Better Daze is an artist out of the city of Asheville, in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. Being from “Beer city”, which is filled with pure art, music, food, breweries, amazing people and an actual culture that’s mixed with real life experiences, that has been the soul motivation and fuel for BD’s latest project, “Boobie Traps, Set Backs & Treasure maps” (which will include an actual authentic treasure map in the album!). It has been about 3 years in the making but now the album is finally complete. Better Daze has been ripping mics and putting on events in the underground scene, bars & venues for over a decade now all the way up & down the mountain chain from Appalachian State Boone, NC down to Asheville NC. He has opened up for and performed with several legends including Ghostface Killah & Killah Priest of The Wu-Tang Clan. He has never officially put out any of his work until now and is really looking forward to the road ahead of waking up the masses. Coming up from a rough background and being heavily influenced by legends like the Wutang Clan, Outkast, 2pac & Biggie, Bob Marley, Sublime, Pink Floyd, Cypress hill & the Greatful Dead. All those acts combined molded BD into the powerful, open minded, and relatable voice he is today. His message is pure peace and motivation to make better daze for all of us. He has promised to stand behind what his name actually means and guarantees 100% raw facts, respect, truth and love with every bar delivered, from pure experience or current life living perspectives and advice. Now in the start of August, a few days after Digital Dynasty 42 dropped (which BD was featured on) we got to catch up with the homie for the first time and it went a little something like this.
1. What’s good Better Daze, how’s things your way?
Maintaining fam, I appreciate you having me. Things couldn’t be better right now. Beengetting blessed in many unforseen ways to say the least for staying on my path. I’m constantly tuning out the static and listening to my inner flame is the only way to move forward.
2. Let’s get into the basics…how did you come up with your name?
Better Daze was a transformation into who I wanted to become also as a person to better myself and my surroundings. A wiser student who made better decisions for the long term mission and the different content that comes with better choices in life. I want to leave sum nice home cooked organic recipes for the kids so they don’t get stuck with all this junk food out there right now when it’s time to grow.
3. There hasn’t been too many emcees to put on for the Tar heel state, and the ones that did were from Charlotte. For those that don’t know, let us know what Asheville is like, and what the Hiphop scene is like out there?
Very True indeed. Second to none Asheville is something truly special. I’ve met all kinds of people here who have traveled the world and could live anywhere they wanted but will always tell you that Asheville is home. There’s no place like it and its the hidden gem of NC. The art and music scene here are constantly growing and molding into a very beautiful thing. The hiphop scene here is very vibrant and alive at all times with crazy talent everywhere. Many conscious emcees and multi genre bands collab and make magic all the time. With more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country makes us “Beer City”. You can walk downtown and be within walking distance to about 30+ breweries, enjoy any kind of authentic AMAZING awesome food you want to. You can also see live music on almost every street corner or artist selling their work on a daily grind. It’s a huge fusion melting pot of community and culture at its finest with plenty of inspiration and treasure maps all around you if you know where to look.
4. When did you start emceeing and what inspired you to create music on your own?
Looking around at poverty my whole life has been a big inspiration for becoming something bigger then myself and my surroundings. Growing up poor and just feeling real music. In my opinion people are either here to become the past or the future and I plan on still being here 20 years from now, lighting up the pathways for the future seeds. I grew up always out n about and away from home in the mix somewhere. In 5th grade I started grinding my own window washing service so I could buy my baseball cards, nowNlaters, ice cream and whatever else a ten year old boy wanted to buy because I never had an “allowance”. I heard Wutang’s “enter the 36 chambers” in 7th grade tho and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Eventually drinking 40s and smoking philly blunts with my other juvenile delinquents growing up (love you guys), listening to Big & Pac on the radio in a whole different world at age 17 prob had a lot to do with it too tho. Just sayin… I knew I was in touch with life enough to transform it into words. I ended up being self taught with everything at first just to have beats but then it was to save money on studio time. I have a pretty good ear in the lab too and it’s been years since I sat down and produced anything before this Album, “Boobie Traps, Set Backs & Treasure Maps”, came into my thoughts and I’m using some of gems I’ve been reserving in the vault for years waiting for the right time. I def have some other co producers on this one as well but back in the day if you wanted something done right, you had to do it yourself. That’s also how I started Dj’ing too, but that’s another story.
5. We heard your song “Blood City” on DD42. It was a stand out track to say the least and we also got the green light to debut your music video (see below)! You got a smooth flow and that track is solid. Let us know how this came about and is the first official single off your upcoming album?
