How does one change the game – especially considering the many face lifts that hip hop has had? By going Beyond Borders & outside of the box like the brilliant, worldly and multitasking mind of Soulstice. This lyricist started writing in the nineties, but always valued education first—earning a Masters in Engineering. We all know artists multitask these days, but usually only dabbling in things that can further their entertainment career. Soulstice didn’t just earn a degree and leave the books for rap. He earned the degree & continues to work as an Algorithm Developer. Yeah, I don’t know what that is either, but I put it on the same level as Rocket Scientist. With brainpower like his, it’s only right that he send hip-hop through a global metamorphosis.
With his third album—Beyond Borders(now available on iTunes)—he goes international, collaborating with artists all over the world and sharing those experiences on www.thinkbeyondborders.com. Talk about being innovative and interactive! Soulstice is trying to make his mark in the game by giving us sounds and experiences that we’ve yet to have in hip hop. Tired of the same old, same old? Let Soulstice rejuvenate your ears.
How many years have you been in the game?
It depends on when you start counting. [laughs] if we want to get real crazy with it, I’ve been writing since 1993 in high school. The first rhyme I ever wrote was over the “G Thing” beat. I’ve been writing for a long time. My professional career started in 2003. That’s when I started Wandering Soul, my label and I put out my first album. Before that, I was doing the amateur thing—putting out because I love doing it kind of thing. After that, I wanted to make it official, put some albums out, and make my mark and get this music out to as many people as possible.
This is your fourth album, correct—third solo album. With some experience under your belt, what have you learned that you brought over to this new album?
I guess the most relevant thing with this album is that hip hop has been a cultural export from the U.S. since the 70’s. We’ve sent this culture out to all these different places and a lot of these places, the seeds have taken root and there’s new and interesting variations of our hip hop culture. So going on tour in places like Japan, Mexico and Europe—I’ve been able to see and connect with these different scenes. What I wanted to do on this project was bring some of that back into this market where it all originated. That’s the perspective I’ve gained and brought to this album.
You’ve pretty much made this album an international thing by going to these different countries and getting features from various artists. Tell me about your experience in compiling this album and what made you want to do that?
I got inspired traveling around. I mentioned on the album that the first time I travelled outside the country was in 2000. I took a trip to Russia. 2000 was before I started my label and released an album. I was still writing and performing. I ended up having a freestyle session over there. I thought it was the coolest thing because Russia is the last place I expected to find hip hop culture. That was the initial inspiration for being interested in going to other places and seeing other cultures. Over the years—France and Japan and all over Europe, I’ve made friends. I noticed a lot of artists in the U.S. collaborate with other artists for their own projects. A French person will have Fontee on his album, but Fontee won’t have a French speaking artist on his album. I thought I would be dope to bring a lot of those elements in one place.
Tell me about your dopest experience overseas.
**You may not know him, but this man is definitely a success in hip hop–breaking ground like no one else has! Read his answer & the rest of the interview, HERE**