Mike: Were you always Ryan James the Rapper? Or did you have other names or nicknames?
Ryan James: Well, initially when I started out, I had many different monikers. I went by EZ, The Definition, J-James. All sorts of different meanings to each name, but I’ve just decided to make my official name Ryan James The Rapper, because it is me. No gimmicks.
Mike: When did you start in the Rap and Hip Hop scene?
Ryan James: I started rapping in like 2003, a friend of mine (C.B.) had been rapping for a few years already and I’ve always been in love with music, so he was freestyling one time and wanted me to try it out, so I did, and I really enjoyed it so much that I decided to try and stick with it. Progressively I had gotten better, even just making parodies of songs, or just freestyling it, it advanced to me taking the art form seriously, and I have’nt regretted it one bit.
Mike: When did you decide you wanted to go pro, and really push yourself into the music scene?
Ryan James: I would say around the summer of 2005, I decided that I wanted this to be my future, because ever since I took my first breath I’ve loved music, and I knew I had the drive to get done what I needed to be successful at it.
Mike: What inspired you to start up? Who are some of your current inspirations?
Ryan James: Musical inspirations of mine are always changing, not forgetting where my passion originated, but influence wise I would have to say Kanye West, 2pac, Jay-z, Slaughterhouse, Little Brother, Murs, Slum Village… And even some people that I have worked with closely, like C.B., M3, Klassic, Young Flames, 9-1, Tre, Yung Klue… etc. They’ve all inspired me in at least one way or another.
Mike: Do you do any live shows? If so, where are some of your favorite places to perform?
Ryan James: Performances are a rare thing for me, but I’ve done a few open mics, parties, and what not. Actually in the near future, I’m gonna have alot more opportunities, because another artist I work with has some major things going on and he wants me to be a part of the TAKEOVER.
Mike: How hard is it to come up as a rapper? I know the majority of local musicians are in the Rock, Metal, Acoustic, and Jazz scenes, you don’t see too many, or at least, as many, up and coming Rap and Hip Hop artists in the area.
Ryan James: Well the thing is, you might not notice it but it seems like 1 out of every 3 young guys is “A Rapper”, it’s like they say it to be cool… In reality the only thing “cool” about being a rapper is that you constantly have creative energy. This gimmick you see on TV is just what helps them get marketed to different crowds.All these little horrible dance songs and whatever, are ridiculous. Not one of these “dancers” have a bit of lyrical ability. Now I’m not dissing there music, but seriously, these guys are a waste of record deals.
Mike: What kind of message do you want to get out to your listeners and fans?
Ryan James: The message I’m sending with my music, is as real as it can get. I have a point to my music, but I still know how to appease each audience equally. I can rap about personal issues that I have had, that people can agree with, I can write songs that can get you pumped up, I have club songs, but each song serves a purpose. Just Listen.
Mike: What songs do you hear the most about? Which ones do your fans seem to like more?
Ryan James: Well, I get a mixed reaction. Obviously the ladies love “One thing” and “Ride 4 Me”,while the guys like “Doin’ That” and “Goon Music”, but across the board everybody has given me fair and honest opinions about my music, which motivates me so much, that since I know that I can reach them through it, I can never give up.
Mike: How have you progressed since you first started?
Ryan James: Wow, well I honestly progress every time I write a new song, and it’s strange because I wonder how far this can take me. Before I started really taking it seriously, my songs werent bad, they just were’nt structured correctly, like I would have a hook and 4 verses,or 2 verses and no hook but I would have a bridge… just didnt make sense back then. haha.
Mike: Is there a CD in the works? What can we look forward to in the near future?
Ryan James: My next CD is in the works, it’s gonna be titled “Married To The Music”, its gonna feature… Klassic, Yung Klue, C.B., King Wize, and a few other special guest which I’m excite about. Should be out by the end of the year.
Mike: Where can your fans listen to your music and buy your CD’s?
Ryan James: The fans can come to http://www.myspace.com/ryanjamestheofficial and hear new music constantly.
Mike: Are you local to the area? Where are you from?
Ryan James: Im originally from Akron, Ohio, but I’m living in Soledad, CA. I’ve met some great people here though, and as much as I miss my city. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.
Mike: Is there anyone you would like to thank for their help and/or support over the years?
Ryan James: Just all the people that have doubted me… THANK YOU! And of course my closest, M3, C.B., Mike, Jay, Klass, D, Castro, all the people that have been around me and kept everything real with me… and to H.E.R.
Mike: Any last words?
Ryan James: Hit up the myspace and let me know wahtever your thoughts are. also for some really dope music go to http://www.blackdynasty4life.com/