Bobby Creekwater Interview
|Next Project:||B.C. Era Deuce|
|Twitter:||Bobby Creekwater on Twitter|
|Website:||Bobby Creekwater's Website|
It’s interesting to think that, from where we currently stand, we’ve witnessed quite a bit of history in the making. While some events, like the election of President Obama, are easy to pinpoint as world-changing, it can be tougher to tell who’s going to climb to the very top of the music industry in years to come. We’ve got our money on a few artists, and one of them is ATL native Bobby Creekwater, an emcee who’s hoping that, in the future, hip-hop lovers will look back and fondly remember the start of a long and fruitful B.C. Era.
Earning the Shady Records rapper acclaim both in and out of the Booth, The B.C. Era EP yielded such highly-rated records as”Rainman” and “Life Is.” Now, Creek’s hoping to continue his reign with the March 4th release of The B.C. Era Deuce, followed by the third installment of his Don Cannon-hosted Anthem 2 Da Streetz mixtape. It all leads up to the emcee’s long-awaited debut album, A Brilliant Mistake, which is currently scheduled to hit stores later this year.
In an exclusive interview with our own DJ “Z,” Bobby Creekwater steps into the Booth to discuss what he’s learned while paying his dues at Shady Records, the challenges of balancing parenthood with a budding rap career, and the sacrifices one must make to achieve true greatness.
Listen to the Interview
Bobby Creekwater Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on, everybody? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is an Atlanta native who has resurrected the B.C. Era here in 2009. Please welcome a real M.C., who is in the business of making real hip-hop music, my man Bobby Creekwater – how you doin’?
Bobby Creekwater: Yo, I’m doin’ good, man – how about yourself?
DJ Booth: I can’t complain. I wish it was spring already. I would like to have the groundhog go back in the ground, come back out, and tell us that winter’s gonna end early; that would be nice.
Bobby Creekwater: Hey, man, hang in there; hopefully it’ll fly by.
DJ Booth: I hope so. Bobby, longtime fans are familiar with your successful mixtape releases, your extensive catalog of recorded music, and, of course, your unheralded grind, but casual fans, they’re probably only familiar with your work from 2006’s Shady Records compilation album, The Re-Up. Let’s kick things off by turning some of those casual fans into full-blown Bobby Creek Stans. Fill in the gaps for everybody.
Bobby Creekwater: That’s definitely the plan, let’s do that: Bobby Creekwater, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He’s about music, he’s about transcending. He’s about great music, know what I’m saying? I aspire to be great, like so many that came before me – your Michael Jacksons, your Princes, everybody from them to your Teddy Rileys, your Dr. Dres, your Quincy Joneses, the great producers and the great artists that came before me. I aspire to be looked at along those lines at the end of my career, hopefully. In a nutshell, that’s basically what Bobby Creek is about: great music, I like to to be fresh to death every day, even when I ain’t doin’ nothing, and I love women.
DJ Booth: So you’re one of those guys who, even when you’re puttin’ gas into your car, there’s a certain swagger about what you do.
Bobby Creekwater: Oh, yeah, man, most definitely.
DJ Booth: A man after my own heart; I feel like I do things the same way.
Bobby Creekwater: [laughs] Is there any other way?
DJ Booth: That’s what I’m saying. Last month, you released a freestyle over Kanye’s “Big Brother” record, on which you explained how you got signed, what your relationship is like with Em and your fellow labelmates, and where you currently stand as a label priority with Shady and Interscope. Now, Bobby, from an outsider’s perspective, I think it would be safe to assume that, up to this point, you’ve been disappointed with how the past three years have gone. How accurate is that assessment?
Bobby Creekwater: I wouldn’t say “disappointed,” I would just say it was a bit of a surprise. I mean, you come into the game with expectations, you have your outlook on how the game is, how you perceive the game to be. Before you come into it you build up your expectations, and you expect everything to go your way, but it’s not like that. It’s a give and take relationship, and it requires a lot of patience, and it’s just a lot of ups and downs and things of that nature. In the end, it’s molding you to become who you need to be as an artist, to not only get in the game but to maintain.
DJ Booth: Okay, so you’d say that your glass-half-full outlook on the situation is that it’s all been a learning experience that will only help you better your career down the line?
