Artist- Blast
Article by- Concord Jones

The fourth of five children, Blast grew up in South Chicago where gangs were rampant and getting caught up in a life on the streets was the norm. But he was determined to take a different path, and by the age of nine, had focused his energy on rap music. "My first rap album was Dr. Dre. After I bought the Chronic, it was a wrap. I knew I was in love with hip hop," Blast remembers. Rap became more than something to listen to, and he soon found inspiration from well-known artists like Wu-tang, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, UGK and Scarface.

At the age of 13, Blast moved with his mother to Texas. "It was a different world. I would vibe with all my friends in the studio and just sit back and listen. But, I didnt take it too seriously," Blast said. He graduated from high school and moved back to Chicago to attend college. It wasnt long before he realized music and rapping was what he really wanted to do. "I was in school battling and writing verses and songs everyday and I knew I was made for this." He moved back to Texas and hooked up with Big Gun Records where he started working on mixtapes. It was easy to hear he brought a unique style to the industry with his mix of Midwest slang and East Coast flow, combined with Southern flamboyance. Music didnt pay the bills, so Blast had to take on various jobs to keep the lights on, the water running, and on occasion, to buy some clothes or a pair of sneakers. "I was working two jobs and staying at the studio until four or five in the morning trying to make this rap shit happen."

"It was crazy when I worked with Bun B and Scarface. It was like I was dreamin' or somethin'. I remember writing my verses and 15 minutes later they were done. I didn't' even finish 2 lines! "

After differences with the label on the project, Big gun and Blast parted ways. "Honestly speaking, I wasnt serious and hungry as I should have been. Big Gun had all the equipment, all the tools, and the mind set to do something in this game," he said. He kept in close contact with Mario Cuin and Johnny Cuin, (both of Big Gun) and one day received a call asking if he was REALLY ready to do this rap thing, his answer was "Hell yeah! I didnt appreciate what I had until I left the label and was out by myself," he added. Soon after rejoining Big Gun, Blast started working with hot producers, including Mannie Fresh, Collipark, Happy Perez, Play-N-Skillz, and Mr.Lee. As well as big name artists like Bun B, Scarface, Akon, Big Tuck and more."It was crazy when I worked with Bun B and Scarface because I looked up to them and grew up on they music. I learned a lot just being in the same studio with them."

Recently, Blast has been working with Unkut, and Big Gun's newest member, Geminii. He's also partnering with a friend from high school, Jay Breezy, and another member from the label Yung Esco. "Weve been coming along with hot shit and I know people arent gonna expect the shit we've been doing. Thats why I called the album Unexpected. Ive been doubted my whole life by everybody."

Check out the Interview

What were your inspirations as a rapper growing up?
I was born in Chicago and moved to Dallas when I was 13. So I was exposed to all kinds of rap. I grew up listening to Jay-Z, Biggie, Wu-tang, and of course Twista. Then when I moved to Dallas I was exposed to a whole new scene. From UGK, Scarface, MJG and 8Ball, to Outkast. I listened to everything. It helped me be opened minded about music. Gotta stay open minded!

How did you know at only 9 yrs of age, that rap is what you wanted to do?
Man, when I heard the Chronic! I was listening to rap before that, but when Dre dropped, that was it! That's when I said I wanna do this shit. The way that whole album was put together was crazy. It was like LISTENING to a movie. I picture all that shit in my head.

How did you come up with the name BLAST?
Well at first, I had a bunch of lame ass names. I couldn't come up with one. I just wanted a name that would make some noise. So why not Blast! Also, it stands for Being Loyal And Staying True, cause that's what I'm all about being loyal. I love my family and Big Gun Records. Now a days, everybody greedy and let money change the way they think. Believe me I'm all about money, but it's more then money where I'm at. IF I EAT, WE ALL EAT!!

