Hailing from the cityscapes of St. Louis in Missouri, Rap/Hip Hop recording artist & producer, 101 Da Exclusive, began hitting the ground running in the music realm in 2006, during his childhood years at the age of ten. Since then, he has manifested into a multifaceted artist with his own dynamic & innovative signature style, has amassed an organic fan base that continues to grow, and has no intention of slowing down his momentum anytime soon.
Known for putting on very high-energy and captivating live shows since gracing the stage, 101 Da Exclusive has performed alongside a vast array of prominent artists at several well-known venues and events over the last 12 years. He recently opened up for Young Bleu at Mystic Lounge in St. Louis, and is also currently working & touring with boxing champion Floyd Mayweather’s record label TMT Music Group, where he also produces for label artist Lil Jamez.
101’s artist influences have been limitless over the years. Some of his most notable inspirations range from industry heavyweights such as Wiz Khalifa, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Pharrell, Kanye West, Metro Boomin, as well as the R&B/Soul era. 101 Da Exclusive’s new mixtape “Exclusive World Vol. 3”, the latest installment and follow-up from Vol. 1 & 2, will be releasing this 5/1/2018 on digital music outlets including SoundCloud. As 101 Da Exclusive continues to compose, create, manifest and spread the heat throughout 2018 and beyond, be sure to connect with him on his social media and music streaming platforms for News, Music, Events, Booking, Contact Info, and anything else related.
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
101 Da Exclusive: I didn’t start making money off my music till like 2014 but I’ve been studying and creating music since 10 yrs old actually producing & recording full music songs & projects in my dad’s basement with the studio equipment he had at the time. Basically I was born into the music industry as my dad had a record deal when I was growing up and I got to see a lot of the things they did which had a MAJOR influence on the rest of my life. I got started just playing around with it you know, being at school beating on the desk with pencils freestyling. I realized I was good at it so I joined an after school program that helped develop my skills as a songwriter/recording artist. From there I saw everything I needed to do it by myself.
- Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?
101 Da Exclusive: Defiantly my dad, being that I was with him most of the time and the music he played a lot rubbed off on me. Also my mom used to listen to a lot of R&B and Soul, like Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton etc., so I think that’s where I get the singing from. I get the rapping from my dad as they use to ride around to mc eight 8ball & mj g, and all the hood rapping legends. Personally though I think Pharrell from the fact that he raps, sings, make beats and skateboards, and I do all of those things. Also artists like Wiz Khalifa who made it cool to smoke weed. I had problems with that growing up so to have an icon like that it really influenced me too. I loved Lil Wayne’s music I thought he was the best rapper ever from his metaphors to his crazy wordplay. Then there’s Kanye West who loved to sample old school jams and that’s where I get my sampling techniques from. I really did like Dj Jazzy Jeff and the beats he made for Will Smith, but there is a whole lot more as well.
- Which artists are you currently listening to?
101 Da Exclusive: 3 Probems, Lil Uzi Vert, JuiceWRLD, Lil Skies, Cool Trap Artist, a lot of new mixtapes on the mixtape websites, Drake, Lucci, MoneyBagg Yo, Migos, Nba Young Boy, Don K, Tee Grizzy, Young Thug, Gunna, Hood Rich Pablo, Drug Rich Hext, Smooky Margielaa, Trouble, Jose Guapo, Lil Baby, MoneyMan, Future, Rich The Kid, Famous Dex, XXXTention, Yung Bleu, Smokepurpp, Lil Pump, Chad the God, Lil Jamez, & whoever is hot at the time..
- What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?
101 Da Exclusive: The fun, the fact that I keep it real and say the things I feel while putting out the best music that I possibly can.
- What do you think separates you from the crowd of artists emerging right now?
101 Da Exclusive: That I have multiple styles, and can sing as well as rap. I make my own beats and record everything by myself. Furthermore I’m bringing New York wordplay on Southern Trap beats. I’m already signed to Floyd Mayweather and I’ve got Jazzy Phe and Drumma Boy (Gucci Mane’s producer) vouching for me. I don’t freestyle aimlessly, I pick up the pen and pad and write real songs.
- Do you currently have a preferred song in your catalog, and why is it special to you?
101 Da Exclusive: No not really. I got like 2000+ rap songs I recorded at my studio so I can’t keep up with all them, something will be hard for a few days or weeks then it’s on to the next one. Maybe “Blow My High” could be special, as it brings back memories of the good times while making it.
- Are your lyrics predominantly based on real events and personal experiences, or are they drawn from your creative storytelling skills?
101 Da Exclusive: All my music comes from real life events, sometimes they may be exaggerated, but they’re always based on real facts – everything I’ve seen and did. Sometimes I’m speaking things into existence, stuff I think about doing, or want to happen, as I’m also a storyteller, but it’s always based on something real.
- What would you consider a successful, proud or high point in your career so far?
101 Da Exclusive: when I got signed to Floyd Mayweather the money team music group. They have me travel with them I met Future toured with Drake and rubbed shoulder with some of the most legendary people in hip hop in a few months. More than I’ve ever met in my whole lifetime.
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or career so far?
101 Da Exclusive: I think now is the most difficult being that I’m taking things more serious than before I’m seeing things and running into things I was previously aware of. If I had to say I guess when my studio equipment got stolen with all my beats and music on there. I lost a lot of music I had. Wiz Khalifa used a beat of mine that I no longer have proof that I produced and it hurts me because I can’t pull up the files to show people I actually produced the record. Also when I was out of town tryna make a way by myself tryna get into the industry with no money, leaching off others until things worked out for me. When I got locked up as a juvenile I had to stop smoking or they were gonna send me back to jail and I was on house arrest and my mama made me cut my dreadlocks off. I really used to want em. When my dad got robbed and shot in his head I’m blessed he made it thru cause he is a key to what I’m doing.
