It has become the cliche to say “I Rap” among today’s Hip Hop youth. In my opinion, this was best explained by The Notorious B.I.G. when he said: “Either you slang crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot.” In those lyrics, he was breaking down the limited opportunities to make it out of “the hood.” However, back in those days, microphones and studio time were not easy to come by, which meant it was probably simpler to play sports or sell crack than to make it out by being an MC.
Nowadays, with technology advancing by the millisecond, it has become relatively easy to become a force in the music industry. In my line of work, I have interviewed dozens upon dozens of aspiring rappers and singers. In this vast sea of wannabes, there are a few chosen ones that understand what it means to be a storyteller. I came across one. His name alone lets you know that he is in tune with the old saying…”What’s in a name? They’re not all the same!” His name is Trek Manifest. I interpreted his name as a journey one works diligently to bring about or what one has brought about. Either way, when you listen to his rhymes, you know that this young man is on a mission to be heard.
He’s from The Magna Media Group out of Columbus Ohio….Ladies & Gents…here is Trek Manifest.
OTT: What have you been up to?
TM: Chillin man, literally. LOL, It’s cold again 16 degrees bruh. Sheesh! No, but seriously, I have a single out right now called Drummer Some off of my project entitled Trek For Short. The video is crazy which all of your followers can go to Youtube and check it out. I’m a drummer myself. I’ve been playing a real long time, so I felt it only right that I showcase an instrument that I’m very fond of.
OTT: I notice you don’t market yourself like other aspiring artists. Your marketing seems very patient and calculating. Why so?
TM: Music has become a fickle market. You’ve got so much of it coming at you from every angle. My marketing is more personal and transparent. I don’t do this for the fee of “Likes” I don’t want to deal with the machine if I don’t have to. I prefer a more grassroots following because over time those fans will be more loyal than whatever hot song is out. While any artist wants to be successful, I’m not out here chasing hits. I honor my craft. And a big shout out to my group Magna that gives me that creative freedom.
OTT: Great segue way! What is March Magna?
TM: Our group was on our grind really hard for fall and winter of 2016, so when we had a collective meeting about release dates, we realized we all wanted to release our projects in March 2017. AU’s album was to be released Mar 3; my project was March 24th, Larue & Wordz projects were to be released in March as well so we all decided to floodgate this month to our fans, pushing nothing but Magna projects. It’s for the people that love our music whether you’re a Day One or Day 20. It’s an appreciation month for those that support Magna. By the way, the play on words was my idea by the way…put that in there. LOL!
OTT: I’ve watched a number of the Magna artist grow throughout the years. There are sellout numbers at your shows. People really do purchase the music, and you get great media coverage. Is it an insult or a compliment that people are shocked that your music is that good, and you all have that great of a following?
TM: It’s Both! As an artist, it takes a great amount of work and sacrifice to not only be true to yourself but to also connect with the people. So as an artist bringing the content we have to the table, some people don’t realize the sleepless nights, the time away from our families, and the money we can’t readily spend for the sake of putting out quality work. So when you have people that come with a bunch of pointless criticism, it’s liable to get you ignored or worse, get you hurt because we take our music very serious. But for the people that are new to the Magna experience, we welcome open and honest feedback and hope that we can compel you to follow and purchase our music.
But the thing we focus on is the people that do rock with us. The reason is that their passion of support comes from an honest place and in time, they turn other people on to our music.
OTT: I hear that you teach for a living. Do you hold yourself accountable for the content you put out?
TM: Maaaan! I used to be very conscious about that, but there is freedom in transparency. I teach special needs children, but I work with all children. I don’t think true art can come from restraint. I look at typical kids, and they can get on my nerves worse than the kids I deal with. You almost have to come at them a certain way because they don’t understand nor do they respect a passive approach. But at the end of the day, they can see care and compassion behind those words you speak. I look at music the same way. I could talk to Sup (Super Natra), and a lot of words can come flying out my mouth that people wouldn’t believe. That’s who I am. But when I talk to a parent about their child, that’s also who I am. I will not let you, or anyone else put me in a box. I’m just Trek man.
…..and let me say this. I used to be the type to get at you real quick about my views and where I stood. Being married and having children of my own, life has helped me to see things differently, and now I have confidence in who I am without saying a word.
I’m sorry I keep going man, but let me address people that want to criticize today’s music, whether it’s trap, trendy or the music we put out. “If you don’t like it. TURN IT OFF!” There was a time for Flash n nem; we honor that. There was a time for N.W.A., and they were majorly criticized, but now they are in the Rock N Roll Hall of fame. This is OUR music, and it speaks to US! You don’t like the music; I get it. Next question is what are you going to do about it? I am for balance, but I’m also for the music.
Ok, I’m done. LOL!
OTT: Well, we here at Straight Official love your image and the message you are putting out. Lastly, what is the name of your project and when is it going to be released?
TM: Ok Ok my latest project is called Spring Seventeen to be released March 24th. It will be available on all streaming sights iTunes etc. Please go pick up my previous project on all streaming sites as well Trek For Short where you can pick up the banging single that’s out now “Drummer Some” you won’t be disappointed. Thanks for having me today fam, I appreciate you!
Youtube: Drummer Some