Last year, I was introduced to GhostWridah not through a person, but through my dislike for his album artwork. Reluctantly, I decided to listen to his project Downtown Lights off the “don’t judge a book by its cover” mentality, and thank goodness I did. While we exchanged words about releasing a different cover (ps, this happened for Downtown Lights 2.0) The ill-spitting Florida native has been in the game for a couple years now, trading bars with everyone from Shawty Lo to Kendrick Lamar, but has never lost sight as the phenomenal artist (and person) he was born to be.
[Erin from Bad-Perm] Introduction: Who are you? Who did you idolize growing up? Why did you pick up the pen?
[GhostWridah] I am Troy Jeffery, people usually call me GhostWridah. I idolize no one, yet I am inspired by many; Malcolm X, Dr. King, Depak Chopra, Jim Rohn, Muhammed Ali, Michael Jordan, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Will Smith, Jay-Z, Andre 3k, Ice Cube to name a few… I could go on and on. My brother introduced me to hip hop and it fascinated me. I started writing because it was a way to express what was going on in my life and around me without actually having to tell someone personally. It was like therapy in a sense. I had a lot to say; things I wouldn’t dare tell a person just because I wasn’t open to any other form of expression at the time.
[Erin of BP] The term “ghostwriter” comes with a lot of stigma and a level of
disrespect in terms of hip-hop authenticity. While you were penning verses for the homies back in the day, did you ever think of the word ‘ghostwriter’ in that way? What made you adopt GhostWridah as a stage name?
[GhostWridah] Well, I never really knew what the term was for what I was doing back then. I just did it because I could. I didn’t understand song structure or anything like that, but I just did what felt good and ironically thats what makes me the artist I am today. Doing what feels good!
I’ve done some writing for some major names, by the grace of God. I feel fortunate to have had the experiences and opportunities I’m having as a new artist, not on a major. Truthfully, I feel like the artist I write for or have written for were all very talented individuals. Some I would go as far as saying down right genius.
It’s just that their weakest area just happened to be writing, but they excel in other area’s that are far more advanced than you can imagine and though it does seem a bit unauthentic by thee alleged “authentic hip hop standard”, think about the artist who do write their own music, yet they are more dishonest then the guy who isn’t writing.
As far as my name goes, it was actually spelled “Ghostwriter” but a DJ, years ago misspelled my name on a mixtape placement and a girl by the name of Sabrina, who I was seeing at the time suggested that I keep it because It was “different” and that it stood out over the actual spelling of the word. So GhostWridah was born! Shouts to Sabrina… She was right!
[Erin of BP] Do you still ghostwrite for anybody now?
[GhostWridah] Yes, I take on projects as they come, however I am looking to receive my credit as a songwriter these days.
[Erin of BP] Can you explain ‘L.Y.F.E.’ to us and what it means to you?
[GhostWridah] L.Y.F.E. is an acronym for Live Your Future Everyday. Oddly enough I chose it in the shower 6 years ago – where my best thinking is done – lol. I felt my company should have a name that meant something, not just to me but to the people that support me. The name encourages endless possibilities…
It means to live in whatever it is you see in your future on a daily basis. I want to win a Grammy within the next 5 years, so I live in that moment like I’m already there, I even wrote my acceptance speech. I can almost smell it, real words! Affirmations are important, believe me.
[Erin of BP] What compelled you to make the Road to Downtown Lights documentary?
[GhostWridah] Just wanted people to see my journey, my reason, my inspiration for that particular project. I’ve never showed the process in which I make my albums so I felt like sharing that with my fans. I think people got an opportunity to see who I am beyond the music, and that was my goal and it turned out great!
[Erin of BP] Lowkey’s has been a staple sound on every project you’ve released. How did that relationship form and what’s its importance to advancing your identity as an artist?
[GhostWridah] I think every artist should have that one particular producer whom they can build a sound with that they can call their own! Lowkey and I set a trend and a standard in the city with our sound. We started to notice it popping up in projects, and I’m proud of that.
