On this episode, we welcome E-Turn, an emcee, singer, and touring artist based out of Orlando, Florida. She represents Second Subject crew and is signed to the label Fake Four. Her latest album is called 'Young World'.
In the interview, we discuss her career, touring overseas, being a female in hip hop, advice for aspiring emcees, and maintaining health.
You can find E-Turn here:
Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/soulsofhiphop)
On this episode, we welcome E-Turn, an emcee, singer, and touring artist based out of Orlando, Florida. She represents Second Subject crew and is signed to the label Fake Four. Her latest album is called 'Young World'.
In the interview, we discuss her career, touring overseas, being a female in hip hop, advice for aspiring emcees, and maintaining health.
You can find E-Turn here:
Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/soulsofhiphop)
Welcome to souls of hip hop - a podcast for hip hop heads that aims to bring inspiring people together to share their wisdom, compassion and the stories. My name is Candy, and I'm DJ Razor Cut. Together we are Soulidarity - connecting souls organically.
On today's show. We welcome E Turn, an emcee, singer and touring artists based out of Orlando, Florida. She represents the Orlando Crew called Second Subject and is on a label called Fake Four, based out of New Haven, Connecticut. Her latest album is called Young World. We're so Excited to have her on the show. We would like to start off by learning about your first encounter with hip hop.
I definitely grew up in the 90s so it was a thing. You know, Hip hop was a known thing. Also I have an older brother and I would say I give him credit for a lot of my introduction to hip hop like real hip hop, at least. Yeah, because he was listening to, like Nas and Wu Tang and Tribe and stuff like that, Slick Rick. So I would say it was probably about that time. I remember my first CD, well hip hop CD, was 2Pac and the Outlaws; Still I rise. So that was my first CD I ever bought. I think I was, like, nine or 10. Previous to that, I just heard my brother listening to again. Like attainable. Also, Yeah, 89 ish was when I started getting into it. Well the music at least.
What inspired you to actually start being active yourself or starting to write your own rhymes and perform?
I remember my first rap that I wrote was in, uh, seven grade. I say it in one of my songs, and that's probably why I even remember that, um, seventh grade attention, writing rhymes on the desk. I remember I was like in detention in seventh grade, and I was listening, starting to listen to more Nas and stuff like that. I was like, I could do this and we're just going to become a rapper, you know? This is so cool. And I started writing and I was horrible, I'm sure, really bad. But yeah, I was writing raps in detention. I was like, 12 and I started passing it around to like a couple of my friends that were in there with me and they were like this is really good. So, yeah, that was my introduction to starting to rap, but Nas was definitely a big inspiration for that, I would say.ho were the people in your life like around you that you would interact with That really influenced you on your path? Knowing what advice have you been given that really help you?
Who were the people in your life like around you that you would interact with That really influenced you on your path? What advice have you been given that really help you?
So again, my my brother was a huge one. I probably wouldn't have known about so much stuff that early on - so much hip hop that early on, if it wasn't for him, he was also is a skater. I started skating with him, but not like skateboard like roller blades. So, like aggressive in line. And so that kind of all merging together. Actually, he's known Swan Burger local legend for a long time, cause the x least go to this part called Badlands. Back in the day, it was The skate park closed down a long time ago, but in the nineties, they knew each other from a skate park. So, like he was even listening to Swan Burger back when he was, like way young skating in the skate park, and I did. I did Rollerblading too. But my brother like, went pro. He's amazing at it. Yeah, I didn't know Swan Burger yet, but my brother did. And so he was always kind of like putting me on the random stuff. Other than that, like the hip hop as a culture didn't really come interview for me until a little bit later. It was like mainly about the music and me trying to wrap and then, like learning about the culture and learning about the elements and stuff like that came later.
You're also a singer, though, too.
Yeah, I sing. Singing has been like in my life since I was a baby. Like That's always What I wanted to do is to Be a singer. So rapping came a little bit later.
What kind of music did do you sing?
Honestly, Everything. I was again, just like a product of the nineties, like a child the nineties. So whatever. I listened to a lot of Mariah Carey. Whitney Houston. I grew up listening to Michael Jackson a lot. My mom had, like, such a vast library of music, so would be like Fleetwood Mac And then I'd be like Stevie Wonder Michael Jackson, the Eagles just yet, like classic rock and then kind of like eighties music. A little bit of RnB
that's really hard to get, like a lot of rappers now are singing, but they're not very good. You can tell they're just like, Oh, I'm supposed to do this right? No, just stop.
That's why I think I saw one of your home when the U. S. I think it was an instagram where yeah, that I saw that you were singing And I was like, What? you can really sing?
