Interview with Candyman 187
Interview By: ESTAXX
We at KeepItTrill have the chance to interview one Candyman 187. Born in the 80s, Candyman was raised in Los Angeles with frequent trips to visit family in New York and D.C. A leading music industry influencer, Candyman 187’s music exudes the perfect blend of West Coast bravado and East Coast lyricism. As a hot-tempered youth, Candyman reevaluated his life and refocused his energy into becoming a revolutionary musician whose goal was to make an impact on anyone who would listen. With no boundaries in his lyrics, Candyman has an ability to bring different types of people together whether it is by race, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation. His lyrics bring a duality to Hip-Hop that goes unrivaled. During his early years, Candyman 187 was mentored by the legendary Tupac Shakur and Yaki Kadafi of The Outlawz. A strong bond developed amongst the trio, who then went on to form the group The Havenotz. Keep It Trill recently had the chance to sit down with Candyman 187 for this exclusive interview.
KeepItTrill.com: I would like to say thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us for this exclusive one on one interview. Let’s start this interview off by introducing yourself to the people that don’t already know who you are and where you from.
Candyman 187: The name’s Candyman 187, from the Havenotz. Representing Los Angeles. Appreciate you guys taking the time to give a brother some shine. Much respect, it means a lot.
KeepItTrill.com: How was it like growing up as a child in Los Angeles?
Candyman 187: Definitely an experience. I grew up in the West and East coast. Both coasts taught me a lot. I learned the streets in Los Angeles, got my hustle from New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. Having spent time on both coasts, I grew up in a melting pot of people. Blacks, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, Whites, Asians… it was definitely interesting to see different cultures and the differences and similarities within them. LA teaches you to not judge a book by it’s cover, we are very open to different types of people out here, it’s a diverse community and you hear that diversity, content wise and musically in my album.
KeepItTrill.com: On this site we keep it trill with our viewers…. Can you keep it “TRILL” with us and to our viewers! How was it to be mentored by the legendary Tupac Shakur?
Candyman 187: It was an honor, a blessing and gave me lessons I’ll continue you to follow for the rest of my life. Not just Pac, Kadafi, Mutulu Shakur, Sekou Odinga, Yaasmyn Fula, Hafiz Farid and many others who mentored me, as well as Pac and Kadafi. See people tend to forget this is bigger than all of us; this is about the struggle of all people, regardless of race.
KeepItTrill.com: I’ve heard people compare “Show Em’ All” to a Pac-like record. How does it feel to have your music be compared to that of a legend?
Candyman 187: It’s an honor, it’s flattering yet very scary. Those are big shoes to fill, and not I nor anybody else will be able to do that, nor am I trying to. It’s much love and respect. I hope that I can continue to give people the real music that legends before me did. I can only hope to even be mentioned in the same light as them. It’s an honor for real.
KeepItTrill.com: You are not the typical MC and DJ setup, you outshined national headliners with a 13 piece live band making sure that every last sound was heard and felt. Do you feel doing this is setting your apart from other rappers?
Candyman 187: God willing. That was the idea. It’s something about live music that no machine can recreate. A typical two track doesn’t quite do it. I learned this working with Digital Underground, George Clinton, and Rancid. Watching them along with MJ, Charlie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix and many others. I wanted people at my shows to get the full experience, Ears, Eyes, Mind – Music for the soul. Music is art; it’s only fair to feel every single piece of it. My rhymes without the right drum kick or guitar lick or bass note would not hold the same weight. I respect live musicians and incorporating it into my set I believe only made it better. Shout outs to Rod Castro, DJ Wicked, and Gregg Cash for making the live aspect possible. Seeing the reaction we have at shows is worth all the work, cause unlike a typical MC & DJ show it takes a lot more rehearsal and timing to have a full band perform. It’s tedious. But the end makes it well worth it. This doesn’t mean you won’t catch me doing MC & DJ sets… I love those just as much they are a part of our roots, but I am a competitor and I like making sure I’m the best in my ranks, I feel my band helps me do that.
KeepItTrill.com: Having won Album of the Year and Artist of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards. Do you think that The Havenotz prove that old school Hip-Hop still has a strong force in the Hip-Hop industry?
Candyman 187: I think the fans prove that Hip Hop, real hip-hop, is still a strong force in the industry. We are blessed and fortunate to be in the position we are, if it wasn’t for the fans, we would be nothing. Real music will never go away, artists need not be scared to stick to our roots and do what we do best. Music that touches people’s hearts will always be one of the strongest forces in the world. I know I got in this to change lives and help people, so I know my mission, I’m not going to change my music, I may do some songs that adapt to the current trends (i.e. “High Off The Fame: feat Snoop Dogg), but that’s just so radio will play my song and give me the chance to reach the masses with the music I really want out there. My album will shock a lot of people, there is dance and club songs on there, but there is a lot of real heart felt music. It’s partially what labels couldn’t figure out with me was how to market me or place me in a box. My thing is I’m a real person I don’t wake up every day happy, but I also don’t wake up everyday ready to shoot everyone. I experience a range of emotions and my album reflects every single one of them. Be prepared for the ride.
KeepItTrill.com: What can we expect from you in the near future?
Candyman 187: A lot more timeless music. Real Hip-Hop, the type of music that used to make you feel emotions, pain and hope… that gave you the strength to fight when you needed it the most. I love music so expect a lot of that from me. I’ll be dropping my double album, If Tomorrow Never Comes shortly so keep your ears open for that. Also a lot of charitable work, I was taught that unless you give back to the people you aren’t about shit. So stay on the look out. We can always use the love and support. Let’s bring unity back to our communities. Time to be real men and women, let’s stop with the excuses. Also I got a role in a feature film I’m about to start filming. I can’t give up too many details, but I’m one of the main characters and it’s going to be one of the dopest flicks out in a long time. Keep an eye out for me on the big screen.
KeepItTrill: If you had the opportunity to choose any artist to feature on a record who would it be and why?
Candyman 187: Dead – Marvin Gaye & Michael Jackson – They were geniuses and two of my idols. Those two revolutionized music as far as we know it. They paved the way for a lot of us. Much love and respect to them and their families.
Alive – It’d be a tie between Justin Timberlake – 50 Cent – Eminem – Prince – Elton John… Hahaha I know that’s a long list, but those would be the one’s I’d love to feature. All of them I respect and love musically and think are legends in their own rights. Musically they all have accomplished things I can only hope to. Prince, no question about it is one of the greatest musical talents of our time, I couldn’t say enough about him and Elton John. They are some of my inspirations. I would have had Snoop, Scarface, Jim Jones, Too Short, Richie Rich, and a few others on that list, but I have already worked with them and featured them on the album. I’m literally living my dreams and working with my idols as we speak. God has blessed me.
KeepItTrill: How you feel about hip-hop since Pac died?
Candyman 187: It has evolved, whether in a good or bad way? You decide. Hip-hop to me is still a lifestyle. Doesn’t matter how you dress, walk or talk. This is who we are and not what were trying to do, it’s all we know.
KeepItTrill: How can producers submit beats for your upcoming projects?
Candyman 187: Shoot ‘em to my direct email, I check all my beats personally. Candyman187@Candyman187.com … Were in the process of finishing the album up (by the end of October). If you got something hot you think might place on there, feel free to send it. If not, we always got the 2nd album and also Internet exclusives. I love working with hungry producers and artists. They are the reasons we succeed.
KeepItTrill: To wrap things up, can you tell us your definition of what it means to “Keep It Trill”?
Candyman 187: To be yourself. Be as real and true to yourself as possible. Keep it 100 with yourself and all those around you. Much love & respect.