Wednesday, December 24, 2008
MY CHAT WITH SEXY GAY RAPPER
For years, many rappers have emerged from New York, California, Atlanta, Florida and the U.K., but rapper Bry’nt plans on putting Conneticut on the Hip-Hop map. Since bursting on the scene, the rapper is becoming one of the Gay community’s hottest rappers, with his rhymes, swagger, and his looks (the brother is sexy as heaven). He’s appeared in an online Gay Hip-Hop documentary, and performed at Esculitas and at the Our Youth benefit concert a few weeks ago, promoting his mix tape “Porn Star.” I had the opportunity meet him at the Our Youth concert and take a flick with him, and a few weeks later, I had a chance to speak to this sexy, professional and intelligent rapper via telephone, while he was finishing his Christmas shopping, where he spoke about his life, career, his feelings about the music industry.
SHAWN: THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO INTERVIEW YOU. HOW ARE THINGS GOING SO FAR?
BRY’NT: Well, “Porn Star” the mix tape has over 125 downloads, which is very good for an undiscovered independent artist and “Porn Star” 2 is gonna come out in the spring right before the album comes out. Everything is going well. I have a couple of songs coning out in a few porno movies.
SHAWN: HOW DID YOU GET INTO RAP?
BRY’NT: Well in junior high school, I had this friend who rapped, and she was real good, She could draw attention where she was at by rapping, and I wanted to emhabit that same ability, you know what I mean, like to express myself to attract attention and I though that rapping was the only way that I could express myself the best.
SHAWN: I READ YOUR BIO ON YOUR MYSPACE PAGE AND YOU WERE ALSO A PART OF A GROUP CALLED 3RD CHAPTER, AM I CORRECT?
BRY’NT: No. 3rd Degree. That’s the group me and my junior high school friend started. Me and him started a group together. We were 14 and 15.
SHAWN: YOU ALSO MERGED WITH AN R&B GROUP AS WELL.
BRY’NT: Oh yeah (both laughs). Actually 3rd Degree merged with an R&B group, and it turned into two rappers and two singers; it was an up and coming R&B group at the time that I was friends with one of the members so it became two and two and later, it was me and the two singers, but after a while, the two singers weren’t getting along with each other. So ended up parting ways. I mean there’s still love between all of us, but we weren’t gelling well.
SHAWN: IS THAT WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO BECOME A SOLO ARTIST?
BRY’NT: Well not really. I probably was (like) 16 when the group disbanded, and I was still writing rhymes. When I was in college, one of my friends knew I could rap and he was like ‘you know, it’ll be hot if you was a gay rapper right?’ You know what I mean? That’s when I started to pursue it seriously.
SHAWN: I’VE LISTENED TO YOUR CD AND I NOTICED THAT YOU RAP ABOUT VARIOUS TOPICS INCLUDING SEX, PARTYING AND DEALING WITH GUYS WHO CLAIM TO BE SINGLE, YET THEY BE ON THE DOWN LOW. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO RAP ABOUT THOSE TOPICS?
BRY’NT: (Laughs) The mix tape I say is 90% of my real life. You know what I mean? Every song it’s a idea or thought I had in my life. Being a deeivent individual; being an Gay Black male inspired me to write most of that stuff. Being in a relationship and stuff like that.
SHAWN: HOW WAS YOU ABLE TO COPE WITH YOUR SEXULAITY BEING A PART OF A HIP-HOP/R&B GROUP WITH 3 HETEROSEXUAL MALES?
BRY’NT: Um, I did what most Black men do at that age; I just kept it a secret. It was mostly a situation I kept behind closed doors and (just) dealt with it by myself. I didn’t embrace my sexuality until I graduated high school. I wasn’t so much ashamed anymore.
SHAWN: SINCE YOU’VE BEEN PERFORMING AS A GAY RAPPER HAVE YOUR FOUNT IT HARD TO BE ACCEPTED?
