South Carolina’s Priest Clay recently released his project “The Purple Tape” a compilation of joints inspired by what’s to come. Priest Clay through vintage visuals and raw storytelling has my ears perked for these future projects. I had a chance to sit down Priest Clay and talk to him about all of this and more.
Dead End Hip Hop: For those who still don’t know who is Priest Clay?
Priest Clay: Priest Clay is a cat from Greenville, SC. I spit to motivate people to go get theirs. I like to coin myself as a unique individual. I like that phrase because going off the definition, when something is unique it is truly unlike anything else. My life in general is really one of a kind and I feel that translates well into my music.
DEHH: What was your introduction to hip-hop and how did you go from a fan, to someone who creates music?
PC: I’ve been a fan of hip-hop since I can remember. I won a home stereo set when I was mad young like 7 and I always used to bump whatever CDs I could get my hands on. When limewire was hot I had everybody’s album the day they dropped hahaha. When I was 10 or 11 i started writing verses to different beats I liked off the CDs. At the time though, rapping wasn’t really what I was trying to do I just liked to write rhymes. Starting around the end of high school I started getting asked if I did music or not. Random people in random places I never paid any mind to it, but it dawned on me that the universe was sending me signs that this was my calling. Music has gotten me through some crazy things and really has shaped me into the person I find myself becoming. I know it is only right that I take my experiences and help the next person who may be in similar situations that I’m in just like the artists that I listened to coming up did.
DEHH: I’ve interviewed a few artists from South Carolina now, tell me a bit about the hip-hop scene down there and more importantly how do you fit into it?
PC: Underrated, for sure. It is a lot of dope artist all throughout South Carolina but we get overlooked as a State for reasons beyond me, blame it on lack of established platforms I guess. I feel I offer a different viewpoint of the state though, Greenville especially. A viewpoint that was missing before I started recording.
DEHH: How did “The Purple Tape” come about what was the motivation behind it?
PC: The Purple Tape came about outta nowhere honestly. Those were cuts that still needed some touching up, but due to some unfortunate mishaps by some horrible computer store I was only left with the final songs. So I decided to some of in the form of an EP as a teaser of what’s coming, new joints I have been working on are ridiculous haaa. I called it The Purple Tape because throughout the entire time of me writing and recording a lot of those songs I would often just see the color purple. It started happening to me more and more as time passed, and I am a real inquisitive dude so it made me do some research on the color itself. Turns out, purple represents ambition, peace, creativity, devotion, and a few other words. It clicked then as to why I was seeing it so much, those words can describe me and this journey I am taking myself on in the rap game.
DEHH: There are no guest appearances on this tape and even in talking to you, you kind of seem like the lone wolf type, how does all this effect how you approach your art and career in hip-hop?
PC: I think it goes back to my writing as a kid I find myself making a lot of featureless tracks. I don’t oppose working with others or anything like that though i’m always down to collab on something if I like a persons style.
DEHH: One of my favorite parts about your album rollout are the lo-fi vintage look in your videos what’s the inspiration behind that?
PC: Appreciate it man, I love things like that though, I’m an old soul in reality all I watch is basketball(mostly classic games), old movies, and old music videos. I tend to hunt for vintage stuff or just stuff that you won’t see everyday so I use that perspective when thinking of my songs and videos.
DEHH: When people are done listening to “The Purple Tape” what do you want them to take away from it?
PC: I hope they hear my hunger. I’m giving a fresh prospective and style thats not in the rap game right now. Also my progression, If you go back and check out my first mixtape, self titled “Priest”, and listen to The Purple Tape you hear crazy progression. Just me getting more comfortable with my flow and a better writer, that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.
DEHH: We’re about to hit the halfway mark of 2018, what can we expect from you in the latter half?
PC: I’m working on music, constantly. I plan on dropping some more stuff before the end of the year so definitely be on the lookout for that. I a few things in the works so I’ll most definitely be dropping off some stuff soon.