Skip to main content

Interview session: Track Lacer, Milwaukee Hip Hop

Track Lacer
Track Lacer
TL

Milwaukee music is a funny thing. Simply put, it's usually brushed off as just a joke. Now I know there's no sure fire way to change the minds of an entire city hell bent on following trends fresh off the east and west coast but maybe, just maybe, if they had some insight on the men and women behind the music they might find a few artists worthy of some attention. The sad truth is that most people I've encountered usually say the same tired thing, I "hate" this city. Wow. Talk about hometown pride.

The saying goes you should never judge a book by its cover. But there's a reason there's a saying for that. The reason being is its human nature to do just that. The talent here is pretty deep, but I've found the people behind the music are most times even deeper. But lets face it, artists here are in a black hole when it comes to getting any kind of exposure. Every social network and every web page is filled with would be "up and comers" in every genre from every corner of the earth fighting for your attention. All of them screaming, press play.

Sorry Miltown. I don't have an answer for that. But the one thing I can do is start to give some insight on the people who spend time on the craft that is ultimately meant for your enjoyment. You might be surprised at the thoughts and insights of the guys and girls who do what they love most against seemingly impossible odds for a city that has a love hate relationship with it's self. You may even find your new favorite artist. That's why I decided to sit down with the folks behind the music in the 414. Lets see who these guys really are, or what there aspirations are. I for one would like to know what they think the "Scene" here is all about, and ultimately expose them to actual "people" instead of artists just being the biggest fans of the other artists in Milwaukee, which makes almost no sense. So to begin, I sit down with Track Lacer.

Fist off Track Lacer was actually appointed A&R by Murder Dog Magazine to head up SONY/RED Records compilation "Murder Dog Presents Milwaukee" in 2005. Due to label politricks the record ultimately was not released. But this does go to show getting a foot in the door is possible.

As far as home town pride is concerned, Track Lacer was co-host of "Da Milwaukee Music Movement Radio", a venture that quickly brought in thousands of listeners in a very short period of time both attracting local and national acts. Lacer also created and hosted Big 10 radio which singled out rap artists from overlooked Wisconsin sites such as La Crosse, Appleton, Green Bay, and Madison.

All this suggests to me a person who is humble and willing to not only seek the lime light, but share it. Milwaukee could use some more cats like this.

Well now, lets get right down to business. Track Lacer, I'm going to ask you a few quick questions, hopefully the people will be hitting you up to dig even deeper.

Fist off, who are some of your own musical influences?

Track Lacer:

Incredible lyricists are my only influences, Andre 3000, Immortal Technique, Kool G Rap, Crooked I, Rakim, Jay-Z, Ice Cube, Joe Budden and Nas. I could go on for twenty minutes if i kept going. But those guys are who motivate me to come up with clever wordplay.

Examiner:

Nice line up. Well, what was it that made you decide music was something you wanted to do yourself?

TL:

I consider myselft a true artist. I started out with a talent for drawing. I could draw as well as most adults when I was about seven years old. From then on I became a very good writer. I got A's when I would write papers for school. I think that when you combine the ability to draw pictures with creating words your equation is lyrical rap music.

EX:

What do you think about the scene in the Mil?

I think it has become over saturated. There are so many rappers and so few emcees. People got to remember, Randy "Macho Man" Savage from WWF Wrestling put out a full length rap album. So it proves anybody can rap. But not enough of the ones doing it in the Mil treat it like a real art form. The reality is that it's "Not okay to be a fan anymore". But I love to see the Ray Nittis, Ray Rizzys, Rico Loves and prophetics get their taste of nationwide love because its a reminder that it is still possible.

EX:

In that case, what changes would you make?

TL:

I would make it mandatory that you have at least one full length, non mix tape project. You should have to do one with original beats and concepts. Also, everyone would have to prove that they can do more in a live show besides pace back and forth.

EX:

You hear that kids? Be original, enough with the check out my album filled with other peoples beats or random samples. Mix-tape fine. Your "album" No. Okay, so five years from now you'd like to be where?

TL:

Living by the lakefront, in Cudahy or something like that. Oh, wait I did that one already in 2009.

EX:

Nice. So Whats your ultimate goal?

TL:

My ultimate goal is to make quality music that people will respect without selling out by compromising my art to appeal to more people. Be hated for who you are and not loved for who you ain't. I'd also like for my next album "Beverly Hills 53209" to be considered the best solo album locally in a decade. So look out for that one.

EX:

drugs? drink?

TL:

I think black women might be considered a drug for me. You can have your "kush". I'll take Katrina.

EX:

Ha' sounds dope. Hmm who or what inspires you to write?

TL:

Getting publicity, being noticed inspires me. I was featured on the front pages of both the Milwaukee Community Journal and Milwaukee Journal in 1999. Ever since then I was motivated to make the kind of music that people felt was actually worth writing about. If somebody writes about what you wrote that's how you know it matters.

EX:

Agreed. As it stands now, how do you feel about the industry on a national level?

TL:

I feel that Wocka Flocka has 34 million views on youtube and can't even go gold. Wiz Khalifa has 17 million views and only sold 300k. It starts to make you wonder what's the point of having a so called "buzz"?

EX:

So is it really impossible to make it from here?

TL:

No. The Lady of Rage made it from Farville Virginia. Most people don't even know Mike Epps is from Indianapolis for example. It is possible, but stop telling people that your doing numbers if Wisconsin is the only Place you've ever made a record sale.

EX:

What do you feel is wrong or right with local artist in your opinion?

TL:

The thing that I see that's right with local artists is that they recognize it is important to get the city behind them. Whats wrong with them is that they all seem to think that city is New Orleans. How do dudes in Wichita Kansas end up sounding like Lil Wayne too?

EX:

If you could collab with any three artists in the industry now who would you pick?

TL:

T-Mo Goodie of the Goodie M.O.B, Fiend (No Limit Records) or Inspectah Deck from Wu-Tang Clan. They all have told me they would actually like to work with me before. I would rather base my wish list on reality rather than fantasy. I just can't wait to make it happen either.

Well Folks, that was short and sweet huh? Well, don't worry if you have more questions how about you hit up Track Lacer on Facebook? www.facebook.com/tracklacer Oh wait, you want to actually hear some of Track Lacers work? Of course you do. Here's a good place to start. www.reverbnation.com/tracklacer .

Already familiar with Track Lacer? You can purchase some of his music here www.cdbaby.com/tracklacer and www.cdbaby.com/tracklacer2 I'm told myspace does still exist, so here you go www.myspace.com/tracklacer . Here are a few other links to help you get to know Mr. Track Lacer:

www.youtube.com/tracklacer

www.blackplanet.com/track-lacer

www.migent.com/tracklacer

www.cdbaby.com/trackandbu

www.myspace.com/s2famclub

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/smoothsailingrecords

I hope you guys take the time out to check up on Track Lacer and his music. Be on the look out for other artists I'm going to be profiling in the very near future from here on out. Stay tuned.

Voice your opinion, leave a comment and be sure and subscribe to stay up to date.

For more check out www.reverbnation.com/cynonline

Comments