People have a problem admitting when someone else inspires them but that’s something we don’t do. Having him and him having me helped give us both an identity. Something a lot of artist today are missing. Since we’ve met it’s been a brotherhood. I don’t look at him as just a producer, he’s my BROTHER, now and forever. I even made him a partner in my company. We often hang out outside of music, just to keep our relationship solid.
[Erin of BP] You’ve managed to brand yourself as an artist and a businessman. What’s the importance of that to any indie artist?
[GhostWridah] You have to be able to stand on your own. The days of having to wait to be discovered are over with. I can honestly say that I discovered myself. I operated as my own label, even after signing my first deal with (former label) Poe Boy Music Group. I always handled my own business, because to be honest, no one will take care of you like YOU!
Jay-Z, is one of my biggest inspirations. I watched him as a kid, take Roc-a-fella from idea to multi-millions! Clothing, liquor brands, sneaker deals etc. it wasn’t just rap. That type of close-minded thinking wont get you far in this business. I own my on label [L.Y.F.E. Music Recordings] I’m in the design stages of my clothing line [BLK CLAY], launching a online sneaker consignment boutique/blog [Camp Out Kids], and I recently became the official hip hop spokesperson for Swift Kick Sneaker Wipes. GOALS UPON, GOALS!
[Erin of BP] 3 guilty pleasures?
[GhostWridah] Kripsy Kream Doughnuts, the (man) spa, lol!!! And I secretly love Desperate Housewives (Netflix re-runs)! Ha!
[Erin of BP] Aside from being an artist, you’re secretly a bookworm. What are the
most important books you’ve read in the past 5 years?
[GhostWridah] I am, I love books, and there are so many but if i had to narrow it down I’d have to say…
“The Seven spiritual Laws of Success”
“Who My Cheese”
“The Art Of Exceptional Living”
“Think and Grow Rich”
“48 Laws of Power”
“The Power Of A Positive No”
“Conversations With God”
[Erin of BP] I don’t normally bring up family, but because it was in the documentary…with your dad being 2x SuperBowl Champion Mecury Morris, how good at football are you?
[GhostWridah] I mean, I’m only as good as I work to be, and because its not my field (no pun) I’m not very good at this point. I am athletic, so it’s just like turning on a switch but I’m far from what my father when he was my age.
[Erin of BP] Your Twitter account, with the exception about sports talk, is one of
the most positive accounts that stroll through my timeline. What keeps you grounded?
[GhostWridah] God, and my upbringing. I’m a firm believer in energy and my days are spent creating and giving positive energy to anyone I come in contact with. I want to inspire, to incite change. I refuse to contribute to someone’s failure or heartache. I only want to be an encouragement to those who follow me, nothing less.
[Erin of BP] Giving back to the community you grew up in or the communities that
have supported you means what?
[GhostWridah] EVERYTHING! I owe it to my people, our people! I have a responsibility give them a piece of what God has given me, for it is not my own to keep… It is a gift and a result of my lifestyle and efforts. Share your wealth, share your knowledge and your days will be fruitful!
[Erin of BP] Tell me about Flu Game! It was originally supposed to be released in December but has been pushed back…what’s good?
[GhostWridah] Simple, it’s just not great yet… And I don’t release nor do I believe in mediocracy. The actual flu game itself is one of thee greatest games in sports history. Michael Jordan scoring 38 points and leading all scorers with the flu is beyond incredible! It is a title that I cannot take lightly due to the magnitude of the story. When it’s ready, I’ll release it.
[Erin of BP] What was your 2012 resolution and was it successful? And, what’s your New Years resolution for 2013?
[GhostWridah] I don’t make resolutions, I just pray that I progress from year to year. As long as I am doing better for myself and my family than I was the previous year, I am successful. I do have goals, and I pretty music listed them all throughout the interview. I want to leave a mark in hip hop, and then the world, and I’m doing it day by day. Thanks so much for having me! Love!!!