Hip Hop music has never lacked for flash-in-the-pan artists. ‘Tweens rap about beef on the playground; MCs score a novelty hit by wishing they were a little bit taller or announcing the arrival of the hotstepper (mur-der-rah!). There’s even a CD titled “Be A Man” by Macho Man Randy Savage. (No. Seriously.) Every now and then, though, the genre is blessed with a rapper who truly respects the craft, who makes it a point to write lyrics of substance, and only then put them over a well-crafted beat. Such is Sozay.
Currently the only rap artist on Billboard‘s Top Ten Uncharted Acts list (which factors in stream plays, page views, and all other kinds of interweb-related things that GrammyPlot doesn’t know about), Sozay earned himself a slot on House of Pain‘s current “He Who Breaks The Law” tour thanks to the strength of his debut EP, Who is Sozay?, which was released in late 2010. When asked about the album’s title, the L.A.-based artist said “When a question is asked, I think it’s human nature to want to answer it.” It’s also human nature to recognize and gravitate towards natural talent, which explains the surge in Sozay’s awareness. He’s in heavy rotation on West Coast hip hop radio stations, and awareness of his presence is spreading at an exponential rate, thanks to the massive crowds he’s currently playing to.
When the “He Who Breaks the Law” tour rolled through NYC, Sozay talked backstage about the history of hip hop, the harsh realities of being on tour (not being with his 3 children, though he plans on bringing them with him when he tours this summer), and why playing in NYC meant so much to him. Also, find out what inanimate object his tour manager woke up in bed with.