One of Ohio’s most known, yet largely unknown lyricist would be Copywrite; also known as a member of the underground hip-hop group MegaHertz . Native to Columbus, Ohio and having a large following across the globe, Copywrite is still highly under rated. Despite this, Copywrite continues working to turn the tables, with new music and his new label. Recently, Copywrite inked a new deal with Amalgam Digital, along with releasing a new, one of a kind album, Choose Your Own Adventure: Murderland.
Hip-Hop Digital: What’s good? How’s life treating you?
Copywrite: I’m good. Everything is cool, just chilling.
Hip-Hop Digital: You’ve got a lot going on at this point. The first thing I want to touch on is the fact your new album is interactive and guided by the user. What’s the inspiration behind that?
Copywrite: Really, the inspiration was the old ‘choose your own adventure’ books that where really popular when I was a kid. I always thought about them throughout my life, they just left a mark on me. I had an idea for this album for 5 or 6 years now, I just hadn’t done it yet. I was talking with my homie Surock about doing an EP, and it turned into the chose-your-own-adventure album. The beats were already done so he didn’t have a problem; I just ran with it from there.
Hip-Hop Digital: How did you link up with Next, for your new deal with Amalgam Digital?
Copywrite: Next is somebody I’ve known for a minute. I actually met him 3 or 4 years ago at the Ohio Hip-Hop Awards. From what he said, he was familiar with my work, as well as a fan. We stayed in contact a little bit and kicked it a few times, like at SXSW. He is just a really cool dude, who’s very knowledgeable of hip-hop and business. Surock and I originally talked about putting the Choose Your Own Adventure EP out, just straight independent. So, I called Next and asked if he wanted to do it, he was like “Yeah, let’s do it.” When I told him I was headed in to serve my time, he asked if I still wanted to drop the album, and I told him yeah; so that’s why we put it out like we did.
Hip-Hop Digital: Is this a long term deal or is it strictly for the album, Murderland?
Copywrite: No, we’ll be dropping another album after my release. Blood Bath and Beyond is the next album, then we’re going to take it from there.
Hip-Hop Digital: Currently you’re preparing to head in and serve a four month sentence for assaulting a police officer. What is the story behind that?
Copywrite: It happened back in 2013, on October 22nd. I got a DUI, well, I got a few of them; so I just quit drinking altogether. I got five DUI’s, all in the span of four years. The night that I got this DUI was real bad because I blacked out. I had two hit and skips — I hit a car, truck, and a house, along with refusing to take the breathalyzer test. They took me to the hospital and got a warrant for a blood test. I was just flipping out on the cops in the hospital and fighting them; I ended up going to jail for some time over it. I served a month in between March & April for the DUI, now I have to go serve time for the assault on a police officer. A lot of people thought I was done with the case, but its two different charges, with two different sentences. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when they were going to have room for me. They called and let me know it’s time, so, I’ll be ready to go this Monday. It’s not that bad; there are people in there doing life. I’ve got only four and a half months…I f**ked up so I have to go do it.
Hip-Hop Digital: How do you feel this will affect the circulation of the album?
Copywrite: I don’t know man, it’s always better for the artist to be out promoting. Maybe it will help, maybe it will hurt, but I’d rather be out so I can promote it. All I know is, when I come back out I’ll be working harder than ever on “Blood Bath and Beyond”, I want it to be my best album yet. I want to see if we can take it to the next level.
Hip-Hop Digital: So, with the legal trouble you’ve encountered you’ve decided to remain sober. What kind of affect has that had on you, not only as a man, but as an artist?
Copywrite: It’s been better. I’m more clear headed, especially performance wise. I did the tour with Rass Kass back in January, and I was sober for the whole tour. Show wise it was great; I didn’t forget the lyrics or mess them up. I got to connect with my fans after the show, it was just a better feel and look. I won’t lie there are days I wish I could smoke or drink, but I don’t like not having a good memory, and weed f**ks up my memory. No matter how fun it is at the time, it just kills my personality. I’m an addict and an alcoholic, for sure, it’s in my genes – it really is a disease. I’m going to be that way the rest of my life, it’s just learning to combat it. It’s tricky, some days I don’t want to be sober. I have to because I know what it [addiction] leads to. I can’t be social with it; I have to just stay away from it.
