Baltimore rapper Avery Lr is ready for his come up. The 33-year rhymer has been at the game for over ten years but he’s not stopping anytime soon.
After dropping his 27-track mixtape, Surviving, he’s ready to bring his fans another project, Ignorant With a Message. But this time it will be 15 tracks.
We got on the phone with Avery Lr to talk about how Jay Z’s The Blueprint influenced him, why he wants to make kid-friendly music and why he’s hype for Jay Z’s 4:44.
Check out our interview below.
How did you get into hip-hop?
I first started listening to hip-hop, it was Jay Z’s album, The Blueprint. I just always would catch myself going over his music in my head and just rapping in the living room like I had a little crowd there and I really started picking up writing…I always freestyled…I started freestyling when I was about 16,17 and I started writing music. I was writing music a lot still in my 20s, I really started taking getting a recording stuff when I was 27, 26. I did get into the studio before then but it was more…I wasn’t putting it out or anything. I was just doing it, I guess, to get my confidence up and so once I started getting real comfortable and cause I moved to Utah when I was about 20, with my mom and then I found a studio to record here for free. So, I was just doing as much stuff as I could. Freestyling, just having sessions. I started writing around 23. I started writing songs ’cause most of the stuff before was just throwaway. I wasn’t buying beats or anything. Once I started buying beats, I would say I was about 24, 25. And then I started doing videos.
What’s your favorite track off of The Blueprint?
I like that whole album. I would have to say “Takeover.”
What made you decide to become a rapper?
Cause of how easy it came to me and I enjoyed people listening and getting…I guess it’s a situation where I enjoyed everyone being quiet and listening. It’s not like that with sports or a lot of other things so what you say gotta hold value so that’s why I like it.
A lot of your music tends to have a message as well…why is that?
It’s kind of hard to do that like being from the background I come from, being from the hood, growing up and doing crazy things and stuff. I kind of feel like a hypocrite a lot of the times because a lot of the things that I speak about is things I’ve been through but there’s times where I just feel as though that doesn’t need to be said. Positive messages is cool but then I might have to do a song where I reflect on violence or things that I might have been through in the past. So, that’s why I’m coming out with my next mixtape, it’s called Ignorant With a Message. Music is a business, you have to fit in with what’s going on. I’m praying that lyrics come back and it goes back to the old ways. Every time in hip-hop, it goes through these phases. Usually they don’t last too long before it goes back to being lyrical. That’s what lasts long. That’s what’s gonna be around forever…those songs.
You mentioned Jay Z being one of your favorite rappers. He was probably the most transparent he’s ever been on 4:44. Have you listened to it yet?
Nah, I haven’t listened to 4:44 yet. The reason why is cause I’m in my writing process. When I’m writing, I don’t listen to other material. I gotta really finish the mixtape. That’s just always been my process. Kind of shut off all the noise and just sit down and write. I can’t wait to listen to it and go to the gym and listen to it. I heard the O.J. [“The Story of O.J.”] single. I cannot wait to go listen to the album after that. It’s like I’m writing about the same kind of stuff because I mean I didn’t hear that. I heard O.J. probably two days after I recorded my song. It’s the same thing maybe little bit more turned down, a little bit more family friendly. Jay always put a smile on my face when he drops stuff like this, that knowledgable stuff. He want to take over the young boys, he gotta understand, he’s a legend.
You think he needs to leave young rappers alone?
Jay’s very competitive, you know. He’s trying to compete and he’s only competing with himself but he don’t even realize it. That’s how competitive he is. Like Migos and other artists, they’re not competing with Jay. They just happy to be where they at. But you ask Jay, Jay wants to be the man.
What advice do you have for someone else out there going through similar hard times?
Yeah, that’s why I feel it’s kind of stupid to hold stuff back. The artists I listen to typically don’t hold anything back. They give you everything they got.
What do you hope people who listen to the album get from your music?
I come from a place where a lot of people don’t make it or don’t get to even take a chance to do what they want to do. And I just feel as though my music is for those people that are still stuck in that mindset that they can accomplish things or people aren’t going through those same things. It’s just something that I feel is not a lot of people touched on as far as letting people know the real problems. All the success is cool and the cars and the women and the money but it’s a struggle to get there and there was a time before that ever happened and a lot of people don’t like to touch on that.
I got kids, I want them to be able to listen to my music with my children too. I got two boys.
Who would you love to work with?
Styles P, Beanie Siegal, Jay…any of the old guys who were going at it back in the early 2000s. From Roc, those were my guys, I mean, I loved listening to them.
LOX, I love the LOX, Jada [Jadakiss], I love any artists that have something to say, something to get your attention. I would love to work with Jay, of course, but who doesn’t not want to work with Jay. You know how hard it is to get that man on a track? (laughs) Let alone get him in the video too? You pushin’ it. He might give you the bars, the sixteen, but to be in the video and all that? But yeah, I’d love to work with Jay. Jay, anybody that I grew up listening to.