“Some people make music to fulfill a commercial need; I prefer to make music that relates to normal people,” said 810 (pronounced eight-ten), Baltimore Rapper who’s now located in Dallas. “I am 25 years old and I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. My mother and father have been living there close to 30 years. They’re actually from Virginia, but I’m from Baltimore.”
“Even as a child I always had a love for music.” 810’s love of music originated with his family. His mother plays the piano, and he has many memories of singing songs as a family in his old home. “There was always a piano in my house. Music has always been at the forefront of everything that I wanted to do.” Even though music was such an integral part of his upbringing 810 had trouble getting friends and family to back him initially. They were worried when he chose to become a musician. “There is no security in this field especially in the beginning stages.” After the doubters saw his drive and ambition, they became some of his most dedicated supporters.
“I love the feeling that music gives you. I can’t even fight it. I can’t help but love all types of music [such as] Hip-Hop, R&B, Rock, [and] Jazz. I love the feeling that music gives you.” His diverse taste motivated him to learn the piano, which is a major part of his motivation. The music he loves is also an inspiration. He noted two prominent musicians as his favorites: Nas and Billy Joel.
“I’m a huge Nas fan,” he said. “Nas was the first rapper that I listened to that I was really impressed. I would not listen to anything but that for years.” 810 noted Nas’ heartfelt songs as his best and claimed that Nas is one of the greats. “Without him there’s a lotta artists that wouldn’t be here today.” Billy Joel has had an equally strong impact in his life. “He has made music that never loses its relevancy,” and, “the way he plays the piano is crazy.”
He said that his music is about himself and others like him. “A lot of my music speaks to the inner city in a poetic way as opposed to a vain and unsupportive way.” Although he is now living in Texas, 810 writes primarily from his life and times in Baltimore. He explained there is much pain and suffering there. That is what his music speaks to.
“When I started, in my mind I’m thinking superstar and millions of dollars. The actual mission is to make music that touches people. It doesn’t matter if I’m performing it or I write it and someone else performs it. I just want to make music that impacts people. That’s what I want to do now. If the money comes, then cool. I’m around people who can offer me mentorship when it comes to the business side of things.”
810 does film production for a production label called Never Satisfied. “Never Satisfied is an idea started by my mentor Radio Raheem.” He stated, “[It’s about] basically just promoting the idea of never being satisfied in what you do in life.” The crew is always pushing one another to strive for greatness. They refine one another and keep each other sharp. 810 has shot music videos, reality shows, and commercials with them. Soon he will be filming a movie with them.
Filming became one of his talents after he had difficulty finding people to film his videos in Baltimore. “I got sick of it to the point where I bought a camera. I just recorded stuff. People started talking about the videos I created. People started asking how much I charged for a video.” Nothing turned into a hobby that morphed into opportunity. “I just had a great group of people that spoke my name who told others about what I do. Shout out to Syranno. I went on tour with Los. I learned a lot from him.” 810 briefly recalled rapping for Los once. “He said I was talented but said ‘you ain’t goin’ see me with those bars tho,” he joked.
The name 810 is an acronym for his birthday which is August, 10. “It stuck after me constantly putting it out there to people. 810, that’s almost like an alter ego.” Since high school, people were amazed by his ability, flow, and wordplay. He has always been a mellow fellow, but when 810 performs an animal is unleashed. “I would just rap and people’s jaws would just drop. I get on stage and exude a lot of confidence and people are surprised and dumbfounded. It’s like they see the energy. People don’t even feel like I’m the same person when I get on stage.”
He has released a number of different projects. Supply and Demand was his first project. He did a collaboration called United Division with an artist named Black Sun. “The most notable project I’ve released is called Glass Half Full.” The majority of that project was producer by one of his good friends named Mydus. “A lot of people love that project. I hear about it a lot. Even after the amount of time that has passed since I put out there.” He has new project titled The Real World that he plans to release soon.
810 wanted to close with this statement:
“It’s a very very long life if you don’t [follow your dream]. You’ll have plenty of time to beat yourself for why you didn’t do it. With me personally, I’ve seen people start with nothing and then they never gave up and they become great. I’ve seen people start from nothing and really maximize their potential. If you want it, you can make it happen. A lot of people honestly don’t think that they can. People around you may not think that you can and that can be fatal to people who want to get out in the world and do things.”
Photo credit: Dreamer Loop