BRY’NT: No, not yet. I haven’t come across any bumps in the road yet because I’ve been going towards my target audience, which is the gay community, so it’s not like I was going to straight clubs trying to perform and sell my CD’s to straight people. Know what I mean? I was on the radio; the shade 45 morning show. They wanted me to freestyle and they thought I wasn’t gonna be good, but after they heard me rap, that’s when they kinda accepted me as a gay artist.
SHAWN: ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS ARE “NUTTIN’ BUT NIKES” WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THAT SONG?
BRY’NT: (Both laughs) Nuttin’ But Nikeys. I’m glad you like it.
BRY’NT: It’s about a dude getting caught by a female in a compromising situation with another man. (laughs)
BRY’NT: You asked what’s the inspiration right?
BRY’NT: Life (both laughs). That’s one of the only songs that has fictional elements, but it’s real.
SHAWN: ANOTHER FAVORITE IS “SHIT YOU LIKE. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO SPIT OVER THAT JAY-Z/ISLEY BROTHERS CLASSIC AND FROM YOUR OPINION, WHY DOES THE ISLEY BROTHERS' CLASSIC "BETWEEN THE SHEETS“ HAVE AN APPEAL WITH THE URBAN MUSIC COMMUNITY?
BRY’NT: The beat is hot. The Isley Brothers are phenomomus with Black love and Black romance. That’s why I think it’s popular among Black people, and I thought the beat was hot. Jay-Z had already did “Ignorant Shit” and I decided to put my own spin on it because the song it says
I got that ignorant shit you like
Nigga fuck shit.
I took that hook from Jay-z because I do make songs with a positive message people aren’t gonna cling to it the way they cling to my other songs like “Porn Star.” They wanna hear me talk about sex and stuff. They don’t wanna hear me talk about positive things, that why I make that song I got that ignorant shit cause I do. I do have those type of songs, but I do have positive songs as well as you know. You heard the entire mix tape.
SHAWN: ANOTHER FAVORITE IS "SEX,MONEY,DRUGS" WHICH DEALS WITH YOUNG KIDS GETTING WITH OLDER DUDES WHO HAVE MONEY, BLING, AND ROCKS THE TIMBS AND JORDANS WHO GIVES THEM SEX AND MONEY INSTEAD ON MENTORING AND NUTURING. WHAT INSPIRED THAT SONG AND IS THAT STILL PREVIDENT IN THE GAY COMMUNITY?
BRY’NT: It’s actually my favorite too, but “Sex Drugs Money," it’s a true story and like I’m talking about one person. It’s actually a combination of three people that I’m talking about. I think that young Black Gay men who keep their sexuality a secret they don’t know the healthy way to date so If they meet a man and he has money and he’s giving them money, they think it’s love, or if he’s having sex with you, they think that’s love, or if he’s keeping you fresh and keeping you high, they think that’s love. That’s not love. You can be tricked. You can be screwed. It happens all the time. They get love and material things mixed up. They get love and lust mixed up. It still happens to young Black men and even young Black girls. It happens to them.
SHAWN: YOU PERFORMED AT ESCULITAS LAST MONTH. WHAT WAS IT LIKE PERFORMING AT THAT LEGENDARY CLUB?
BRY’NT: I love Escculitas (laughs). Harmonica Sunbeam has been nothing but kind to me since I met her. I actually performed there this past summer and I performed at the diva search, and she found me on my space and asked me to come again. I love Esculitas, It was one of the first Gay clubs I went to when I was 18 or 19, and I like it there. I like Harmonica. That’s my girl.
SHAWN: YOU ALSO PERFORMED AT THE OUR YOUR AIDS BENEFIT WITH THE KIDS. WHAT WAS IT LIKE PERFORMING WITH THE KIDS?
BRY’NT: Well, I performed with the kids at Langstons in Brooklyn and it was the first time I performed in front of teenagers before and they had so much love for me. I guess they never saw anybody like myself who was comfortable with their sexuality and some body they can relate to. You know what I mean? And though my music isn’t for them, they still cling to me and saw me as a role model. They ignored the fact I have these adult (I laugh) songs. They ignored that. They’re in love with the fact that he’s doing it; he’s just like me. I loved performing for them. I think it’s important to look out for the kids; look out for those who are HIV positive. People shut our Gay kids. People shut out people who are HIV positive people. People shut out Gay people, so that was important to me.