So was Big Gun Records your way in the business? How did you get into the biz?
Hell yea! If it wasn't for them I would still be working at the mall making 5.25! I went with a friend of mine he was rapping over there. They just started doing they thing. I went to go help him out and promote. I was rapping at the time too, but I wasn't up to par. So I just sat back and waited for my turn. I was promoting, and then I was hype man. It wasn't until two years later in 04 when I started getting in the booth. I was working on mixtapes, and then I started working on my album "Unexpected"

Talk about the album "Unexpected" What's it all about? What's the message you're putting out there with this record?
The Record is huge!! We put a lot into this album. It took about 3 years to finally be satisfied and wrap it up. I put my life on this record. I aint scared to be myself. If I lived it, I rap about it. From the way we live in Texas, to my struggles I've been through. I think that's the problem with a lot of artist today, they're scared to be themselves. They want to rap about what they hear on the radio or see on TV. I just do me! I know people can relate to it. Hate it or love it. I got all kinds of features on there. I got Akon, Bun B, Scarface, Mannie Fresh, Mr.Collipark, Big Tuck, and of course my Big Gun family. I got production by Mr. Lee, Mannie Fresh, Mr. Collipark, Play-N-Skillz, Happy Perez, and more. It drops this summer! GO GET IT!

You got some big hitters on the album. How did you go about hooking up with Akon, Bun B, Scarface, Big Tuck, Mr. Collipark, etc?
We had to get out and get on our grind! We started recording at studio 7303 in Houston. That's a big studio down there. Everybody who's anybody records there. We just started networking and they heard my stuff and that was it. I'm very blessed to be in the situation I'm in. My label gets down. They do whatever it takes to help make good music.

What was it like working with these other artists? For instance, What is the work ethic like in the studio..Is it all work and no play? How does it differ with each artist and producer..?
It was crazy when I worked with Bun B and Scarface. It was like I was dreamin' or somethin'. I remember writing my verses and 15 minutes later they were done. I didn't' even finish 2 lines! Then they get in the booth and you could really feel what they are saying. I learned a lot of the little things being in the studio with all of em'. People don't understand how professional these dudes really are. When you're working with the big dogs, you can't help but get better.

So who's all on Big Gun Records?
Well, we got Geminii, Unkut, Jay-Breezy, and my boy Yung Esco. Everybody has there own style and sounds totally different. So when we all get on track it's crazy, but we bring the best out of each other. We really like family. We make each other better. When I work on a track I like to get everybody in there so I could get their input. It makes my songs come out better.

What other releases should we be looking out for?
Geminii's Album is almost done "History In The Making". He's got a crazy record getting ready to hit the radio called "Hypnotized" It's a ladies joint, but still player! Also Unkut, Jay-Breezy, and Yung Esco got mixtapes dropping soon too! Be on the look out for all of our shit! We trying to break barriers man! Put Dallas, Texas on the map!

So what do you want out of this music business? Are you in it for the long haul?
What are your goals?

The reason I do this is for my people and my city. I wanna be a voice for my city and break barriers for my latin people too! I make music for everybody though. Don't get it twisted. We all from the same hood! My music has no color. I think with my versatility I can be in this game for a long time and make lots of money!! I want to see this company on the cover of Fortune one day. If we keep grindin' can't nobody stop us.

What's that Dallas rap scene like right now? Let the viewers out there know what going on in Dallas..
Man it's an untapped market!! We the fourth biggest market in the country!! There's no reason we shouldn't have a platinum artist out. There's a lot of artist out here doing they thang. From Big Tuck, Tum Tum, all of T-Town, Mr.Pookie, Mr.Lucci, Clout Records, and whole bunch of other dudes out here doin' it! Houston opened up the doors for Texas, now it's time for us to walk through it too. The vibe is different up here though, Houston likes it a little slower. We're more crunk up here! It's all Texas though, so we got love for everybody.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Big things! My album "Unexpected" is droppin' this summer!! My video is gonna be dropping soon too! Also, we got a clothing line called "50 cal. Brand" dropping in Dallas so everybody can look out for that. If people got tired of me out here in 06, in 07 they gonna pass out. I plan on running circles around these haters.

Best of luck to you and your career... We like what we hear so far.

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