Josh X On Collaborating With Cardi B and On His Career As a Singer-Songwriter

singer Josh X
Josh X is bringing back the man in romance and the love in R&B with his song “Promise”. But his attempt at reviving the sweet R&B of past groups like Hi-Five, Shai didn’t start with that song. The spiritually-focused lush ballad “Heaven on My Mind” has that distinction. Already, the legendary Stevie Wonder has recognized that Josh X has a lot of stuff in his musical pouch. The Brooklyn native has worked with industry Goliaths such as Los Da Mystro, Cardi B., HoodCelebrityy and Swizz Beatz, among others. His EP Amour is somewhat a prelude to greater things in the future.

Kreyolicious: So, you once had this encounter with the legendary Stevie Wonder, and his words to you were: “Continue to carry out the legacy of being a musician that represents real music.” What did it feel like getting these words of wisdom from this musical great? How do you plan on applying his advice?
Josh X: By just being me, it’s important to me. Stevie saw something in me at the time I didn’t even see in myself, and I can never go wrong with just following advice from a icon.

Kreyolicious: You’re from Brooklyn. You ever been to Haiti?
Josh X: I was born in Brooklyn, but raised in Queens. I haven’t been to Haiti yet. I can’t wait to go. I love my culture so much…the food the music. Even though I was born in [the United States of] America, it amazes me how Haitian I am. [Laughter]
Singer Josh X has worked with Swizz Beatz, Cardi B and Sandro. His Amour EP is highly acclaimed.
Kreyolicious: You collaborated with Cardi B on the song “Heaven’s on My Mind”. How did that teaming come about?
Josh X: Me and Cardi B. are labelmates I believed in her since the very beginning. In fact, I produced the first song she did. I’m so proud of her and everything. I knew back then she was already going to be amazing. “Heaven On My Mind” went top 20 on Billboard and we did it independently.

Kreyolicious: Your mixtape Amour received a great deal of critical acclaim. What inspired the songs on it?
Josh X: Love inspires me stories about true love some I might of personally went through and some of them through others.

Kreyolicious: There’s always a lot of talk about creatives suffering from long down moments and bouts of depression in spite of all their success. How do you keep things in your world upbeat and positive?
Josh X: Through everything about God is what saves me from a day to day hence the title of my first single “Heaven On My Mind”. Without Him, I would be lost especially in this business.

Kreyolicious: You’ve worked with so many figures in the musical industry who are much older than you and more experienced than you. Los Da Mystro, Cardi B., HoodCelebrityy and Swizz Beatz, among others. What have you learned from these veterans.
Josh X: Swizz Beatz taught me a lot. Sitting with that man if you’re not inspired then it’s just not in you.

Kreyolicious: Talk to me about your collaboration with Dro.
Josh X: That’s my brother from another mother we’ve been friends for a while. I worked with him on the record, ‘Love Me’ for his album. When it was time for me to drop my record “Promise”, it definitely made sense. People loved the fusion between the Konpa/R&B.

Kreyolicious: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Josh X: Happy…that’s exactly where I want to be five years from now. Happy doing whatever it is that I love…I’m confident that God’s plan for me will be a great one.

CLICK HERE` to purchase Josh X’s music on iTunes | JOSH X on Youtube |

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5 Questions With Hip Hop Lyricist and Rapper Skank Dollar

Skank Dollar is a survivor, however you’d like to interpret the word. He’s the Brooklyn native who raps about the life that he’s known. One of his career-defining collections Live from Da Trap, gives personal-diary-like details of life as he sees it. Prior to that work, he put out The New York Times Tape 1, a concept mix tape with each song symbolizing the figurative headlines from Brooklyn’s lyrical yet tough streets.

rapper Skank Dollar

Kreyolicious: How did you get the name Skank Dollar?
I got the name Skank from my older brother…a Flatbush Brooklyn street hustler who was given the name after he escaped a police custody situation. He stole from a female officer he slept with. One of the guys from the neighborhood caught wind of his local acts, and deemed him Skank for his influence on young women from around the neighborhood. He later added the Dollar part in hopes of creating a music persona after surviving a massive trailer accident on the the corner of Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.

Kreyolicious: Did hip-hop choose you or did you choose hip-hop?
Skank Dollar: Since his passing, I’ve actually chosen hip-hop as a way to deal with my own personal grief. Being an “early adult”, I wasn’t familiar with death of a loved one before this…I actually lost school friends in the area, but never lost someone so close to me. So, I was moved down South by my family due to poor school grades from my Brooklyn neighborhood. And engulfed in the lifestyle, my family tried to prevent me from. The news of his passing was sent to me and my older brother. The hip-hop aspect came beforehand after picking up frivolous drug-dealing aspects and skills from local notorious thugs in the South Florida area. It was like a pastime. After hustling, I thought myself remembering how much he wanted to be a rapper instead. So once I acquired the gift, I began to pass it on to my fellow streets hustlers who had long taken me in as if I was a runaway stray…And I felt like one too…At the time I was forced to go into this new area by him at the time due to his numerous exploits in the neighborhood we where from. So the rapping came naturally. My new friends were excited that I was from New York and expected me to be a good rapper…So, me being inexperienced, it was a perfect place to practice after my hustling duties…[Laughter] I was deemed the rapper out of my group because I was from new York. Cliché…I also had to open the minds of my friends to Northern hip-hop and vice versa…That has had an effect on my style of rap personally. So when I do hip-hop today, knowing I have influenced many in my travels, I keep the Southern style in my heart. Knowing my siblings had a more boom-bap style, he would’ve surely used before his soul was called home.
rapper Skank Dollar of Brooklyn
Kreyolicious: When you’re creating, what’s the process like from start to finish?
Skank Dollar: Honestly…it comes kinda natural…it’s random. I tend to find female partners first. sometimes I Freestyle songs over my live feeds today in time but when I was younger in the early and mid-2000’s I had less resources. I’ve since adjusted my style of rap and formed a conscious trap style of rap with is sort of an explanation in a sense… like I mixed the North and the South as much as I could. So sometimes I’d sound like I’m from the North, but spoke like I was from the South, or I’d sound like I’m from the South, but spoke like I was from the North or Midwest.

Kreyolicious: Which rappers have had the most profound influence on you?
Skank Dollar: I’ve pretty much today met all of my influences aside from a handful of artist like Jay Z, Mobb Deep, Trick Daddy, The Wu-Tang Clan, Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Wyclef Jean, LL Cool J, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and Sean Combs. But I’ve come across many and some I didn’t take photographs with or met this decade. My social networks tell a different story today. But it has been a long time coming and very difficult. I’m talking about from Ludacris to Tip Harris in from the mid to late 2010s. Too many to count and I’m still in the streets.

rapper Skank Dollar New York
Photo Credit: Dominik Kublan

Kreyolicious: You ever been to Haiti, dawg?
Skank Dollar: Nah. I ain’t have never been to Haiti. Unfortunately, but I do plan on visiting very very soon. As a young teen, I had a spoiled friend who visited Haiti with his family members. Unfortunately he had nothing but bad things to say about it being a spoiled American. In my adulthood, my mother took the time to inform me of my extensive background. So, I’m still learning about myself as I build my image and name.

Kreyolicious: Do you think there will be a time when hip hop won’t matter?
Skank Dollar: No. I believe hip-hop music as a music form will be preserved for decades and generations to come…It will be around for a long time…and as a young boy from Brooklyn I’ve long begun my quest to leave my stamp.

CLICK HERE to visit Skank Dollar’s website | SKANK DOLLAR ON YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

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