Thank you. Yeah, I'm going to start coming out with some more singing stuff. I probably do like an all singing Ep or something in the future because, like, I kind of branded myself as more of a rapper on purpose. Okay, Swan said A lot of girls can sing, but not a lot of girls can really rap well or putting themselves out there. At least four people know about them, you know. So, um, that's kind of how we branded me. Just like rap, rap, rap, rap, get better at rapping, and then now I'm like, I want to start mixing more the singing stuff in there. So, yeah,
how would your parents describe what you do for a living? That's a
great question. Well, my dad has always been real supportive of my singing stuff and so, you know, is definitely a known thing. Like he started here and me listening to rap music And he like, What is this? I remember the first time I cussed in front of my dad. I was listening toe like a Dr Dre song. It was on the radio on the way to school, and I can't cuss. I just I don't know where it's gonna be able to make sure I said shit and And I like that was that was rapping with, like, shit. And he looked at me like he's like, Don't I mean, my dad is not like a religious person or anything like that, but he just you know, and he's from Iran. So his English is not that, you know, amazing. But he just knew it was a thing like, you know, you're not supposed to curse. And when he heard me listening to rap That's the first time you heard me curse. I was like, Oh, no, what am I in four? And he dealt with a lot from me when I was a teenager, so, but now that he's been able to see what I'm doing now on, like how much I've progressed, he's super supportive of like, whatever kind of music I want to. At the end of the day, I know he wants me to do singing more, but he's just like, Oh, you should do Persian music. You should do like you could do you know American Idol Bubble blam like That's not. That's not what I do, though, but he's really supportive. He still wants me to be a doctor, but, yeah, my mom's really been really supportive over the last. Now she sees I'm taking it really seriously. She's been very supportive, like they just got me a new microphone that's over there
for my birthday. Like Dr Dre, you can still call yourself doctor return. You
go exactly nice. A doctor like, Well, he's one of my favorites, he says. I should have been a doctor by now, but I've been busy doctor. When Rimes or something like that.
One of my clients, I do. I do Bodywork and massage own. And so I was like, Oh, we're thinking about going back to school to get my doctor and second physical therapy and my client's leg. Well, why Why do you want to do that? You you know a lot already. You know, you've been doing this a long time ago. I think Dr Candy sounds good. She's like, Oh, you know me to call your doctor candy. Okay. I'll call you your doctor. The only reason you want you want to be called
knows People call your doctor. I said,
I'll call your doctor. I'll call you doctor. Can You could save your money, girl.
Exactly. That's funny. To what degree have you explored kind of your Persian roots? And have you integrated that into your music? Like you? Definition samples?
Yeah, definitely. So slumber has produced all the albums that I've put out so far, and he's definitely sampled a lot of version stuff. Um, yeah. So, like on my probably on a released my third full length at the end of the year last year and on every single album there's been like some kind of version sample in there for sure. Um, the first album I put out Dark Trust. There was actually a song where I like spit half of the chorus in Farsi. So, yes, I've definitely explored that a lot and want to continue exploring it more. I love Persian music, and my Farsi is not that good like I grew up around it,
but my dad, shame on him, did not like fully teach me Farsi. But when I hear Persian music, I just get the chills. It's like I feel it in my blood. I just I love it so much.
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we've also been able to travel quite a bit. Are what differences have you seen in the hip hop culture in different countries?
So, uh, main, like international travel that have done has been in Europe, I would say I definitely felt different doing shows out there, you know, like I don't want to say the generic like, gather support, more out there, whatever, cause there are, like, good and bad things about every scene everywhere, you know? But I I will say I went on a two month store recently in the States, and then I went on one like a month in Europe, and I came back with more money on the Euro tour, I think, is I sold a lot more merch, and also the promoters like, willing to pay more than I did when I did the two month tour in the States. I was also on tour. I need to figure out that whole thing because I was also on tour with another person, so I had to split all the guarantees, money, things like that with them. So I think that overall there is kind of it's a little bit more lucrative in in Europe for me. We'll see. I'm going to go again in March, so we'll see. I compare it. But yeah, and I also just think that because there is that difference there and also like Americans coming over there and knowing that, like hip hop started in America, I feel like the fans over there when they get American artists. They're like your respect and they just want to learn more about the more artists, you know. So that's Yeah, I guess. That's kind of the gist of it.
I grew up in Switzerland, just moved over here five years ago. That's often feel like there is some glorification of the nineties era, or like the boom bap era. There's always been a bit of a push against commercial music. Yeah, like if you didn't make it out of the underground that somehow didn't have that validation. You're
Yeah, I totally feel that. I was also going to say, Like while you were talking made me think of when I was over there. There's just a lot of, like intolerance. Too bad shit, More like people are always like doing protests in the street. And just that vibe carries over into the music and art culture and hip and hip hop. You know, it's just like they're like, so anti hate. I think obviously they can Germany and stuff like I think about all the stuff that happened there. They're just like, no like, and they that carries over into the art culture. And I think we don't necessarily have that same thing we do. I mean, obviously here we talk about, like slavery and hip hop in hip hop, being primarily like a black culture started, you know, in the Bronx, then we do have that, but it's different of how we, like, embrace out like we kind of been, I think a little bit more brainwashed over here.
Is there still a thing as I know, coming up there was something that place when I was in college, like conscious of pop and then mainstream hip hop, and then, yeah, is there now? Within the music is there like still, these categories like This is my trap song now are we as you make an album, there was like OK, you need like labels on it.
