What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is Rapper, Robert Martino. Robert reps Boston and New York and he has the work ethic and hits to match. We can definitely see Robert performing on stages such as Coachella and Rolling Loud. The rising MC has been on our radar for a while so we had to tap in with him. Check out the interview below. Westleaf Staff: What's up, Robert? Thanks for sitting down with us. When did you start making music? Robert: You know its funny you ask that, I started making music around 2016, but it wasn't until this year and the release of my last album The Return of the King that I really started to see something come out of it you know,
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! What city do you represent? Robert: Boston and New York, my dad grew up in Boston and my mom grew up in New York, so I spent a lot of time going back and fourth between both cities growing up, and I definitely have a love for both.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to Boston and NY! So how did you create your stage name? Robert: You know my stage name is actually just my real name so, I've definitely got to thank my parents for that, but I picked my real name because another rapper named Travis Thompson did, and I always just thought that was really cool.
Westleaf Staff: That's a dope. It's cool to be yourself! So how did your early life shape your interest in music? Robert: Damn thats another good question, to be honest I think growing up I had kind of a tough time, I always had friends and I found family within those friends but as for my home situation it was tough, we never struggled to put food on the table but psychologically, I think I had a tough time growing up, and because of that I gravitated towards music, you know I like to talk about The Return of the King in my music, because in my music I'm playing this character that I made up called the Young Al Capone, and he's almost like the personification of everything that i'm not, he's this smooth talking, animal, killer, a ladies man, sort of like James Bond, and then you see me in real life and I'm just me, I'm just Robert, and I love me, but I also love that guy too, so I love playing him on the track,
Westleaf Staff: Dope! Your alter ego sounds fire! So who is your biggest Musical influence? Robert: I think Logic and Biggie for sure, I grew up listening to Logic when I was a kid and he was the first artist that really introduced me to Hip-Hop, you know, and I always really listened to everybody you know but those two are the ones that stand out, I grew up on the Young Sinatra Mixtapes and Ready to Die, and until the day I die I will probably still be listening to those albums almost every single day.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! I feel that. Biggie is a legend! What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far? Robert: You know I don't think I've had that defining moment yet, but when I put out the Return of the King that is definetly when things changed, when that came out people started to look at me differently, they started to talk to me differently, and they definitely started to believe all of the things that I was saying all the time like "oh i'm going to be the greatest rapper who ever lived" you know, I was crazy back then when I was making that album and I still am, I'm just a little bit happier now so my music isn't as aggressive.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! Congrats on your accomplishment. So what makes you a unique artist? Robert: You know I think what makes me unique is the fact that i'm just myself you know, and I really care about the music, I spend months at a time just on one song, you know you don't see that a lot anymore, or at least I don't see it a lot anymore in the mainstream, I feel like with social media these days everybody is in a rush to get things out, but it made Nas 4 years to make Illmatic, one of the best Hip-Hop albums of all time, and I stand by that mentality, I want to make something timeless, and something that lasts forever, and you can't do that in a week, but you can definitely do that in 200 weeks, or 300 weeks for sure.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! So what does art mean to you? Robert: Art means peace, you know I don't think I would be who I am without art and music. It's as simple as that, and right now i'm not sure how to explain that any further but I just love it, you know, I just love music.
Westleaf Staff: That's deep! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years? Robert: I see myself as the Next Jay-Z, the next Nas, the next Young Sinatra, and I definitely want to take over the entire country and then maybe the world.
Westleaf Staff: I wish you much success! Before we go, describe music in three words. Robert: Home, Love, and Hip-Hop.
My website: https://www.robertmartino.net/