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The 99% Episode #16 with StealthR

The LA-based rapper Stealth thrives in the underground Hip-Hop scene yet is no stranger to the wide world of music. Born in Hamburg, Germany in a family of musicians, in his teenage years discovered his passion for rhyming. Without letting it go, his influences consisted of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony that assisted his craft as an artist. Spitting his fast-paced poetic flows, Stealth got the attention of LA hip-hop group “Blunt Force” and collaborated on their 2016 album release “Blunt Force Trauma.” With that kind of success piling up, his career fast forwarded.

Unafraid of shaking things up, Stealth is unconventional, provocative or as he calls it a “mental arsenal” of artistic range. Read and listen to the episode 16 where we get to interview the rapper on The 99% Podcast featured on Soundcloud.

Listen To Stealth’s 99 Percent Podcast Interview Below:

[00:00] Steereo:

We’re here with Stealth, thanks for joining us today. We’re very excited to have you on our podcast and on our show because you’re one of the standing members Steereo, and you’ve been blowing up which is incredible. Where did this name come from?

Stealth:

I’ve always found beauty in subtlety, if that makes sense. I’m a kind of a low key guy but when I get on stage I like to carpet bomb the audience.

Steereo:

I’ve seen you live before and you’re incredible. You’re in the rap genre, how is it these days?

Stealth:

I think music in general is always evolving and changing based on people that are influencing it. Speaking for rap, there are so many little parts that include the sound, the beat, the style. I think there’s parts of rap I love, I think there’s parts of rap I personally can’t stand. I’ve got a pretty open ear to music but there are things about rap that fascinate me and others that bother me.

[02:09] Steereo:

Is there anyone in that genre right now you look up to?

Stealth:

Speaking for old school, real quick, I would say Crazy Bone would be a big influence of mine. New school right now there’s an independent artist named Tech N9ne who I look up to and would love to be a mentor one day. This gentleman has taught me how to harmonize and stay intricate and really just switch up my style here and there to keep things interesting. I would say my biggest influences Tech N9ne.

Stealth via Facebook

Steereo:

Where are you actually originally from, and can you speak to the music scene in your hometown?

Stealth:

My hometown is in Germany, I was part of a military family and was brought over to America, but I have seen interest on Instagram contacting me from my home country. I’d love to eventually go out there.

Steereo:

In Germany, there is a big music market. What reigns supreme there in terms of genre?

Stealth:

E.D.M. is huge in all of Europe, and in Germany as well. The rap scene is growing there, and it’s been growing there for the last half decade, maybe eight years. In my opinion, E.D.M. is pretty large out there. After that you’ve got rock N roll and rap right next to each other.

Steereo:

In Germany, I’ve heard CD’s are still a relevant thing. Vinyl is also coming back super strong. I wonder, will the CD make a revisit to the market over here.

Stealth:

I hope so. It’s still a cool genuine thing to have.

Steereo:

What was the first CD you ever bought?

Stealth:

Wow. I think it would’ve been when I was 13 years old. I think it was the Black and Blue album.

[05:45] Steereo:

Do you want to tell people a little bit about how long you’ve been in the music industry, and the first initial stages of breaking into the music business and what was that like for you?

Stealth:

Well, it was definitely a process. I remember as a kid I always spoke quickly and loved rhyming. But actually going in and actually writing the verses, at first was for fun, would’ve been around the age of 16 years old. I started pulling up beats on Youtube, and start writing phrases and rhymes and complicated words that I didn’t know how to use when it came to cadence or mathematically making a song. From sixteen years old I was doing all of that, and I started to meet people that liked doing the same thing. They were schooled in different ways, for example music engineering. For the last seven years I’ve improved, and I’m pretty heart of myself so that’s something to help shape me. When people ask how long I’ve been doing this I say well I became not wack about three years ago. I wouldn’t feel very confident showing anybody music I’ve made beyond that.

Steereo:

Music evolves, you grow as an individual person too. The first music demos I did in my career, I would cringe now.  I remember at the time I was so passionate about it, thinking that was the one that was going to change the world. Looking back I think oh god. In the initial part of your journey, what are some of the challenges you faced that you overcame?

Stealth:

We all know that rap is a black genre; it started off in the hip hop scene like that. Then after a gentleman named Eminem, who I continuously am compared with, which makes me cringe but I get it, as a white lyricist. But the level of legend that Eminem is, just don’t compare me to him. That guy is an absolute out of this world legend. Of course I’d love to achieve the accolades that he has, but aside from my style being different, I have to get past the barrier of being compared to the current rappers that are white. I’ve always been finding a way to kind of set myself aside from that whether it’s style or the way that I throw my lyrics together. That would be like a minor thing. Other than that it was really just trying to get myself heard.

