"Yeezus" has been stirring up blasphemous rumors. The artwork depicts Kanye is...
Dremur: One Step Away Miles Too Go
They call him Mr. Edible. At least, that’s what the track insists. The Bronx, New York bred emcee allows his stories to resonate from his poetry.
The poet, the man, the writer, the producer, and (allegedly from all of the juices) the beard, make Andre Manning the epitome of what an artist is.
Coming out of a new school of underground, the young emcee opens the mind to many different topics across the tracks laid. The craft can be viewed through the work ethic. A listen is all that’s needed.
With an album in play, One Step Away Miles Too Go, there is a light around Dremur that allows for that maximum potential to be reached. However, it has yet to peak.
Let’s walk with Dremur and Sharday Urtarte as she interviews the NY emcee.
Day: Artist in this underground world feel that their music is entitled to be listened to. Do you feel your music should be listened, or is it something that should be cherished?
Dremur: I don’t calling myself an underground artist, because I don’t like titles. I am not calling myself a rapper. I’m an artist. I’m a Hip-Hop artist, point, black, period. Whether I’m mainstream, underground; I’m an artist. When it comes to my music, I feel you earn what you get. If I have two listeners, then I’ve earned that. When it comes to that, it should be cherished. I put my heart and soul into this. If my fans say, ‘yo, I want you to talk about this’, I’m going to try my best to accommodate them. I don’t feel like at no point and time, I deserve anything until I work hard enough for it. Even when I feel I did work hard enough, I’ll work harder.
Day: I know you don’t like the terms, “mainstream” or “underground” artist, but a lot of people get their start from the underground world. They do these songs, these mixtapes, and albums, until they get signed. They get signed and there is nothing left to talk about. What makes you different?
Dremur: I’m from New York City. NYC has a bunch of things you can write about. People that have come to my shows have heard ‘Starlight, Star Bright’ and those that know, know that I was sitting in Washington Square Park and a homeless man walked by singing. This is New York. We live in the melting pot, the Mecca of everything. If anyone wants to make it, they come to NY. There are tons to write about. If I on the train, I take my music off to listen to someone else’s music. I’m talking live instruments; the Mexican dudes hat get on the train with the guitars, the homeless me with their stories; I listen. This is how I create my music. It actually comes to me. I’ll think of a topic. If it doesn’t work, I’ll go outside, get on the train, and ride around with my headphones on, but my music off. This will help me create the different concepts. Without going out, I’ll write about the same thing all the time. If I have time tomorrow, I’ll have time to pick out one thing and create the music. When they ask for it, I’ll be able to give it to them. At the end of the day, they’ll be able to say, the lyrics, hooks, features, are different. It was produced it differently. I have the personal songs for the personal fans and always to produce for the business.
Day: There’s a few artists feel that everyone is going to make it. ‘We gon’ work together, we’re gonna make it, we could all eat.’ What is your idea on the people on the take that most people will make it if they all work together?
Dremur: First of all, I believe that the minute you actually start doing what you want to do, you’ve made it. There are tons of people that sit at home and say, ‘they wanna do this’. Shit from artists, designers, and bloggers, whatever the case may be. They sit at home. They start doing it and then they stop. If you continuously do this and invest in it on a non-stop basis, you made it somewhere. Now you have to push to next level. When it comes to making it as a team I do believe in it. I do because it’s like a car. A car has 4 wheels and an engine. The artist is the engine. Then there’s a manager, a publicist, then the street team, and the marketing team. If you feel you can do it on your own, then more power to you, but as an artist, you have ask yourself, ‘when am I being an artist.’
Day: I met someone who once told me, ‘when it comes to this business, I’d rather have my artist feature on 100 little blogs, than one big blog.’ That’s the best advice that I’ve gotten to date. What’s your take on that?
Dremur: There’s politics to everything just like anything else in this world. There are so many blogs out there, that you can reach any range of people. You can get your work put on any blog. We, as a people, give these blogs, radio stations, so on and so forth, their power. I rather have 100 little blogs that have 17, 20, 30 followers, supporting my shit, than to have someone look me up and see who this Dremur guy is and see me on Nah Right or some shit once or twice and never again.
Day: What is your opinion, as an artist, with all of the relationship you have to build, the separation with business and pleasure?
Dremur: You know what? This is a learning process. I grew up being picked on in school, so I used to cry I got to high school and said I’ll never let anyone pick on me and I’ll never cry about it again. It’s about growing tough skin. Ever had a steak that is so hard, you couldn’t cut through. It’s about learning what is personal and what is business. Now, if I take everything personal, then there are a lot of people that I wouldn’t talk to anymore. It’s about learning. I have to look at everything from a business perspective. How is going to help me? What is it going to do for me? To even give someone a thought is enough. You have to try. At the end of the day, it is a business.
Day: A lot of artists think they’re going to make it off of their talent. Do you think it takes more than just talent? Do you think that you need to know the business behind it? Don’t you think business and artistry need to be as one?
Dremur: You can come into this industry and not know shit and still go somewhere. I don’t know what your longevity will be like, but you could make some noise. You don’t have to know anything about the business. What saves your ass? Knowing. There’s no such thing as an A&R anymore. Know that if you get signed, they are going to throw you into the field and expect you to create a buzz. Now you go into meetings with a deck of cards. You have a deck of 52 and I have a deck of 104. I’ve been everywhere. I’ve interned, I’ve worked here, I laid tracks, and done shows. Labels have come and gone. How many artists have we seen come and go on Bad Boy? There’s still Cash Money due to success, and I think Baby is an excellent businessman, however I think Slim is a better businessman. When’s the right time to sign? Having a neutral manager is important. Smart decisions. Some of the greatest artist have been done dirty. Biggie died broke. Come on.
Day: “One Step Away, Five to Go”. That’s your baby, your second project, she’s your ho that you love to fuck time to time when you cheat on your bitch. How personal is too personal?
Dremur: On “For the Love of Dilla”, the most personal I had gotten was admitting that I eat pussy, hence ‘Mr. Edible’. On this one, I have songs like ‘Planet X’, where I’m talking about sex. I have songs like ‘Gotta Get It’, where I’m talking about the grind. I have songs like ‘One Love’, where I speak on my relation and how we were on the rise and music, when it began to take off, things went downhill. It gets personal, to where I may lose some friends after a while.
Dremur: That’s how personal it gets. Either you’re going to like it or you’re not. You have to respect it. This is how I voice my opinion and concern. Sometimes talking to someone just doesn’t do it.
Day: Let’s say you don’t make it as an artist, what do you do?
Dremur: I have thought about this. I work with kids already. I love young people and working with them. I feel that I have a pretty good way with words. I’ll work on motivational speaking. I’ll travel around to different schools in different communities telling these kids to do what they want; follow their dreams. A lot of kids don’t try or do what they want to do. They get stuck and by the time they look back, they find themselves in a state of resentment. If this doesn’t work, I will educate the youth.
Day: We’ve established the artist, but what defines you as a man?
Dremur: What defines me as a man? I guess, trying not to live up to the typical stereotypes as a man. Its more than just dealing with women, but more so as a black man. I tell people I do music and the responses are like, ‘oh no surprise’, and its hard not living up to the stereotype. However, I do music, but I work with kids. I went to college it didn’t work for me. Honestly speaking, I don’t care for stereotypes. I don’t believe in stereotypes. It’s a way for people to bully people. It’s just me wanting to elevate myself on what I love to do.