At RhymeStreet: The New Class Hip Hop event which recently took place on March 9th at Silk City in Philadelphia, The Hip Hop Party for the People (HHPP) had the pleasure of sitting down with some of Philly’s freshest talent for a behind the scenes interview with Ai-Que, Davon, Realysm, Emperess, and Jaye. Each artist took us into their world of music, art and culture. Next up, Davon, a Jersey MC who has a style that lean towards a more mellow beat, Old School Hip Hop kind of vibe. Check him out in fourth in the five part FreshSpits interviews series. #VoteHipHop. #FreshSpits.
Rhymestreet Presents: New Class
By Lissa Alicia for Hip Hop Party For The People
On a chilly winter night, Silk City opened its doors for Rhyme Street Presents: New Class. The event, hosted by Myke Storm, featured five up-and-coming artists from Philadelphia and surrounding areas: Ai-Que, Davon, Realysm, Emperess, and Jaye. As attendes funneled in, they were greeted with what we will call an “opening dance act.” A few ‘super fly’ patrons, who were much older than the usual crowd at the Northern Liberties Venue, we grooving to the nostalgic tracks spun by DJ Benz.
Davon, hailing from New Jersey, is fresh on the Philly music scene. As far as his music goes he had been only been traveling to the West side of the Delaware for about a year and a half, and finds the city to be his “second home”. On his current mixtape, Carton of Cool, Davon uses some classic and mellow beats, so of which from the late great J Dilla. With strong lyricism, Davon manages to get the listener lost in a sea of thoughtful relaxation.
[Facebook: Donovan Ortiz] [Twitter: Davon856]
Lissa: How would you describe your style?
Davon: I would like to describe it as an attempt at real Hip Hop.
Lissa: What projects do you have out for the people to hear?
Davon: Carton of Cool. It has been out since last February. I recommend if anyone is going to look me up they would go to that project.
Lissa: What is your opinion on Hip Hop’s impact and power in society?
Davon: Hip Hop holds a lot of power, however, as of recently it has been used very negatively. A lot of people are using it to glorify sex, drugs, violence. These are things that we are all aware of. However, it is so embedded in mainstream media that it has kind of become a part of the culture. I don’t think that we can classify that as Hip Hop. I think that Hip Hop has a strong impact in a positive way when it used to be what it used to stand for. If they called it something else I could respect it.
Lissa: You sound like you really dig Old School Hip Hop, who are your influences?
Davon: My main influence would be J Dilla, Simply because he had a way of communicating a message without any words being on the track. That’s when Hip Hop was truly an art form. Aside from him, I love A Tribe Called Quest (one of my all time favorites). The Roots are an obvious one. I think that anyone who does Hip Hop, within the Philly community, is heavily influenced by The Roots. I was a big fan of Jay Z back in the Reasonable Doubt days. Anything that had some strong lyrical quality, that at the end of the day you could take something away from it. It may have changed your life in one way or another. It may have been the smallest minor change but it was positive.
Lissa: Why are you a Hip Hop artist?
Davon: I think that it makes me a better person. I am the type of person that is always trying to improve myself. I have a lot of flaws like everyone else does. I think that being able to express that with a pen and paper, and being able to let people know that I am a human being. I can gain that improvement from anything, may it be another person, another song or anything of that nature.
Lissa: Independent or signed?
Davon: Independent, simply because I want to have the freedom to create whatever it is I want to create. I would like to stay independent, and make enough money to make a normal, comfortable living. As long as I can continue to do music for the rest of my life, and not have to work a nine to five, and not to have to wake up at six A.M., I’ll be content. The money is not really a factor. I just want to make music.
Lissa: March is Women’s History Month, seeing how the time is fitting, what is your opinion on misogyny in Hip Hop?
Davon: How women are being portrayed in Hip Hop, it is one of the most disgusting things to me. It legitimately disgusts me. When I think about it, it makes my guts hurt because women are being treated as if they are objects. Women are being treated as if they are money makers, as if they are not worth anything more than being in a video or being someone’s side chick. It’s a shame because women bring us up. They taught us the values that we know and learned. If you ask any rapper who they do for, chances are they will be like “I do this for my mama, my family”. I also think that women take a harder stand and really protect themselves as people. Stand up and put a stop to it. Let them know that it is not right. I really Hope to see women respect themselves and showing people that they need to be respected.
Lissa: What is next for Hip Hop?
Davon: I would like to see Hip Hop to go back to the way it was message wise, but continue to develop as it has.