The Blanko Project & FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK: READY10K
Self-Acceptance, Revolution, and Struggle
Last May I planned on recording my first full length album. I had just heard XXXtentacion for the first time and it was then that I saw the emotional and raw potential for Trap music. I had previously thought that Trap was ignorant and for fake or wanna-be thugs and drug dealers. Or real ones. So I dabbled in Trap music a little bit but I stuck to BoomBap, as my biggest influences, musically speaking, comes from 90's east coast and west coast rap. I grew up listening to Tupac, Dr.Dre, Wu-tang clan, etc. and being my own producer, I thought I should focus on my BoomBap beats. However, XXX changed my way of thinking. When I heard his pure self-expression and started paying attention to other artists like Kendrick, J. Cole, and Drake I realized that Trap isn't necessarily a genre as much as it had become the new drum and snare foundation for HipHop itself.
Now, how can I call myself a HipHop artist, especially in 2017, knowing damn well I was limiting myself to only one sub-genre? I got to work and learned how to make a Trap beat. Next thing I know I had become obsessed with it. The theatrics, the heavy bass, the fresh new feeling, it all was enough to have me enamored. So much so, that I decided my first full length album was going to be all Trap beats. Knowing my first album will be my debut to the music world I knew it had to be good. I had made about 5-6 beats and knowing I had to make more, I started recording and working on one song at a time. I wanted to give each song the time it deserved. I got three songs fully completed. I had gone to sleep the night of the third songs completion.
Now this is where everything gets fucked up.
I wake up the next morning excited to work on the next song. I had been listening to the three finished tracks over and over on my phone as I had sent them to a few friends through email. As I'm bumping to the second track I press the power button for the computer and it freezes on the loading screen. No biggie. I walk away for a bit, come back to it and it's still frozen. Okay.....
I turn it off and back on. Again. Frozen on the loading screen. I call that computer "Ol Reliable" because it has effectively fucked me over more than once. Why I expected it to uphold its duties of "Studio Computer" yet again, is beyond me. But here I was with three mp3s and a computer that was completely inaccessible and unusable. Fucking. Great.
I've since learned from my mistakes and have invested in multiple portable hard drives (I suggest you do the same). Needless to say, my idea of coming out with a full length album was gone. I was defeated. By a bullshit ass computer from 2011. I took a week off music as I had to reconfigure the computer, re-download programs, and figure out how I was going to rise up from that setback.
I decided to release the three songs as a mini-mixtape that I lovingly titled "The Blanko Project." I do truly believe everything happens for a reason so as upset as I was I'm glad The Blanko Project wasn't my debut album. No Excuses means a little more to me as it is an album jam packed with every emotion under the sun. Happiness, Sadness, Depression, Joy..... I'm much more excited to release it as my debut album as listeners will get to know me on an extremely personal level that I have only shown glimpses of up to this point. Nonetheless The Blanko Project was an insightful project that should not be disregarded due to its size. Remember," it's not the size that counts" hahaha really though lets dive into it.
"Why can't you respect me for who the fuck I am?"
I went in on this one. In the first verse I detail a lot of unknown things about me. My heritage first of all, being half-Argentinean and half-Italian is incredibly interesting because of the diversity in my extended family. It is also tough, because anyone who is mixed knows what it means to not be accepted by either group. I also explain being the grandson of a mobster (whose been dead for decades) and being the godson of a witchdoctor. Talk about diversity huh? Verse two is a little journal of the cities I've been to. Mixed with inner beliefs and stories of crazy antics, as most of my songs are, I proudly conclude the song with a chorus that is a little different than the first one.
"This is who I am, Bitch"
"No trust for a nigga eatin donuts"
Upfront. Unapologetic. RAW AS FUCK. André The Artist & I give you a taste of Resurgence's feelings towards imperialism and oppression. Anything I type here will more than likely be used against me in a lawsuit if one ever ensues, so rather than incriminate myself, just listen to the fucking song.
"Pop some bourgeoisie"
"I'm trynna fight these evil thoughts stuck in my brain, man."
For nearly two years now I've been dealing with a chronic pain condition. I've come to realize that healing is not linear. It is up and down. Luckily I'm getting closer and closer every week to my goal of being able to perform on a stage without being held back by my physical condition. It all started with an injury and since than I've dealt with addiction, alcoholism, depression, and thoughts of suicide. My message to those going through the same thoughts is simple and may sound corny to you as it sounded to me at the time, but there is another day. I promise you. If I killed myself when I was dealing with the height of the pain and when my thoughts were at their worst, than I would've never made music or seen a better day. I really thought there was no point anymore. But I've been extremely humbled by the entire situation and I'm grateful to be living today. I am extremely happy that I didn't pull that trigger. I would be even happier to know that those going through the same thing will make the same decision I did, as it is a day by day thing. Every day is different than the next and YOU CAN'T GIVE UP. PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP.
