Tallahassee based rap artist and globetrotter Dry Ice is our next exclusive interviewee. Dry Ice just dropped a new mixtape entitled "International Ice" so it's only right that we connect with him to find out more about project, his international travels, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Dry Ice, be sure to stream/download the "International Ice" mixtape, share it with some friends and then follow him on his social media streams and tell him what you did to support his music and movement.
Tell us about how you got to this point as an artist where you have released your latest project "International Ice". How did you start writing rhymes and what motivated you to take it to the next level and make your music available for public consumption?
Hip hop music has always felt second nature to me. I probably wrote my first rhyme when I was 8. Of course it was horrible, but I was living the culture, so I was satisfied. By the time I got to college, I was surrounded by some top notch MC's. I was in a rap group that took the opportunity to perform in any and every talent show we could find. Everybody in the group was more polished than me as far as recording and being a marketable recording artist. We were all miscreants though, lol. Everybody was focused on running the streets. I was the only one in the group from North Florida so I had access to trouble on a different level than everybody else and I gladly obliged. It took me a while to get focused again and record a cohesive project. I decided to release a complete body of work to galvanize the entire Give Us The Strength travel show brand. I noticed I was still walking around Tallahassee and bumping into people on occasion that wanted to know if I had any new music out. I just got tired of disappointing people, I guess! It felt like the universe was telling me to get in the studio.
Describe your creative process for the mixtape and what does the title of the mixtape "International Ice" mean?
The meaning of International Ice is pretty much cut and dry. I am Ice and over the years, I've become well known for traveling. At the end of every episode of Give Us The Strength we shoot, I close things out with a freestyle. People have been asking me for years to record an entire project and it felt like traveling was the only thing giving me fresh ideas and a unique perspective. The mixtape is travel inspired but I'm not just standing in front of a mic talking about all the places I've visited. Instead, I opted to address some of the ways my travel life affects my home life. Songs like "Rooster Crow" address how being on the road so much will destroy a relationship if you are with somebody too insecure. Another song titled "Everythang" addresses the sense of hopelessness I get from sharing some of my life changing experiences with people that see absolutely no value in my passion for seeing the world, lol. I'm fortunate enough that my creative process can be pretty slow. I just walk around with a seed of an idea and let it grow until I can't take it anymore. It's the closest I'll come to being pregnant. I get song pregnant and go to the studio to deliver. My recording sessions are pretty lame though. I'm not one of those MC's that throws a party at the studio to record. I'm in and out. I can record 2 songs with an hour of studio time easily.
When most people think about the urban music scene in Tallahassee, T-Pain comes to mind. Describe the scene for Rap and RnB/Soul in your hometown from your vantage point.
Tallahassee is unique because it's a college town. Talent comes and goes in droves, so the fanbase can be kind of fickle. There is a big chasm between the fans of that quintessential party oriented booty shake music and the fans of more traditional boom bap lyric driven hip hop. The artists that do the best are the ones that find a way to blend lyricism with that Florida energy. It's funny you ask that question because I was just asking some of my boys if they think there is a such thing as "The Tallahassee Sound". I think if you get within 100 miles of the city, you'll definitely be able to feel it.
List all the places you have traveled internationally and where is your favorite destination thus far. Where's next?
Oh too many to name. I've lived in Tallahassee forever but I am actually an army brat. I grew up all over the place including 3 years in Germany. My favorite destination thus far is Valencia, Spain. I went for Tomatina about 3 years ago. The food was amazing, the women were beautiful and the people were friendly. The city was unique because they have found a way to weave contemporary architecture around some structures that have been around since medieval times. I already have a trip to Japan and Argentina planned this year. We're looking to add at least one more, preferably two.
What advice would you give someone, especially an African American, who has never traveled internationally before but has the desire to?
Travel with an open mind. The mental weight that we carry in the states doesn't apply internationally. Find a place to hang some of those worries up so you can be fully immersed in a new culture. I would also say I am motivated to travel because I desire the wisdom that comes with a shift in perspective. I travel because the easiest way for me to have a shift in perspective is to literally shift my body. That doesn't have to be the case for everybody though. We all have places in and around our hometowns that we just haven't bothered to visit yet. I would start with some domestic day trips. If you turn right all the time, spend a Saturday turning left and see what else is out there. You'd be surprised who you meet and what is truly available to you.