What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is hip hop artist, Dre A.M. Dre A.M. is a twenty-one year old artist based in Queens, New York - the mecca of rhythm and poetry. He began rapping at the ripe age of 12; viewing battle rap leagues such as URL, King Of The Dot and Don't Flop to form his rhyme patterns and punchlines, along with a foundation for his boisterous delivery. The young emcee partook in battles at school in the cafeteria, while scribbling short schemes in his notepad during class lectures. Eventually, Dre started to take his craft a bit more seriously, joining a rookie hip-hop collective by the name of Internet Strangers - an international squad consisting of rappers, singers/vocalists, and graphic designers. Their primary means of communication were through online services such as Discord and Google Drive, (hence the group's pseudonym) unless they met up in New York, Dre's hometown. Within time, Dre would outgrow this phase of his life and embark upon a solo career, in which he has created considerable buzz with tracks like Not A Hobby, The Mortality, and Brady.
The self proclaimed "most confident anxious-rapper" crafted his moniker by combining his childhood nickname (Dre) with his legal initials (A.M.), coincidentally spelling out "Dream". Some theorize he is also referring to himself as a radio station, due to his propensity to convey his thoughts directly to the listener.
Checkout our interview with Dre below!
Westleaf Staff: What's up Dre? We love your sound. When did you start making music?
Dre A.M. : I started rapping at the age of twelve. I really enjoyed 8 Mile, which compelled me to battle my friends at school. Eventually I started recording seriously in December of 2019.
Westleaf Staff: I love that. 8 Mile is one of my favorites as well. What city do you represent?
Dre A.M.: New York, Queens to be precise.
Westleaf Staff: How did you create your stage name?
Dre A.M.: My mother and I came up with it unexpectedly. We basically played scrabble on a piece of paper, by taking my childhood nickname (Dre) and combing it with my initials (A.M.) to create a hybrid that spells dream.
Westleaf Staff: Ha! Your mom helping you come up with your name is pretty dope. So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Dre A.M.: I grew up listening to Hip Hop, definitely feels like a cultural thing for Italians. Guys like Biggie, Snoop, Dr Dre, Eminem etc. My parents actually played Biggie for me while I was in my playpen as a baby, and according to them I would dance to his songs. Apparently had great rhythm too.
Westleaf Staff: I can see that. Italy's hip hop scene is on the rise. We've seen a lot of dope artists from there over the past few years. So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Dre A.M.: Earl Sweatshirt for sure. Discovering him took my surface level interest in rap music to an entirely new threshold.
Westleaf Staff: Nice! I can see the influence but you definitely have your own style. What has been the defining moment in your music career?
Dre A.M.: Definitely the release of my latest album, Bad Kid Good City.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! Congrats on your project! So what makes you a unique artist?
Dre A.M.: I approach my delivery and lyrics in an esoteric fashion. I strive to create new pockets and phrases that no emcee has utilized.
Westleaf Staff: What does art mean to you?
Dre A.M.: Art is escapism and the freedom of expression. It is the opposing figure to the contrived and concrete ways of life.
Westleaf Staff: Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Dre A.M.: World Domination, baby.
Westleaf Staff: Respect. Put it in the air! Describe music in three words.
Dre A.M.: Rhythm and Poetry
Follow Dre A.M.:
Checkout "Neanderthal" from Dre A.M.'s latest album Bad Kid, Good City