Rick Hnter on “Wait 4 Me” and Musical Artistry

Active since 2012, Rick Hnter has been forging his way through the music scene as a vocal talent and producer over the past few years. Based out of Houston, he’s been making his mark in its underground scene as well as collaborating with some of Maryland’s artists. Over the past few weeks he’s released a couple of singles for his upcoming EP “Wait 4 Me”, and plans to get the ball rolling with other releases.

You’ve been busy with a lot of different projects over the years, but at the same time quiet. Why is that?

Rick Hnter: I was skeptical of what route I actually wanted to take… like, “should I go the R&B way, or rap/hip-hop way… Or should I just ride these waves until I get on, then find my own lane. So I just kept working, and now I feel like I know which route I want to go musically.

Oh I see… You’ve got talent in both singing and rapping, so you was trying to figure out how to leverage both?

Rick: Basically, or just find a balance between the two. ‘Cause I never liked being called a rapper or singer. It limits me to just one category you know? And I didn’t want to take the Drake or Kendrick way ’cause I don’t like being compared either (laughs). So it’s like I had to blend the rapper and singer in me with a touch of my own style so I can be my own artist, not someone else I’ve been influenced by.

Hey I respect that because a lot of emerging artists get caught up in their influences.

Exactly! And I peeped that. It’s so hard for artists to be themselves when they take the same route as other artists, you know? And that happens a lot out her in Houston. I don’t want to name drop, but it’s a lot of cats out here trying to sound like a better version of the next guy; but it’s all the same thing, and people gravitate to it temporarily until the next artist sounds like them (laughs). It’s a repeating cycle that I hope to break when these projects release this year.

Yeah I feel like the culture needs to be shaken up. So how does being yourself and balancing your talents influence your creative process?

Being yourself is where the originality comes from. And that plays a key part into creativity. Without originality, it’ll just be a recycle or an imitation. And the balance between talents gives audiences the diversity and shows how much of an impact you can make musically. Plus, most of the artists that sing and rap have longevity in their music career. That’s how I plan on getting and staying in the music game.

You definitely see that with a lot of artists with longer careers. Speaking of that, your first single “Clit” is a good example [of you using both]. Appealing to the ladies I see.

Yeah man, and “Clit” was meant to be a banger, but I didn’t make it for that reason. Like the whole point of me dropping the four singles I dropped was to show my diversity in music. I can write hits. I can freestyle a song, I can sing, AND I can make beats and rap over them. I’m the whole package, and “Wait 4 Me” will show the singing side of that. Prey 4 Blacc will show the rapping side, and Nu Testament will break A LOT of genres. I also have a project called “Dualisms” I’m dropping this year too, it’s gonna be a beat tape of 4 tracks.

My man. Lots of stuff on the way from you. What is Blacc, by the way?

Yes sir! Blacc is an acronym for Belive Learn Achieve Create Conquer. I plan on investing in it to become my brand, and hopefully, my label in the future. Prey 4 Blacc is also the movie title to one of my films I plan on working on this year. I’m dabbling in a lot of things this year. I just hope everyone can keep up with the moves I’m making.

They should definitely be tuned in after you start with “Wait 4 Me”. What’s the release date for that?

Yeah man, “Wait 4 Me” is dropping February 14th, and has a lot of hits on it. But I’ll let the fans decide what they gravitate to the most, and ride that until Prey 4 Blacc is ready to drop. None of the singles I dropped are going to be on the tape [Wait 4 Me]. I’m thinking of putting Untitled 4 on there, but of course it’ll be different than what I already released.

Any closing statement for the people?

Yeah.

F** every rapper out right now, f*** the singers too. It’s Rick Hnter’s year… that is all.

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Cal Rips – Phor You

DC/Maryland hip-hop artists Cal Rips and Suede Moccasins team up to create something major. Cal Rips is a vet in the scene. Cal is also a member of the Kool Klux Klan, a collective out the DMV area that has consistently maintained relevance in the area and is claims a massive amount of talent. He’s known for consistently smashing verses in features. On the other hand, you’ve got Suede Moccasins, a Frozen 10-awarded producer who has crafted many of the most impressive instrumentals in the past couple of years. You put it together.

OWLKINGLORD – XXX XXX XXX the mixtape

The artist formerly known as Brandyn Jaye finally puts together his first project post new moniker. With the name change comes a whole new style to match. Several songs come with a gothic feeling, much akin to his genius dual single Second Circle/Angel. But then it also wavers back into his original, less-dark style.

M.J. Withers – Past Times and Hard Liquor

Past times and hard liquor, it gets realer. You ain’t never heard nobody exemplify the dark and deep sound like M.J. Withers. Few artists can summon such passion, and emotion in their stuff. Additional M.J. has an incredible composing talent with putting the right sounds in the right places.

Kwes da Natty Jedi – R*O*T*I

Audial epics by ST3 rapper, Kwes da Natty Jedi. Yo boy chills, spits, swags, and flows his way through this 8-track EP. He establishes himself in more than one type of sound, which is commendable in itself. You also get a piece of Kwes the man, in his personal life. It goes deeper than just talking trash on tracks. Features Frozen 10 awardees, CJ the Genesis and Suede Moccasins, among others .

Itz My Single Picks (5/13)

No intro needed.

Doughmars does it again with his new track 24k. On this track he uses a consistent rhyme schemes and powerful vocabulary to express a player, you-can’t-touch-me type of demeanor. The production on here is also impressive with its old-school, cinematic sound with an intentional lo-fi quality that helps define the term “retroyork” which Mars describes his music as.

Southern artist, Tito Lopez releases this glitzy-sounding single for his new mixtape called “Y.O.U”.  It’s one some come-up humble stuff as far as the content. He also has double features on this with Trae the Truth and Jameel. This is one of the better verses that I’ve heard from Trae lately, though he uses this flow in excess and Jameel shows up impressively as a relatively unknown rapper.

The Architect from the Flatbush Zombies drops a little track to show something new from the gang. It feels like forever since one of them have made or been on a track. Anyway, this song is super groovy, something to easily get you up out your seat and/or head bobbing. Erick also shows a recurring improvement in his delivery. Easy playlist spot.

OWLKINGLORD also makes a heavily entertaining song with this obnoxious and misogynistic track called “Decent” to be featured on his upcoming project called Black Bruce Lee. This song also features the talented emcee, Frostbite and is produced by Suede Moccasins who has tons of other impressive work. I’m interested to see what the KING comes up with in his next feature-length.