Brandon Blvd is a talented rap artist from Memphis, who In 2016, released his mixtape “Vengeance is Mine: Memoirs of a Lost Soul” to the public, which yielded tremendous support and allowed him to begin generating local recognition. Apart from his career as a rapper, he is the founder of “Stay Hungry,” a growing clothing collective and brand, and of the movement and recording label Problematic Nation.
We connected with Brandon Blvd for an exclusive interview to discuss his DOPE new single “The Blinds”, which will appear on his upcoming album "Hunger Pains”. We also pick Brandon Blvd’s brain on what we can expect from the “Hunger Pains” album itself, as well as why he feels it’s better to be the boss of Stay Hungry and Problematic Nation as opposed to a check recipient.
After reading our Q&A with the Memphis based emcee, be sure to connect with him on his website and social media, and get your mind right for his “Hunger Pains” album!
Major salute to you on the release of your new single "The Blinds". What motivated you initially to write the song, and who produced it?
I appreciate that so much! I came up with the idea for the record when I was writing another song of mine inside a dark room in my friend’s apartment. She came in and literally opened the blinds and that threw me completely off and took me out of my zone. However, it gave me an idea to talk about how we often get distracted and thrown of course when we essentially open the blinds.
Opening the blinds could mean listening to doubtful opinions of others, letting naysayers get in your head etc. “The Blinds” was produced by RicandThadeus and engineered by Lj1S Productions.
"The Blinds" is a featured track on your upcoming album "Hunger Pains"; what can you tell us about the album? Is "The Blinds" indicative of what we can expect from the album thematically and sonically?
Let me first start by saying “Hunger Pains” will be an instant classic. I know I’m extremely biased when I say that but I’ve been working on the album for over a year now, making sure that conceptually and sonically, the overall vibe is thorough as possible.
The album is an illustration of the intersection of pain and faith. It’s an album describing the constant battle for righteousness and having to realize that true righteousness is found in resilience. You can expect to hear production from Lj1S Productions, RicandThadeus, and Kelly Portis, with features from Virghost, Tyke T, Morgan Bosman & Mai Ty.
What led you to create the Stay Hungry clothing collective and brand, and the movement and recording label Problematic Nation?
The Stay Hungry Clothing Collective came about after I launched a freestyle series called “Stay Hungry Sunday’s”. Every single Sunday I did a cover to my fans and supporters recommended beats and instrumentals. After I remained consistent in this for about a year, I ended up deciding to launch it as the official brand.
As far as Problematic Nation LLC, I launched this company back in 2012. My goal was to create a media platform focusing on hip-hop, urban art, urban cuisine, and overall uplifting and embracing black culture.
Following up on the last question, why is it better for you to be a boss as opposed to someone who wears a shirt or records a song for a check?
That’s a dope question. I feel as though as an entrepreneur I’ve realized that no matter how tiresome, depressing, and financially draining it is to be your own boss, I wouldn’t want to put my destiny or capacity in anyone else’s hands but my own.
When most rap fans think about Memphis, Three Six Mafia and that sound that they created is the first thing that comes to mind. When someone listens to your music or you tell them that you are from Memphis, are they surprised?
Honestly, I get that a lot! People are always surprised that I’m from Memphis. The main thing I want people to take away from my catalog is to NEVER put limits on what Memphis music sounds like. Some of the most versatile and creative artists I know, are right here in Memphis. You have producers like LJ1S, Kingpin Da Composer, or Sunny Dizzle who can make something that has that traditional dark Memphis sound that most are familiar with, but at the same time have that soulful sound that Memphis is also known for.