Coming out of the trenches of Kansas City is the newborn artist, “Zipp” (formally known as TU’). His father raised him and taught him that with respect, no one would ever disrespect. Without knowing of his talents in the studio, Zipp focused strongly on football while going off to a two-year college and ended up returning home due to ankle injuries. Soon after he returned to Kansas City, Zipp discovered a new hobby that would change his life forever. While releasing the last two mixtapes at the beginning of 2013, fans awaited for new upcoming projects from Zipp. Motivation played a huge factor in his life due to all of his positive influences and pursuing music full time is Zipp’s new forte.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
ZIPP: I was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas but my roots come from Kansas City, Missouri and Madison, Illinois. I have great support from both sides of the family. Rapping didn’t touch any segment of my mind until I became a senior in high school. Where I’m from, you start to get criticized for adding the “rapper” label to your name because Kansas City artists are stereotyped to being one-sided rappers who sound similar to the rest of the KC artists. I begged to differ. I set my goals and I became versatile.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
ZIPP: Growing up I was always into sports, as I am now, but I really had a passion for becoming a famous drummer. My father kept a drum set in the basement of the first house I lived in. I started playing a full drum set when I was only 3 or 4 years old and was playing in church services in no time. I looked up to great drummers like Tony Royster Jr. and Dennis Chambers. All of that ended when my parents got a divorce 11 years ago. From that point on, it was hard to focus on my dreams. I then moved to Maryland Heights, Missouri with my mother and my little sister. Soon I started to get used to the new environment and the new friends. I noticed that all of my new friends stayed updated on all of the new rap music that was released. I quickly picked up the habit of getting in trouble every day at school for listening to music on my headphones during class. I didn’t care about paying attention in class but somehow I was still able to make good grades; I was always a kid that made good grades. While living in STL (Saint Louis), I discovered that I stayed right down the road from Murphy Lee’s restaurant called Good For You Café.I used to visit and eat there while wondering what it would be like if I made it in the music industry one day. Some years passed by and I still have music attached to my soul. It didn’t take long for people to realize that when it came to music, my motivation and ambition was 25 on a scale of 1 to 10. I felt as if I had OCD because it would bother me tremendously if my work didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I felt like my work in the studio had to be above average to meet my personal evaluation standards (evaluating myself to see what needs improvement).
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
ZIPP: I feel that if I record and release my own music then it would be my own style of originality. Due to this fact, I would inspire more artists to do the same; although, I still believe in having a team. I feel that everyone needs some help in certain situations. Being independent is important, but there are areas that can be filled with intelligent personnel. An advantage to recording and releasing your own music results in not having to worry about anyone betraying the trust. Everything would be on my time management. I like to work fast, steady and give maximum effort.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
ZIPP: My songs are about staying on the grind and the good and the past experiences in my life. To a certain degree, I’ll talk about the things I do in my spare time. I use metaphors, similes, antonyms, etc. I incorporate real life situations mixed with the buzz going on in society. I reflect on past events dealing with the industry’s big ups and downfalls. I’m very blunt with my lingo when I speak about the everyday life of people who come from my generation. I sometimes sugarcoat things to make the audience use their brain when dealing with the different punchlines. I look at it like this: the audience wants to see me apart from other artists just so they can compare the pros and cons between other artists and I. I then look for ways to stand out with my originality. I take the initiative and make songs that I know for a fact other people can relate to because somewhere in life they’ve experienced the same problems or success.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
ZIPP: I picked up the drumming talent from my father. He was known for playing at different churches around Kansas City. Soon I was playing better than him with my finesse attitude. After I stopped playing the drums and picked up the rap trend, my first favorite rapper was of course Lil Wayne. I couldn’t, and still can’t, go anywhere in public without people saying that I look like a younger version of him. I kept all of his mixtapes on my iPod when I hit high school. Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar, Don Trip, Big Sean, and Drake stay on my playlists as well. I listen to Meek Mill because in my opinion, there is no artists as real him. Versatile artists always catch my attention and motivate me to write lyrics. Kendrick Lamar is talented all over. He demonstrates the poetic side of life and is very lyrical. Listening to Big Sean makes me want to bring strong originality to my music with mind blowing lyrical structure. Don Trip is well underrated and he is a positive influence on me because he demonstrates that there’s always a way to get past certain obstacles. I’ve been rocking with Drake for as long as I’ve been listening to Wayne because he goes 100% bar by bar on all of his songs. Drake demonstrates that hard work and ambition is key.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
