We interviewed local hip hop artist Tio Mugre about his project in the works, his writing style, and what he thinks about Rochester’s music scene.
How did you get into rapping?
I’ve been rapping on and off for four or five years. Basically I can’t sing but I had things to say so I started to rap about what I have to say. Before I got into it I listened to a lot of punk and hardcore.
Working on new stuff now?
I am still working on my first release, it has been a working process I am hoping to have about twelve songs on the first album, I have about seven now. I just do it for fun and for people to listen, not really for fame or to put out a ton.
What are your influences?
B.o.B., Machine Gun Kelly, Deuce from Hollywood Undead, other than that I listen to my friends locally,Tugboat, Ambition, Black Sinatra, M Dot Coop. When I was younger I was raised on N.W.A and LL Cool J, those were the big ones when I was a kid.
What do you like to write about?
Life. Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll. Shit I know about. I am not going to write about bullshit I don’t know about. I write about having fun and being with friends.
Where do you get your beats?
I use industry beats mostly and beats from my cousin Ambition who has been producing beats and helping me record since day one.
What do you think of the local music community here?
As far as the scene as a whole or the hip hop scene?
As far as the scene as a whole goes its very close knit in certain circles and there is a lot of amazing bands in this city that are on the verge of blowing up. for example Boulders, those cats kill it, Before The Foundation, The Weight We Carry, The Results, Keaton, Envious Disguise. All of those guys are super good and doing there thing.
As far as the hip hop scene, its hard to get a show. Venues don’t really want to book hip hop shows. Its either the Armory or Water Street, the little places don’t want to deal with the drama that comes along with it.
Freestyle vs written word?
Me personally, I can’t freestyle worth a shit, I have to write. everything I put out is written. Everyone says I have to learn to freestyle to get better. Personally I just get really high and lock myself in a room with a beat and don’t come out until the song is written. Usually I walk into the studio without anything written and do it all while I listen to the beat.
So when you write do you start with the beat?
I’ll have a basic idea in my head and then I will go through there when i hear the beat.
Do you notice the topics in your music changing from when you first started working on this project until now?
Yea, the stuff I have been writing over the last year has been a little angrier, a little darker. I was in a dark place in my head so it came out on paper.
Do you play out much?
I played at dubland once and I got stage fright and just ended up getting extremely drunk so it was a giant shit show. I am trying to get more shows but its hard in Rochester for a hip hop artist to get shows. the gene has a bad rap in this city.