Written By: Brian Lamont
For up and coming rapper Bugzy Bugz (born Jean Joseph), believing in himself was easy. From the beginning, he knew he was meant to be something big. After moving to Brooklyn, NY as a young child, Bugz was introduced to the world of hip-hop and went in headfirst. Bugz decided to try to has hand at taking rap serious in 2000 after years of practicing and writing his own music. He released his first project, 32 Reasons, which was well received by the underground hip-hop crowd that the sound catered to. Gearing up to release his new project, Bugz isn’t breaking the wheel when it comes to his formula of striking visuals and even harder hitting lyrics. Bugzy Bugz spent many years a student of the game and is now looking to become a teacher.
Check Out Our Interview Below:
What about Bugzy should we love and appreciate?
- My authenticity. My flow is original. I do not try or want to sound like anyone else besides myself. Most importantly I’m truthful in my music.
When did you realize that music was for you?
- Music has always been apart of me & my life. Hip-Hop Music played a major role in my life growing up in Brooklyn New York & it’s continuing to do so. When created my very 1st rap song I realized its impact on people & from then I realized there’s a place for me in this art form we called Hip Hop.
How do you handle difficult situations when it pertains to your music career and how you came up?
- The journey of becoming an established artist is a very dynamic & challenging process. There will always be difficulties & challenges present in this journey. At the end what separate me from the bunch is how I handle these difficulties & challenges that are pertaining to my music career. When situations about music gets a little too difficult I seek the help & mentorship from people who understand & have experience with this process. Furthermore as an artist you have to learn how to take criticisms. Not everyone is going to like & support your art. How I come up is I just stay focus to my craft and work harder & smarter to achieve near perfection as an artist
What type of legacy do you want to leave?
- I sincerely as I work hard & smart my fans & supporters will realize my contribution to this phenomenal art form. I’m pretty sure my legacy as an artist will be great. The legacy I would love to leave behind is to have my fans remember me as a young hard working immigrant that came from nothing, adapted & acclimated into the American urban lifestyle while sticking to my roots & creating great music that stands the test of time.
How does the music industry look to you? What are your thoughts on it? How is it progressing?
- The music industry has changed a lot from when I was growing up & how it was back in the days. Due to the cutting out of the artist development division in the record labels & the explosion of the internet with the popularity of various social media platforms artists are way more independent these days & have more control over their music. The younger artists to my opinion are more business oriented. The focus of my generation of artists is to get to “THE BAG” while trying the hardest to avoid some of the nasty 360 deals older artists got back in the days. Young artists these are extremely business minded & are not just rap artists. This can be a gift & curse. A gift, because we as artists are not getting robbed by label execs anymore and curse because the music has been diluted to the point its refers to mumble rap. Lol. However, at the end of the day it is a business & once mastered it should open doors to bigger & better opportunities for artists like myself.
What about New York that you love? Dislike?
- New York City is known as the concrete jungle. If you come to this soft it will make you strong. If you’re weak upon your arrival it will toughen you up. I love every single thing about New York. New York is my hometown and where I was raised and still live in. There’s no City like my City. However, I will say this, it’s extremely difficult to get support from New York as a new artist. You have to be extremely innovative and creative to know how to create a great support system in New York. If you can make in New York City you can make it anywhere.
What are some lessons you’ve learned in the industry?
- So far I’ve learned you have to stay true to yourself no matter what. In addition, to building great relationships & a supporting system with people who actually respect your art. Having a great networking system with the proper relationships as well as a budget is pivotal to building a brand & becoming aware by others in this industry. I also learned while in this industry as an artist you have to know how to keep your words & be truthful. Your word means a lot. Also the friendships you build with these words is extremely important as well. Always be yourself and humble.
- Maintaining a quality image and consistency is key in this field of endeavor. The most feasible way for me to make my presence felt as an emerging artist is by doing podcasts, pirate radio, blog, and magazine interviews. In addition to performing in numerous well known showcases and places. This is a key step and element to help me establish my brand, name, and movement out there as an indie artist. Through my performances and interviews, fans will get a true glimpse of who I am as an individual and most importantly as an artist.
How do you give back to fans?
- Well, at this point in my career I feel I’m not where I need to be yet. However, at any point in a person’s life they can give back to people who have supported them. I am getting ready mentally and preparing when my situation get better as an artist to give back. As much as I can and the best way I can by setting up community affairs and mentorship programs to help my community, both in Brooklyn NY & Connecticut.
What does “hustling” look like or sound like to you?
- When I hear the word hustle I think about the serious struggles, grind, hard work, and sleepless nights. The things I have to deal with in order to make something of myself. In my mind I don’t want to sleep much & take much breaks because while doing that other individuals with similar dreams are on the move, just so they can see a better future. This is hustle sounds like to me.
Explain how you stay relevant?
- As mentioned in question number 8, quality image, positioning, and consistency is how I stay relevant to my supporters. Or at least want to be as an artist. Let’s not neglect interacting with people on various social media platforms. I was too much into social media. However, as an upcoming artist I have to get used to social media and utilize the positive aspects of it to help me establish myself out here as an artist. In return this will help me stay and be relevant to my fans.
What’s some encouragement you can offer to another artist who’s lost? An artist who’s just beginning? And artist who is your competitor?
- Well, the most I can tell an artist who is lost through this extremely challenging journey is to seek mentorship & try to retrace where they started in their career and try to make an effort to locate the 1st sign of them getting appeared & hopefully they can pinpoint that particular reference point and start over and or even better start with a new leaf to be even better and stronger as an individual & most importantly as an artist. As for news I always tell them to be yourself & try not to copy other’s art. Be original. Learn to master your craft. Work hard & smart to this discover your true and eventually your music. To me it is okay to study and others music & craft but you can’t copy & be a copycat. As far as my competitors go I don’t have any advice except for let the best person win and show to the great art.
Follow Bugzy Bugz on Social Media
Be sure to follow at @TheRapfest on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, and Spotify!