Put It Out THERE ™: Hanlitt Entertainment Artists

* Introduction of Hanlitt Entertainment *

Hanlitt entertainment have successfully over time build a “one nation” of talented , proactive and self-expressionist Hip Hop artists who is known to have a strong personality that would carry each of them through both life’s journey and  the music industry. Because each of the artists are strong will by nature , they are able to remain positive through the trails of this  entertainment industry.   Hanlitt entertainment will always remain loyal and strong supporters of their artist. When you visit their website { www.hanlitt.com  } , you will be connected to each artists social sites as a point of contact, including visiting the world of strong leadership among them. Year 2013 appears to be their take over year, only because they know how to travel through the market and capture the attention of their current fans and new stakeholders who is currently taking notice.

*Interview with Qubn Blacq*

D.Cox:  For our readers and for your fans, can you tell us how you became the name “ Qubn Blacq “? Also,how does the name “ Qubn Blacq” allow you to be who you are today?

QUBN BLACQ: When I was sign to a previous label they said that I looked more then just black (do to my father side), so the Cuban was added, because before signing with them I was just Blacq. Qubn Blacq is me and my style, my lyrical style is a mix of styles, spelling Cuban Black the way I do (Qubn Blacq) says I don’t follow the norm, I lead, I am a leader.

D.Cox:  I see you are from Chicago Heights. Can you tell us what it is like to grow up in one of the areas that is often stigmatize (our) young black men. And what lessons have you learned during your years of growing up?

QUBN BLACQ : Growing up in Chicago Heights is like a school outside of school, you learn the elements that’s beneith the skin of life, it grows you mentally developing those extra senses. Some temptations are deeper then others to fall into, and what kept me out of some of those was not letting moms down and end up locked up, so when I did things, I was solo, and kept my mouth shut.

D.Cox:  What made you decide to become a hip hop artist? Also I notice you indicated in your bio that your Uncle Tyrone was one of your influences in writing lyrically, how have you progress from back then compare today?

QUBN BLACQ : I took being a hip hop artist serious when I went into the lab for the first time at Neptune Records, I was in the booth and my moms was there, and her face lit up. When I herd the play back, it had me feenin for the mic ever since. My uncle / manager  tyrone (bone) only listen to emcees, so that’s what I grew up listning to, when I started I was writting battle ryhms, now I’m more song structured, and painting verbal pictures.

D.Cox:  To make this clear. Your bio indicated the following : “ Coming up as a young cat he was put on to the forever greats, Rakim, Cool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Too Short, and Mr. Mr. Scarface.” Does that mean you had the opportunity to work with them or they were  your influences of hip hop? If you worked with them, tell us (fans and readers) what is that experience like for you . However if they are few of your Influencers to hip hop, how did they influence you?

QUBN BLACQ : Those are just some of the greats that influenced me, their style, their voices, their kadence, their flow, you listen to what and how they spit and tune out the beat without even knowing it. I would probably be nervous as hell, but would love the opertunity to work with them, or even just watching them record.

D.Cox:  During your journey as a hip hop artist, what made you decide to become a producer as well?

QUBN BLACQ  : Back in the day finding beats to just flow on  was rare, and when you found someone that could make tracks you had to wait till they was available. Waiting irritates me when it comes to that, so I started learning about production and its process. To me , it is a art just like writing; when I gotta do something, it gotta get done.

D.Cox:  You have experienced that that not everyone will agree with one another when it comes to creative control and contract negotiations. What have you learned from that experience?

QUBN BLACQ  I have experience on both side of the fence   this is a business which means everything is overseen, and that’s where the final say comes from. However at the same time, when dealing with artist ( not made up artist but a artist that creates) you have to let that artist create and freedom  to create what in their mind, including you have to learn to become one with the artist and creat that masterpiece, and that’s something all artist need to understand; including,  the business side that artists don’t understand when it comes to their creativity and the depths of the music business together. As for contracts, I try to feed people I work with the knowledge I have, if they are lacking ~ Its enough cash out there for everybody, no big me and lil you, let’s hanlitt !

D.Cox:  Everyone have a story to tell in their arts and music, because they have experience something that they feel that everyone can relate. When you create your music, what message you hope to deliver to your fans?

QUBN BLACQ It depends on the song, some songs I try to give a different perspective to someone else song that I may have herd.

D.Cox:  I have listened to all your tracks. But I like “ Who’s Crying Now”; “ Like This” “ Chi City” and Love Story. I think those tracks are really hot. Out of all the tracks you have written and produce, which one is your favorite and why?

QUBN BLACQ  “Who Is He” because I let you know why I’m the Land Lord of Hip Hop, and letting garbage rappers  know they are about to get evicted, also “Sunny Dayz” because I paint this picture of meeting someone while driving and was creative the way I word it, and there are more.

D.Cox:  Because the hip hop industry or the industry overall is a highly competitive market. If someone is watching you now, how would you sell yourself and your brand? I ask this question because I tell artist all the time while they are on social media or outside the social media , “ You never know who is watching you , so you need to represent who you are “.

QUBN BLACQ who is he, he got a scope on the garbage, who is he, he was hired to run the yard, who is he, Qubn Blacq the god, stand up hip hop and lest squash these mards.

D.Cox:  In conclusion to this interview, I have always asked everyone about their greatest lessons they want to share and what advice they would like to give to someone who is struggling for success. What is your advice to those who is working hard to make a name for themselves in this competitive world of entertainment?

QUBN BLACQ  It don’t happen overnight, understand that this is your dream and passion that means you put this before anything; stay hungry ; earn your strip;  perfect your craft; always stay learning; stay positive; stay focus ; know that work ethic is major and networking;  stay consistent; finally and most important,    surround your self with people whom heart is in it as much as yours or more.

* Interview with Abdullah *

D.Cox:  Abdullah is such a strong powerful name. Can you describe to your fans/readers what Abdullah mean to you as a strong African American male in today’s society?

Abdullah:  Certainly. The name Abdullah means ‘servant of God’ in Arabic, which was given to me in 2005 after my conversion to Islam.  The name Abdullah means a lot to me, because as a black man, it is my responsibility to serve my people in solving the issues that confront us and keep us from moving forward in this society. I have a gift to share with the world which lift our people out of despair by giving them the belief that we can overcome any obstacles that tries to defeat us.

D.Cox:  How long have you been doing hip hop? And during your journey, who were your major influences?

Abdullah:  I started writing rhymes at 14, and I’ve been pursuing hip-hop seriously since 2009. Some of my influences are Nas, Common, Musiq Soulchild, Gang Starr, Pete Rock and Wu-Tang Clan. Also, my cousins Tony and Drack who encouraged me to be myself and to build with knowledge to the masses, which is something I’ve always been known  for doing.

D.Cox:  As an artist and in comparison to the tracks you have created thus far, what do you see that is negative with the overall music entertainment and what do you see positive?

Abdullah:  I see more artists becoming more business minded on an independent level, which is always a great thing. However, the same concepts in the music, videos and lifestyles of hip-hop is what is damaging this culture as a whole, and until the people involved in this game take steps into bringing creativity, originality and more positive images unto the mainstream, hip-hop on a collective scale will continue to decline and eventually destroy the game.

D.Cox:  I have listened to everyone’s tracks in the Hanlitt Entertainment and each of you have a different unique style to contribute to the industry. I consider your style as a cross of being both politically correct and as community wakes up call, in a sense almost in comparison to Public Enemy. And your track ‘Every Day People’ does tell the story. When you write or begin to write your lyrics, what is the message do you want the fans to understand as you transform your thoughts to a lyrical story?

Abdullah:  The message I portray within my music is to inspire our people into making positive changes in their lives. I also try to be influential in remaining strong and focused on accomplishing your goals. Including, educating our people on the importance of our history; culture and heritage, because as Black people, we should never feel ashamed about who we are but instead embrace the greatness of what we can achieve if only we absorb positive energy in our endeavors and not continue to remain stuck in an inferior mentality complex.

D.Cox:  To offset to the previous questions, you mention in your bio that you will have “The Black Experience” release this summer and it is based on a spiritual platform. Within the past years, gospel music have crossed over and embraced hip hop music. And with your upcoming album, will this album return the same embrace in gospel music as well~ yes? Or No? Explain your thoughts and the direction you want to go far as tapping into a diverse market?

Abdullah:  I wanna make a quick connection: the title of the album that I’m releasing this summer is entitled “Symbolism,” which recognizes the greatness of African culture and embracing the importance of Black manhood, which needs to be more pr-relevant within the Black community. I wouldn’t consider my music gospel music in the religious sense, I would say my music is gospel in reference of speaking truth to power, that can be used as a tool to enlighten the Black masses instead of continuing to dumb them down.

D.Cox:  Most artists don’t utilize or  at times don’t use 100% of their time to involve themselves into their musical craft. Thus far, I’ve seen artists promoting about partying, blinging, strippers, and other gimmicks rather than promoting their true selves and their creativity. What makes you different than those types of artists when your brand is involved?

Abdullah:  I’m the complete opposite of these artists because I don’t portray those stereotypes in my music at all. My lyrics are built from pure honesty, and sometimes, you hear the personal side of me when I deliver my lyrics unto the tracks. As a lyricist, it’s important for MCs to remember that your words and lyrics are the manifestation of your soul, and whatever you display unto the public is being felt and recognized by the world.

D.Cox:   If you can perform in front of the most important individual today, who will that be and why?

Abdullah:   I would perform in front of my son’s mother because she has given me the greatest gift I have ever received, and that is our 2 year old son, Malik.

D.Cox:   I have always informed artists to always have a backup plan just in case their music career does not work out as plan or it is not the right time to see success yet. What are your goals within the next 5 years?

Abdullah:  I’m currently in school for computer networking and software engineering. So, my back up plan is to work into the IT computer field.

D.Cox:   Now that you have a release album coming out this summer, do you have any other projects coming out this year? ( note: list shows/events; dates; other interviews etc.)

Abdullah:  Sure. I’m in this group called Triple Crown, which features me, Quon and AD. We’re planning on releasing an album sometime this year entitled “Three Kings.” I also plan on focusing on expanding my Hanlitt family brand and staying focused on doing things for the Black community and remaining a mentor unto the youth.

D.Cox:  Finally, what advice would you like to give those who is up and coming in this industry? And explain why is it important  to remain is proactive and positive during challenges.

Abdullah: To anyone that’s looking to make it in this industry, the only advice I can give is be original and stay true to yourself. Bring something different to the game and create a culture of leaders and not followers. Also, have a keen sense of discipline and total devotion to your craft, because this industry is very demanding and it is not for the weak.

* Interview with BlacqGang Bosses

D.Cox : According to your bio synopsis, both of you ( Malcolm and Neno ) was best friends in high school. Can you elaborate more what made you two to become inspired by hip hop and what made you two decide to become an upcoming rising group ?

Malcolm:  Well we were the best at what we did at the time, he was the rapper and I made beats. So we was best friends instead of going against each other. As a result, we decided to team up with that one two punch

D.Cox :  I have always said that “ what make best friends is their different styles, views and respect for one another”. Because you two are a group, can you both describe  your “ own “ style and how does your own style allow you two to become one to make hit tracks?

Neno :  We like the same music our styles are not that much different. But our music is so good together ,  we know fit well with each other- remain in sync.

D.Cox :  These days some of hip hop duals and groups have a history of not lasting past  5 -10 years, because of creative differences among them. Because you two are different, how do you see yourselves standing against the “legacy split “while pursuing your careers together?

Malcolm:  We are best friend and we are more like brothers than anything; we were best friend before music and we going to be best friend after millions and millions of copies sold

Neno :  we been cool for the longest and we never got into a fight or anything that’s my dog !

D.Cox :  As young artists/groups, you see on most entertainment televisions that groups must conform to the IDEA way to make sales and endorsements. But to me, it appears that these same ideas are being used for like “ Poster boy(s) “ images. If you two can market yourselves away from those types of images, how would you two brand yourselves as a group different than what the industry says to do?

Neno :  I always said that we are the leaders of the new school anyway we wanna show the ”people with the suit and ties” how to do it Malcolm; we going to do us and what feel right to us the blacqgang move as one unit so fuck that selling out bullshit

D.Cox :  I think the track you have out now “ Ken Griffey” ; “ BlacqGang Boss ft C.Preest “; “ It’s Easy “ “Sound off” are few out many hot tracks from Reverb. How are you two able to come together to allow your lyrical flow together as a story?

Malcolm we was born like that “just kidding” but we are humble enough to let each other shine on songs there are no leaders in this duo we are more of a unit so if he is killing a track harder than I am I can just sit back and let him lead the way and ill jus have his back

Neon:   and it’s the same thing for him

D.Cox :  Out of all the tracks you two created thus far, which ones are your top 3 and why?

Neon:   well its a tie they all win

Malcolm yea we love all our music in their own way

D.Cox :  How long have you been with HanLitt Entertainment ? And Why is it important to be with label that have your best interest as artist?

Malcolm:   We been with Hanlitt since day 1, Qubn is my hero/my brother and me and him started it I brought Neno along cause I always said to me Neno is the best rapper that I ever heard ; everyone else came after shout out to Phat Mac and Therow !

D.Cox :  When on stage as a group, what is the feeling like to have the crowd being pleased with your performance? I have always said enjoy the moment because you never get that feeling again.With that said, what is your view point when performing at different venues

Neon:   Just bring it every night and give it your all cause every rapper wants that big stage so when you get it take advantage of it

D.Cox :  What are your major upcoming projects for the remainder of 2013 ? ( List dates, events, etc)

Malcolm:   First and foremost the new mix tape Ken Griffey and we are all over the Chicago land area but just look up everything on Hanlitt.com

D.Cox :  Because you are a group, what is your  best advice while in this industry?

Neon:   Stay at it and do everything for the group and don’t listen to all the bullshit , because that  cause  a lot of groups downfall

* Interview with C. Preest *

D.Cox:   You indicated in your synopsis (bio) that going to church inspired you and inspired you to  learn about King Solomon who was the positive influence in creating the name CPreest . And it appears that going to church and learning the lessons you have learned from both the church and studies of the biblehelped mold you into a strong positive individual. But, can you tell some of us readers ( for those who don’t know) who is the individual behind CPreest? Strength and Weakness.

C. Preest : Yea… going to church and reading the gospel has definitely made me a better person. As far as me, the individual behind the music, I’m a family man. Being a good father, relative, and companion is my strength and my weakness. Because, that’s’ my everything. So my main focus now is to get better at everything I love…and that’s my family and my music.

D.Cox:   Now ,you mention you had started collaborating with someone you know (Arminn Johnson) and it was a new road to hip hop. Can you elaborate more on how you actually became a hip hop artists and where did your motivation actually begin?

C. Preest : Well I’ve always loved music. But, my first inspiration to actually write a rap came from the schoolyards and lunch tables. Hearing certain friends rap that I honored made me wonder how I would sound. So one day, roughly after sophomore year, I went home and started writing. And I haven’t stopped since. But honestly, I didn’t become serious about this talent until I got with friends and formed a rap group. That’s when Cee-P the Hip Hop Artist was created. But once that failed I was ready and willing to go solo and start anew. So that’s what I did.

D.Cox:   When being a creative songwriter and having an idea about what you want to write about, how important is it to choose the right beats for the lyrics?

C. Preest : Very important. A good beat, hook, and verse is the main mix to your music. But a great beat tells its own story. So that’s what I do a lot with my music is let the beat guide me. And nowadays the beat may take you further then you expect. So I pick wisely.

D.Cox:   Right now, it appears that “booty “music is what we all pretty much hearing and currently part of the mainstream market of music ranging from making a hit single to a video before the album release. What is your idea version of making a successful hit single to lead to an successful album or video at any point after you get signed in the future?

C. Preest : My idea of a hit single is a song that hits the core of the heart. And what I mean by that is a song that the ordinary person can relate to. And be moved by, not just to dance but to act. Music has that much power so why make it only about “booty”? My version is make a song that’s speaks the truth about life itself. Then, follow up with a video showing everyday people going through the ups and downs. To show the world the facts of living and not the backs of women (laughs).I like that. But don’t get me wrong I love music that can make you move as well. So I stay versatile. Because, a hit is a hit whether it’s about booty or Benjamin’s.