Yeah, yeah, that's still that's done. We still thing for sure. Yeah, definitely. Like if I described my music to somebody unlike its more conscious, conscious rap, it's not really the stuff you hear on the radio. There's definitely, like a a differentiation between those things. Like you'll hear conscious, rap conscious hip hop trap music mainstream, which I've always wondered. Like how I really feel about the whole like word mainstream because I would love for, you know, me and my crew does to be called mainstream, right? Right, Like commercial music. That's another one. But it's always been labeled as underground, right? So, uh, yeah, I would love for it to not technically be called underground, but I think underground is like, almost like a genre now. Yeah, like way we'd like, take it out of the underground, I don't know, But if it was taken out of the underground, would it be like, tampered with too much? I think it has been already, you know, like there's some artists that are out that air. Pretty like conscious, like Kendrick Lamar J. Cole,
J. Cole. Thanks. What I love about him is they're really concept albums. That's something I miss today. Yeah, and really listen through album beginning to end without skipping. Okay, I see how this song builds off of the next
yeah, that's why I love him personally. That's awesome. I think one thing historically has kind of been labels influencing music. And that's what put like the negative twist on the term mainstream. Ray, if the artists cannot really do what the artist wants, like, it's not self expression anymore. But then it turns into Now you got to talk about A, B and C because that's what's trending right now. Exactly becomes more of the business, right? Right. Okay, now Dossier is partnering with me to make a song about their product prayer. Aim is now to make this product hanging, and so that's
the negative. I kind of feel you get when you think about the mainstream.
It's like real culture vultures. I feel like it's like a extended jingle play people creating their you know how I didn't mean jingles. Now they're like, Oh, now you have to make a rap jingle
Oh, yeah, it's a lot of they're doing a lot of that nowadays.
I think that's one trend that I saw interviewing rappers as an artist. At that time, it was still major labels had so much dominance that was like Your gold, You need to go major in order to get the exposure rate. And then a lot of the artists that made it to a major label, right? Oh, man, we're getting screwed. Let's go have to be independent and hope that our name recognition will survive that right. There's a lot of talent here in Orlando, and I was curious and learning how Orlando has influenced you as a person and also your music.
Well, first of all, definitely just Swamburger being a huge influence on me and kind of being like an older brother to me through through hip hop, Um has been a really big blessing because he's been in the game for a long time. He's originally from Chicago, so he he's super hip hop, and then he's an emcee. He's visual artists. He makes beats he you know, he's done a little bit of breaking. He's a skater. He's just, like, so immersed in the culture that being able to be so close to somebody and have that person as my mentor has just I mean, I don't I wouldn't be where I am today without that. So Swan Burger, we sometimes call him the Mayor, like for a long time that were stickers all over the city like Swan Burger for mayor as, like a sticker with like, Ah, burger And then it like, says Swan Burger for me. And it's so so many people know for Swami is he's always in the street, and that's such a beautiful thing that I don't think has been super preserved with how social media has come into play. So much like people are kind of focus more on that than doing the grassroots idea of like promoting in the streets or like selling tickets, are just like even selling your merch in the streets I kill, go out and, like, have a backpack on with CDs and go and sell his CDs. Huge, huge influence for me, Orlando, like as a whole. As a collective, I think it's a beautiful thing again, that it's like it's a melting pot is a lot of people from all over that kind of migrate here and so allows us to soak in a lot of different culture. So that's one thing, and I don't know. They're just like Candy was saying a lot of talented people out here, Really, Some of my favorites are out here. Some of my favorite emcees and producers and DJs even. There's a pretty big scene out here that I think the rest of world doesn't necessarily know about.
Sometimes you get like these opportunities that you didn't expect, like allow the first time you can go overseas or something. What advice would you give upcoming artists on how they can be best prepared for opportunities that come up?
I would say Be very solid in then your performance, right? Like rehearsed a lot, practice a lot, be really solid so that you can be confident when you don't have to worry about, like remembering your lyrics or remembering things about a song. You just like I got this got this down. Then you can work focus on other things during your live performance I would say definitely. Obviously, like promotion as much as you can, like, even me right now I'm planning. All right. How can I, um, elevate or make it better next time around? It was great, but like I know I could probably have more people coming out to those shows. So maybe I should try and, like, join a group on Facebook Or find a way that I can promote to more people in each area in each city. So that, you know, you have people coming to your shows because that's one of the like. Worse things about booking indie tours is that sometimes like people, a promoter will book you. But then, like no one will show up and like, What's the point? And nobody is gonna be there. It's really tough, Like it looks cool online point like it looks cool on social media. But really, the thing that's gonna take you to the next level is making sure heads get in the building. That's how you're gonna gain your fan base. So I would say, definitely trying to find whatever outlet you can like one of the things they contacting local radio stations, community radio, college radio or like local publications and trying to be like, Hey, I have a show coming up there, this artist getting in contact with the person who does the hip hop show on that radio station or whatever, and and, like try to promote it. Maybe do a ticket giveaway or something like that, just finding as much as you can to do toe Teoh. Try to get more heads in the building at the show so that you can, like, maximize every opportunity you get, because if you just keep doing things, but there's just not really any growth each times it's tough, you're gonna burn out. You need to be able to see growth for yourself. If there's anything else I would say for that would be like making sure you obviously that you have merchandise. That's your moneymaker on the road for for artists, even bigger artists nowadays, like people, don't buy albums anymore unless they're at a show. Um, so Merchandise is like, Where is that? And just be the best It could be, be dope like practice all the time. Put the work in,
and you alluded to it earlier about building your brand on figuring out how you are going to brand yourself. Yeah. Is there any advice you can give on, like how you came up with your brand and how that has had an impact on your success?
