Honest Hustle is an interview series highlighting some of the amazing artists we have listened to and had the pleasure of supporting. Ultimately we ask questions that will help people like us, (listeners & fans), learn about the artist and discover their music.
Below we kick things off with Baltimore’s very own HERBology.
Peep the scene…….
LFL: Tell us who HERBology is: (Who you are, where you grew up, and anything you feel like sharing with us.)
I am an artist, 25, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Rap is my niche, you can say. I have always had a love for rhythms and lyrics, hell, music in general since I was eight years old. That takes us to elementary school; now I wasn’t writing raps, actually, but poetry (few know this). My 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Maholick, would encourage me to write more. So that grew into where we are right now.
LFL: When did you get started creating music and why?
Bout 19-20 years old is when I started to jot rhymes, every here or there. But as far as hitting the stu, that was only a year and half ago. I GOTTA thank SaintRuss for that, for real! He’s recorded numerous times, before I even knew where a studio was. It was his drive, and our shared passion for the music that got me in the booth. Threw our first project out, and been moving ever since.
LFL: Almost every artist considers themselves a fan of hip hop first. Are there any influences that have stood out to you?
Hell yea! That list goes on and on for many reasons. Different vibrations, sounds, the times we in! You gotta take in every aspect of the game (Rap, Hip Hop). But Black Star, 2Pac, Biggie, Lil Wayne, just to name a few…“Different vibrations…” You can’t be one-sided, feel me?
LFL: Who are some of the current artists you are listening to? Thoughts on current hip hop landscape?
I can give you my top 5: Curren$y, Kendrick, Cole, Krit, and Wale.
I truly love the layout of hip-hop. Social media certainly has helped a lot of young artists become entrepreneurs, and have a better handle on their money. Lyrics still mean something to me; not saying lyricism had died, but it’s not as necessary to make it in the game.
LFL: What do you feel is the best song you’ve ever released and why?
It’s gotta be Airin’ Out (Flowin’Tree), Dream Works (Onboard), and Ina Blue200 (Take a Ride). And those are just my tracks. The first two are hands down my most heartfelt. In no way am I taking away the validity or integrity of ANY of my joints. But, it’s something about those two…I touched on topics about my mom, a serious break-up, and just the love and passion I have for The Circle…Now, Ina Blue200; I just dig the flow and bounce of it, you know? (Laughing)
LFL: How do you want to be perceived by the people who listen to your music? How can your fans get to know you better?
Of course, “Yo can RAP!” (Laughing). But more so that I have something to say. I’m not spitting about nonsense. I’m trying to lay serious material, that’ll stand the test of time, and touch a few people that’ll put them in rotation. Best way to get to know me is to just reach out, let’s chop it up. But my music is always a great window to get familiarized through.
LFL: As an independent artist, the struggle can be real…From school, to studio time, to work outside music, what’s a week in the life like for HERBology?
Man, mainly working! But even there, I always carry a tune or groove in my head. So of course in my free time I am playing beats, or rocking to SOME type of instrumental or record. I try to find quiet and serenity to capture my thoughts, and put them to the paper.
LFL: What are your biggest challenges as an indie artist?
Getting people to give a damn, and push play…How do I make the music matter enough for the next listener to care?
LFL: What skills/personal attributes do you think are most important to being successful in this industry?
Know what you want, and go for it! Keep your head about you, and never lose your grip to what you came in with. Y’all got me talking like I’m in the industry already! (Laughing)
LFL: Based on your own journey as an artist, what would you tell a young aspiring artist just getting started?
It’s all right to mess up when you behind that mic. It’s the only way to harness your craft, and find YOUR comfort. Grab a flash drive and/or hard drive, and SAVE YOUR SESSIONS! Get out, and network. Touch bases and share ideas with the people, and that’ll help you expand.
LFL: From an artist’s perspective, what does social media mean to you? As an artist, do you think there are more pros or cons with it?
As I said earlier, it definitely allows artists to have more control of how and where there music goes, and who it touches. So, I would say there are more pros to it. But still, EVERYBODY now has the accessibility to put out music…“Too much water will drown you.”
LFL: If you were start your own label, what are you looking for in your first artists?
Drive, passion, commitment, and talent!. But just someone who is ready to work, and is down to share the vision.
LFL: What is your songwriting process like?
Ha, I roll up, burn a bit at a park, my rooftop, or just somewhere full of space, for concentration. Get an understanding on what the song is about, and just write from there. Few breaks in between, I need to get these thoughts down and out!
LFL: What does being an emcee mean to you?
It gives me a voice! Now, I can be a voice for the voiceless.
LFL: It goes without saying you have a unique – Guru type – flow. Is he an inspiration or is this how you are naturally?
That’s dope of you, I swear! But naw, this is just how I am on the regular.
LFL: You cover topics in your songs from police brutality to your love of herb…how much has music helped you through times of despair and stress?
In one too many ways, man…When simple conversations or distance couldn’t ease the stresses, music has. And continues to do so. Both the tree and the music gives me clarity.
LFL: Can you give us insight to what “The Circle” represents? Who is Bria the Jenyes? Who is SaintRuss?
The Circle represents unity, continuation, realness, and fluidity. We bring different styles, ideas, and flows to the table. Bria the Jenyes is my homegirl, hell, my sister! We first linked up in college, not even on any rapping tip. We share that same passion for music, and making a difference for us, and those around us. We both started recording around the same time, I started a little before her. But now, we out here, rocking! Y’all heard her new tape yet???
Now SaintRuss, we go way back! I’m talking sandbox days. We had rap battles against each other back then, and just grew from there. I consider him a brother, really. With him constantly pushing me to lay something down in the booth, I don’t think we would be here today, conducting this interview. I owe yo, a lot… My gratitude, bro! We started with Major Mellow Out Mexico, and now we here; he dropped a project, just last month. Go peep that; The Circle is working!
LFL: Aside from music, what other things are you passionate about?
Getting mom that house and candy apple Cadillac she’s been speaking about having ever since I can remember. Making sure my loved ones are straight.
LFL: Shameless plug time……Tell the people what’s next, what’s coming for HERBology. Where can they find your music? What you have going on? Stage is yours.
The Circle is definitely on the move! SaintRuss dropped ‘An Untitled Mixtape’ (6/18/18), and Bria the Jenyes is on current rotation with ‘The Adventures of a Jenyes’ (7/9/18)
I dropped the Onboard EP (6/29/18), and you know there’s more coming. We need to get some videos out, for damn sure! But in the meantime, follow our pages on SoundCloud: The Circle
Our separate pages: HERBology, Bria the Jenyes, SaintRuss
Twitter: @HERBology1015 @Bjenyes @SaintRuss_
Thank y’all for this time in getting to better know me, and The Circle. And most blessings to you guys for this interview. Stay InTune, Peace!
Show love – create and share lyric video clips with his music. Checkout HERBology’s catalogue here.