For our first The Whole 9 of 2019, we chop it up with UKnowScott, an emcee out of The Bronx. He released a new project New York Driver last year, along with a video for the cut Betrayed. Check out the interview below, and for more, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
the9elements: What’s the idea behind New York Driver? It seems to be a theme that persists throughout your work.
UKnowScott: The idea behind “New York Driver” was if you take a 30 minute ride, you would be sold on my skill as an artist. I wanted the songs to be intense, but my lyrical skill and wordplay to be showcased. As an upcoming artist, I know in today’s climate that attention spans have shortened.
I just ask for 30 minutes of your time and you will be sold on my ability. Also, New York drivers are aggressive, focused, and prepared for whatever. These are definitely three things that could describe me.
T9E: What would it take for you to sign a record deal?
UKS: To sign a record deal I would want a big advance, creative control, and release date control. I want to be able to pick which songs to push with my marketing budget. I’m not worried about signing a 360, because if I do it right by time my contract is done I could renegotiate for a deal that’s more in my favor, I know my records crack and I’ve had business dealings way before music, you feel me?
Plus I want a deal in which I owned my masters a certain amount of time after recouping. I just need my foot in the door, and I’m out of here.
T9E: What’s the vibe like in New York right now? Do you think it’s the best place for you to be at this point in your career?
UKS: New York is bumping right now. A lot of people have their own separate waves going. I don’t know if it’s the best place for me in my career. I heard Atlanta is lit, and LA is lit too. I have to go OT more to work with more artists and get my visibility up outside of the city.
More features more shows more connects more creatives. So hitting the road is definitely on the menu for 2019.
T9E: Do you think you gain the majority of your fans from performing or online activity? Why do you think this is?
UKS: I think most of my fans have come from online. This microwave era all it takes is someone to see your ad, and now they subscribed to your YouTube. The internet gives you access to the whole world, so I could be popping in Brazil or Germany even if niggas try to front on me out here. My music takes you into my life so once people are interested I got them, it’s up to me to keep feeding them, you feel me?
T9E: How do you feel about the direction Hip Hop is going in?
UKS: Hip Hop is going in a good direction. I mean 25 years ago hip hop was frowned upon and they tried to make it seem like it was violent and bad, yet it’s the most influential culture there has been. There are a ton of avenues to eat and feed your family. While streaming doesn’t pay it gets you in tune with where you can go and do a show or club appearance.
Music is so accessible, and even though its saturated out here, we have way more chances to get on than there were in the past. Plus Hip Hop always gonna be wavy as long as I’m doing my thing. Watch this.