Artist Spotlight: Blitz the Ambassador
Blitz the Ambassador
From producing to writing, and spitting lyrics over the past ten years, Brooklyn based Blitz the Ambassador has reached a high in his fulfilling music career with the upcoming release of his debut album, Stereotype.
The 25-year old Ghana native sat down with your girl Kiki, right after he opened up for Nas last Friday at NYC’s Hunter College.
Blitz discussed Stereotype, which drops August 4th, growing up in Ghana, the direction of hip hop in recent years, and of course some good ol’ DrJays.com style questions. Check out the interview below:
Kiki – Your debut album, Stereotype, is being released August 4th. Can you tell us what the concept is behind the album, as well as the image you chose for the cover?
Originally titled Suicide Stereotype, the album will now be titled just Stereotype
Blitz – It’s just the way I feel about commercial music. Every time I hear the same producer, the same type of beat, that’s how I feel. There was a time when you listened to hip hop and everyone brought something different, something new. It’s just really ridiculous today what you hear, you can’t even tell them apart.
So, this is my way of saying “f*ck this!” Some people dig it, it seems like it’s catching on. I see people rocking my shirts and they don’t even know who I am!
Kiki – You’ve been involved in hip hop for over ten years now, in a few different ways. Who have been some of your most important inspirations along the way?
Blitz – Many, too many to even name. Like, I listen to some really out there stuff, everything from Bjork to Fela Kuti to Rakim. I guess it’s all amalgamated in the music that I make, but with a much clearer system. I’m a big jazz head too. Some inspirations don’t even necessarily make music. Some authors, painters…like, I’m a big Basquiat fan. His way of looking at the world is the way I look at the world. Pretty much anybody who does sh*t the way they want to, that’s really my biggest inspiration.
Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was a Haitian American artist
Kiki – You grew up in Ghana – how did being raised there influence your music style?
Blitz – Hugely. We had very few recording artists, most people I saw were performing artists. We had festivals where people played live music, so everything I grew up around was live. More recording artists came about down the line, but because of the way it was, every time I think of music I think about it as a live element. I grew up on Highlife music, Afrobeat, and you will see that with my live band.
Another thing is just having a different way of looking at the world. The average Brooklyn cat doesn’t look a the world this way. My background, and looking at things from a different perspective where I don’t necessarily have to make the same kind of songs, same kind of video, allows me to do it my way.
Kiki - So we know that one of the most talented lyricists around is performing after you tonight – of course I’m referring to Nas!
Blitz – (Laughs) In between a couple of my songs, I said something like “for me, it’s Jay-Z and Nas” – you never say their names in the same sentence! When I said Jay-Z, there were “boos” from the audience here, and when I said Nas they were like “ahhhhh!”. They went crazy.
Kiki – But that beef is so over.
Blitz – I guess to kids at a Nas show, you don’t say that sh*t. You know, I grew up on Nas. Nas is one lyricist, where no matter how long it’s been, he still manages to f*ck your head up lyrically. I mean, artists have come and gone…
Kiki – Or they change up their style to fit in with what’s hot this moment.
Blitz – Yes, exactly. Nas may not pick the best beats, but I guarantee that he’ll say some shit you’ve never heard. I mean he’s by far one of the people I just can’t touch!
Kiki – How was the connection made with you two for this show?
Blitz - I just got a call saying “Nas is performing, you want to open up for him?” It’s pretty cool for me, I mean primarily having his audience to perform for, because it’s a listening audience and I’m a lyricist.
Kiki – Right, these kids are obviously not out here just looking for the next club hit.
Blitz - Yeah, it’s clear that they were holding onto to the words that I was saying, they are here to listen to Nas, and he is the ultimate lyricist. That’s why I’m here. It would also be nice to see Nas and just shake his hand!
Kiki – I hear that! So being from DrJays.com, where our bread and better is urban fashion, I’d like to ask you a few style related questions…
What are some of your favorite brands right now?
Blitz – I’m wack when it comes to brands (laughs). It depends…when it comes to footwear, I think Nikes will always work for me. I’ve tried other brands, and they just never have the same thing that Nike does. There was a time where velour tracksuits were pretty hot, it’s been a long time now.
Kiki - I predict they are about to make a big comeback. We’ve already seen Diddy rocking velour pants recently.
Blitz – And I just saw Nas doing some Fila joint.
Kiki - Right, he did an ad campaign. I believe it was in honor of his best friend, Ill Will. He loved Fila, and was even buried in one of their tracksuits.
Blitz - Yeah, velour is always a fly style. And of course I have my own sh*t, I go army surplus shopping to find army jackets.
Kiki – So you like vintage shopping?
Blitz – Yeah, I’m not so big on the tags, plus they cost too much. I’m just an MC, you catch me five years from now I’ll be rocking some cool brands!
Kiki – Is there any current trend kids are rocking that you wish would disappear?
Blitz - Skinny jeans would be nice! I think Jay-Z said it best with that line…how did it go?
Kiki - “Can’t wear skinny jeans ’cause my knots don’t fit”!
Blitz – Yeah, yeah, I really thought that trend would be done by now. But you know, to each his own. These kids unfortunately will watch Kanye and try to jack his style. Here’s my thing about style - rock what makes you feel good.
“Black Market” by Blitz, released back in 2004