Flame of Ghetto Star Recordz
29 June 2009
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : Let's start off with some basic info. Tell your fans where you're from, who you're and what're your roots ?
[ Flame ] : What's up to everyone out there I'm Flame, I'm 20 years old from Sunnyvale, CA born and raised here, so Sunnyvale is where my heart is at, it's what made me, who I am today and I have a lot of pride in it.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : How did you come up with "Flame" as your rap name ? Is it connected with your charizmatic flows or means something else ?
[ Flame ] : When I was in junior high right around the time that I started rappin, people started calling me Flame because they said I was spittin fire. I used to win freestyle battles a lot more often than I would lose through out junior high and some of high school, so the name came from the flow really, but I came up with a higher meaning for it that represents who I am and what I'm about. Each letter in Flame stands for a word and all together it means Fuck Laws And My Enemies.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : You've released a couple of projects under Ghetto Star Recordz. Do you run this label ? Except you, who else is there ?
[ Flame ] : Yea I run this label and me and Icey are the official members, we have had people come and go on the label, but that's just the way it works sometimes. Everyone who we signed was never on the same page as us, they got into it for the wrong reasons and weren't serious enough, so they ended up going their own ways and it was for the best. Now me and Icey can just focus on our own projects and work more efficiently for the moment. Don't get me wrong, we still have people riding with our label, who have been from the start, but they are not officially Ghetto Star, because some of them got their own label and some have other ways of paying the bills and not by rapping. I have met a couple of new people interested in signing with us, who are serious about this rap game, so don't be surprised if you see new artist on the label sometime soon.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : As far as I know, you've started you rap career from releasing two mixtape's ("Thug N Thug Out"). Tell us something more about these cds.
[ Flame ] : These cds have some of my most rawest material on them and I think a lot of my fans like them the best. They were my introduction to this rap game and I was making sure that I made an impact. They explain who I am and what I'm about and I sound a lot younger on them compared to my solo albums that came out later.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : Was there anything before "Thug N Thug Out" mixtapes? Any underground, "never released" projects ?
[ Flame ] : Yea there was a lot of material before those mixtapes that is now lost. I'm sure some people from around my city have my older tracks that I never put out, but they are so rare and hard to find I don't even have them.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : What's up with "Fuck Lawz And My Enemiez" cd ? Will it ever be released ?
[ Flame ] : It's still in the works and will probably be released in September 09 and this album is gonna be much different than what people expect from me. I'm not gonna say too much about it, but it is by far my favorite album of mine already and it's not even done yet. I recommend getting it when it comes out.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : How did you start your rap game ? Was there anything special, which pushed you to begin rapping ?
[ Flame ] : I've always been a deep thinker and deep writer as far as I can remember and I'm talkin when I was just a child, who didn't know much about life and was searching for the answers. I think I was just born to do what I'm doing, it's fate. I didn't have the easiest life as a kid, I think that's something that pushed me to start writing and expressing myself and when I was about 12 I realized rap was the best way for me to do that.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : Who would you call your music inspirations ?
[ Flame ] : Without a doubt 2Pac Shakur. Homie was just so talented and gave so much knowledge to us listeners in the short time that he was here it's almost unbelievable. His legacy will live on forever and I hope to build a legacy like that as well, but there will never be another 2Pac. Nobody will ever be able to match 2Pac. Other influences of mine would be Woodie (R.I.P.), Immortal Technique, Tech N9ne, Brotha Lynch, Spice One, Mac Dre (R.I.P.), Yukmouth just basically anyone coming wit that real shit. The pioneer Norteno rappers influenced me of course. People like Speedy Loc (R.I.P.), Sir Dyno and Darkroom, Mousie and others. I listen to all kinds of rap, even east coast shit like Nas and Biggie (R.I.P.) so I can't name all my influences, there's just way too many.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : Now let's talk more about your official solo projects - "Making Moves" and its sequel "Making Major Moves". How would you describe these releases ? What fans can expect to hear on these cds ?