So it's definitely a thing where you, you know, learn along the way. Ah, lot and your branding ideas change and the knowledge you have about branding change is a good thing is I majored for major to marketing, and that definitely helped with my journey so far. Me is a brandy turn definitely represent the ladies in hip hop ladies in a male dominated thing, whatever that is. And basically, like, I feel like people. Standard is lower for women who raps like, Oh, it's a girl who perhaps cool and then But in their mind there's this like, subconscious thing, like, Oh, girls aren't as good as rapper those dudes. So my whole brand is kind of and my movement has been about That's like, No, I know it doesn't matter that I'm a chick because I've invested so much in my in my craft that I've gotten to a point where I feel like I could out trap dudes like That's not a thing. When people think of me, I mean, obviously there, still like Okay, that girl can rap or whatever and she's a girl, but it's not so much at the forefront. Like, you know, she's she's an emcee like she dope. And I think that that is one of my missions, like elevating the standard for women in hip hop like Don't fall back on your looks or your you know, some kind of gimmick or some image that is not gonna last like physically. We change and the culture is shifting. Consciousness is shifting spirituality. All this stuff, like where people are wanting more conscious stuff now and that's not gonna last. So what is gonna last? Good music, good people being a good person, you know, like and just things like that. So that's kind of been my whole movement with my branding, and I used to go by eternity for a long time, and we changed the well first of its kind of a logo idea, and then people would call me Eastern for a short. So then we thought of Why don't we do a logo that's like a like a street sign and, like e dash turn e like it said a u turn. And it looks like a street sign, so e turn. So that's kind of how that the logo branding came of the visual branding came about. E turn is kind of short for eternity.
We were just having a discussion earlier today. So I highlight the females in him up because, you know, we feel like they don't get enough recognition. And I think that there's a common theme through all elements. What do you think? It's something that males and hip hop should know that they're not aware of
that stuff, huh? That's an intense question. I would say that they don't know. I think a lot of the things that are coming into my head they know but maybe aren't reminded of all the time, like, just kind of like what we go through as females and have hot, like, not really having as big of a platform as dudes do. I think people know that it's just not always the lights, not we shined on it. So, like are our platform is not as big a zit is. I'll just speak for I like as an emcee. Our platform is not as big as the dudes platform. Actually, Aiken, think about because I did. I hosted the big girl battles at the last Ah, Red Bull, BC One joining Orlando and it was definitely just such a smaller. And I see it when I go to Jan's like such a smaller thing, You know what I mean? Then the the regular battles or whatever. Yeah, and I was just really trying to get the crowd hype, and it seemed like the crowd overall was not as hype on B girls as they were for the B boys. How psyched, man, that really sucks. Like, how can we make how can these people make this, like, a bigger thing? I think what we need to do is just keep shining light on it. Do what? You're doing me to do what I'm doing. People need to keep shining light on it, making it a thing because people just kind of like to brush it under the rug. You know what I mean And, uh, needs to be talked about. Yeah. And I think one of the biggest reasons is that there has been a lower standard for girl rappers, MC's. And so because of that, it's kind of, uh, conditioned people to think that oh, girls are not as good as dudes. And I think another thing is to because because people that were, you know, marketed maybe necessarily weren't the best female rappers that were out there. What did they market them for? They marketed them for their image, for their willingness toe like expose themselves and their sexuality. So I think that overall, ah, in industry that because we've been marketed like that again, it doesn't create as big of a platform for women just based on their art, their music or whatever their craft that there is for men and that they're going to be expected to maybe do something like that, like, even me right now. You know, I'm not. I'm not somebody that is known for my like physical image or whatever. Or, you know, I'm not going to shows and like wearing booty shorts and whatever whatever like my thing is all about, like my craft, like my performance, my craft, my music, what I do as an M. C. What I do is a singer, and so I think that that has swayed at some point people to book me like it's like, Oh, no, she's She doesn't have as many also to like social media followers. You'll see the ones that expose themselves, get so many followers and why it's a lot of times not for their music. It's because they're willing to, like put their body out there and people will follow him like bullshit. You know, she has a nice booty like she's, you know, half naked, cool, follow and that effects like our ability to get booked and stuff like that. So I think that's something to think about. I'm sure there's been a time where somebody's probably would have booked me if I was like a different vibe. You know what I mean?
But how can you protect yourself as an artist? How do you protect your intellectual property?