"Wake up everyday starin up at the ceilin. Teardrops rollin down my face. I sleep all day, sleep all evenin I dont touch one piece of food on the plate."
The Blanko Project is short, definitely not sweet, but to the point. I hope you all enjoyed it and hopefully learned a lot about me as an artist. It is available on all major music streaming services and the design actually became my brands logo. (In case you haven't already noticed.) ALSO if you go to the drop down menu (on mobile) or scroll to the top of this page (desktop) and click APPAREL you will notice that my sweaters rep the Blanko logo across the chest. There are also new designs that I've added in the past week.
Until next week, I love you all.
Thank you for reading.
FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Born on June 10th, 1988 (another Gemini, y'all are in for a treat) in Southside Jamaica, Queens Ready10k is making his mark on the music scene and allover the east coast. He's a very interesting character to say the least as he has a background in New York City, Jersey City and even in the Poconos.
His name itself has multiple stories behind it. "Ready" coming from his readiness as a self-described wild adolescent to be with whatever the situation calls for. Although he's now an adult, he's still down for his family and those close to him and so the name still stands. "10k" is a nickname that he was referred to by other ballplayers on the court in Jersey City. After scoring three point shots repeatedly, witnesses started calling him names like "money" and "10k." The "10k" stuck and now is part of his stage name.
Ready10k's biggest passion is his son who is one of his biggest fans. At 11 years old he is very involved in reading and writing which is a good sign for the next generation because when I see kids his age they are usually infront of a screen, whether it be a tv, smartphone, or tablet. Ready10k has a deeply vested interest in music of all types. When he's not working on his own music and his son is taken care of, he can be seen either enjoying music or on the court (more than likely shootin them money shots, cause that's what Ready10k does, you feel me?).
When Ready10k was 14 he started writing poetry and applying his poems to a beat at his cousins apartment in the projects, where his cousin would produce and engineer. Ready10k reps his brand No Labels, whose name stems out of a personal belief of his. "Don't judge me for who I am but take me for who I am." Some may assume that it is in reference to not wanting to be signed by a major label (I admit I am guilty of assuming so) however it is really in reference to not labeling anybody and confining them to a one word prison. He goes against the grain and does it with confidence and bravery. Ready10k actually owns a custom jacket that reads "No Lables" and is purposely misspelled as a shout-out to his older brother who is dyslexic. His older brother strongly encourages him to continue with rap and truly believes in him. He seems to have a strong support system within his own family that includes his hip-hop artist cousin King Ferrari.
Ready10k's music is influenced by his life. He is a self-proclaimed storyteller, detailing his troubles and his accomplishments in his music. Always genuine, Ready10k is not a fan of fake love. He describes situations of those that only surround him when the benefits are there in his song "Bleachers" which is the second song featured on his EP Your Words Move the World (available on Spotify, Itunes, and anywhere else you listen to music). The third song "Change Up" tells a story of his hiatus from music and the people who he once thought were his ride or die friends, however they changed up as soon as they saw him entering a dark time and backing away from music. Rather than lend a helping hand, they left. He pulls from this time in his life to craft situations in his music that come from being "trapped" in a bad relationship where it was either "her or the music." Luckily things worked out and he made the right choice because his music is dope.
Other influences include his top 5 rappers, Styles P, Joe Budden, Fabulous, J. Cole, and Nas. Are we seeing a pattern of deep lyrics and story telling? I believe so. Joe Budden's "Mood Muzik" is referenced by Ready10k as an extremely powerful mixtape that influenced his beliefs of "not caring what other people think about him." Ready10k is clear about his philosophy of "not hiding anything." You either take him or leave him, but he is who he is.
I asked Ready10k, "What message do you want your listeners to get from your music?"
"The message is everywhere" he proclaimed. "I want my listeners to feel where I'm coming from as I talk on every aspect of life. If you can relate to it than relate to it, there's times that I be in the club, but theres also days that I'm chilling at home smoking and writing about a shorty that wronged me." Ready10k defines himself as "straight New York HipHop" and says "If you miss it [NY HipHop] , its right here."
"I want people to really grasp it, because the message is real."
Extremely intellectual and multi-faceted, I had a lot of fun interviewing Ready10k, who upon interviewing I found out is a fellow Gemini. Always in for a very talkative and informative conversation when you speak to a Gemini. Here's to much success and thank you for being my FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK!!!!
Check out his music video below and follow him on Spotify as well as all other major music platforms.