Hey Mank – A solo rapper from LA! Tell us how you got started….
I’ve loved music since i was a kid, I’ve always loved music, but I began making music in high school. I started with a rap group called C-Dott which lead to a record deal with Universal.
How would you describe your music?
I consider my music something for everyone; something that everyone can enjoy no matter the lifestyle they live. Timeless music is what I’m chasing, so if I make a song and put it out 2 years from now, it’ll still be something people can listen to and love.
Who are the top 3 artists you would like to work with?
The Black Keys, Production by Kanye West, and Nate Reuss of Fun.
What was it like growing up in the Crenshaw district?
I mean, it was fun…as a kid you really didn’t know the dangers of the streets until you got older like middle school age and then you realize- the streets are real. People getting robbed, killed, dying everyday, you gotta worry about the police. They make movies off of the lifestyle in the Crenshaw district, they are mimicking the everyday life in LA, and people look at these movies and think “it cant be that bad”, but it is, its like cowboys and Indians out here! But then people from LA look at the same movie and think to themselves “dang, that is what we live in” but until you look at it from the outside in, you don’t even realize that its your life.
You were in prison for close to 5 years. How did this affect your mindset?
It made me want to go harder, I realized that it was a place I never wanted to go back to again. During my time away I paid attention to hip hop and other moguls (such as Bob Johnson, Mark Burnett, Jay-Z and Diddy) and the moves that the new up and coming artists were making to get exposure. The entire time I was in there I was focused on my grind for when I got out, I told myself that I was going to hit the ground running the minute I was free, and I did.
Do you see yourself as a creative artist as well a ‘business’?
Yes of course. The 4 letters in my name is something that i want to become a brand. I want Mank to be more than music. Of course I’m an artist, but I am a business too. I want my name to be like Pepsi! When you see my name you know its good quality, you know that you can expect good things from it.
Tell us about what you have planned for this Summer…
This summer I’m dropping 2 mixtapes on the same day (#2tapes1day). The first of which will be titled NevaGive which means to never give up and never back down on anything you want to do, dreams, goals, whatever it is, never take no for an answer. And the second will be titled The Back Up Plan which has 2 meanings. One meaning is- always be prepared. The second meaning is literal, this tape IS my back up plan. The streets was the 1st plan, that didn’t work out so making music is the back up.
What can we expect to find on your YouTube channel?
Growth. Because we’ve been doing it for so long, we came from shooting videos with iPhones to some of the best camera equipment we shoot with now. So you can expect to see the visuals get better and better and more music from the rest of the RedRoom.
Please take a moment to close your eyes and imagine the incredible future in front of you. What is the difference you would like to make?
I want people to see where I came from and get inspired. I want to motivate people, all kinds of people to achieve their goals and dreams and know that they can do anything they want. I want them to feel like I’m speaking for them through my music and give them understanding of all aspects of life, through my eyes.