Ha! I really appreciate the props. It’s funny that verse is actually almost a decade old. I was in a cypher with my Jamaican homey “Richie Pow” (who performs on Blood City with me) and I just spit that verse on that beat downtown and everybody went ham so we just did it! The really cool thing about it is that it’s not even gonna be on the new album. I have a whole different deck of cards up my sleeves for “Boobie Traps, Set Backs & Treasure Maps”. I plan on raising the bar with this album and it also features a secret WUTANG affiliate that I can’t announce yet but it won’t be long. I’ve been striving really hard with this whole concept and how to approach it for years. I finally concluded that everybody is trying to be on an adventure in sum shape or form to escape the ever increasing self and society made harsh realities surrounding in everyday life so guess what?! Here’s some treasure maps and adventures for everybody. Have fun! I’m including an authentic treasure map in my album that will require more clues found along the way around waterfalls, caves and ocean that will actually lead to a real treasure that I buried somewhere. There will also be clues in my upcoming music videos that are gonna tie together as a short film depicting the albums story in a Goonies type fashion. Absolutely stay tuned!
6. In Blood City you spit “in the 8th grade group home, 9th grade too grown”. Is it safe to say you didn’t have a great relationship with your parents, or can you tell us what your childhood, and teen years, were like?
I never knew my pops and thought my brother and sisters dad was my dad till my mom told me what was up when I was like 10 years old. She divorced him and we moved from Homestead, Fla back up to these mountains where I was born. With just me and her always struggling to pay the bills I ended up learning everything the hard way (and best way in my opinion). I stuck my finger in every light socket growing up and was sort of a problematic kid in school so the courts actually convinced my mom to put me in a group home. None of it ever changed me tho until I eventually ended up in group home and detention center and then even boot camp too as a young buck. I did end up getting my GED (good enough diploma) at bootcamp and scored 90% in the nation for my literature tho so I knew I needed to be writing whatever it was. Back in school I mainly got in trouble for always distracting the class because I was bored with my super A.D.D always in full effect. I personally think the whole “a.d.d” thing is a bunch of bs to hook kids on pharmies and really means that you have the hunger to want to learn more than one thing in that moment in time. Maybe I will reinvent that some day. Once you find a student’s focus then channel through that. I wish that’s how most teachers truly taught instead of curriculum. The world would be a different place. But yea, by the 9th grade I was “too grown” for shire. (laughs).
7. Is it safe to say Wu-Tang was your favorite group coming up?
I was into Guns n Roses pretty hardcore as a rebelious whipper snapper before Wutang as a kid (laughs). But yeah, definately. Wutang taught me many life lessons at a young age that we could actually relate to and unlocked a big part of me that is heavily responsible along with the whole “Deathrow” movement for molding the person I am today. Lately tho I can’t get enough of MF DOOM. He’s my current fave at the moment. Homey is RAW.
8. We saw you on stage with Ghostface Killah and Killah Priest. What was that experience like and what songs did you do?
Yeah, that was possibly the most electrifying moment of my life! That was nuts. My homey Campaign and I opened up for Ghost but he was nowhere to be found when we did our set. In his set Ghostface asked for somebody to come up and perform Dirty’s verse on “Protect Ya Neck” and pulled me on stage. Swear I got possessed by ODB’s spirit and killed it (laughs)! He even gives me a shout in the end of the video. That was truly the beginning of the highway I’m on now. Walter Reed (Killah Priest) was there too and all three of us on stage was crazy. That dude is so humble and awesome. Hes always in the crowd after any show showin mad love to the fams. Hes got a couple excusive joints on The Digital Dynasty 42 Mixtape the Advocate just dropped that are fire. Im really lucky to be on that tape with all those veterans. Salute fam!
9. We saw you like to spit over a lot of sounding hiphop production. The south has been known to usher in that trap sound. What kind of response do you get from the residents of NC being you choose to spit that real and stick with a more authentic sound?
Yeah, I agree. The South does get that rep a lot because we invented that sound. I just grew up on everything. Asheville is a different story tho. There’s a melting pot of artists, emcees, djs and producers here who end up collabing with like minded souls and hearts that end up being its own unique sound most of the time. If you ever want to come visit I could show you better than I could tell you! It’s my favorite thing to do. I get haters every now and then (like anybody would does doing something different). Mainly I get respect and love for telling the truth because that’s what I represent. People know I’m not trying to be something I’m not because I’m dropping real life on them that I’ve lived or currently living. Experience is knowledge and knowledge is wisdom. Apply that isshh and people will see it as well as FEEL it. Walk what you talk and don’t worry about what the next man is barking about. Do YOU.
10. You wear your heart on your sleeve in a lot of tracks and don’t mind sharing your life’s ups and downs. Do you think that’s missing from the game nowadays by most artists??