Well, first thing I can say is like, uh, you know, signing up, obviously, for something like being Meyer as cap, where you can basically publish all your songs on there. And that way if, ah so So if it's streamed digitally, right? Uh, usually you'll have every single song will have like a number associated with it through wherever you stream at which it's whether it's like, um, destro kid or CD baby. You always want to try to do that through because you could just throw it up on band camp. I wonder if they have the numbers to I think they do. But anyway, great idea would be to do it through, like Destro Kit or something toe, where they're gonna put it out to every outlet like Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Global Block and each song through Destro. Kid has a number associated with it, and then you can take that. Bring it onto leg. Be admire as cap. Put the number in there so that that song is always associated with your name. So that's how you can protect yourself and your music. I think that's probably like the main thing.
One thing that was eye opening for me when I released music was understanding that the payout ratio of, like your royalties this split between the composer, the writer of the lyrics. Yeah, the composer of Today. Then whoever is mixing and arranging it right on understanding. You know the difference between, for example, when you create a contract with the producer. Are you just gonna buy the beat for a certain amount of dollars spraying and cut him out of the royalties right to use, You know, what deal do you make with the producer, etc etera? Yeah,
these air Definitely good things for artists. Think about like are you gonna actually like you said just by the B flat out And then the producer has nothing to do with it. Or are you going to say, Hey, we're going to split the royalties or whatever. That's where you would do that on like being Meyer as Cappy say, there's there's the brighter the producer of a LA and that's how you can get the royalty split. Ah, that whole world is not my favorite thing, but it's very important, especially at this time in my career, like I'm still learning about it. Like I I'm in a place where I really want to start learning more about licensing because I would love to have that as like a you know, passive stream of income coming I. That's another thing that artists need to know is that that's one of the ways you survive as an artist. Nowadays is getting your music license and put into things placed into things so that you can have royalties coming in for that. Because again there's not record sales. They're streaming and streaming doesn't pay shit. Um, so the way artist make money is by doing shows and tours, getting paid a guarantee or whatever, Um, selling merchandise at those shows. And if you've got a you know, active online or like website shop, right and then also, like licensing and getting royalties through, that was like a huge thing.
Let's take a little music break and listen in to one of your songs called Being About It From your latest album, Young World
intrinsically got pats of innovation. I get stuck and naked, calling it The Matrix seven ahead in a patient play on Long refused to see how far we can take it, just trying to follow what they like and old zombie mode. Pay bills, wait skill. The fake thrilled get the fakers to face will get the was take pills. They feel things we get today. The mind and the whole bit band black and got You have what it takes so far from where the heart is so hard for where the artist and by your harbor starting back where we started too much dearly departed in the wonder why we live with freedom. I will never give up. My commission is taking a pill. Won't let them in on seeking guidance for that drill. Medicated feeding, trying to get me to chill I see the power that trying to kill sensations at the try in a film. I see the moment that the drying in a steel and all the notion that a drama and still plan ambitions in my water like I don't know, the real inevitably for Boston. Simple, silent. We've allowed itself simply, I want a future to Fatima. Fully different sense the voice feeling the tape from all the things we've best get knocked down and up ships way to put a block in the maze. And then they tell us to get drain our energy until we're happy today. See him die. You know, all the one to already distracted my car. Don't still have money to shop, never satiate. Never know when to stop Tricked to believe, but no believe it or not, they work with the only weapon that I know. So when the thing, I guess I got to know when to say no falling into a look, But I'm still willing. The girl sick of these greedy bitches. That feeling? What do you do to take care of yourself mentally physically?
Um, that's definitely something I put a lot more focus on nowadays as I'm getting older like I can't. I've had a couple burnouts and I'm like, All right, I got to take care of myself. Um, and it stopped finding a balance sometimes, especially when you're on tour like I went on a two month tour. That, and it's a D i Y independent tour like I wasn't up in a hotel every night. It's like staying at different people's houses. Sometimes we got a hotel if we were lucky, and sometimes, you know, whatever couching it, florid it. That's really hard to take care of yourself. In that situation where you got to get up and go the next day, drive 10 hours, get to the venue bubble blood night, trying to get enough sleep. I think that, um, one of the biggest things that has helped me is ah, meditation. Even if I like doing it for five or 10 minutes. I just need to take Ah, few minutes every single day and, like breathe deep breathing zone out. Maybe listen to some relaxing. I like listening to low fi beats and, um, something like that, taking a little bit of time every single day out of your data like center yourself. Make sure you're like, present and like doing breathing exercises and stuff like that. Also, a huge thing, obviously, is food. That's been a tough thing for me. And my gosh, it's so tough on the road when you don't have a lot of money. First of all, go by a salad. It's 12 books you go by like couple dollar menu items. $2. That's you know, So you got to try to figure out like budget. Better figure out how I can get healthy food for a lower price. Um, so food, What you're putting in your body drinking a ships on the water, staying hydrated, trying not to get drunk at night because people will offer
you drinks. I think that's a big one that, like I experienced on tours like you're in an environment where for you it's a job, but for everyone around you party, it's a party. And so everyone's in that party mode like here's a drink. No. Or if you smoke well, here's free or whatever. Like depending on what you're into or what you represent here.
Some cocaine, Just like I'm good.
