Mr.Fritz aka Frandy Brown, is a Hip Hop artist/ producer/ engineer out of Mattapan section of Boston, MA. When we at Rebel Noiz heard Bragging Rights, we immediately had him in mind for an interview. He is a lyricist and truly a gifted craftsman of the Hip Hop music culture. He takes his life experiences and really concentrates on his lyrics to make sure they hold true to the message he is trying to send. He wants ya'll to know that life isn't just something you live, it is something you see too. His artistry strongly comes from his determination to show the world what he has seen and lived.
On top of that, he has worked hard on his craft since the age of 15. Even he admits that it wasn't easy at first, it was something that he had to work on. It was the passion that he had for music that really made him improve and the support that he got from others seeing his raw gift with words. He utilized his drive to become an engineer as well as a producer. Mr. Fritz is an artist that deserves your ear and hopefully this interview helps capture his character and helps you understand that very fact. I hope he sticks around because his brand of Hip Hop is top notch and he deserves credit for his hard work.
How was life like growing up in Boston and why did that life bring you to music?
"I mean, I'm not going to act like I had the easiest upbringing. I've had a pretty hard life. When I was in elementary school, when my mother and father were together, we had a 2 bedroom apartment on Blue Hill Ave, where my mother had 4 kids including me, and my cousin came up from Haiti and stayed with us for a while. I've dealt with foster care, I was in jail for a little bit...I've been kicked out of 4 schools and I even dropped out of high school for a year until I decided to go back and get my diploma. I tried dealing with my personal issues by being in the streets with my homies, but I just found music to be therapeutic to me. It gives me value, I feel. People from where I'm from don't normally amount to nothing. Most of the people I grew up with aren't doing much with their lives cause they get caught up in the trap that the hood puts us in. And if I'm able to spread the word about how I've been taught things and how I see things from my environment then it's a job well done to me."
What is it about your life that you feel needs to be told?
"I feel like I'm the main guy out of Boston that speaks on the hood in a non-grimey way. What I mean by this is that...there are plenty of rappers that talk about the hood in Boston. But (and not to sound cocky saying this) but not many of them do it like me. I take pride in saying I paint my pictures a different way than your typical artist when it comes to this Hip Hop thing. I see more than just people getting shot, more than just the crime. I'm the person that would explain why things are happening, what's going on in the head of a person from the hood. I understand how things work around here. The experiences of a person who's lived a similar life that I've lived. That's what Hip Hop is about. We're CNN. We're telling people what's going on out there and within our souls. That's what I believe anyway."
What was the first official track you got on and how did it feel after you were done with the track?
"The first track I got on, I was TERRIBLE. I was only 15 though and my boy Ceddy (Free Ceddy) brought me to the studio for the first time. But I had a punchline that hit so hard that the group that was in the lab at the time asked me to join them. We're still homies to this day. The first track that got me respect though was a freestyle I did to Cam'ron's Down and Out beat. Even my boy's father was feeling it. From then on, I was addicted and wrote damn near compulsively. Because I didn't want anyone to ever think I was wack, ever."
Early on in your career, how come you kept pushing, so many fall off, why didn't you?
"Because my love for Hip Hop is genuine. The song that made me love Hip Hop completely was Killing Me Softly from TheFugees. That was the first Hip Hop song that I truly loved. I might do some tracks that might not be constituted as Hip Hop once in a while, but I will always show love to Hip Hop. Plus, I'm the pickiest person when it comes to what I do and how I do it. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to the pen. I'm not the best recording artist or performer, but when it comes to penning a song, I don't play. I make sure every line makes sense in relation to what kind of picture I'm trying to paint."
You are an artist/ producer/ engineer, which aspect do you concentrate on the most and why?
"I mean, I've always focused on the artist part. I started producing out of necessity, mainly. But I love soul samples and searching for them and chopping them like no other. I wish I had the time to produce as much as I write, but having a full-time job and a bunch of commitments prevents me from producing like I want to. But if I eventually get to do music full-time, you'll hear some crazy stuff from me.
As far as the engineering, I was actually inspired by losing an iStandard producer'sshowcase. The winner of that showcase's beats were super clean and I started binge studying how Protools works. Now I engineer all my own stuff. I don't have the best recording environment, but I'm working with what I have and making the best of it. I just focus on being as creative as I can right now and hopefully things fall into place if I play my cards right."
Who are your influences musically (as an artist and producer)?
"I'm heavily influenced by Jay-Z and Eminem. I also draw from Andre 3000, Cam'ron (my favorite rapper), Nas and of course Biggie. I draw from Jay-Z because his style is right on the border of complex and simple, which is what I aim for. I try to be as simplistically lyrical as possible. I also draw that he's always honest in his lyrics when it comes to him talking about his hood politics, which I respect a lot. Eminem and Cam'ron's style influenced me a lot early on before I developed my own style, but I respect Eminem's technicality more than any other rapper. I simplify his wordplay and try to go for more double entendres more than the wordplay most of the time, because I feel like double and triple entendres make for more replay value.