Hell yea its def MISSING from a big CHUNK of the game right now. If you don’t get personal than real folks can’t relate. I don’t want people listening to my music just because its “cool” (even tho that’s fine). I want them to also FEEL it through all 7 chakras of the mind, body and soul. If you sound the same you then you’re gonna be the same and nobody’s gonna remember you in 5 years unless they are looking at a jukebox. The bling era is finally coming to an end and I’m looking forward to the next chapter where everybody starts to WAKE UP. My destiny is to play a main role in helping said action with this little formula and cure I’ve been working on for a quite some time now. Good news is I finally got inspired enough to finish it and can’t wait for you guys to hear my new creation.
11. What track that you did would you say is your most introspective?
Hmmmm…deepest track. A lot of my songs are introspective but I would have to say that nothing comes close to “Roots in my Garden” on the new album. I dug deeper than ever for this one. “Everythings Gonna Be Alright”, would be a good candidate for past songs tho. (You can find it on my soundcloud page. I produced, recorded and wrote that whole track as well as “stand up” and several others on there.
12. So what projects have you released to date and when is the release for the next?
I’ve completed and locally released several albums and compilations throughout the years with many great talented people. I’ve just never OFFICIALLY released anything. It’s finally time for me to become who I was born to be and step up to the plate. I dropped my first solo “What’s Really Goin On?!” in 2005, “Constellation of Truth” in 2009 and then “Lyfe Linez” in 2012. Honestly life hasn’t allowed me to even try to do this until now and I’m thankful for that every day. Grinding all the time and paying bills keeps a lot of people from chasing their dreams and It’s been a long road till now with a lot of “Boobie Traps, Set Backs and Treasure Maps”, along the way. I’m releasing my current project I’ve been working on to keep it fresh with the way of the world at the moment. I’m speaking the language that gets through to people. It’s a tricky balance. I’m gonna release my older stuff exclusively down the line after I write my name in the sky. I have a vault full of history and unreleased tracks. I’ve just somehow always known that I would know when the time is right and it’s finally arrived. I always tell people I’ve been in a cave working on an amazing ice sculpture for the past 4 years and I’m finally putting on the final touches. It’s all coming together nicely now like it’s supposed to if it’s meant to. This treasure hunt is something everyone can participate in and be a part of together. Figuring out the clues will require human interaction and teams ruling out most of the digital dependant activities these days. Let’s be human again like PIRATES on a treasure hunt! Everybody is invited but only a handful will make it.
13. Your joint “Yes Man” was pretty vivid. It almost sounded personal. Were you venting on some real life issues or was this just made up? One of your most solid tracks we heard to date.
Thank you I appreciate that. Yea I was on the day to day grind pretty hard around that time in my life. I was prob herbally medicated on a mountain top somewhere and became enlightened before I wrote that one (laughs).”You gotta put the work in” I’m just trying to motivate everybody including myself to do their part because it you can’t sail a ship with one man but I guess I’ve been doing a pretty decent job so far to still be here. The beats really influence my writing a lot too and that one just bled the ink right out of the pen. I love it when that happens. Natural is the best.
It was good kicking it with you homie and we look forward to hearing more from you in the future. With that said the floor is yours. Give any shout outs or plugs and let our readers know where to find u on the web.
Bet it up homeboy. Thank you for allowing me to share for a min. No doubt. Peace to Mikey Prime and “Strange Brain Media” for believing in my project and vision. Peace to Tha Advocate for blessing me with that mixtape spot on #DD42 and linking up this interview with Mixtapekings. My throw bak fam still up there at Appalacian State University in Boone and WNC. ALL MY ASHEVILLIANS and MUSIC FAM you KNOW who you are! My peoples all across the map I’m gonna see yall soon out there on the road when we get this tour lined up. All my little homies, yall figure out your own way! The rewards will be that much better on the brighter side when you finally see it. Stand up for what you believe in. I hope everybody enjoys the new video for “Blood City” and if you haven’t listened to The DD42 Mixtape yet with my song featured on there and Hosted by Jeru Tha Damaja then go check it out right now! There’s so many dope Legends on that tape including Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Rass Kass, Joe Budden, Smiff n Wesson, NORE, Memphis Bleek, NAS, The big man who put it on himself Tha Advocate and so many more powerful & influential voices that have made hip hop what it is today. Thank you for that. Guess that’s a wrap tho. Thanks for having me again. ONE TRILLY, Bless UP, Salute and Respect! PEACE FAM. My website www.betterdaze4us.com will be up and running sometime next week but hit my facebook, youtube and twitter to stay tuned in for any future videos, events or updates on the “Boobie traps, Set backs & Treasure maps” album dropping in October. Go bump that DD42 and you can sample a sum of my past material on Soundcloud. Were just getting started but none of this happens without YOU. Peace!
youtube channel-Better Daze Official