New York, N.Y. -- Back in late September,
, an up-and-coming production duo who pay homage to the soul greats on their new
. For the 11th entry in our
Booth-exclusive interview series
, we're giving readers an up-close and personal look at
protégé who recently brought us
-sampling single "
Though Trazz' hometown, the industrial city of Buffalo, is known more for its harsh weather and unemployment than its hip-hop scene, the hardworking up-and-comer rose above his rough environment to rub shoulders with multi-platinum-selling artists and create some of the biggest records ever to come out of Upstate New York. Aligned with Noodles'
Fix Your Face!
movement, the emcee/actor/model has earned over 1,000 radio spins nationwide thanks to the success of his current promo single as well as its predecessor, Booth-acclaimed
exclusive, five-question interview
, Trazz discusses the origin of his stage name, the first rap concert he ever attended and his hopes of becoming Upstate N.Y.'s breakthrough hip-hop artist.
Is there a story behind your name? If so, what is it?
Trazz: I used to be real involved into battle rap. One day during a battle this guy says to me "Yo homie, your locking these boyz down, your like Alcatraz." So for a short time, I changed my name to Alkatrazz. Then I began doing some writing for "Salt" from Salt-N-Pepa, and she felt my name gave to much of a negative influence and she's the person that actually shortened my name to "Trazz"
How and when were you first introduced to hip-hop?
Trazz: It's funny because although I have always been listening to hip-hop, the first concert I ever went to was a MC Hammer concert. His show was crazy! I knew back then, this is what I wanted to do with my life.
Do you feel New York is ready to take back the top spot in hip-hop? What will be your role?
Trazz: I hope New York can play more of an effective role in hip-hop in the future. It's where hip-hop originated. The entire region of Upstate New York is full of talented artists. Although this region has gotten overlooked a lot, I feel like I can be the match that sparks the flame for this entire area. Southern artists have definitely kept it alive and fun. I just hope that I can put my stamp on the game and remind some people that Hip Hop isn't dead.
Are you working on any mixtapes or an album at the moment?
Trazz: I'm recording all the time. I have more than enough music to release 5 mix tapes, but our goal is to concentrate on getting the singles hot right now. When the album is ready to be released, the hardest part will be deciding what records to put on it.
What's next for Trazz?
Trazz: I'm still pushing the single "All They Wanna Talk About". Its doing really well in radio right now. We just finished my next single. I can't give too much info away on it right now, but it's big!!