One of those bounteous venoms, Hip Hop as the contagion, like a virus which has spread from region to region, coast to coast, has caught the propensity of even those who were hell-bent against it. It sored so much until it soothed, makes no sense at first and then it behooves; a complexity beyond measure.  Who can fathom, however, it would be the dominant of the latter.

As a child coming up in a particular era, Hip Hop was the genre almost always spoken against in a classroom setting; kitchen-talk was even worse, with my un-American parents shutting down any notion of the greatest musician ever one day becoming a Hip Hop legend, my sentiments were shut down every time it was made mention.  Twenty plus years later, as it seems, the Hip Hop gods were onto something.  Hip Hop being the single most important genre in all the world, there’s not one country that doesn’t take from the culture.

No longer able to be contained, the microorganism grows and extends across the oceans; taking control of every soul that it comes into contact; like a boil that keeps growing and growing until it pops with a bacteria-like substance that spews out, Hip Hop could be considered an air-borne epidemic which captures and devours forming new zombie-like beings called Hip Hop Culturists.

 

Photo cred: John Peterson

“I’m A New Artist To Many, But I’ve Been Around.”

A one, army brat from Bangkok, Thailand Azizi Gibson organically blends his sound and grew his following one project at a time.  Born in Frankfurt, Germany, and being raised between Bangkok and Singapore, Gibson moved to Maryland at age 11.  Then, after again relocating to Los Angeles, by chance – he ran into Flying Lotus at the gym and later signed his first deal under the rapper’s imprint ‘Brainfeeder’, but then soon made exit leading the launch of his own label ‘preHISTORIC’ in 2015.  And with the support of rappers like Waka Flocka, Chance The Rapper and others, Gibson’s Grim Reaper persona continues to capture souls time after time.

To date, Azizi Gibson has dropped critcally-acclaimed material including Backward Books (Aug 2014), The Last EP (Feb 2015),  preHISTORIC Till Death (Oct 2015), Grim Meets Evil (Nov 2015), A New Life (April 2016), Ghost In The Shell (June 2016); and after dropping Memoirs Of The Reaper back in May, Azizi has been going nonstop since his debut, releasing his eighth EP, I’m Good On People this past Friday (Nov. 10th 2017), and is now currently on tour.

And, just before his New York show at venue American Beauty, Azizi stopped into the Rapfest office to talk a bit about his career, his growth over the years with his sound and music business ventures, and why he will most likely be doing just this for the rest of his life.

Doing some things he hasn’t quite done before with prior projects, Gibson shared that he and his team have been capturing content while out on the road this time around, which he says creating a channel for his fans being one of the most exciting aspects of it all.

“I feel like I’ve personally been slacking on giving more of me.  It’s one thing when fans say, ‘We love your music’, but now living in a different age where we can’t avoid being on social media, now it’s like, ‘do we like you?’.  We need enough content to know if we like you or not.  And I just feel like I’ve never had enough content to be like, “Alright cool, he’s dope!” And I just want to now capitalize on that.”

Speaking on where exactly he is going with the title of his EP, I’m Good On People, Gibson had this say,

Photo cred: John Peterson

“It literally means, ‘I’m good on people.’ You know, it’s like, you look at your phone, and you see some stupid sh– and its like, ‘man, I’m good on people’.  I mean, you just see who the industry is trying to fund, and you see their track record and then you go on Twitter and see what stupid sh– a rapper did, and then next week he’s getting offered like a million dollars to sign to a label – and it’s like, ‘I’m good on people’.  I’ve had too many opinions now, so all I can say is, ‘I’m good!’ (chuckles).”

And in regards to his growth from this last EP to the prior one, Gibson explains,

“Memoirs of A Reaper was me trying to be more commercial.  Basically, I was just tired of the commercial music that we promote everyday.  It’s just so everlasting, degrading, and not just to women, just to ourselves.  And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that my music is pure either, but I was trying to bridge the gap between my music and the commercial music and let people know, ‘Ok cool’, we could have fun without being stupid all the time; or saying stupid things.  But other than that, I’ve really tried to make the last three projects I did, be timeless.  So you can listen to them a year from now, two from now and be like, ‘Okay, cool’.”

Azizi Gibson’s “I’m Good On People” – OUT NOW!

“I’m Good On People” Tour Footage by: John Peterson