Yeah, I think, especially in these days when it's glorified through the music. A lot of artists fall into that trap. And unfortunately, in the past few years we've seen a number of artists pass because they can handle that.
No. And that's something you see. You saw a lot and, like, rock and roll back in the day, you know, like it's Ah, I think for a while hip hop was not on like I mean, always there was smoking weed and stuff like that, but not on hard drugs that you could overdose on. I mean, we did see that, I guess, like in the early two thousands with coding. But now it's like all the rap that's out there is just say, pop a pill popping Molly boo boo boo, oxycodone dead it up and it's glorified. And that's terrible. I don't I don't understand how people think that's OK. I really don't as beyond me, especially when they have people. They know where their friends dying. Like I just don't crazy, crazy crazy.
Now it sent that extreme. But it, you know, it's always been part, as you said from early rock and roll and even, you know, in the early hip hop days with They run D M. C and D M C like really going through depression and suicide attempts through alcoholism on. I think it's something that, in hip hop needs to be talked about. Absolutes to be, you know, addressed, especially the mental help
around it absolutely. And all the trauma that is relived or brought up through drugs.
Mm, I totally agree. Yeah, I think that's another thing that I'm tryingto focus on a little more with with my movement is I'm talking more about mental health and stuff like that. It's such a huge passion of mine. Like if I wasn't doing this right now, I'd probably be in school for psychology or something, because it's just become so near and dear to my heart. I've lost a lot of friends to suicide. I've lost a lot of friends to overdose. Um, and I, you know, friends and family just constantly. Like I see it surrounding me and I've dealt with it myself. I still do deal with it. I've dealt with depression, my whole life anxiety. I've I have a lot of trauma in my life. I think everybody has some form of trauma in their lives. And then you add on top of that this this industry stuff that at first it's It's your art. It's what you like to do. It's your creative creativity and all of a sudden it's a business. I'm How does that not mess with you mentally? You know what I mean? You constantly trying to be something, be something really something. And so, yeah, I just think it's really important to be talking about it, Um, as artists. So I support that 100% like
you mentioned meditation being a way for you to cope or help you through those times. Is there anything else or any resource? Is that have helped you?
More recently, I've been taking CBD. I don't smoke. I used to smoke a lot of weed, but I don't anymore on. And it was something in my life are like I don't I really want to be higher all the time. And so the CBD is really cool because you can get some of the health benefits without having to high. And there was this company minimus Midwest American shaman. Shameless plug. They actually the owner of my label is part owners at that company, and they sponsored me on the last tour. So they provided with me and my sore partner with the CBD, and I think it really helps with not only the anxiety and stress and global blah but like body pain and stuff like that from traveling a lot. But yes. Oh, CBD is really Oh, and their motto I was going to say, is the help without the high. And I really love that because it's just kind of like, understood for a long time that there were health benefits to the plant. But I understood that I don't want to be higher all the time anymore. So CBD has kind of been like a beautiful thing for me. It hasn't The thing is, it's not like a freaking immediate miracle, right, because I used to be on meds for depression, anxiety, and it's currently I am still struggling with whether or not I need to get back on meds and CB has been kind of a placeholder for me, so I'm still dealing with a lot. But, uh, I think that the CBD is is helping to keep me at least somewhat stable right now. So CBD it's a good one. Um, I think the biggest thing is what we put into our bodies. Like I'm starting to realize that more and more, Um, and it's tough for me because I'm kind of a stress eater. That's kind of been a comfort for me. Food a lot in my life. I've struggle with weight my whole life, and it's been like a comfort for me. And I'm like, You know, a lot of the mental issues I go through are probably being affected by the food I eat. I think there's a lot of people out there that say, like, food is your medicine and so I think that's probably one of most important things. Weaken Dio is get our health and check and like what we're putting into our bodies, we need to be eating more fruits and vegetables constantly. Yeah, so I think meditation is cool. Want to try some CBD Cool. Biggest thing is gonna be the food that you eat and the activity you do. That's why I love breaking. Because it's like a healthy thing in hip hop is, like, keep you in shape type thing. You know what I mean? I want to get more into it. Yeah, I do a little something. but I won't do it in front of anybody yet. But, uh, yeah, so yeah. And like, water is life, water is everything.
Can you share a little bit about ways that help you cope? And any advice you would give someone needing support?
Yeah. Yeah, I'm, um The crazy thing about depression, though, is that even when you have a support system, sometimes that doesn't work because you are in a place where you're in such a dark space that you have detached from all of that and you don't want to reach out to your support system. So I think that a support system is super important. But I think that sometimes depression even like exes that out, you know, And that's the scary thing about depression. But I do. Yeah, I have. I mean, I have a boyfriend who's very supportive, have swamp, who's been kind of like a big brother to me over the years. And my brother lives far away losing Callie, But I can reach out to him, you know, he's he's a really cool dude, and it's crazy because we used to be so different and we fought a lot, and now we kind of have a newfound ah path of with our spirituality and stuff, and that's brought us together. So, like we're super cool. He's like my best friend and I go to therapy now. So I and that's something I definitely want to say, because I think it's stigmatize a lot. People don't want to go to therapy, but I think it's super important, especially this day and age where people are. We're doing a lot of stuff like fast movement. Everybody has to work all the time. And Global Blonde there's, ah, you know, a lot of drug, obviously stuff going on. We're dealing with loss suicides, and I think that therapy is amazing, gives me some. I think that's kind of come become the main kind of support for me right now because I'm dealing with somebody who has studied psychology and they kind of get it. And they can give me tools, toe work through it myself. You know, what do the people do that don't have a support system? You know,
many times unsupportive family and friends just need education about mental health so they can better understand what you're going through. It's our hope that through our podcast we could start to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.
