A few questions with Rapper HUSH

By Ian Perrotta

A lot has been said about the musical acts playing at this year’s Labor Day Festival who have already made it to the top, but what about the rising stars still on the ascent?

One of them is local rapper HUSH, a National Hip-Hop/Rock Artist that is best known for his work on the NBC show “The Contender.”

Right now his new album, “The Open Book,” is receiving critical acclaim for its rough, edgy production and very personal lyrics. And while you can hear HUSH almost anywhere on TV and in movies, his performances are definitely a must see. We recently caught up with HUSH to get to know a little more of the man behind the music.

What got you into rapping in the first place?
“I was big into Hip-Hop music first – Planet Rock, Boogie Down Bronx, etc. – as a breakdancer. Then I saw Ice-T perform Reckless on Breakin’ and started writing parody rhymes (taking a famous Pop hit and changing the words). I was 12.”

How does it feel to have your songs played on national TV?

“It’s great! It’s recognition for the work. I am really appreciative. When studio execs dig it and can give it a bigger stage it really helps promote the sound and get my words to listeners across the globe.”

What separates you from the rest of the game?
“I front a Rock band without losing the Hip-Hop element, and right now I think the game is really watered down. There is a formula that everyone seems to be using, but I think they are so caught up in the game that they don’t realize it’s damaging their credibility.

“There was a time when there were artists and groups trying to merge this hybrid sound of Hip-Hop and Rock. For the most part it sucked. There weren’t any real emcee’s fronting a rock band. Rage Against The Machine was probably the closest – their sound was a lot harder. Fred Durst was never a rapper, and Linkin Park turned into this watered down version of U2. I’ve battled; I freestyle; I came up with the best of ’em – Eminem, Slum Village – in Detroit’s underground.

“That’s what will always give me a leg up on my competition. When I combine the two worlds of Hip-Hop and Rock it’s organic and not created. It’s progressive and a transition of maturity in my music.”

What does performing at the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival mean to you?

“It’s great to have fans from Hamtramck and friends that I went to school with (Our Lady Queen of Apostles 1-6 grade) pushing me to be a part of it. The girls who put this together [Kathleen Bittner and Rachel Srodek] have done a tremendous job and their tenacity is going to bring Hamtramck back to where it needs to be.

“ It needs work as does every community, but that takes time and patience and throwing a weekend Festival and performing for the people helps ease the pain for a couple days.”

Why should people see your show, and what can they expect?
“The biggest response I get from people who have seen my show, they walk up to me and 99% of the time say ‘I hate rap but I love what you do.’ So I guess that’s what they can expect. It’s the perfect fusion of pure Hip-Hop/Rock and high energy.”

Anything else we should know?

“Look for us opening the Ludacris show at The Sound Board inside Motor City Casino September 10. Add us on Facebook www.facebook.com/mchush. Pick up our album “The Open Book” under HUSH on iTunes.”

See HUSH perform at this year’s Hamtramck Labor Day Festival on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. on the south stage at Caniff and Jos. Campau.

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