Blue Robe Clean: #Dabeeside exclusive interview with P Blackk.

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What’s up, people!? It’s your boy Trav Dave back with another one ~ No DJ Khaled. This young brother I’m about to introduce y’all to right here has been the truth to me since I was first put on to him around 2010 2011 though my man, King Vada. He’s one of the most creative people I know, he took his talents to the west coast and is now out there doing his thing for one of the most popular internet sites around, BuzzFeed. From art to rapping, this guy delivers nothing but dope shit. One time for my guy, P. Blackk.

Q: Growing up in Columbus, Ohio is the ultimate comfort zone. It has a little city big town feel. What made you step out of your comfort zone and move to California?

A: I moved around a lot growing up actually. I was born in New Jersey, lived in New York, raised in Baltimore, moved to Hilliard in my early teens, and then finally Columbus when I started going to college. So, staying in one place for a long time is actually out of my comfort zone. I felt like I hit my ceiling in Ohio, creatively — so I had to make that trip to California for more opportunities and so I could expand and find new inspiration.

Q: I think your core fan base or supporters know you’re a dope emcee but how has living in LA change the way you make music?

A: I’d say now I let inspiration find me instead of constantly searching for inspiration. I was somewhat of a studio rat while in Columbus, but now I have a little home studio so whenever inspiration strikes me I can lay that energy down immediately. Sometimes that can get lost when you gotta wait to hit up the studio on weekends and whatnot.

 

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Q: After your project with the legendary J.Rawls, it seems like you took a break from making music.

Was there any reason behind the hiatus?

A: I was finishing up my last year of school while finishing up that project. So after we knocked that out I was on a heaaavy graduate school/job search grind. I put out some self-produced EP’s when I rediscovered making beats. But I was pretty set on making that move to California so I was really focused on getting my portfolio and resume on point so I could land a job out here.

Q: A lot of people don’t know this but you are also a producer. If you could produce an EP for somebody, who would it be and why?

A: It would be really fresh to produce for Anderson.Paak. He brings a certain energy to songs that are really unique. You can’t get his voice somewhere else. And he’s so musically inclined it’d be an extremely collaborative process we’d both benefit from, mostly me though haha. That dude is disgustingly dope.

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Q: You are a junior staff writer at one of the most popular websites ever. Tell us how you landed your job at BuzzFeed?

A: I initially applied for an illustration position, that didn’t work out but I stayed in contact with the amazing woman who interviewed me. I was told I might be a good fit for their fellowship program, I applied to that. Got in, worked my ass for a couple months and landed the full-time gig. It was a dope experience.

Q: One of my favorite BuzzFeed pieces that you worked on was the “SnapChat Rap Filters”.  What is your favorite piece you have done so far at BuzzFeed?

A: Haha I thoroughly enjoyed doing the Snapchat Rap Filters piece. It was fun, but my favorite piece is actually a tie. It’s between this post I did about the cast of Arthur and what they look like now. It was fun, it got some dope coverage, MTV picked up, and Twitter lowkey went crazy with the memes on it. That and this Black Suburban Kid post.

Q: Another piece you did for BuzzFeed is when you dressed up in different outfits for a week straight and went to the same places to see how people would treat you. What sparked that idea and what did you see was the major take away from it?

A: I was walking on my lunch break and this woman was walking out of some store with her daughter slightly ahead of her. Her face dropped when she saw me, she ran, grabbed her daughter then ran back inside the store. I remember I had my locs corn rolled and I had a flannel with a hoodie underneath it. I feel like that wouldn’t have happened if I was white and I was wearing that same outfit. But obviously I can’t change my ethnicity (and I would never want to) so then I thought what if I had a suit on would she have reacted the same?… My major take away was I can’t change everyone’s perception of me so my best bet is to wear what I feel most comfortable in. I don’t need someone to validate me.

Q: We all know there has been some crazy racial tension going on all over the US right now, tell us what are your feelings about all the things that have gone down in 2016.

A: It’s been a horrible year honestly. I don’t think it’s anything new we’re hearing on the news, seeing on social media or anything like that. It’s just that a lot more people are aware of it now. I feel like it’s becoming an overload to the senses for some — we’re hearing about a new innocent black man, woman, or child being murdered at what feels like every day. I think for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction, though. It’s safe to say we’ve made a lot of progress the past couple years, now we’re seeing the pushback because of that progress. There are ignorant people out there scared of change, scared of losing their privilege, scared of people of color chanting “Make America great again!” wanting to prevent further progress from happening. That isn’t surprising either, there has just been people living in the dark oblivious to both sides of the spectrum. It’s just been a wack ass year, though. But when times are tough, creativity flourishes. Everyone needs a release. So art, music, culture, etc has been really pushing forward. And I think that’s probably the only bright side in all this madness.

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Q: What inspired you to pick the pen back up? “Blue Robe” is crazy but can we expect a full project soon?

A: I never put it down! I actually put out 3 self-produced EP’s after Contemporary Nostalgia with J. Rawls. I just slowed down on putting stuff out after that, though. I think it’s because I care more now. But what inspired me to start releasing stuff again was simple. I really missed it haha. When I was in Columbus, making music became a chore so I didn’t want to release stuff anymore. Fewer folks started hitting me up because of my lack of output, which was dope because it became less of a job and I was able to create freely again. But I’m definitely working on releasing a project soon.

Q: Who are your top 5 rappers producers?

A: I gotta go with Dilla, Pharrell, Rashad, iYeball, and Raz Fresco.

Q: Last question, what advice would you give to your 21-year-old self about rapping and achieving your highest goals in life?

A: The advice I’d give to myself about rapping is to do it because you enjoy it, do it because it’s fun. Make something that you truly enjoy so then when you find people that enjoy it too you know it’s real. You know they really appreciate your ear, your quirks, your taste, they truly appreciate you at your core. And to remember that achieving life goals isn’t the most important thing. The journey is more important than the destination. So make sure you surround yourself with an amazing group of friends so when you reach them high ass goals you’re aspiring to you can share that joy with your peoples.

I want to thank you for taking the time out to do this. Please tell the people where they can hear your music or read your work with BuzzFeed and check you out and or any shout outs you got.

Peace x Power.

Nah man thank you. But www.pblackk.com is my website. instagram.com/pblackk is where you can see what I’m doing. twitter.com/pblackk is where you can see what I’m thinking. soundcloud.com/pblackk is where you can hear what I’m making. buzzfeed.com/pedrofequiere is where you can see what I’m writing.