HipHopOnDeck Interviews Gmac | @Gmacofficial

HipHopOnDeck Interviews Gmac /
Nigerian-blooded, Dubai-based rapper GMAC presents “Turnt Up”, his new single produced by Dameon Hughes. “Turnt Up” comes on the heels of the release of his previous single “Arab Swag” (listen on Soundcloud) which details his life in Dubai, where he moved five years ago. His event company UrbanBushMan has brought the likes of Nicki Minaj, Beenie Man, Ryan Leslie and Ace Hood to perform in Dubai. “I was working on the beat with Dameon Hughes while watching the news on the Mike Brown case and started researching other cases of police brutality on African Americans and I wanted to channel all that emotion into the beat I was vibing to, and ‘Turnt Up’ was born,” GMAC says. “‘Turnt Up’ is a tale of my personal journey in the music industry as an artist in retrospect, the celebration of hiphop as a form of art, the success of millions of black people around the world that hustle everyday to make ends meet, the kids in the projects with dreams to be whatever it is they aspire to be in life and most importantly a tribute to the souls of thousands of victims of police brutality that didn’t even make the headline news because #BlackLivesMatter and it’s up to us to stand up for what is Just- Justice.”

 What made you decide to become a rapper?

Well first of i want to clear the air on that. I'm a hiphop artist. ‘Rapper’ just sounds and makes me feel boxed. I started in the church singing in the choir and writing poetry which turned into writing music but then it was R&B and indie-type songs. I'd get into little rap battles in college and I was already labeled a singer then but a lot of students really liked my rap/hiphop side and that encouraged me to choose hip-hop as my main genre because for me it allows all types of sub-genres of music to be infused into it. I must say I am grateful for my upbringing as a kid, as my dad had tons of vinyl that date back to the mid-‘70s and I'm so fortunate to have been raised in a family that just loved music - jazz, funk and soul music - because those influences helped me stand out as a writer and as an artist. 

What’s the rap scene like in Nigeria?

You'd be amazed. We have a massive hiphop culture and I remember college days when you were either a Nas fan or a Jay-Z fan and we'd argue about lyricism, metaphors and plain simple delivery. We all caught the FUBU craze and the Sean Johns. Nigeria has and will always be famous for its local music genre – Afrobeat - and artists from the region have been able to infuse that genre into their beats, lyrics and style of delivery and created a unique type of hip-hop that’s unique to Nigeria. We've had the "rapper" phase where it was all about bars and who "murked" who on a track, to our era, where it’s all about making good hiphop music and we call it "Afro Hiphop".

How did you adjust to life in Dubai?

Initially it was tough being that I came in from Africa where we are used to a certain type of organized chaos and I'm in a country where everything works? I'm on the street trying to clear my head or vibing to a beat at 4am and the last thing on my mind is security. So it was more if a mental thing for me having to accept that my immediate environment was genuinely what was promised by the rulers of the nation: extremely safe and fun.

What inspired you to write “Turnt Up”?

Damn, to be real with you, “Turnt Up” came up when I was vibing to beats in the studio and my producer was talking about the Mike Brown case to the engineer. I'm not a big consumer of television, especially the news, so I'm a bit lost at times. But it’s because I see a lot of lies on TV and propaganda, so the box just became more of a house decoration. Anyways the Mike Brown story got to my ears that very day in the studio and I was shown the of Eric Garner video on Instagram and boy was I pissed. It entirely messed up my session. I went home and researched the whole police brutality issue and statistics of how many black people end up in body bags for little or no reason and I decided to make “Turnt Up”. I wanted to make a song about success as a black and proud African because the reality of it is that I see "African" and “African-American” as the same and it’s our brothers getting killed as well in the States. And also pay tribute to the thousands of black victims that didn't even make the news. 

Plans for 2015?

I'm working on videos and more singles will be out before the year runs out. But personally 2015 is all about self-actualization and proving to myself and family that I can do this because I quit a lucrative business to focus on my dreams. I'm just going all out on it. I want to work with as many talented new-school artists around the world and make beautiful hip-hop music. I have my eyes set on the BET awards this year for best African act and as many gigs as possible around the world to give them the GMAC experience, something I'm very sure y
ou will be asking about the next time i have an interview with you. 

HipHopOnDeck Interviews Gmac /
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