Will you and your crew be the next featured in VH1’s hit series Black Ink Crew? Black Ink Crew is a reality show featuring a Black owned Harlem tattoo shop and it’s artist. In 2015 a spin off, Black Ink Crew Chicago was launched.
Casting directors for Black Ink Crew have released a casting call tattoo shops to represent their city on the TV show. The casting notice specifically is asking for neighborhood shops that work like a family. The show is looking for tattoo shop owners to represent their city for a chance to be the next VH1 Black Ink Crew.
Shops interested in the show can email a two minute video tour of shop — by your shop owner — telling us why your shop, your employees, and your city are worthy of Black Ink, ALSO send photos and introduction videos of the employees who would appear on camera. Submissions can be sent to us at email@example.com.
1.) Tell us Sicxfive, how did you start rapping and how long have you been perfecting your craft?
I started rapping from a base of poetry. I was always good with words and wordplay and loved the power of word usage.
In High School I was more the ghost writer and didn’t want the spot light. As I embraced my gifts I then started to enter open Mics and contest and freestyle on military bases. Once I got the good response that I received it just motivated me to go further.
2.) Who were/are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest influence musically were Biggie, Tupac, JayZ, Wu Tang, Outkast, NWA, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder.
Currently I check for some new acts like Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Rick Ross, Jeezy, Weezy, 2Chainz, A$ap, etc…
3.) You were what we call and “army brat” growing up. Did your fathers military career encourage you to enlist yourself?
Coming from where I came from, inner city Philadelphia, I didn’t see many options coming out of school. I didn’t understand how I could afford to go to college coming from a poverty stricken household. I knew my parents couldn’t afford it and they never took the time to explain how I could go to college. So I looked at the military as my escape and chance to not fit the statistics.
4.) What is it like as an artist to be stationed so far overseas where your passion of making music can not be easily fulfilled?
It’s painful….I really love the creative experience of writing and getting in the booth. I enjoy finding the right feel and voice to fit the track. I enjoy music..the good and the bad.
5.) What do you think of the state of mainstream hip hop and rap today?
I think the current state of hip hop is on a downturn. It’s not lyrically appealing to me on the whole. Yes there are some who are outstanding but the majority are not groundbreaking and won’t be around 2 years from now. And for the record I like some non-lyrical rap also.
6.) You rap with a level of consciousness not displayed by many artist today. Do you think not rapping about the stereotypical street life will help boost or deter your mainstream appeal?
I just try to rap about my reality. I am from the streets, the hood, the ghetto. I was raised around drug dealers, drug users, robbers, gangs and gangsters, pimps. The whole gambit. But I don’t lie about my stats. I totally fine being who and what I am and letting the fans know that there is more to the hood and streets than pure ignorance.
It may hurt my sales and it may be a tougher road but it’s my truth.
7.) I see you write poetry as well. Do you ever plan to release a poetry project?
I actually had someone contact me about doing it and I was surprised by it. I mean I am open to sharing my personal thoughts and ideas and verses but it will have t be in the right way. But in the near future I may release a concept I have that I think would really move the needle.
8.) What advice would you give to someone trying to get started in the music industry?
Believe in you.
Be ready to work.
Trust in your mental ear.
Listen to ya engineers and producers.
Get rid of all yes men around you.
9.) Any upcoming projects or events we should look out for?
Currently looking to release 3-4 new singles in lead up to my project in 2016.
You know how you see someone on the internet all the time, you admire their work, you love to see them shine but never think you will meet them. I was so excited to find out that Demont Pinder would be painting live at Afram this year.
You’ve seen his work all over but may not know who he is. He has a sweet job as the art director for Raheem Devaughn but he uses his talent in so many other ways. He does the historic Howard Theater and so much more.
Check out some of his work below
At Afram he was offering fans and new comers the opportunity to be a part of one of his paintings. You know I had to grab a brush and join in. He had outlined a very intricate piece and people had a chance to grab a paint brush and be a part of one of his masterpieces. I did this black part lol