The crew met Detroit’s Serious at the listening party for J.Dilla’s Rebirth of Detroit a couple months back. We had the pleasure of being introduced by him by Frank Nitt (of Frank ‘N Dank) and our relationship with him started there.
A couple months later, new music and a recently released mixtape, we caught up with Serious to introduce him to y’all.
Bad-Perm: Introduce us to who you are and your history in the music industry.
Serious: I am….. Wow that’s funny. Of all the questions you should expect to have to answer that’s the last one I thought about. I am the epitome of perseverance. I wrote my first rhyme at 10 years old and it won the school talent show, so I’ve know for that long that this was what I wanted to do. My path just wasn’t buckled down in that direction ’til I was like 18 years old and that’s when I starting going in the studio taking my music and what I do seriously, no pun intended. I’ve done a lot of music and been in a lot of different situations as far as working with different artists, groups, producers, labels and what have you, but the outlet or opportunity was never really there to take that step to the next level, so that makes this a big thing for me to be in the position I’m in and making the music I’m making. It’s kinda like that feeling of “FINALLY”!
BP: What’s your relationship to Frank Nitt? How did you meet him and what role does he play in your music career?
Serious: I met Nitty through a mutual friend around 1999/2000 while they (Frank n Dank) were in the MCA deal. He has really played a big part of my development on the professional level as an artist and not just a rapper. Not everybody has the benefit of having a friend who has seen all the ins and outs, and who can school you on the do’s and do not’s before your in the public eye.
BP: Who were you listening to as a kid and how have those records shaped your music?
Serious: Thanks to my moms, I listened to a lot of R&B and modern jazz, then my grandfather opened me up to stuff like Duke and Miles and a lot of big band jazz… but for the most part all things hip-hop! Everything from Run-DMC and BDP (Boogie Down Productions) to PRT (Poor Righteous Teachers) to 2Live crew. I think that allows me to see where all the different styles have their place. When it started there were no brands just hip-hop. When you start adding labels like “gangsta rap” or “back pack” n shit like that, all it does is create division in the culture and the music. Life is not a one subject issue so I think your playlist should reflect that.
BP: Can you speak a little about your recent mixtape? (i.e. concept, features, production)
Serious: Digital Slap is actually a reflection of that same thought. I tried to create something that could serve as an introduction to me as an MC and the style of music, and at the same time give u package with something for everybody. I don’t care what you say your particular brand of hip-hop is, I can promise you I got something for you. Nitty just kicked back and let me do my thing on this one, as far as concept and content was concerned. It’s that good DigiPop feel with a Serious twist to it, courtesy of producer Frank Nitt aka “El Presidente”. I was fortunate to get features from people who were excited about being involved with the project like Illa J, QD, Tapanga Lee and Sativa and Jose from C.L.U.B., who really brought that high energy on “Like we C.L.U.B.” So yeah, I’m loving the finished product!
BP: What’s the biggest misconception about Detroit you’d like to squash?
Serious: The biggest misconception in my opinion would be that Detroit’s time and place as a music hub has come and gone. There is a crazy amount of skill and passion for the music still here in the city and we are poised to come for our just due!
BP: Could you speak to me a little about the legacy both J.Dilla and Proof left behind and what they means to you?
Serious: Man you can’t really put the legacy of Dilla into words. Dude was one of those once in a lifetime people! You won’t see that again in this time or any other. You can’t duplicate somebody like that, you just cherish what he did and what he left behind and hope your still alive to witness whatever becomes the “next” level. Now Proof [was]….. another one-of-a-kind. Somebody who was smart enough and real enough to be right at home, whether it’s industry night or open mic night. And you can tell the dude really wanted us to win as a whole! He wasn’t that dude who would be like “I got mines, good luck wit whatever y’all niggas got goin’ on!” He was more like “Pay attention to what I’m doin, cause when you get yo shit together you can do this to!”. I remember I met dude at a show I was doing and he just walked up to me and was like “Man, that shit dope! I like that!”, which was ill to me cause he didn’t have to say anything, shit he didn’t even know me. That’s the kinda dude he was and that’s the attitude he walked with.
BP: Did you ever take part in the battles at the Hip-Hop Shop?
Serious: Naw, I never got to get down at the hip-hop shop, but I can tell you this if you were, you were of the elite. It was common knowledge that was the spot where the big boys play and if you were up and coming and you wasn’t ready for that, you wasn’t ready. Or you could get embarrassed, it’s was up to you. I actually would really like to bring something like back. Somewhere for cats to polish their skills and rebuild the hip-hop community!
BP: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced musically?
Serious: I think the biggest challenge has been to pull everything out of my real life into my music and make it something everybody wants to listen to. There’s a lot more going on with me than blunts, bootys, haters and hangovers, but there is a time and place for everything. So you just gotta know when what needs to be said. That and being the best that ever did it, lol.
BP: What do you have in the works right now?
Serious: As of right now its all about the mixtape DigiPop presents: Digital Slap ft. Serious and exposing everybody to what I do and how I do it. Download it, play it, put it under your pillow and sleep with it, treat it like a friend! But yeah we got more DigiPop projects on the way for you so look out for us in the bottom/top of the year, I’m definitely looking forward to getting out and killing the stage, so be on the look out for Serious in a town near you! Holla at your local DJs and promoters and let em know you want that “Slap” and I’ll be there with a pocket full of baby powder! And don’t forget to go grab Frank Nitt Stadium Music/View From the Underground! The CD/Book is available everywhere now!
BP: Where can people find out more information and music about you?
Serious: You can find me on Facebook at Detroit Serious, Twitter @detroitserious and you can check for updates and booking at @DigiPoprecords.
Check out Digipop Presents Digital Slap ft Serious HERE: