Talent is nothing short when you want to discover someone at the right place, time, and location; or even through social networking. As fans of the Arts and Entertainment, we often look for something the fresh; the new; the undiscovered; or having the “It factor”. I don’t know about you I’m always attracted to the undiscovered in the Arts and Entertainment world, because when you search for something or someone you search for originality and the passion that one have in his/her own work. When we notice someone that has an undeniable talent and passion towards their own work, we tend to gravitate towards that person and enjoy their passion as well. Like Albert Einstein once quoted in saying: “True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist”. Indeed, B3 is one out of many artists that have the urge and the determination to make his dreams come true within the hip hop industry. According to B3’s bio , he states the following : “eighteen year old high school graduate continuing to chase the dream of touring around the world and living life as a famous rapper “ ; “I feel nothing is impossible, set your mind to it and it can be done. Through the controversy, doubt and, hate… I will be standing when the smoke settles, doing what I love” ~ B3
Deb.C : You had an amazing start on your music career, especially while you were in high school. Now, for those who are not familiar with the performance artist “B3”, can you first tell everyone that does not know you what the name “B3” mean?
B3: The name “B3” comes from my actual name “Robert Michael Betchley III.” The “B” comes from my last name “Betchley,” and the “3” comes from me being the third.
Deb.C : Cool way of identifying yourself- original ! You are a very talented young man. You play sports; music is your drive and passion; and also, you attend college. There were a lot of hip hop artists who began their hip hop career without a high school or college education. How important is it to you to have an education? And how would the benefits of a degree would help you with your career in music?
B3: To be completely honest with you, I hate school. BUT, my parents promised me that if I went to college they would buy me a studio for my dorm. Every time I’m making a decision I think of music and whether my decision will affect my music career in a positive or negative way, and I really felt like college was going to have a positive impact on my music career. I looked at it as an opportunity to spread my music. My target market consists of college kids so I decided to reach them face-to-face. Plus, It has given me the opportunity to spend time promoting and doing shows in different states (South Carolina, North Carolina, Atlanta, etc). In regards to my degree, if I get it, cool… If I don’t get it, that’s cool too. As long as I continue chasing my dreams and doing what I love then I’m happy.
Deb.C : Definitely it is important to pursue your dreams! Now, You started off with a dream to be a drummer for a metal band to writing lyrics as a hip hop artist. How were you able to make that transition? It is known: “No one is not limited by their dreams“. But, do you still have plans to become a drummer? Or are you planning to do both Hip Hop and becoming a drummer for a band?
B3: There was really no thought put into the transition… It sort of just happened. Playing drums really introduced me to my love for music and then hip hop was like our wedding. That’s what really sealed the deal. Now I cant live without it, I’m addicted. Although hip hop is my main focus, I still play drums here and there for fun. Plans of being a drummer is out of the picture now though. Its ALL hip hop and rap for me.
Deb.C : Are there any other instruments that you are skilled at playing other than the drums? If so, how does playing the instruments or being in production help you to have the right sound for your style of hip hop?
B3: I wish!!! But sadly drums are the only instrument that I’ve learned. I never got lessons either, it was all self taught. I would love to learn to play piano though. I could sit and listen to someone play piano for hours.
Deb.C : Which artist that is out today (or the past) greatly inspired you in the hip hop world? And why?
B3: Lil Snupe is definitely one of my biggest inspirations. He passed away June 20th, 2013 at the age of eighteen (which is how old I am). How ever, with his time being here he showed me that anything is possible no matter how old you are, or what your situation may be. At age seventeen he signed with Dream Chaser Records, on top of many other huge accomplishments. It just goes to show, no matter what people say, if you believe in yourself and stick to your dreams, anything is possible. Seeing someone the same age as you fulfill the same dream as you is a real confidence booster and I feel that’s why he has influenced me so much. Life is short so I try to live every day like it will be my last… You never know what can happen. Its cheesy and all, but its so damn true. RIP Lil Snupe.
Deb.C : Yes , RIP Lil Snupe ! Currently , you have several hot tracks on Reverbnation and YouTube, Such as “ Coolin “ ; “ Overdose “ ; “ Never Letting Go “ ; “ Back Porch Thoughts “ ; “ Rollin The Dice “; “ Live It “ ;“Colossal “ “ Valedictorian Freestyle” and many more. Which tracks are your top 3-5 favorites? And briefly give a brief synopsis on what made you created your top favorites (and why?)
B3 : My top five tracks that I have done would have to be Coolin, Valedictorian Freestyle, Jeans, Never Letting Go, and Over Dose. I have a few unreleased tracks that could fall top five but these are my top five released songs. “Coolin” is a song off our group project “The Opening” which you can find on iTunes. My group B.A.D. Seed and I made this song as a reminder that stress gets you nowhere. It’s a reminder to ignore all the bullshit in life and be your self. “Valedictorian Freestyle” is a song off my up coming mixtape “Valedictorian.” This song is more of a boasting song, but its not about money, cars, and girls… It’s just me claiming to be above all in a different way… Being a Valedictorian of the rap game. “Jeans” is one of my favorites and I think its fair to say it is definitely a fan favorite as well. Its your typical “booty shaking song” so of course the girls love it. The thing people don’t know about the song is that the title is actually a Homonym. One bar from the chorus is “She got it in her jeans, so she make it work.” Not only does it mean that she has a fat booty in her jeans, but it also means, she has it in her genes, not just in her actual jeans. “Never Letting Go” is another one of my favorites. I recorded this song when I was sixteen. I am a firm believer in chasing your dreams and never letting go and that is exactly what the song portrays. Last but not least is “Over Dose.” This track reminds me of real hip hop and that’s why I like it so much. Many people doubted my lyrical ability until I dropped this track. It showed people that I didn’t need a super hot beat to grab people’s attention. I proved to them that I could do that with my lyrics alone.
Deb.C : Indeed you did just that – original flow on each tracks! When it comes to performing on stage, how important is it to have your audience/fans to relate to who you are as an artist?
B3 : Performing has to be one of my favorite parts of being an artist. There is no better feeling than looking out at a crowd of people and seeing them truly feel what you are saying. I feel that it is extremely important to have your audience/fans relate to who you are and what you are saying. That’s what brings you so close. There is no other way of connecting in that type of way. Music is the only way to build that sort of relationship and that’s why it is so special.
Deb.C : You are one of the youngest hip hop artists in the competitive world of hip hop, how are you able to remain grounded and focus?
B3 : Its simple. Don’t look at age, don’t look at skin color, don’t look at any of that. Just be yourself. Everything will fall into place. Of course others will look at those things and judge you, but I just ignore it. Instead of letting it take me out of focus, I just use it to push me to work harder and stay more focused.
Deb.C : I totally agree. Remaining focus over powers anything! When it comes to album or track releases, in your own words what are the pros and cons of this method when it comes to goals or time expectations? (Note: Reflect on your creativity).
B3 : Looking back, I have only had to push back one release date. That is something that I have stressed to myself many times over and over again. My goal is to please my fans, not to leave them waiting and irritated. I think we definitely have the advantage in today’s society with all the technology and social media so I try to take full advantage of that when it comes to releasing new tracks and spreading my music.
Deb.C : If a label want to make a decision to sign you today (without doubts in their mind), what would you want them to know that makes you different from any other hip hop artists without the world of gimmicks?
B3: There really isn’t any artist already out there that you can compare me too or say I sound like. There are so many styles and paths that I can take when creating music that everything I put out would have people curious for what the next project is going to sound like. If you look back at all my songs, they are all so different from each other. Also I would definitely want them to see a live performance. Performing is a big strength of mine. I can’t wait for the day to come when I’m standing on stage in front of a sold out venue. I treat every performance like it is my last. I guarantee if someone was there to see someone else, next time they will be there to see B3.
Deb.C : Now that 2013, have been a successful moment for you as an artist. What was one or few of your top highlight moments? ( if shows/events you’ve had experience give dates while providing the answer)
B3: There were a lot of cool things that happened in 2013, but ill give you a few of my top. Caskey (signed with YMCMB) is a big inspiration of mine, so kicking it with him in downtown Nashville was pretty cool before his show. I also did an awesome show in downtown Atlanta at a club called GME. This was one of my favorite shows just because of the reactions I got while I was up on stage. Being in a city were hip hop is so big, I was glad to see that people liked my music… it felt good. Another highlight of 2013 was when I drove up to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Coast 2 Coast mixtapes competition and won it. It’s a competition for artist to showcase themselves in front of industry judges who give you feedback and such. I won a lot of promotional type prizes, as well as a three-night stay in Miami for the Coast 2 Coast convention this year (2014). I’ve never really won something cool like that so I can’t complain. Last, and probably my top moment, was when my friend’s mom text me saying that she was at a club (Jay-Z invited her while she was sitting next to him) in Atlanta after Louisville had won the national championship game in basketball and my song “Jeans” and “Rhyme For Life” got played while Jay-Z was present. Don’t ask me how… But she always pulls things like this off. Knowing Jay-Z has heard my music just goes to show that you never know who is listening and what could happen. You just have to keep working.
Deb.C: It is 2014 now. What can us as audience/fans expect from you? ( Note: give date Album/track release ; shows/events –give dates and location)
B3 : I have a new mixtape called “Valedictorian” dropping sometime in late January or early February (there is no set release date yet). But I just recently dropped the “Valedictorian Freestyle” music video, which is a track off the mixtape so you can go check that out on my YouTube channel (BetchleyIII). Im Dropping another music video off the mixtape sometime in January. That track is called “Boomerang.” Honestly, There will be so many things going on in 2014 that it would be best for you to stay up to date with me on social media so you don’t miss any thing. Just follow me on twitter (@B3_Sweatshirt) and you will know every thing that is happening.
Deb.C: Talib Kweli is quoted for saying the following: “The beautiful thing about hip hop its like an audio collage. You can take any form of music and do it in a hip hop way and it’ll be a hip hop song. That’s the only music you can do that with.” What does that quote mean to you as a hip hop artist?
B3 : It’s nothing but the truth. Hip hop is such a diverse type of music. You can go down so many paths, its endless… It has no rules. You can mix this and that to make this. Or you can mix that with this to make that. It’s not like any other genre… and that’s why I love it.
Deb C: Finally, do you have any final thoughts or shout-outs to anyone that is taking this journey with you?
B3 : Shout out to my team B.A.D. Seed. And also, my parents. Although they don’t agree with some of my decisions, they have supported me from day one, so for that I thank you.
To follow up on the latest on B3, follow him on the following sites :
https://www.facebook.com/robbie.betchley ( and Facebook page: B3 )