SHAWN: YOU MADE AN INTERESTING POINT ABOUT THE KIDS ADMIRING GAY RAPPERS AND SINGERS, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE THE OPEN RAPPERS AND SINGERS WHO ARE DOING THEIR THANG HAVE PROBLEMS GETTING BOOKED AT CLUBS, BUT PEOPLE WILL HIRE AND BOOK DRAG QUEENS. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
BRY’NT: I think the whole genre is still new. That’s all. Once industry people realize there’s money in the Gay rap genre and the Gay rap industry; once they realize it attracts people and people spend their money then it’ll be easy Like you say, people will pay to see drag queens. You know what I mean. Once they see Gay rappers and singers pulls crowd, then that’s when it’s gonna blow up.
SHAWN: I HAVE TO ADMIT YOU’RE AN ATTRACTIVE AND SEXY YOUNG FELLA. WHEN FEMALES FIND OUT YOU’RE A GAY MALE AND GAY RAPPER, DO YOU GET REACTIONS LIKE DAMN WHY YOU GOTTA BE GAY?
BRY’NT: Yeah (both laugh). It is what it is. I can’t control what I’m attracted to, you know. I just have to let them know this is what it is. I’m attracted to dudes. It’s not like I volunteered to do this; I was made this way.
SHAWN: YOU MENTIONED EARLIER SOME OF YOUR SONGS ARE GOING TO BE IN SOME PORN FILMS. AM I CORRECT?
SHAWN: DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONES SO I CAN KEEP AN EYE OUT?
BRY’NT: You know my song “Porn Star” right?
BRY’NT: OK. “Porn Star” has a remix which was produced by a producer by Tramont and the remix is gonna be in a porno. I don’t know the title yet, but the porno is by Forbidden Funk productions and they came out with one called “Grind.” I don’t know which one of my songs is gonna be in, but I’ll let you know when I get a hold of that information.
SHAWN: YOU’VE ALSO TOOK PART IN AN ONLINE GAY HIP-HOP DOCUMENTARY. HOW DID YOU GET INVOVLED AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING A PART OF IT?
BRY’NT: I was very proud to be asked to do it because I didn’t even think people knew who I was. You know ? (laughs). I was just happy; I met Lester Greene. I was happy that he embraced me; another artist. That’s rare for another artist to embrace each other. I was just proud to be on there and say what I had to say and get my little bit of knowledge on what’s going on in the world of Gay Hip-Hop.
SHAWN: IN ADDITION TO RAPPING, DO YOU HAVE OTHER CAREER GOALS IN THE FUTURE?
BRY’NT: Right now, I’m in school. I’m trying to finish my degree. I wanna be a nurse if I can’t eat off my rap career, so I’m trying to finish my degree. I have one more year to go. Other than that, I model here and there. My career goals involve with my music, putting out more and more material and trying to perform more and more places.
SHAWN: IF YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO PERFORM WITH ANY MAINSTREAM ARTIST, WHO IT WOULD BE AND WHY?
BRY’NT: I would have to say Mary. Mary J. Blige comes to mind. When she came out I was a kid, and she was singing how I felt. You know what I mean?
SHAWN: Me too. I was in college when she first came out.
BRY’NT: Right. So I was like Mary is was sup. I wanna work with her. She was one of the artists that I felt was talking inside my heart so I wanna work with her.
SHAWN: HOW DO YOU THINK YOU’RE MAKING AN IMPACT ON THE GAY COMMUNITY AND HIP-HOP COMMUNITY?
BRY’NT: As far as the Gay community, I raised the bar as far as what is expected from the Gay Hip-Hop artists. As far as the Hip-Hop community goes, it changed the fane of rappers, you know what I mean. Not every rapper is a drug dealer. An ex-drug dealer. Everybody got a story. It’s hard to explain. I fee like I’m something different in the Hip-Hop community. Diversity is the main thing.
