Despite its vibrant musical history, Baltimore has never been known for hip-hop. That doesn’t bother emcee Wordsmith, who has been reppin’ his B-More proudly since releasing his first record Bridging the Gap in 2009 with Chubb Rock. This summer, he released his second album “King Noah” which featured on up-and-comer talent Skyzoo (known for his work with 9th Wonder), among others. Sky, whose debut LP A Dream Deferred will drop this Fall and features 9th Wonder, Jahlil Beats, Dj Khalil, Black Milk, sat down with Wordsmith, one rapper to the other, and asked the seasoned vet about the new record, fatherhood, and what it means to rep the city he calls home.
Skyzoo: What made you choose the direction you did on this new album?
Wordsmith: Well, I have two adopted children that are 8 and 11 years old and on July 1st, 2011 my first blood child, Kingston Noah Parker, came into this world. I had done songs for my other kids before, but I felt King was going to be special, so I had to leave him what I call a “musical blueprint” he can listen to over and over through the years as he has more life experiences. My nickname for Kingston is, “King Noah”, so that ended up being the title of this album. It’s all life music that talks about race, poverty, dreams, failing, succeeding and overcoming obstacles. Yes, I made this album for my son, but I also wrote it in a fashion that any family can use it in their household as a positive influence for their children.
Skyzoo: Being from a gritty but authentic city like Baltimore, how does that shape your music, if at all?
Wordsmith: The authentic part shapes my music as I pride myself on only talking about real things I have experienced in my life. There are some things I choose to leave out because my kids aren’t old enough to hear them, but I don’t put fiction on my albums unless I’m telling a story. Other then that Baltimore is just my home and the city I rep, but it doesn’t shape any of the music I make because I grew up living around the world when my pops was in the Army before I settled in Bmore.
Skyzoo: What’s your favorite song you’ve written to date, and why?
Wordsmith: Hmmmm, good question Sky; I would have to say “8 Track Zoom” because everything I rap about on there is how I got started in this game. Everything I recorded, everything people know about me was done on a 8 track Zoom recorder, which was prehistoric in regards to recording songs. It was all I knew from 2006 to 2010 as I never used pro tools before and still don’t today. I am very old school about a lot of things and the way I record has the Golden Era of Hip Hop written all over it.
Skyzoo: How has being a father influenced your music and your drive?
Wordsmith: It’s made me even more conscious about the things I say on a record. I don’t want to lie or set a bad example in my music because my kids are always at the forefront of mind when I create. I think about the future and them being older, so I want them to say their Dad had something to say when he rapped. There isn’t a lot of positive music out these days, so I pride myself on being different and following my own lead musically.