For producers, I gotta give it to my bro Galaxy from Crook Firm, old-school Kanye, RZA, Alchemist, 9th Wonder, Just, Nottz...the sample based producers. Galaxy's my biggest influence, but Kanye's sample based albums, Ghostface's albums (and Wu-Tang in general), The Score, Diplomatic Immunity...those albums heavily influenced me. And I loved the Rocafella sound back when they were in their prime. It's absolute genius how some of these guys flip samples."
I like how you take relevant things that have happened in the world and turn it into a metaphor, like you did in your track "Whitey Bulgar". That is a great classic element that you bring to your music. What gave you that idea and why do you like staying true to Hip Hop over going for what is on the radio these days?
"Like I said in one of your previous questions, I rap because it's therapeutic to me. I don't rap to be cool, persay. I like saying fly shit. I like talking about where I come from and it's meaningful to people. I'm much better at rapping than having a conversation. Even though rap is like conversation.
Whitey Bulger I actually wrote on the spot. It was how I was feeling at the time. Cause I felt like even though I was getting love on Soundcloud, I was still an underdog with thoughts of being a mastermind. I was feeling myself after I dropped Bragging Rights and I got all that positive feedback. I could be a real boss one day. But I'm slept on, cause I don't feel like people give me the respect I deserve. I put in work. I work really hard at what I do, so you're gonna respect it even if you don't respect me. "Whitey Bulger" in a nutshell."
You have that classic East Coast sound, lyrical and smooth delivery. I think true Hip Hop heads will like this and the storytelling aspect about your music, people will relate to it. What made you hang in the realm of the East Coast, musically?
"Well I'm from the East Coast. I still listen to stuff like Supreme Clientele, Reasonable Doubt, Pretty Toney (I love Ghostface, too). It just fits me. Plus I enjoy the challenge of coming up with good bars and if I eventually make it in the game, I want the respect of the people I look up to. If I'm ever going to rap professionally, I want to be one of the best."
Who are some of the people you work with that you think deserve a mention and personal thanks to helping you to get to where you are today?
"When you mention Mr. Fritz, you have to mention Lindsey Gamble. If I'm Jordan, he's Phil Jackson. He makes sure I play things intelligently and makes sure I stay focused. I can't give that man enough props. I also have to show love to Shawn Patel, founder of ProU and one of the hardest working guys I know. He dreams bigger than anybody I know, just like my homie BR Starr. Like I said before, there isn't much hope coming from where I come from. These guys give me hope, which is more important than anything I might be able to provide.
I also have to show love to My SmooveGang brothers, Galaxy and Walt Scott. I learned how to make beats watching Galaxy cook up some of the most amazing stuff to ever come out of FL Studio. Walt is just a great person in general and I'd do anything for that dude. We teach each other so much, it's always one of us bouncing knowledge off the other and that's just a beautiful relationship in itself. Those are my brothers right there."
What are some of the projects you have worked on recently that people can go online and check out?
"Well I dropped Bragging Rights this past June. It's still available online right now at www.pipedreammusicgroup.com. Other than that, I've done a few collabs here and there. But it's tough doing a lot when I could only do music part time. I hope to increase my workload after the next album and go on tour, but I've been relegated to local shows so that's what I'm focused on for the time being, other than my new album."
What can we look forward to in the future coming out of you, musically?
"I'm currently working on a project called The Glory that I'm trying to make my Illmatic. I performed the title track recently and got people really excited for what I'm doing. I'm aiming to make this one 10 times better than Bragging Rights...and Bragging Rights, I feel, was a pretty good album.
I have a bunch of singles, too. I want to release them but I'm trying to translate my Soundcloud success to other social media outlets. I have like 6000+ Soundcloud followers, but like 500 twitter followers and 400+ Facebook likes. That's not really good enough for me to warrant putting out a lot of music yet. I just have to make my plans work and you might hear 100+ songs from me next year, I have so much."
Lastly, what do you want out of your music career?
"To me, there's a Hip Hop Mount Rushmore; Tupac, Biggie, Jay, Em, Nas, Andre 3k...you could argue other people being on that list, obviously...but those are the people that are unquestionable. I want to be on that list. I want to be one of the best ever. If I get my foot in the door, I'm gonna make sure I make the most of it. That's why I'm working on making this next album the best project I could make, given my circumstances. You already heard "Feelin You", that was just 1 track. I'm going to make this my magnum opus and make sure everyone puts their eyes on me. That's what I'm focused on.”
Here are his links:
by: Craig Ludwig