Today I had the distinct pleasure of talking with hip hop artist P.O.E.T., a Baltimore emcee that is out to prove that lyricism and stage presence can go hand in hand in today’s image-first industry. The eighteen minute phone conversation covered various topics such as his musical background, his hip hop influences, and upcoming project. If you haven’t heard about this dynamic artist, this will be your introduction into the world of P.O.E.T.
WISDOM: What does P.O.E.T. stand for?
P.O.E.T.: It’s an acronym that stands for “Persevere Over Everything” It was given to me by a friend. I used to go by KG The Don, but with everything that I’ve had to persevere, it is a fitting name.
WISDOM: When did you get into the music industry?
P.O.E.T.: I started making music in 2004. I was actually managing two artists at first, but decided that I wanted to get in front of the mic instead of behind the scenes. I first recorded in ‘06.
WISDOM: Where you in a group or individual when you started out?
P.O.E.T.: I was running a label at first, and then the others fell off. It was called Infamous Entertainment back in 2004 when I first started. I was managing a singer (Sierra Shannon) and rapper (J.O. Spade). J.O. Spade put out a mixtape that sold like, maybe, five hundred copies.
WISDOM: Ok, name some of your musical influences.
P.O.E.T.: Jay-Z, notably. He is one of the greatest lyricists to ever do it. You can also include Kanye and Joe Budden on my list of influences.
WISDOM: Are you more of a fan of lyrics or stage persona?
P.O.E.T.: I’m definitely a fan of lyricism. Witty punchlines and metaphors.
WISDOM: Tell me about your upcoming project.
P.O.E.T.: I am wrapping up work on my solo release called “Heartless”. It’s a story-driven album. I consider it a concept CD: being in love, heartbreak, and the aftermath. It’s about relationships and shows the transformation of a person. I am wrapping final production this week, and I am looking at August 10th as the release date.
WISDOM: Are you considering this to be an EP or a full-length release?
P.O.E.T.: I’m considering this an album; with 11 tracks I see this as a full-fledged project.
WISDOM: Who are the producers featured on the album?
P.O.E.T.: Best Kept Secret is number one on the list. They are best known for working with Wale on his debut album Attention Deficit, producing about half of the album. They produced two songs on my album: “In The Air” and “Feeling Me Now”. I also had a producer named Lex produce “The Fame”, song three on the album. Delaware producer Bobby Nice produced two songs as well.
WISDOM: Who else appears on the album with you?
P.O.E.T.: No other rappers are on the album. I have a female singer that contributed background vocals on my song “Fade To Black” and the vocal hook on the title track “Heartless”. Her name is Allysha Robinson.
WISDOM: What would you say the high point of your musical career is thus far?
P.O.E.T.: Well, working with sound engineer John Wilhelm has been a high point. He has been giving me the sound I need for this project. He’s been pretty instrumental in putting this music out.
WISDOM: Great! Do you have any upcoming shows?
P.O.E.T.: I am scheduled to perform in Richmond, Virginia at the end of June. I hope to make that show, but I have other obligations also related to promoting this album and project. I have something that is going to be great in the works at the end of August or beginning of September, but I’ll keep that under wraps for now.
WISDOM: What parting words do you have for those reading this interview?
P.O.E.T.: The CD is gonna be one of the best things to come out of Baltimore in a good while. It’s really gonna pop. I hope everybody enjoys what I bring to the table with “Heartless”. Stay tuned for more.
WISDOM: It’s been a pleasure speaking with you about this album, and we will set up another interview just before releasing this project. I’m pretty sure there’s gonna be a very good response to it. Peace!