Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi it’s our pleasure to introduce to you our next featured Artist; Hip-Hop producer, emcee and visionary 7evenThirtyCurrently on tour with his sophomore album, “The Problem”, produced by Gensu Dean and released through Mello Music Group the LP is already being hailed as a testament to real Hip-Hop everywhere and we couldn’t be happier to feature him in his first ever Central California appearance!

So 7even, for those of us unfamiliar with you and your music, who are you and where you from?

I go by 7evenThirty. I’m a rapper/producer/artist from Jackson, Mississippi.

Your last two projects were released by Mello Music Group and were a real testament to your skills as an emcee. Mind telling us what’s next, and will you be releasing any other projects with MMG?

I’m always plotting, planning, and creating what will be the next thing. Right now I’m wrapping up the MDMX (pronounced “Mad Max”) LP with 5-D, a long-time friend and producer. I guess a quick answer is that I’m working really hard, producing new music. In regards to Mello, before my projects with them, I was a completely independent artist and I enjoyed the grind that came along with that. I’m toying with going back to that space but who knows?

We first caught notice of Gensu Dean with his work with Central Valley native Planet Asia with the release of their “Abrasions” LP in 2013. Since then you and Gensu have also manage to release some really powerful music together, mind telling us a little about that process?

I’ve known Gensu (I call him Dean) since living in Jackson. He used to live there and we claim him as our own. I’ve lived in Dallas, TX for the past six years and Dean was living our here at the same time for a few years, so we had plenty of time to catch up. We’re like brothers. Our wives are like sisters. I originally had an idea to do a four-track EP entirely produced and rapped by me and I was gonna call it “The Problem”. As in 7evenThirty is a problem for rappers. I shared the idea with Dean and my wife actually gave us the idea of having Dean do the production and I do the raps, and make it a full album called “The Problem”. So we immediately got to work. We decided to focus on real life problems and some fictional story-telling. Dean produced all new beats for that album, all on the SP-1200.

I originally had a full playlist of Dean’s beats in a folder on my computer, but I couldn’t stop myself from listening to all of the beats on an album loop. I had to erase all of them and told Dean to send me one beat at a time. He sent me a beat, I recorded to it, and sent it back. Then he would send me the next one. Once we got the flow together, it was like clockwork. During the process, we made sure to keep the original definition of “The Problem” and it’s darker tone and theme. It became my second project on MMG.

Hip-hop and music in general has always been a good way to address social issues, in your 2014 release of “The Problem” you address one of our countries oldest and biggest social problems, Racism. Can you remember back to any music that brought your attention to a social issue in this way?

I remember Posdnuos saying “De La Soul is here to stay like racism”. He was right on both accounts. Racism, I think is something that will always be an issue on some scale or another. You can’t ignore race, no matter how you may try. But there’s a difference between acknowledging race and being racist or prejudice. A Tribe Called Quest’s “Sucka Nigga” was a huge influence on me. It made me realize how much I said it, and still say it. It broke down, to a degree, where the word derived from and how we’ve transformed the use of the word over the time. “Fuck Tha Police” is also a classic for me because it’s pretty self-explanatory. I love Dead Prez, Goodie Mob’s “Soul Food”, and pretty much anything by Curtis Mayfield. He added a lot of social commentary and had a huge influence on the title track for “The Problem”.

Mississippi is full of culture, how would you describe it’s music scene, people and overall vibe?

The Sip is one of those places. In cities like Jackson, you have to create the scene you want to see. There’s a concentrated energy in Mississippi that sorta cultivates creativity. A lot of times, all there is to do is concentrate on creating and perfecting your craft. That’s why you see some serious artists, of all forms, coming from Mississippi.

2016’s already proving to be promising year for you, can you tell us what’s in store for the rest of the year (music, concerts, shows)?

It’s looking pretty good this year, big moves up ahead. Me and 5-D have the MDMX album coming titled “Future Genesis”, and I’ve got another secret project in the works for the later part of the year so stay tuned! I foresee a whole lot of traveling this year, starting with my hometown the week after Cali, then headed north. Look out for tour dates soon!

Emcees are often criticized for being motivated by the materialistic something we just don’t get from you, in fact we found your music touching, honest and at times emotional like in your track “God” that was dedicated to the loss of your daughter. Obviously she is one of your great motivators and inspirations, how important is it for music to be honest now at days?

I actually wrote “God” as a celebration of Jada’s life, rather than our loss of her.  She inspires me daily and constantly gives me a reason to establish a legacy in her honor. It’s very important to write from the heart, that’s if you’re serious about writing. Scarface always did this very well. It does take a bit of vulnerability to actually write down your honest feelings and record them. I think it takes even more bravery to share them with people. I guess I’ve always gotten along better with people who were honest. Even if I didn’t always like what they had to say.

We and our fans really appreciate you taking the time to hang out with us, for those of us looking to stay in the loop what’s the best way for us to follow and support you and your music?

Thank you so much for having me. You can find me on Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Apple Music/ iTunes and Soundcloud as 7evenThirty. You can also like my 7evenThirty page on Facebook. Stay in touch! PEACE!

For advanced ticket options click HERE

*Post Art-Hop Concert Series
* The LF Gallery – 1416 N Broadway 93721
* Thursday May 5, 2016
* 8pm-?
* All Ages
* $5