Hip-Hop Digital: Enough about that, let’s get deeper into this project. What’s the inspiration behind the project, “Choose Your Own Adventure: Murderland“?
Copywrite: I wanted to have some songs that were real lyrical. I wanted some raw songs that people, who became fans because of the first album (High Exhaulted), could appreciate. They didn’t think I would go back to that old style, so I wanted some of that on there.I had to do some stories to really make the concept work. You know, choosing your own adventure has to be about stories. I’ve done a few story tracks over my career but I’ve never had a project this story orientated. Surock is a really talented producer from D.C., he’s been featured on all of my projects since 2008. I’ve always wanted to do a whole project with him, because he is that good. Seriously, he’s one of my top five producers; he is really sick, and never sounds the same. I didn’t know I was going to do this a year ago, I thought I was going to be putting out “Blood Bath and Beyond”, that was going to be my fourth solo album. I don’t like to force music, so I just went with what felt good at the time. Everything just worked out.
Hip-Hop Digital: With the album being produced entirely by Surlock, what was it in the chemistry that made everything just right?
Copywrite: We’re both really picky, and highly underrated! I feel like I’ve been killin’ s**t since ’98. That’s only on records, I’ve been putting out vinyls, worldwide since ’98. I know that I don’t get mentioned as much as I should, and I know it’s because of lack of promotion. I know that for a fact. Surock feels the same way, although he hasn’t been putting out records quite as long as me. He is a beast; he has worked with a lot of great artists including Crooked I, Guilty Simpson, and Blu. I feel like we are both really hungry, we still have a lot to prove. So, we vibed on that as common ground. We’re just out here trying to really take ours, since people don’t want to give us the credit we deserve.
Hip-Hop Digital: You’ve got some really great tracks on this album, one of my favorite is Trouble. Which would you say is yours?
Copywrite: I would say Leroy, Trouble, and No Games. Leroy, I love the beat and the lyrics to the verse I spit. I really like how we put it together, the whole vibe. I’ve never rapped over a beat like that one, with the congos in it, it sounds like a break dancing beat. Trouble, I love the piano notes and gospel influence. It also reminds me of Charlie Brown music. The beat really touched my soul, it’s just soulful. No Games, that’s that video game beat, I like the melody and the drums. I don’t usually like up-tempo beats, so for me to like an up-tempo beat, it has to be good.
Hip-Hop Digital: You poured your heart out on Trouble. What where you going through, at the time you wrote it?
Copywrite: I had written that in March, right before I served my month sentence. I just felt like I was dealing with a lot of stuff. I know I caused it, so it wasn’t like a ‘Why me?’ song, but more reflecting on all the s**t I was dealing with. I was really thinking about everything in life: I could have killed someone or myself, yet I didn’t remember any of this! I hit a Mazda, ‘causing it to flip, an Explorer, and a house, and I walked away without a scratch; God is good. He’s obviously telling me that he is not going to keep saving me, if I keep doing this s**t. I had just got off tour with Rass Kass, thinking about having to go to jail for a month, and I didn’t know how long I was going to be in the work house, until I went to court.
Hip-Hop Digital: What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned from going to jail?
Copywrite: There is a consequence to every action, whether it’s positive or negative. Sometimes we don’t think, especially me. I don’t think about what the outcome will be. You have to be careful because you’re not always going to be lucky. You can really end up in a situation that you don’t want to be in.
Hip-Hop Digital: Once you return home, what is the next move in the game for Copywrite?
Copwrite: When I get out, I’m probably going to go on tour with Next and Chuuwee, who is also on Amalgam Digital. Surock will be out there DJing for me, as well. I also have to finish up “Blood Bath and Beyond”, my fans have been waiting on that for a minute. As far as life goes, just doing the best I can with Sobriety. I didn’t drink or do drugs until the age of 23, so I can easily remember being sober. It’s not like some people, who started smoking at 13 or 14, never really knowing the sober them. They never really have been sober as an adult, but that wasn’t the case with me. I love being sober, I love that person that I was, and I love getting back to that. I’m excited to see, after 2-3 years of sobriety, how much better my mind works. I’m just excited for the future. I’m trying to change for myself. Hopefully people will look at me differently, and not just see me as a crazy, loose cannon.
Interview by Kristy Steele