Bobby Creekwater: A very necessary learning experience, that only helped me, exactly. Very necessary – a rite of passage, if you will.
DJ Booth: [laughs] In the freestyle, you spit one line in particular that I found real interesting: “The animosity is building up slowly/ I’m workin’ so hard my daughter don’t even know me.” How difficult has it been to play both the “aspiring emcee” card and the “responsible father” card?
Bobby Creekwater: Oh, man, it’s very difficult; I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. Like I said, I aspire to be great – being great, the time that it requires, I don’t know if listeners understand how much time you have to put into it, and how much preparation it takes to be an Eminem or a 50 Cent or a Kanye West or a Jay-Z or what have you. They sacrificed a lot to get where they are. It’s full of sacrifices. Time with my daughter was one of the things that I have sacrificed, and it took me a while to make peace with that fact, to be able to look at myself in the mirror and say, “Well, it’s for the best,” or, “It’s for her future.”
DJ Booth: It’s interesting, I’ve asked some of your fellow ATLiens such as Chilli of TLC, Slim of 112, “What is more challenging on a constant basis – creating quality new music, or the adventures of parenthood?” Each of them gave a different answer; what would you say?
Bobby Creekwater: I’m gonna go with the adventures of parenthood for five hundred, Bob. [laughs] This is a God-given talent for me, so it’s a bit effortless. I’m so in love with music that I work on it constantly, and I’ve been doin’ so for a long time, so at some point it becomes breathing, know what I’m saying? Like, practice makes perfect. I can’t stress that enough. Whereas this parenthood thing, you’re always gonna be learning. You can never learn enough, you’re always gonna be learning. It’s a constant up and down.
DJ Booth: Well, I think it’s safe to say that, between the two of them, it certainly makes your life that much more interesting.
Bobby Creekwater: Ah, man… you said a lot.
DJ Booth: Bobby, since The Re-Up hit stores over two years ago, Shady Records has actually dropped more artists than they have projects. Be honest with me: if it wasn’t for your situation and Eminem’s everlasting star power, would all of the hard work and time that you’ve put into this would be worth it?
Bobby Creekwater: You know what? I don’t know any other scenario than this one, so I can’t really give you an answer based on an “if” or a “maybe,” ‘cause I’m not in that particular space. Honestly, I wouldn’t know how to answer that question and tell you how I would feel if this would have happened, because it didn’t. Everything is all good: Em is the biggest artist in the world, and I have a beautiful work ethic. [laughs] So, you know, it is what it is; we’re in this space, and it is worth it. I was put in this space for a reason, I was put with Em for a reason, and it will be worth it.
DJ Booth: On your behalf, I certainly hope so. I spoke with former labelmate Stat Quo after he left Shady Records, and it seemed to me at least that he was at peace with his career; he was real comfortable. Will there be a point in time where ultimately, for you, it’ll come down to, “All right, I’ve been patient. It’s now or never – let’s either roll out with this project and support me, or I’ve got to go somewhere else?”
Bobby Creekwater: Luckily for me personally, I don’t think it’ll come down to that point, because, in the space where you’re about to see Bobby Creekwater the way you need to see him very soon, and, like I said, I’m with Em, and everything is working out the way it was supposed to, after I paid my dues and put in the time I needed to put in, and I’ve allowed myself the right team and things of that nature. I work hard, and from hard work, you get out of it what you put into it, and I’ve put into it what I’ve needed to, so everything I need to come to fruition is comin’ to fruition. I need not worry about that point in time.
DJ Booth: Well, I think it’s safe to assume that one of the reasons you’re on the up-and-up is because of your most recent release, The B.C. Era, which leads us perfectly into this new segment called “He Said What?!” I’m gonna read you a line of Nathan S.‘s review of The B.C. Era, and you tell me if you agree with his position, if you disagree with his position, or you could be boring and have no opinion. Nathan wrote, “I won’t lie to you, I underestimated Creekwater. I had him unfairly pegged as a mid-level rapper who was destined to languish in hip-hop purgatory, but halfway through The B.C. Era, I realized that, underneath all his toughness flows a current of hidden lyricism.” Would you agree with that sentiment, disagree, or, like I said, go with the boring, “No opinion?”