I think that's a huge thing to in the culture that we should be talking more and more about. So I'm glad you all are. Talking about it is just like the more we talk about it, I think the more opportunity it has to get the stigmatised right. So, yeah, we just need to keep talking about it like people who go. You know, I'll probably do like a video. At some point. I'm getting getting inspired through this interview, but just like, ah, video about like, yeah, I go to therapy like that's that's really helping me, you know, like knowing that I have somebody I can. I'm not going to see this person every day and I can't always constantly contact this person. I know I have something to look forward to the work on. Like if I go through something two days ago like Oh my God, that was so bad. I like Write it down, Mike. I can bring all of this stuff up to my therapist when I go and he can try toe, help me work there, you know, or give me some tools to work through. And the crazy thing is sometimes just saying that to somebody who's like has an objective view like It's not your family or your husband or wife or girlfriend boyfriend, whatever. If this person that's just getting paid to help you, um, just saying stuff to my therapist and hearing it out loud and then kind of reiterating it to me. I figure out a lot of stuff just by that, so it's not even him being like, Well, you know, you have to journal well, just like say it. And then he, like, reiterates it. Oh my gosh, I'm figuring these things out of my head. Wow is really, really good. It's been really good. I think that's another reason why it's good to have the therapists, like people can, like, love you, but they might not necessarily know how to help you, you
know? So and I think it's also wrong to put that responsibility onto someone and extract them to be there for you. 24 7
True. Yeah, I agree. I definitely agree. Yeah. I like how you said, You know, these thoughts that come out and I How do I really think that we have? We're so conditioned in so many ways, Whether it be positive or negative, it's really important, I think, as just human being to question ourselves all the time and like our believes and are automatic thoughts and responses to things like Were so just, like, ready to be like That's what we think. That's what we think. This is what I think. Yeah, okay. Question those things. Maybe stop and think about it before you say it. You know, I think that's an important thing for growing as a person. The question and always try to like, yeah, question your beliefs. Basically, because you might not think like that anymore, you know?
Right. I think we all evolve and we continuously learn. Yeah. So What are your next goals? What is in plan or in store?
Shiny. And there's money. Yeah, basically like trying to plot for this year. Just better moves or better moves can I make to build my my business, to grow as a person and so on and so forth? Definitely things years important for me because I've gone back and forth on whether or not I was going to continue pursuing my music career. That's scary, to say out loud, but it's definitely a thing like I have toe. I got bills to pay, and I wish it was free to be a human on the Earth. But it's not. We have to pay for the roofs over our heads. So yeah, so just trying to figure out how Aiken actually survive off of this a little bit better because in the past few years it's been me, like doing some runs or doing shows or whatever, and I can pay some of my bills, but I can't pay all of them or if I go on a tour, I could maybe pay like a few months of bills, but then, like what do I do? After that? I can't tour the whole entire year. That is not healthy. What can I do to create, like a consistent, more consistent income and build my brand more so that I can, you know, maybe get paid more for shows and tours and stuff like that, As always about Bill building my following building my brand and trying to figure out how Aiken Aiken survive off of this? I think that's what everybody's trying to do as an artist, like, How do I to make this work and, um, more music, more consent? It's something that
I think that's an interesting point you brought up right, because I think as an artist, you're automatically an entrepreneur.
Yep, that's crazy. I was just watching a video about that yesterday.
Sometimes you have those breaks where you may land a really good gig, or you may get paid really well in the short term. But then also planning, right? How can you make it sustainable? Making sure you put some money aside for retirement? Because if you're not grinding a 9 to 5, you might not necessarily be thinking about no for a while, Okay, Exactly something like
exactly yeah, that's definitely something I've been thinking about lately. Ah, for a while. I was just like, well, you know, haven't made it yet, so I'm just not gonna worry about it right now, but that can't think like that. I got to start planning it out a little bit more like I just within the last couple of years have been really, like understanding. Okay, I got to start doing all the tax stuff and, well, blah. Uh, yeah, I think that it's good. Like, once you do that, you make it more real like, Oh, I'm gonna file my taxes, my business. I'm gonna get my a little See, I'm gonna blow while you make it more real for yourself. So it's a good thing, but definitely a great thing to think about it. Like you do still need a planet retirement because you never know what's
gonna happen. Have you had any good advice given to you, or is there any advice you would give to people on the business side of things?
