After an energetic, show stopping performance to a packed house at Jocelyn Rivera’s New Age showcase, I got to catch up with East New York’s own Controverse. The Brooklyn rapper’s charming personality was apparent from the moment we met, but make no mistake, his confidence and talent goes unmatched. Our conversation was real, funny, and motivating, just like his music.
How long have you been performing?
“Performing, performing seriously, I would say six years. But rapping since I was 12, singing since I was 8.”
Listening to your music I can tell that you’re versatile, how do you think that has helped your artistry?
“As long as you really want to be an artist, the versatility is gonna be there because it’s art you just create whatever comes to your mind so the versatility is gonna be there. You know what the problem is today? People are not artist! So when you see real artist the versatility’s gonna stand out because today, today’s time with hip-hop and rap and music, the artists are not really doing it. They’re not artists, they’re entertainers and they’re doing others things, so you know they’re one dimensional, I’ll say.”
But what you just performed was also entertainment too, so you just gotta find a way to fuse the two, right?
“Yes, to be able to entertain a crowd and still let them know that your music is serious and you need to be taken serious. I don’t be knowin how to explain these things cause I really just be having fun, like this is something I always wanted to do from a baby you know, from young”
You’re from East New York [Brooklyn], how did that shape your sound?
“I think being from East, just being from the raw, from the street, when I was growing up that’s all I really seen and that’s all I’ve known so I can’t paint you a fairy tale of you know, what you expect me to be cause that’s not what I am, you know. I represent a black man first.”
You call yourself “Raps New Bully”- explain that title a little:
“Um, I bully these niggas, I bully these rap niggas, none of them want it, you see the name has not been taken from me, it has not been taken down! You know what it is, every time I’m working on a new project or it’s a new era of me I bring a new… a new something. Last project was King Contch, I was the King of this rap shit, now I’m just bullying this rap shit because I feel like a lot of people are just getting by. Nobody is actually putting in the hard work. And you know another thing, a lot of these bitches is dumb, they don’t have the intellect they can’t really create a metaphor, so that’s the problem.
Would you title one of your project’s “Raps New Bully”?
“Hmm, I don’t wanna give you guys too much! But um, I would say “Rap’s Bible” is first. “Raps Bible” is first, and then probably, maybe, “Raps New Bully.”
The confidence that you give off when you’re rapping, I know that comes from yourself and what you’ve been through, but who has also, as far as artists, been a big influence on you?
“As far upcoming?”
Anyone, you can tell Lil Kim..
“Yeah, Lil Kim, Foxy, um Jadakiss. Love Jadakiss, that’s my father. Um Usher, Nicki Minaj. Just the whole real rap era is what I’m inspired by, I was born in 95. Um, yeah just that whole era, the new millennium, like early on. But the upcoming I would say people like Quality, I really do like him, I like Bamvito, I like him as well um, people just doin they thing and just keep grindin. I don’t really like to watch too much of the upcomers because I don’t want nobody saying I’m taking they shit, cause I’m not but yeah”
You seem to have a really solid fanbase, they were hanging off word for word-
“It’s shocking! This was a lot that people know the words or was going off with me, so I’m thankful for them”
What’s next for you as an artist?
“Um, modeling cause I’m losing a lot of weight (laughs) so modeling. Shoutout to the plus-size I can do that as well. Just modeling, more music, projects, videos, I’m just bout to take it by storm, I can’t I can’t play no more. I came to fuck these niggas heads up, shout out to the bitches, ya’ll bitches can get it too though”
What inspires you? What keeps you going?
“My friends, everyday life, um I need a blunt right now. (laughs) Just my friends and everyday life. My friends are a lot of different personalities so the energy I breathe it in and it just comes out”
Controverse definitely has The New Mvmt co-sign! We can’t wait to see what he does next.
Listen to Controverse’ “East New York Da Mixtape” project below:
Interviewed & Written By: @chrissydru_