- What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your songs, regardless of style or tempo?
101 Da Exclusive: Weed, have a bounce or a vibe to the song, some type of popular flow that people are already familiar with, metaphors and wordplay. I try to sing in the background of the beat, cool ad libs that sound exciting, some type of life story or situation that I’m going thru at the time, but you got to be able to bob your head to the beat.
- Do you produce the beats and write all the lyrics on your songs or do you collaborate with outside sources in any of these cases?
101 Da Exclusive: Yes, I write all my lyrics and sometimes I even freestyle and a punch a few bars in. Of course I produce and sometime I may use my beats but most of the time I’ll find a “type beat” off the YouTube that’s dope and go from there. I got producer friends but they be charging for beats and I really aint tryna buy none knowing I can make them myself and none of them ever prefer to give them to me free, so I just keep it moving and do what I got to do.
Yeah I produce bout really don’t be rapping on my own beats I produce mostly for other artists but when I rap I’ll just go grab a beat off YouTube or something if I don’t feel like making my own beat sometimes that takes the surprise of the session when I already know how the beat sounds. Also I might have from of my homeboys that rap to come throw a drop a verse on a song that I’m making. I don’t use any ghost writers.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
101 Da Exclusive: The fact I can say what I want do, what I want to, drop where I want, and have total control over the recording I’m creating to release. I got power the only thing I don’t like is dropping the music and nobody listening to it, that sucks. You got to get some fans. There’s a lot of talented people out there that will never make it because they don’t got fans or don’t know how to get them. I don’t like not having the capital all these mainstream artists got because I know if I did, I could tour and pay for more marketing and advertising campaigns to increase my awareness and kinda pay my way to the top like most of these rappers be doin. It’s like talent its underrated cause all people care about is if you’re popular and how many people know you. I need a team to help me because doing this all alone gets hectic from time to time.
- How do you market your music? Do you have a team to help you or do you do and control everything by yourself?
101 Da Exclusive: I do sponsored post, I collab with artists that are already popular maybe ask them to share it, also I put videos out on YouTube that I convert to 1 min IG clips that I upload to my story on IG, Facebook and Snapchat. Also I got a Spinrilla account I’m building up by dropping other people’s music and developing a following that way. I just recently hired a team to help me but they’re not doing half of what I did to build it to where it currently is today I did that all by myself. I really don’t have a team just a rap label I’m tryna put together called Exclusive Gang which is me and 5 other artists. We all tryna get on together so however they can help, they try.
- If you had the opportunity to change one thing about how the music business works right now, what would that be?
101 Da Exclusive: That local talented artists have just as much access to the big media outlets like Bet, MTV, radio and top websites just as much as major mainstream artist, and that more artist and producers got paid for their work.
- If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?
101 Da Exclusive: Fun, Reckless, Smooth, Exciting, Ratchet, Rich, Trendy, Catchy, Fast-Rapping, Autotune, Mainstream Trap, Explicit, Hot-Head, Mello, Chill, Lyrical, Versatile, Soul-Driven, Street, A Mob Boss, wannabe-gangsta, Violent, Street, Lyrical, Ratchet.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?
101 Da Exclusive: yes I feel like any rapper or artist without a social media presence will not making it in this day and age, because all people do is look at their phones, either Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, so every chance I get, I’m uploading content on these platforms cause I feel these will be around for a long time . Most all rappers you see now blew up off the internet so that’s what I plan to do, using the same methods they did with my twist on it. I have an iPhone 7+ and I can do so much for my music career just with a phone. It’s amazing how times have changed, your access to the world is right in your hands now. I’m definitely in tune with the latest technology and trends to see how I can incorporate my music with the new innovation of today’s society.
- Tell us something about your latest release and where fans can find it?
101 Da Exclusive: Exclusive world 3 is an exciting new release from me, featuring some of the coolest artists I know. This mix tape has 15 explicit hip-hop/rap songs echoing the sounds of popular artist such as Young Thug, Gunna, Juice WORLD, Kendrick Lamar, Migos and more, but just to mention a few. You can hear it all on Soundcloud. It just dropped 5/1/2018 so check it out cause it fresh new exciting release from me. I put my current all into this project using all the trendy flows these current rappers are using now.
- What is your relationship with visual media? Do you think videos are important for your music? Do you have a video you would recommend fans checkout so they can get in to what you’re doing?
101 Da Exclusive: I love video everyday I record my self-doing something on video all day I’m uploading stories on IG Snap and Facebook. Videos are essential to my life. I figure years from now I can play all this for my son and show him that his dad was cool lol. Yes I do have a video of me in the studio with Young Thug and HoodRich Pablo and within the same video Floyd announced that the money team music group’s artist that I produce for, will be releasing music soon produced by me. Also if you wanna see my latest music video go to YouTube and type in:101 Da Exclusive – On the block.. Checkout my YouTube page I got over 300 videos on there – www.youtube.com/user/101DaExclusive
- Do you prefer working and creating in a studio environment, or performing live in front of an audience?
101 Da Exclusive: I like recording in the studio with people around me as I’m a bit of a show off, I like to show my talent. It’s crazy because I still be getting stage fright sometimes, though not all the time. But I like performing live, though I just got to get used to it.
- What’s next on the upcoming agenda for 101 Da Exclusive?
101 Da Exclusive: Exclusive world 4 drops 6/1/2018, I’m going back outta town with Lil Jamez, as we’re working on his projects. The streets ain’t safe, my studio compilation of the rappers that record at my studio drops 6/1/2018 too: stay on the lookout, I’m acting now too and have got a hood web series I’m doing about a young teen tryna make it out the hood with a hard life. New episodes will be dropping weekly or monthly on my YouTube channel.