HEARING: Stranded On The Island Of Hip-Hop

28 Feb

SENSES Lifestyle Interview With Gilligan Gatsby

By: Khorry Lewis

Hip-Hop is paving the way for new artists and taking a new direction, some may say the direction it is taking is off track from the pure form that we used to love. With the loss of substance that we hear on the radio to the gimmicky images we see in the media, it is hard to get in tune with what is actually real. In the words of Common; “I Used To Love H.E.R” (Hearing Every Rhyme). Up and coming Warner Music Group recording artist Gilligan Gatsby is a California native, and Hip-Hop guru who is on a mission to bring purity back to this art form we call Hip-Hop music. Gatsby took the time to chat with SENSES Lifestyle Magazine on who he is and what’s to come.

SL: Where are you originally from?

Gilligan Gatsby: “Inglewood Ca, but I transitioned to the Inland Empire and have been here for about 11 yrs. The transition was huge for me; it was like coming to the suburbs from the hood.”

SL: Yeah that is a transition but that builds character, ok so what does your name Gilligan Gatsby symbolize?

Gilligan Gatsby: “Well my name came from the show (Gilligan’s Island), and they later did a spin-off movie where they finally made it off the island. When they came back to civilization after being stranded on the island for so long they did not fit in anymore and in a sense felt as if they did not belong. I am a West coast rapper but I am not a gangster rapper or what you would expect out of a rapper coming from the West coast, I tried to do the whole “West coast rap” thing but it didn’t work, it wasn’t me. The last name Gatsby comes from the novel “The Great Gatsby”. The name together just fit for me, (laughs) don’t laugh man but my first rap name was terrible. I loved licorice growing up so my name was licorice man.”

SL: That name is hilarious, that name is equivalent to a name like Gucci Mane. When did you start rapping and what influenced you?

Gilligan Gatsby: “I started rhyming when I was 16, I played ball and my teammates and I would have sessions. They would have cyphers and sometimes I felt left out because I wasn’t too good (giggles).  What influenced me was when I first heard the joint “4 3 2 1” by LL Cool J. Hearing the different styles on that track and how they all got off on the same accord blew my mind. Fro, that point I knew that I loved Hip-Hop.”

SL: That track was crazy and the different styles is what made that song a classic. What is your most memorable experience with music?

Gilligan Gatsby: “Music in general is memorable for me; Das EFX “They Want EFX” track was real hot when I was coming up. I also remember when I was in elementary school Digable Planets came to my school and had a mini concert, after seeing that I was definitely inspired.”

SL: I knew you were a serious MC and have respected your humility along with flow delivery. When you were on Shade45 with Sway and destroyed that freestyle what was going through your head?

Gilligan Gatsby: “Well I come from the battle scene; I used to be a Christian rapper and battled at the stone bleachers at Washington High school. Cats would be there battling and I would come with some fresh Christian raps (laughs), all I remember is a cat stopping the beat and started to mock me singing “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin. From that point on I had no remorse for anyone when it came to spitting or battling, I said to myself that I would never be laughed at again. That was a huge stepping stone for me and when I got out to New York to do the show I knew I couldn’t come back empty-handed this was my one shot and I had to show out.”

SL: What is your personal favorite track that you have done?

Gilligan Gatsby:  “I just finished a video for a track called “I Promise”, this track is my personal favorite because it shows my diversity, and I do not want to be just a one-dimensional rapper. With the success that God has given me along with opportunities, I made a promise to never forget where I came from. I promise to be the same person I have been since day one; humble and down to earth.”

SL:  Hip-Hop seems to be in a stage of many changes, in a sense we never know what we are going to get from it now. Where do you see the state of Hip-Hop right now?

Gilligan Gatsby:  The state of Hip-Hop right now is sorely lacking, a lot of people changed the art form.  It seems like no one is trying to have longevity, a lot of cats are in it for the scheme. Creativity is in a stagnant position everyone seems to be making music for the time being, not music that can be played for years to come. The West coast is starting to make a comeback with some pretty dope rappers but the West has not been the same for some time now, and the East has a few as well. When we came up we had consecutive good albums and songs out from the East, West and South. People don’t buy albums anymore.”

SL: What can we expect coming up from you?

Gilligan Gatsby: “Well March 30th I have been requested to do an encore show at the Key Club in Hollywood. The show starts at 9:30pm, please come out and support the movement.


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