SHAWN: BRY’NT YOU MADE AN INTERESTING POINT. THE INDUSTRY ALWAYS SAY THEY WANT RAPPERS TO KEEP IT REAL AND BE TRUE TO THEMSELVES.
BRY’NT: Right! And I’m keeping it real. I’m being real; a Black Man’s life has yet to be told by rap artists completely. Like all we hear about how they sell drugs. What about the ones that are Gay and Bisexual? We’re missing elements to our lives in our music.
SHAWN: I’M 37 AND REMEMBER WHEN HIP-HOP WAS COMING UP. YOU HAD DIVERSITY. YOU HAD POLITICAL RAP. YOU HAD FUN RAP, AND SEXUAL RAP. NOW IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYBODY IS BEING FORCED TO JUMP ON THE BAND WAGON.
BRY’NT: Right. It's unfortante.
SHAWN: WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT FIVE OR TEN YEARS?
BRY'NT: Hopefully, I'll be in music. That's what I want to do. I might have a family. I might depending on the next few years, I might have a career path in music or I'll have a career as a nurse.
SHAWN: WHATEVER CAREEP PATH YOU CHOOSE, YOU'LL MAKE ALOT OF PEOPLE HAPPY.
BRY'NT: (Both laugh) I hope so. I wanna help people. That's all I wanna be doing is helping people.
SHAWN: YOU'RE GONNA BE GOING TO CALI NEXT MONTH. ARE YOU EXCITED?
BRY'NT: Yes. I've never been to Los Angelas. I've neverr been to Cali period. The farthest west I've ever been is Las Vegas. So I'm excited to ge going there for the first time. Actually, I was supposed to be going on vacation just to go for un, but it turned into a business trip and recording a song, hopefully.
SHAWN: WHAT IS YOUR STYLE OF HIP-HOP?
BRY'NT: My style is life fun, shocking, edgy. I rap hard. My life is deviant; the way I rap is hard. Rugged. The music is shocking; you can dance to it. Some of it is real sad. Some of it is sexy. It's colorful. You can't expect the same thing from me. All the songs are not the same. They may have the same vibe, but it's different from each other.
SHAWN: YOU'RE BASED IN CONNECTICUT RIGHT?
BRY'NT: The situation is I go to school in Conneticut, but I'm usually back and forth here and in Connecuit. My management is out of New York, however I grew up in H60, which is Hartford Connecticut.
SHAWN: WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP THERE?
BRY'NT: Hartford is one of the most violent cities in the U.S. Alot of the West Indians when they come to this country move to Hartfield. It's very poor and it's a very homophobic city, so it's very poor; it's not a situation where there's alot of surburbss. When I was born, my family lived in Hartford for a few years. We moved around because we kept getting robbed. We ended up moving to a town called Bloomfield, which is outside of Hartfield; it's more calm. I call it a Black surburb and so when I was a teenager, I used to be in Hartford. You know what I mean? There's alot of negative things going on; people selling drugs, prosituting, fighting.
SHAWN: YOU CAME OUT FROM THAT SITUATION FINE.
BRY'NT: She (Bry'nt's mother) moved me away from that enviorment. She moved me to where I was able to have a decent childhood, where I didn't have to turn into a hustler, and stuff like that. I had the space and opportunity to go to school, but when I became a teenager, I was still rebelious because of the gay thing, that brought me back to the hood. Back to the streets, because I what's where I felt the place I felt comfortable. I was a good boy going bad (both laugh).
SHAWN: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A GAY KID WHO WANTS TO PURSUE A CAREER AS AN OPEN GAY RAPPER?
BRY'NT: Well, first of all, they have to swallow their fears; there's gonna be alot of backlash. Gay people already got gay bashers in their everyday lives. They're gonna kiss them because of their sexuality. People wanna fight; you can't be afraid of nothing. Just don't let people walk over you either. Just cuz you're gay doesn't mean you have to be stepped on. Develop a tough skin and swallow all your fears.