Bobby Creekwater: I agree and disagree. I like to respect everybody’s opinion, everybody has one. I realize I’ve developed very tough skin over the years. I understand where he’s coming from when he says, “underneath the tough-guy exterior” or what have you. I’ve had conversations with some of my constituents where I might have overdid the tough guy thing a little in certain parts of The B.C. Era. It was all with good intent, but it was brought to my attention by people who see it better ‘cause they get to look at it from another perspective, and they were like, “Maybe we need to chill a little bit on that, ‘cause that’s not really your plight.” Even though I came from the street to some extent, and I have a lot of street savvy and things of that nature, that’s still not my plight. As far as him discovering the “hidden lyricism,” so to speak, I definitely agree with that – it’s there. You will see a lot more of it on The B.C. Era Deuce.
DJ Booth: That’s fair, I like the half-agree, half-disagree. Do you feel like developing an identity as an artist is something that you’re constantly doing, or, at this point in time, the identity that you have, is that what you feel that you can rock with throughout the rest of your career?
Bobby Creekwater: I can honestly say, at this point in time, this is the best representation of Bobby Creekwater. I still have a lot I’m going to do as a human being and as an artist, but, at this point in time, I’m much better off than I was a year ago, two weeks ago, a day ago, you understand what I’m saying? You learn something new every day.
DJ Booth: Okay, so I guess it’s safe to say that we’ve got Bobby Creekwater at his best right now inside the DJ Booth – I like it.
Bobby Creekwater: Yeah, it’s definitely safe to say that.
DJ Booth: Bobby, early next month you’re planning to release a second volume of The B.C. Era, which will be followed by the next installment of your Don Cannon-hosted Anthem to the Streets, and I read that there is potential for an EP with The Alchemist. I know know you call yourself a studio rat, but that’s a lot of projects. What is the longest amount of time in, let’s say, the last two to three years, that you’ve gone from being inside a recording studio?
Bobby Creekwater: [laughs] I’m gonna say maybe like a week and a half. No, no, I take that back – a month. I was not in the studio for one month when my daughter, Olivia was born. I just stayed away and stared into her eyes all day.
DJ Booth: I was gonna say, it had to be for a really good reason, and that’s a really good reason.
Bobby Creekwater: Yeah, what better reason?
DJ Booth: Well, my second guess was going to be either a vacation-
Bobby Creekwater: But, you know what? We’ll actually vacation and be lookin’ for a studio to book, so that probably wouldn’t be the best reason.
DJ Booth: You can save the vacation time for later on, once you’ve made it, once the album’s out – then you’ll really have a reason to take a vacation.
Bobby Creekwater: Exactly.
DJ Booth: Well, I alluded to it a second ago, the long-awaited debut, which hopefully will drop sometime later this year; its title is Brilliant Mistake. Give me the best example, Bobby, of this oxymoron – what is, in your eyes, a brilliant mistake?
Bobby Creekwater: A brilliant mistake is Bobby Creek. It’s based on a conversation I had with my mother about conception, and asking her if my father and her had plans to conceive me, or was it a matter of circumstance. She told me I wasn’t planned, and before she could finish her statement, I said, “Oh, so I was a mistake?” And she said, “God don’t make mistakes, and even if he did, it would be a brilliant mistake.” She said it jokingly, but, you know, it hit home.
DJ Booth: Well, I am so glad for this brilliant mistake, or else I don’t know what else I would be doing with my afternoon right now – I had nothing else planned.
Bobby Creekwater: [laughs] You and me both, man.
DJ Booth: Bobby, give everybody a website or a MySpace page, something so they can find out more about you and your upcoming releases.
Bobby Creekwater: myspace.com/bobbycreekwater, of course there, ibobbycreekwater.com is coming soon, that’s in the works, you can catch me on Twitter. Basically, right now, that’s it. We’ve got a lot more in the works, but for right now.
DJ Booth: I thank you so much for takin’ the time to join me inside the DJ Booth, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck, my friend.
Bobby Creekwater: Most definitely. I thank you for takin’ the time out to interview me, DJ Z. Don’t be a stranger, man, let’s do this in the future, many more times – I look forward to it.