First Friday of 2021, First Post, Let’s go….
813, Tampa Bay, Tampa, FL…
However, you know our city… you know us. Football, hockey, having too much fun lol you know or have heard something about Tampa. Let me tell you a little about my city that I know they don’t talk about as often as they should.
Growing up in Tampa, I’ve had the honor to have met some super TALENTED people along the way, along this journey of life… or however you say it. When I was in college, I had the chance to really get the taste of what the city has to offer. I met some amazingly, talented people simply by walking to class or walking to get something to eat. There’s this one artist I’m going to tell you about. I met him in college and wooo… I knew he was going to be someone special. Freestyling on the back patio at HCC, Hillsborough Community College for those that don’t know, with his boys.
I remember meeting him as Preme before the city got to know him as Pusha Preme, which honestly, I prefer lol. I remember going to and from class and stopping to say hey, listen for about 5 mins before I had to run to the next class and not be late. Imagine the looks from your teacher when you tell them you were listening to the dudes freestyle and that’s why you were late. lol Oh believe me, it happened, and I loved it! lol
Now the way I love music, I’ll stop anywhere to listen to a freestyle whether this person is a lyricist or a “regular” rapper as I like to call them.
Lyricist = Utilizes his vocabulary to not only get his message across but is able to come up with some smooth punch lines. Makes the beat bump just a little bit more than it would on its own.
Regular rapper = put some things together that rhyme on a decent beat lol (clearly, I prefer listening to lyricists)
Pusha Preme is a lyricist. THIS GUY, in my opinion, is in fact a local great in the Tampa area.
I’ve been waiting to sit with him and pick his brain on all he’s done from the beginning to becoming the artist he is now. I finally got the chance to sit with him and it took me forever to put this post together. lol and well we’re here now…
When sitting down with someone who you know personally and is out here killing the local hip hop scene there’s so many questions that I want to ask, it was simply where to start.
The interview started with us meeting where him and his band, The Wandering Assassins practice, Culture Control. A nice little spot with vintage clothes, a barber shop… it’s a dope little spot. After being introduced to everyone and given a shot to officially start the interview in a bomb ass movie room, I was excited to pick his brain. I’m one to take in my environment so when he chose the movie room I walked around and knew this was going to be a dope interview for me. I was admiring all the artwork everywhere and of course a Black Lives Matter shirt was on display because THEY DO.
When you speak with someone who’s in the entertainment business you don’t know who you’re going to get when you sit down to interview them. Preme sat down and it turned into me being me and getting all the details of what goes into what Pusha Preme loves to do.
Before sitting with him, I did some research about Preme as an artist and not only does he have solid ass songs, but he’s inspired by a solid ass group, Daft Punk.
If you don’t know who daft punk, they’ve done songs like Get Lucky ft. Pharrell, One More Time just to name a few.
Like Daft Punk, Pusha Preme wants his music to speak for itself while he still maintains his anonymity. How many artists do you see nowadays that don’t want to be in the spotlight for their skill/talent, not many. People get the opportunity to fall in love with his vision, his stories, his songs simply by delivering his talent to you in each song.
What’s cool to me is not only does he maintain his anonymity with such ease, he does it with a handmade mask. Now these masks aren’t just for show masks or just to hide his face, each mask tells a story.
He has this white mask, it’s my favorite because you can see all the detail that are put into each masks, he makes, that he named…. wait for it…. White Ranger. If you’re a Power Rangers fan like I was, you’ll appreciate that as much as I did.
Now unbeknownst to Pusha Preme, I’ve BEEN a fan of his music. He used to send me tracks all the time since the beginning and I listened to every last one. He turned me into a fan. Now I don’t simply become a fan because an artist is someone I know. I become a fan based off of your lyrics, the beat you chose, if the beat drops at the right time and lastly if you’re music doesn’t make me want to change the song in the first 15 seconds of me listening to it. In other words, their musicianship within the music.
With his music, I haven’t felt like I need to skip or move on to the next because honestly his music is one you can make a playlist of and it will genuinely be a whole vibe, beginning to end.
What’s a vibe? Lol well my definition of a vibe is I can sit in my car, I can be doing work, I can be in the shower lol I can find myself doing anything anywhere and listen to the tracks all the way through and bop to it the whole way though. That doesn’t always happen. Now of course with how music has evolved he does take the opportunity of listening to what is happening in music now and be able to cater to that crowd. As a music fan, not just a fan of Preme, I appreciate an artist who takes the steps to know their fans will grow right along with him.
We talked about what was at the time his newest single out, Activision feat. Frankie X. Not going to lie, I had no idea who Frankie X was before I heard the song, but he definitely did a great job on his end. I will say this… Pusha Preme’s feature game is serious. I asked him how he knows someone is the artist to be featured on one of his songs and his answer was pretty simple; Not only does he have to be a fan of this artist, he sees how they would fit with the direction he sees the song going… Now I don’t personally know if that’s the process for other artists, but doesn’t it seem like that’s how it should be?
I have QUITE a few favorites songs BUT my favorite song is the unreleased Lemonade, Don Toliver feat. Pusha Preme. If you haven’t listened take yourself to YouTube and you’ll find it OR you can listen below. SIDE NOTE: Let me tell you about my experience with Don Toliver, my 12-year-old daughter put me on. Lol DON’T JUDGE ME! or judge I don’t care… these kids put us adults on too lol
He didn’t think the song would get the traction he did. Hoping for him, it gets recognized more as it should be.
Of course, with music evolving Pusha Preme had to do the same. As an artist if you don’t evolve you could lose your fan base and I feel like he’s done a damn good job of making sure he doesn’t. I mean hey, not everyone is going to be a fan but if you were a fan of Pusha Preme before I’m pretty sure you still are one. Although he’s in a different place in his life than where he was when his career started, he’s still maintains to not lose his identity in the music game.
His most recent album release, “Before I say I do” shows ALL of the growth coming from the Pusha Preme who released “Heaven at Night” ….
(give it a listen… I told you all of his songs hit!)
which is still one of my favorites to the guy who released “Better than Yourself” off of his newest album. Take a listen for yourself and listen to the growth.
Look for these on his socials… you’ll know when the local talent will be out in the streets of Tampa.
Now before I end this let me not forget… this man has been popping up with local artists performing at different shows and events. 2020 was a year for growth for us all but after the year Preme has had… I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for him. A few shows he’s been in below draw a crowd of loyal Pusha Preme fans and his shows are a good time.
If you want to see or hear more of Pusha Preme follow him on Instagram @pushapreme and look for him on your DSPs (digital streaming platforms).
As a fan of music, as a fan of Pusha Preme, I’m super excited to see more projects he drops and continue his path on bringing the 813, Tampa Bay, to light.
That’s all I have on Pusha Preme today, but I know with the year 2021 has in store to be… the blessings will continue to come our friend’s way.
Until next time….
Many blessings your way…. V. Monique