Born and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York, Bruce "Brick Flaco" Jackson has seen the good, bad, and ugly of growing up in an tough area. However, the hip-hop artist and entrepreneur is far from being a product of his environment. Brick Flaco rapping is more like poetic storytelling set to music, and his maturity and professionalism are a stark contrasts to the ridiculousness of today's hip-hop artists. Another distinction is that his music, although clean, is not soft or square. Some of my favorite tracks are the street banger "What About Me," the sexy and hypnotic "Sunshine," and the gritty anthem "Queens Motto (Get The Money)." Brick was briefly signed in 2011 to 1017 Brick Squad Records, home to popular rap artists Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Chief Keef, and more.
Brick Flaco is the CEO of TOB Music Group (TOBMG, formerly Ton O' Bricks Music Group), an entertainment company that is expanding into several other industries. His Trillsmania.com site has grown from a small hip-hop blog to a recognized entertainment site featuring the latest indie and national music videos, promotional opportunities and resources for industry professionals, and much more. Read the interview to learn more about Brick, and make sure you check out the video for "Queens Motto (Get The Money)" on the left!
BROWNIE MARIE: Before I knew your age (he just turned 29 years old), I thought you were a lot older. Your music has a quality that is reminiscent of hip-hop’s heyday. How do you feel about the current state of hip-hop?
BRICK FLACO: I have mixed emotions about the current state of Hip Hop. I love how the return of lyricism is at a rapid popular demand, especially with artists like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Wale being successful with their albums. However, I feel like the substance value and zero tolerance for profanity is at an all time LOW. Despite Hip Hop being one of the most evolutionary genres of music, I feel it needs to go back to the 90s essence. It has gotten way too commercial now.
Why the decision to only record clean music? Do you use profanity in your casual speech?
To be honest I’m perfectly imperfect through the eyes of the Lord I serve. I try not to use profanity in my casual speech, but often slip up. God is not done with me yet. I chose to record clean music because I wanted to make music that the youth and elders could listen to. I want to make music my mother and daughter can be proud of, because I was raised by a mother who did not tolerate urban slang or profanity in the house or profane music. Also, growing up watching award shows where the artist would “thank God” for their award, but the award was for a song that contained explicit content and profanity. I felt this was blasphemous and vowed to do clean music.
What did you learn from your brief label deal with 1017 Brick Squad?
I learned that the music industry could turn you against your beliefs and values. I also learned how to observe those whom you surround yourself around because you never know one’s motives. This includes promoters, managers, label owners, and producers. Most importantly, I learned the power of the DOLLAR!
What’s in the future for TOBMG?
A more diverse label when it comes to music. More avenues besides being a label. TOBMG will no longer stand for Ton O’ Bricks Music Group. I felt like, despite the history and buzz behind this label, I wanted to make it diverse. The name itself mirrors just Hip Hop with its urban theme and original urban logo (graffiti against a brick wall). It's now known as TOB Music Group along with a new logo. TOBMG produced Trillsmania.com (a global platform for indie music and media) as well as more projects and music coming up for the “Brick Flaco” brand. TOBMG will also have CD duplication services, fashion, concerts and nonprofit charities and programs for artists, children and young veterans.
Trillsmania.com is really blowing up. What’s next for the site?
Yes it is. Trillsmania will now feature Hip Hop or music-related movies and documentaries, the latest Smack/URL rap battles, a forefront for models and model agencies to get their brand out there globally, CD duplication [services] for artists, and the latest in indie/major music and videos. You will probably see the brand in more events and everywhere.
Any other upcoming projects or performances?
My management and I are still waiting to release The Open Book EP. Right now I have the BHR2 (Black Hoody Rap: The Lost Tapes) mixtape on DatPiff.com. This mixtape covers all the lost material I have done during my brief Brick Squad signing and also exclusive interviews I have done. I am currently working on the BHR3 mixtape. All my latest music can be found at www.heavyinthegame.com.
I just recently performed a benefit show for the cure of dementia at Club ONE in Alexandria, VA on August 30th. I have a performance on the 7th of September in my hometown, Queens, NY, at a back-to-school benefit concert for inner city children of my neighborhood. I believe they will be giving out free school supplies and book bags. Red Cafe is another artist that will be on the performance bill. It will be held at Roy Wilkins Park at noon.
Listen to "Party Time With Brownie" on MOCRadio.com on Wednesday, 9/4, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., when Brick Flaco's music will be featured! More information on Brick Flaco can be found on the following sites: