That ladies and gentlemen is King Ulysses in his full form. I got to sit down with the Spoken Word artist with no filter to discuss his origin story, his music, where he wants to end up, and some music industry thoughts in between. This is an interview where we hail to the King.
D: What got you started on the road of music?
U: I started doing spoken word bc I really enjoyed jazz and poetry. The main thing that got me started was one day in I think first grade these kids made a rap song for show and tell, I thought it sucked and that I could do way better. So I wrote a quick little song and shit on them.
D: How’d that one rap song progress into the artist you are now?
U: Well I actually never wanted to rap bc I thought rap was.bullshit for the longest. I was more of a jazz and r&b fan. But I did write stories very often. I had written several books by the time 7th grade came around. Eventually I heard Just Lose It by Eminem which I despised and it left me thinking Eminem was totally trash, and that I could do better. I was eventually challenged to do better but my style sounded like Ludacris. My favorite at the time. I hated sounded like another nigga so I decided to just write my books in rhyme form. Me hating rap was what made me try to sound as far from a rapper as possible while still maintaining the hip-hop sound. Which is why I sound like spoken word today.
D: What’s life been like thus far with your music and everything outside of that? Sounds like you’re on the Independent Artist trail definitely.
U: My life has been pretty difficult honestly. Constantly moving, always losing people to either death or disconnect. Friends arrested or dead. It gets rough knowing you can wake up the next day and your boy got his picture surrounded by candles and flowers on some RIP shit and even worse knowing you were part of the type of shit that got him out of here. Associating with gang life was an escape and protection for me and it helped me see behind the scenes shit. I also suffer from depression and regularly occurring suicidal thoughts so my way of coping is to always joke around and try not to think too much. My music is never happy bc I’m never actually happy. Just kinda drifting and wallowing. I am on the independent artist trail bc ion wanna pay other niggas for my own product. Might as well pay niggas to use my own voice. I have a hard time scheduling shit bc somehow everything gets pushed back for random reasons and it gets tiring. Above all I just wanna smoke weed, take care of my kids if ever I have any, and fuck a sexy ass wifey. Ion want no bullshit. Fuck this racism shit. Fuck that gang shit. Get high and get pussy man. Everyone is always so quick to wanna hurt someone else over some shit they wont care about in like two weeks lol.
D: Was your project Grimeball a natural branching of ideas from your life and what’s going on in the US as of late?
U: Yeah. Grimeball was actually written in book form before I wrote it in song form. The entire project took me six days to write.
D: Have you always stuck to the book form? That seems like a more methodical and personal way to get a project across one stage to the other.
U: Yeah man like I said before I wrote a lot of books so the practice helps me write stories either, hence why songs like The Hate Project are so vivid. Its like giving myself a script to rap about. Or like a blueprint of how to make/create the line before I actually write it.
D: If you weren’t rapping could you see yourself being a author? Your subject matter and tone in your music warrants it.
U: Honestly even Ohini has suggested that I should be an author and explore my ability in that. I mean I’ve considered but I wrote books for myself to read bc I found the books in the library to be too predictable.
D: So the writing process in your raps are fairly easy?
U: Yeah for me.
D: What’s life for you outside of the music?
U: Life for me outside of music is working, making sure there’s food on the table and bills are paid. I want nice things so I gotta grind for them so that’s what I’m doing. Tryna have a nice five bedroom house, couple dogs, kids, couple cats, a gecko, a dragon and a fine ass wife by me lol.
D: Where do you see yourself in a year’s time with your music and life?
U: ummm truth be told I see myself a little more known, on the underground tip. I wont be working for anyone in a year and if I am then I’m gonna be quitting soon. I don’t ever wanna have to ask another person for time off so I can see my own children feel me? lol I been networking and shit, talking to some of my favorite emcees about collaborations for an album I have in the works called W.F.W. (not saying the full title yet) lol but overall I just see myself way more comfortable in terms of my living situation.
D: Any thoughts on the Rap Game right now? It’s a lot that’s happened as of late with artists releasing music.
U: Man most these niggas so fucking weak that anyone who is remotely okay at playing with words is labeled elite when they not. Niggas be singing and saying five words a bar, or mumbling some completely incoherent shit, or copying entire ideas, or copying how niggas dress, or just getting a hard beat and autotuning drug raps over them the whole time. Niggas be putting out the same album over and over bruh. And on top of that, rap is so fucking wack right now that if you actually want a rapper to rap or be good at it, you’re automatically a hater and you should just enjoy music. Why these niggas got rappers who don’t write in they top five? Niggas calling dudes albums classic after two weeks then listen to like the songs on that album three weeks later.if you rap fast or angry you automatically had a dope verse to these nut ass niggas. Niggas be saying dudes sound like NaS or Ghostface for the stupidest reasons. They don’t even be rapping anything alike. Every beef we had recently was wack as fuck. There’s like five or MAYBE ten good mainstream rappers out right now. The rest have no originality and only flow good so niggas get tricked into thinking the lyrics are good. I’m happy there’s people like Mac miller, Kendrick, Vince, etc etc but nah man everyone else besides the veterans are really disappointing. We need more people who give a Fuck about actually having a hot verse. More people who wanna get on your song and make you look fucking wack bc they killed you. Niggas just making blahzayblah music now.
D: Do you think the Underground is on the rise as far as more prominent artists and creativeness?
U: Nah, lol not at all.
D: What would you change about your music projects if you could, looking back?
U: I really wouldn’t change anything.
D: To wrap up, what would you tell to aspiring rappers and artists out there that’ll read this?
U: Have your own opinion, stick by it. Be yourself and be honest when you rap unless you’re dry snitching on yourself. Be yourself when you rap bc that way no one can say you stole their style. Don’t copy no ones lyrics lmao and educate yourself as much as possible about this art form, and take the advice your OGs give you before it’s too late.