StealthR- Glimpse inside the Mind of Stealth

My first thing was trying to make quality music. Then again I had my own perception of what quality music was. Then I started hanging around people that are really passionate about the same things, about five years into really rhyming like this. Then I was able to getat I can improve. For the longest time it’s really just you telling yourself, this sounds better than that. You don’t really have a second or third input. I think that’s a big challenge too. When you don’t have any other opinions, you don’t know how you sound to the outside world. That would be one of the largest challenges.

Steereo:

You want to surround yourself with the best people who are going to not always fundamentally say “yes” to you but guide you in the right way without an agenda.

Stealth:

If you only have people gassing you up when it’s not entirely true then you might become a little overconfident. It’s good to have people tell you, that was cool, this was mediocre but you can do better.

That pumps me up. Don’t let that knock you down, allow yourself to understand other perspectives. Don’t change for them but stay open to adapting.

[11:14] Steereo:

What has it been like for you to be an independent artist? And from your point of view, what are the benefits or the drawbacks to being with a major label or not having a huge distribution deal? What do you think is working for independent artists right now, in terms of benefits and drawbacks?

Stealth:

I can say right now, if I had a label backing me, I would have a locomotive of power for my distribution and getting me places that would be a lot trickier for me to get into on my own. Then again, when you have a short cut like a label or something like that, they take a huge cut from anything you’re gaining. As an independent artist, if you’re selling merchandise or songs, that’s pretty much 100% profit. Then again, it’s always great to have a label for connections that take a very long time to obtain yourself, so that is worth a cut. I’d say the biggest benefit of being independent, if you can get it off the floor, I mean that money is in your pocket and the people around you that are helping you achieve it. Which is a lot fewer people in my opinion than it would be if you had a major label. I guess there are pluses on both sides. Things move a little quicker with a label, but you got to split stuff. On your own things move slower but you don’t have to split as much.

Steereo:

You have been doing incredibly on our Steereo platform, and we’ve had you charting. What are your thoughts on music technology, and do you think it gives a different opportunity to artists?

Stealth:

I’ve seen a ton of different distribution sites, but when I was introduced to Steereo I started to really see the statistics and the actual individual states and countries that they reach. Whether it’s twenty plays in one country and thirty in another, my music is being delivered a lot further distance than I think I would have been able to do completely on my own. Even if I could, it would take a lot longer on my own. Steereo is a great platform, that’s really all I can say is it’s working.

Steereo:

When someone hears your music for the first time, what is it you want them to feel?

Stealth:

I want them to feel almost a slap to the face, in a positive way. In a based Russian way. The way I deliver my lyrics, I don’t expect someone to follow along. It’s quite a fast paced, I don’t expect someone to follow along with every word. But I do expect someone to be like woah I like this sound, or cadence. I think I just heard the word anticipate and reflect and integrate and what is that. Well let me run it back. The way I make music I want someone to listen to it, then another day they’ll want to listen to it again and try to catch more. A positive smack in the face, like woah what is this?

Steereo:

For your fans and our listeners who are deciding to chase their dream of being in the music industry or their passion of writing songs or putting it out online; at the very beginning of their journey, what advice would you give?

Stealth:

Well for one, if you believe you are good, do not stop. Two, if you are good, people are going to try to get you to stop and try to take you down and try to even come up and fabricate reasons as to why you should stop and maybe even try to tell you there’s too much competition. You’re going to hear a lot of that from people that have tried and gave up, so if you’re on your way and you even have one friend or two friends that are telling you you’re tight, trust me there’s another hundred thousand people that think you’re cool. Just try to ignore the negative comments and vibrations coming from other people because you never really know where that might be coming from on their end. Just keep your head up. It’s going to be discouraging a lot of the time and it moves really slow, and you do have to go back to work and you have to make your bread and butter job, but that’s not something to be ashamed of. Go back to work and find time for music.

Stealth via Facebook

Steereo:

New and exciting things coming this year?

Stealth:

I actually have two features right now with two separate individuals that are on Technine’s label. One gentleman named Stevie stone the other gentleman name is J.-O. from B. hood.

Steereo:

Well, that’s amazing we’re going to look out for the records.

Listen To Stealth-XianDay

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Kai McDaniel is a Los Angeles-based writer, lover of entertainment, art, and film.