[ Flame ] : Both are really good albums and a lot different than each other. "Making Moves" has that old school homeboy rap sound to it and "Making Major Moves" has more of a mainstream sound to it with radio vibe tracks on it, but also gangsta shit and political shit too.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : We've seen female rapper Icey featured on many tracks on your albums. How did you two hook up ?
[ Flame ] : We hooked up in high school when we were 16 and I got her to start rappin when she was 17, she hasn't stopped since then. She's serious about the rap game just like I am. Her first solo album "Cold as Ice" is in the works right now too and will be coming out at the end of this year.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : Once I've even seen a home-made, unofficial release from Flame & Icey on eBay. Is there a chance we'll see that cd in stores ?
[ Flame ] : Yea we've been lagging on putting that in stores but you will be able to find it in stores really soon because we are getting them pressed up next month. For now you can only find that album "It's Our Time" on iTunes.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : You've been collaborating with such rap stars like The Game, Jim Jones, Lil Coner or Tito B. Who else would you like to rap with ?
[ Flame ] : Honestly I'm not in a big hurry to go rap with someone that I don't really know at the moment, because I'm trying to just focus on me and Icey right now, but I would like to collab with Messy Marv and Spice 1 one day in the near future.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : Even though I'm a big Northern Cali rap fan I really can't point out more Sunnyvale rappers. Who else reps the SV rap scene ? Can you recommend some of your homeboy rappers ?
[ Flame ] : To be honest there's not too many people from Sunnyvale that rap. There's people who aren't from Sunnyvale, but reside here that rap, but I wouldn't count that. The only other Sunnyvale rappers that I can think of are Gritty Minded Records and I've worked with them in the past.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : We've seen you're familiar with norteno movement. What can you tell about modern norte rap scene ?
[ Flame ] : I think Norteno rap is getting much bigger than ever and is changing a lot for the better. I feel it's in a much more advanced stage than when it first started and more homeboyz are spittin more heat than ever before. I do feel that I'm a big part of the northern rap movement now, because my music is getting much bigger and I label myself a northerner 'til the day that I die.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : What are your plans for the nearby future ? More solo projects ? Or maybe you're thinking about collabo albums or compilations ?
[ Flame ] : "Fuck Laws And My Enemies" will be my last solo project for a while at least and I will be repressing and remastering my first solo album "Making Moves" and it will have 5 brand new bonus tracks on it. I have a lot of material done, a lot of albums and mixtapes completed, so now it's time to really just get them all out there and pressed up on the shelves. I bet a lot of people don't even know that there's a "Thug N Thug Out Mixtape" volume 4 and 5 that are both completed and will be released soon. I always plan things ahead of time, so I've had a lot of projects finished and ready for a while now, but I kept making new songs non stop, so I put releasing them aside for a while. Back in 2008 when I was diagnosed with my eye disease it made me realize that you never know what the future holds and things can go wrong at anytime. I've always wanted to leave a legacy behind when I'm gone, so that was like a reality check for me and it made me work even harder and record more songs. After a few months of being diagnosed with it I recovered last summer of 08 from not seeing well to seeing much better and I'm just hoping for the best, but I still have the disease. There's no cure for it, but you don't always go blind from it and I know that I will be one of the strong people who won't. A lot of fans were praying for me to recover when that happened and wanna thank you all for your concern and prayers. Now it's time to get all of my albums out there and take a little break from recording just for a while. We will be shooting a lot of music videos now that we have professional filming equipment and these videos will be a lot more pro than the first 2 that we did. So that's basically the plans for now but I wouldn't mind throwing together a compilation with other rappers.
[ Bay Undaground.com ] : If there's anything else you'd like to share with your fans about yourself or any other topics feel free to write.
[ Flame ] : I just wanna sincerely thank all of my supporters world wide from my heart and let you know that I do this for you. It's been a long road already but there's still a long way to go and I appreciate those of you who have stuck with me from the beginning and have followed up on my music. Much Love! And a big thank you to Bayundaground.com for this interview.
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