D.Cox:    It is so funny about 6 months ago , I have asked some artists do they know who is Bone Thugs n Harmony ; Force MDs ; Poison Clan (just to name a few) are in hip hop music. And surprisingly, these artists told me “ No – they never heard of those artists” but they are artists of hip hop . Now in your opinion, how is hip hop music lacking now compared to classic hip hop music ? And how do you prepare yourself to bring “ true” hip hop back in your music and in what way can you possibly educate these new artists about the pioneers of hip hop and how they are major influencers?

C. Preest : I feel like there’s no peace in hip hop today like it was back then. Now, it’s a bunch of starving artist eating off their image and not their lyrics. It’s not about what you said or the way you said it anymore it’s about what you have. Materialism has ruined us all. So I try to stay down to earth and dedicated to that positive music -you know? Indeed, music that uplifts people in a positive nature, make them want more and do more to escape poverty in the right way. But, to research and educate is the best way to help an artist understand where hip hop has been and where it’s going. Not to mention,   reminding  them to pay homage to that because they paved the way. So to be original and have a general knowledge of your craft are your best weapons.

D.Cox:    I say often Hip Hop music industry is a multimillion dollar business with a lot of competition and a lot of legal business attachment s. How often do you get involve in educating yourself about the music industry as an artist? What are some of the important lessons that sticks out to you the most not only as an artist but as an artist with entrepreneur skills as well?

C. Preest : Well I don’t educate myself as much as I should but I do read up on it a lot. But one thing I do know is that when it comes to business you must stay on top of it and not mix it with pleasure. And to stay consistent with whatever you doing whether its singles or shows. You have to network because it is very effective. You have to get out here make it happen. So long as you keep your business in order and stay focus it will all work out. Don’t take No for an answer!

D.Cox:    How long have you been with Hanlitt Entertainment? And since you been with Hanlitt Entertainment, how important is it to ensure that the team works together in representing your brand as an artist?

C. Preest : I’ve been with Hanlitt since like 2007. It’s extremely important to have a strong team because it takes a lot of pressure off the artist to promote his/herself. Your team also motivates you to succeed with their undying support. We must believe in each other and do what it takes to bring the best out us as a team. Because ,we’re all here to motivate and inspire each other.

D.Cox:    It is indicated (in your bio) you have past successful projects/albums , such as “Hostel Takeover”2007m; “The Great of 08” Vol. 2 in May of 2008; and “The Separation” . In between each of those successful completed projects , which one have been your most successful album in relation to the audience/fans liking in correlation to online media and shows/event? And how do those albums of the past prepare you for 2013 projects?

C. Preest : I think “The Separation” was my most successful album,because it’s official. You can get it on itunes, amazon, or even our own website www.hanlitt.com. The album cover had great artwork and the entire concept of the album reflected my life completely. So to actually have that available for sale was blessing. But, my latest mixtape “Nature of the Beast” made some noise as well being sponsored by datpiff and all. So both just motivate me to do more and get better,because I always want to outdo my last project. So I challenge myself to raise the bar.

D.Cox:    Speaking of 2013 projects, what are you currently working on? And are there any upcoming shows/events? ( indicate dates/time and flyers etc..)

C. Preest :  I’m actually working on a few projects right now. Of course, I got the sophomore album coming soon but before that we got the Hanlitt Compilation coming as well as a joint mixtape with me and another fellow artist by the name of Ephesus Crump. Him and I are actually shopping for a venue to launch the release of the mixtape this March for St. Paddy’s Day weekend. So, until we book a spot I’ve been pretty much performing at local competitions and showcases to keep my singles spinning. But we will be shooting a video for one of singles soon so stay tuned…we keeping it moving.

D.Cox:    In conclusion, I always ask artists to provide some words of wisdom. What advice would you give artists when they find themselves lost during their creativity in their music or having a lack of direction?

C. Preest :  I say search for inspiration whether it’s in your closes family member, your biggest fan, or even your favorite artist. Reach back to that place where you started from and hopefully it will help you get back to where you going. Think on what’s most important to you and not anyone else. Never give up. Patience is your biggest asset, because any and everything has its season. So stay focused on your time so when it comes you’re ready. But most of all, believe in yourself and trust god to direct your path. And he will !!  

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One thought on “Put It Out THERE ™: Hanlitt Entertainment Artists

  1. Pingback: Hanlitt Entertainment 2013 EVENTS | OFFICIAL FEATURE

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