Definitely. The bit. A huge thing for me. And I have my old business coach slash homey, who was doing some, like business coaching for me for a little bit. Have him to thank for that. But just like constantly telling me to make lists. So, like my whole life is kind of a list right now, but I have to have it to keep me on track. I will forgive so much stuff going on that if I don't make lists, I will forget. I will immediately forget. So that's been a huge thing for my business is making sure that I write. I write everything down on that. I have, like, daily lists, like, All right, what am I doing on this day and in, like, prioritize it in order, like, what's the most important one needs to get? What's the most urgent? You know what I mean? So lists out of the huge thing for me and not being an asshole like you gotta be careful with that because as especially like as an independent artist and it was an entrepreneur like you need people toe like you in order for them to be down and that you need, You need a team, you need people around you. You know you can't do it alone. You can do some things alone. But for the most part of you want to expand your business or, you know, your music career, whatever you need. People you teen. So is like, don't be a complete asshole because people got like you to an extent. And then a huge balance that I think every artist tries to find is the balance between the focusing on the business and the creativity. And it's a huge struggle. A lot of times it leads artists into not even liking to do their art anymore because it's just become a business and they don't enjoy it anymore. And there's so much pressure, I deal with that myself. So I'm in a place right now. I'm trying to figure out that balance knowing, like what? Day? I think what has helped me is like, OK, one day. This is just gonna be my creative day one day, okay? There's any business stuff. This is my business day. You know what I mean?
Yeah, definitely something I saw to some artists also just need some help on that aspect which could potentially be provided through a label or you invest beating yourself and all right, I'm gonna hire someone to do that part for me. or outsource some of the Yeah, either promotional work or
right? Yeah, whatever. Being able to delegate? Yeah, definitely. I need to hit up full sail. We have full sail right there. And there's so many business students that probably want to intern in some way, finding somebody who's just down to kind of learn for me and then, like, help me with certain things, like, kind of like an assistant or something like that, you know, because I feel like I have a lot of I've been around around for a while. I feel like I have a lot of acknowledged to give about it. And so, like the label that I'm on, they are smart. They're pretty small label, and they've they've helped me so much. Like, just the platform alone has helped me a lot, but I don't have like, a manager or anything right now and like a booking agent. So those are things that I'm thinking about it so hard to find a manager. I have had a couple of managers, and it just didn't work out. You hear that from a lot of artists to, like just ah, out of manager, their intense. It's
like a relationship
like a marriage. It really is.
Yeah. So you need to find the right partner for sure. Totally. Yep.
How can people find you? And how can they support you?
So pretty much everything is E-Turn music like Twitter, Facebook Instagram, bubble block. My website used to be eastern music dot com, but I didn't pay for it, and then they cut it off and then someone bought it for, like, three G's or like for like, probably 10 bucks. And now they're trying to sell it for three G's. And I'm like, uh, yeah, no, I don't have that money So now it's e-turnmusic. Check out the last album I put out Young worlds on Fake four
We like to round out our interviews with the question. What is hip hop to you?
I know this is so cliche to say, like hip hop saved my life, but it really did, because there have been times where I've been so depressed and like really dark space in my life, and I've gone to a show and that's helped me or I made music with somebody, and that's helped me. Or more recently, like I booked a tour. I have to go on the tour and it'll pull me out of it. So it, like, really, truly has. And, ah, hip hop to me is my connection with my creativity, my connection with my community. It's been like a creative way for me to connect with my community.
Any last words or anything else you wanna throw out there,
follow your dreams. I know that's cliche, but like this, life is so short, you know? And like I know people are scared. A lot of people live in fear that they're not gonna make it. And, I think that at the very least, even if you follow your dreams and it doesn't end up being what you think it's gonna be, that it will lead you into something that's more towards your like purpose in this world. Because if you keep doing stuff that you don't like just for the money that I feel like that energy just doesn't like, lead you to good, good stuff, you know what I mean? So do what you love and follow your dreams.
Well, thanks a lot. Yeah, absolutely.
Thank you. Thank you. E-Turn for taking the time and being so open and sharing your perspective with us. Some of the gems we took away from this interview were Don't let the mental health stigma prevent you from getting the help and support you need. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression. Female emcees continue to fight for opportunities on bigger platforms without having to compromise their values. But if they work hard on their craft, they can start to break gender boundaries and pave their own paths. The way for upcoming artists make a living is by doing shows, going on tours, selling merchandise through online stores, making royalties, through licensed music. The music was beatboxed by Denis the Menace and produced by Zede. Big shout outs to the homies in Switzerland. Also, a big shout out to our baby G for being a good baby during this interview, we would love to get your feedback, questions or any suggestions you might have. You can reach out to us on Instagram Twitter or Facebook at SoulidarityLLC, or via email email@example.com If you liked today's show, please tell a friend about our podcast or as Phife Dawg would say, Tell your Mother, Your father sent a telegram. On next week's episode We chat about parenting, the dance world and relationships with world renowned dancer and filmmaker from skill methods crew. Richie aka Abstrak and his wife, Sulim Soto. Thank you for listening to our podcast. No, seriously, thank you. I'm Candy. I'm Dj Razor Cut and this is Souls of hip hop.