ZIPP: I would describe my music in many different ways. I can turn up for the people that like to kick it. I tend to go in mellow mode for the people who just like to vibe. After listening to one of my songs, you might be ready to head to the bank to make a deposit for some pocket cash. My music sends a message to all people that have a problem with me in life. I don’t try to start any problems but I have to get my point across to make people see both sides of the picture.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
ZIPP: The fact that I grew up with a hard working father sets me apart from a lot of other artists. You always hear about how artists who grew up without a father had to take care of themselves. I’m different in that area because I had a father in my life to keep me on track with my future goals. My father spoiled me as a child because he did everything he could in order to keep a smile on my face. My father is my role model because I want to develop the same work ethic he demonstrated on a daily basis and incorporate it into the business side of my music. Another thing that sets me apart from other artists is that I am versatile. I can adjust to the musical environment at the drop of a dime. A lot of artists give off the image of being hardcore while I simply give off a positive vibe to show that I have the greater good on my mind. I persevere when the times get hard and it motivates me to achieve my goals. The sky is the limit with everything that I do and I always think of ways I can improve.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in your music and how did you overcome?
ZIPP: One of my hardest challenges was being able to find an active studio. Over the years I’ve been from studio to studio. I learned quickly about the people who were trying to better my success versus the people who were trying to feed off of my success. Every studio I visited gave me good tips and positive feedback on my work. I would impress each engineer by having my lyrics already rehearsed and my vocals ready to record. Soon, finding a studio wasn’t a problem because the word spread to various producers and artists about my talents and being able to focus during studio sessions. That challenge turned into a great advantage for me because whenever I needed studio time three or four different studios would be one call away willing to go out of their way for my services.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are working on?
ZIPP: I am currently working on two different albums for the ending of 2013 and beginning of 2014. I figured I’d hit the studio hard and record as many tracks as possible and choose from a huge bulk of bangers. I want my solo album “Way Way Back” that I’m working on to be finished and released in December, my birthday month. My other album is a collaboration album, “Family MaKCers” that I’m working on with my cousin FatmaKc Biggs. This will be released at the start of 2014. The “Way Way Back” album consists of a young role model doing what he can do in order to make it in life as he fights all of the obstacles he foresees. The album also reflects on how I was raised and what kind of adult I turned out to be. The “Family MaKCers” album is basically consisting of the barriers between the outsiders and my family. Family always has to stick together and work together in order to win together. You notice that the title “Family MaKCers” is spelled with a capital “KC” basically to let people know that KC is where we’re from and we are on the look out! I also have unreleased tracks because I will be putting together a couple of mixtapes to keep my fans updated with recent music while waiting for the albums to drop.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
ZIPP: My career goals are very simple. I want to excel and blow people out of the water with my new sounds. I want to learn and master the technique of making beats so I can depend only on myself. I feel that my talents towards music will take me very far in life and in this industry. I make new goals almost every day and I overachieve to accomplish short term goals. Accomplishing my short term goals puts me a couple steps closer to my long term goals. All of my goals are tied into one huge category called “Success.” I want to succeed in what I like to do best and that’s making music. Another goal of mine is to graduate college. Of course I don’t need a degree to make music but if I graduated college I would be one of the few in my family to make that happen. It is very important for me to go to school and get a degree to back me up just in case I don’t take the right routes in this music business. I feel as if I can do both school and music. My main goal is to start a business of my own field of work and turn it into a huge success. Business is good when you are surrounded by the right crowd of people who want to see you fly, not sink.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
ZIPP: My fans can access me at the following links:
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