Born and Raised in Allentown Pa. Rap artist Money Brown forms part of the Allentown Music Group. Recently, in an exclusive interview, he told us all about his thoughts on the music scene and his game in general, while working on his upcoming official mixtape “The Product of Allentown.” So just what makes Money Brown tick…
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
Money Brown: I been rapping since I was about 10 maybe 12 years old. But just started writing and recording music about 5 years ago. I just got into because music it was everywhere. I grew up listening to all the music my parents would hear. And hip hop began to grow commercially around the time I was growing up, so I just got addicted to it.
2. Who were the first influences on your music and style?
Money Brown: Nas. “It was written” was the first album I had ever purchased. Cassette tape. I remember hearing the detail in his music. When I would write using my notepad I would try to imitate that style. That is where my story telling comes from. Nas had a big influence on my style in the beginning
3. In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Money Brown: 50 cent. He has set that bar that other rappers are just reaching. Yes all these artists have their own movies and products. But 50 cent took it to another level. He is not on the hip hop scene as much but he has set the standard high. These artists need to keep doing music to stay financially secured.
4. Which famous song or sound production, ultimately describes what you’d like “Allentown Music Group” to sound like?
Money Brown: I really can’t stick my style to one specific sound. I like to be versatile and attract all fans from all genres of music. I try to do music that another artist in my genre would not do. Then probably say “Damn I could of spit something to that beat” after I do what I need to do. Most of my music out now, are all freestyles and remixes. With some original stuff throw out there. I do not think anyone can put my style in a category because I write differently to each beat I listen to.
5. Do you think music today is enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Money Brown: That is a 50/50 depends on who you listen to lol. But you can put the most horrible artist on a good beat and make him sound good. I do believe today’s music is enjoyed more for the beat then the actual lyrics. But you do still have your hip hop heads that enjoys the lyrics.
6. Do you make your own beats and write your own lyrics? If yes what software do you prefer to use?
Money Brown: I do not make my own beats. I have 2 in house producers and other beats I find off Soundclick. I do write all my material. From the hook to my verses, I use a software Program called “Adobe Audition” It’s great! I just built a small studio so I can record whenever I want. It comes in very convenient. And it’s nothing special. I just built a wall and put foam on it with and I have my PC. That’s all that is needed nowadays.
7. If you could choose to work with some of today’s established artists or producers, with whom would you like to collaborate?
Money Brown: Harry Fraud. He is one of the top producers in the game. And he has been doing it for a min. I just feel like his beats are very soulful and melodic. He is a producer you have to sit in the studio with from the beginning of the beat making process. And not just have beats emailed, and you just pick them. I would love to connect to one of his beats and create a classic. As for artists. There are too many to name. But just to name a handful I would say Chinx Drugz, Boogz Boogetz, Ace Hood, Kid Ink, and Big Sean.
8. Which of your original compositions is currently your personal favorite, and why?
Money Brown: It’s a track I have for my son. I never put it out yet. It’s done, but I’m just saving it for the right moment. I might title it “First Born.” It’s my favorite because I talk about my son and not seeing him, because of how his mother acts. A lot of fathers will be able to connect to this song.
9. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making your music sound the way it does?
Money Brown: Most def the beat. Then my style and flow just tops it off.
10. Which emotion more than any other, currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or passion etc. , and why?
Money Brown: I would say happiness. I try to stay positive in my songs. I do express other emotions in other songs so that others who have been thru that emotion can relate.
11. What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Money Brown: The hook makes or completes the song. That’s the best part. Nothing really discourages me.
12. How involved are you in the recording, producing, mastering and other processes needed to produce and market your music, and do you outsource any part of this process?
Money Brown: I control everything from the websites to my recording. Only thing I do not do is produce my own beats. I handle the marketing and promotion for all our material.
13. Do you think the advent of internet and all the new technology, has helped your music and independent musicians in general, or do you think it just creates a mass of mediocre “bedroom artists” who flood the web, making it difficult to distinguish yourself?
Money Brown: It does create both. You have a whole bunch of watered down artists that take advantage of these social networks. But the social networks are a great advantage to getting your music heard. You can build a small fan base without performing one show.
14. In your long experience, what is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far? And one you didn’t follow, but now know you should have?
Money Brown: One I should have followed was to do different types of music. Switch my style up. I am just starting to do that now so it’s like a learning process. If I started years ago my style would be down packed. One I did follow was never let anyone hold you back. Believe in what you do.
15. Being an independent artist, which is the one factor you currently desire most (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, club performances etc…)?
Money Brown: Media exposure. The more exposure you have the more traffic you get back to your main site in return more fans and music downloads which equals money!
16. Where do you distribute and promote your music ( Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, Your own Website, Youtube etc…) and why?
Money Brown: I distribute all my stuff online. I am just starting the paper work to get my stuff printed. I just want to avoid the legal issues in the future.
17. How do you handle criticism? Who has been your worst critic, if any?
Money Brown: I am my worse critic. Something that is hot I might feel is not hot enough. I let others hear it and the feedback is great. It’s like if I never let no one hear the song it would of got deleted or trashed. I handle criticism very well. I can take it all
18. Is going platinum or winning a Grammy important to you? Where would you like to see your career within 5 years?
Money Brown: 5 years I would like to be touring with my label and working on making my empire a brand that can be marketed all over the world. I would love to win a Grammy or go platinum. That is telling you that the whole world knows who you are and what you have been doing is recognized by your fans!
19. What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artist like yourself, has to face and overcome, to gain any commercial success?
Money Brown: The bad name hip hop artists have. Overcoming that hood stereotype they have on rappers. I mean you have your j coles and big seans but there are more hard core rappers out there. Hip hop does have a bad name. I do not portray a gangster rapper but it seems that hard core rap is what is number one today. You just have to separate yourself from that and create your own lane.
20. If you were not a music artist, what would you be doing today?
Money Brown: I would definitely be behind the scenes, either in the studio or maybe video production. Not the directing and recording, but the editing of video. I would still be in music for sure, if I was not recording music
21. What is the current project you are working on
Money Brown: I am working on my official mixtape “The Product of Allentown” But you can hear all my stuff at www.moneybrown.com And follow me on twitter @moneybrown.
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