, Greensboro, NY, and ATL everywhere! We are going to be everywhere!
My main website is www.tystatz.com and all of my social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn is Ty Statz.