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Half - Centric: The Man Behind The Music
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Half  -  centric: The Man Behind the Music

Through my life I have been fortunate enough to meet great people. People who have survived and overcome obstacles in their lives that would keep the average person in a state of agony and defeat, yet somehow, some way they find a light(a motivation so great that it beckons their very soul). This light then transforms itself and energizes this person, causing them to perform what some would call superhero feats. We all have a story, we all have a struggle, but we also all have a light, a light that calls out to us in such a way that it seems to resonate within others. Hearing the life story of my friend Half- Centric, made me want to write about it, I felt as though this type of story could help those that have a dream or are passionate about something achieve it.

Cleveland, Ohio: Birthplace of Half-Centric

Like all great stories, a struggle for identity is always addressed, while talking to Half-Centric about his life, he stated that," His neighborhood was a harsh environment". The type of environment that could take a innocent young man, and send him down the wrong path, towards drugs and even possible jail time. Luckily, enough for Half-Centric he had a great upbringing. His close family and friends were always around to lead him in the right direction and tell him right from wrong. Growing up in the early nineties and being exposed to the arts and sports allowed this young artist to express himself in positive ways. Through these positive outlets he found a passion for music, and with the encouragement of close friends he began to rap under the name of Inhumane. Though he found local success as a battle rapper, he eventually fell in love with the production aspect of it(beat making) and began his journey as a beat maker.

The Story Behind the Name & Inspiration from the Past

Every great artist, is inspired by great artists. From a young lad, Half-Centric was exposed to great musicians of the past, little did he know that these artist would become the framework for many of his future productions. The Ohio Players, Dr. Dre, and Black Milk(just to name a few) were contributors to this artist's style of production. After hearing about his inspiration in music, the next obvious question I had to ask was,"Where did the name Half-Centric come from?"

There is power in a name, a name is what distinguishes one thing from another, it also holds a certain meaning to it which helps fans connect with their favorite artist. So what does his name mean? Well to my shock, it has a multitude of meanings, my favorite is its connection with a circle. The way he explains it is; that a complete circle does not allow anything within it nor out of it(this representing closed mindedness). While a half circle allows things to flow within it as well as letting out of it(representing open mindedness). His open mindedness allows him to draw from many different sources of music in order to produce songs, songs that will capture the mind and allow it to open.

Inside the Mind of the Man.

During the interview with this young artist, I quickly realized that he was a true historian of what I would classify as real hip hop.

Nas stated that hip hop was dead about five years ago. Do you agree?

H.C.- Hip hop lost its limelight because of the growth of commercial rap. I feel like it lost the grit, the grime and it has forced hip hop to truly become underground.

Some have stated that Kanye West is a genius other feel like he is a jerk. How do you feel about him?

H.C.-Kanye West is a mad genius. He started his careers off as a producer with a vision, who captures the hearts and minds of his listeners with his samples(of soul music). He then decided to change his styles up and has since then become a icon. .

Do you consider yourself a hip hop artist?

H.C.- I have no problem being considered a hip hop artist by others, but by my own definition I am a journey man or better yet a historian(researcher) of music.

In defense of your craft, what would you do to save rap music from the path that it is heading on?

H.C.- Rap came from hip hop, but it lost its soul to mainstream America. Since its inception rap has always fed off of bull crap( drama and issues of society) and has now become self-sustaining . Currently hip hop is evolving and has now become nothing short of dance electronica with lyrics. In short I would do nothing about the state of rap music, it is lost and can not be saved. To try to save rap music right now, would cause me to run the risk of being contaminated by it.

Who are your top five rap artist?

H.C.- 5. Rakim, 4. Tupac, 3. Nas, 2. Biggie, 1. Jay-Z

Jay-Z is a timeless rapper. The things he rapped about back in the 90's are still relevant today(poverty, corruption, money and business). He also has the ability to go between styles of delivery at will and as a business man, he has gone from being a drug dealer to a billionaire!

Who are your top five producers?

H.C.- 5. Q-tip, 4. Dj Premier, 3. Kanye west, 2. Jay Dilla, 1. 9th Wonder

9th Wonder, being the archetype of Half- Centric himself, has always been the inspiration behind my music.

Do you have any advice for any new producers.

A great starting tool for any newbie is Fruity Loops, even 9th Wonder uses F.L. and has been producing for some time now. Do not be afraid to give away quality music for free. The work you put into another artist's career will be returned to you. Also, don't be afraid of doubt, you have to find your style through trial and error and you must continue to grow. For example, my style is the best version of commercial hip hop for the underground scene.

Street Talk

Very good article on a subject I am quite familiar with, as I have a son who is a rapper and is inspired by this artist.

  about 1 decade ago
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