INTERVIEW BY: WISDOM
The original plan was to meet up and coming NC lyricist Drique London at Triangle Town Center to chop it up at my favorite spot Barnes & Noble. That didn't quite come to fruition, so Plan B went into effect. Drique London so graciously spoke with me via phone for a good 30 minutes. Very cool character. Humble. Intelligent. These are qualities that are sometimes lacking in the swagged-out atmosphere of Hip Hop in the 21st Century. I've been around enough entities within this unforgiving bloodsport to know when someone is the genuine article, and when someone is perpetrating a fraud. Drique London is indeed the genuine article.
|Photo acknowledgement: katrinlaskowski.net|
Talking with Drique London, it becomes apparent that he has multiple influences infused into his overall style. "I was born in Selma, and moved to Queens at an early age. I think that dual experience molded me into the artist that I've become." You can hear both the Southern hospitality and direct Yankee musings during our conversation. Being an up and coming artist in a swag-driven industry can be a difficult proposition, but he takes it all in stride. "My mom really inspired me to do this, man. I used to record little tapes when I was about 11, then around 16 I recorded my own project. I went to Millbrook High School in Raleigh, had my own label in high school, World Face Entertainment. It was cool, just being a kid in school, making music on my own terms." Touching on his place in the North Carolina Hip Hop scene, Drique London made it quite clear that he has quite a ways to go, but he wants to leave his mark on the industry as a whole. "Cats like 9th Wonder, Little Brother, they paved the way for me to do what I am trying to do today. It's an honor to even be mentioned when their names are spoken. I'm here just to do my part and advance this culture, in my own way bro."
|Photo by Kali Rogers|
Taking a look at the NC scene, there are quite a few like-minded artists that are walking that same path that Drique London is embarking on in 2013 and beyond. Dope talent such as King Mez, Rapsody, Charlie Smarts and others have proven that there can be a flair of intelligence within the Southern realm of this Hip Hop culture. "I've known King Mez a long time", says Drique, who was able to record the dope joint "The Cypher" with Mez and fellow Carolina representative and Kooley High member Tab-One. "For 'The Cypher' I reached out to Mez, Mez put his verse down, then I reached out to Tab-One to add that finishing touch to the song". Looking at the video for "The Cypher", you can almost feel that synergy that these three distinct, yet like-minded, artists shared. Filmed in Raleigh by Kent Willard for Depth Of South Productions, it showed the solidarity and potential that NC has when it comes to Hip Hop music as a whole. "It was produced by Majestic, who I've been down with for a good while."
|Photo excerpt from Kent Willard on set for "The Cypher"|
2013 has indeed been a busy year for Drique London. He has been putting the finishing touches on A Hard Nights Day, which will most definitely bring more exposure in NC and beyond for his Dreams Of Children Music Group imprint (DOCMG), which includes London, Majestic, U'nique Music and Donovan McCray. I asked the NC lyricist about where he sees his perpetual grind taking him, and his response was a resounding "everywhere". "Keep working, thinking of ways to expand my craft. I would love to be on 106 & Park spittin' in The Backroom. But you know what...if I don't ever touch a Grammy, I'll still be content with who I am as an artist and person". He indeed has other aspirations, be it fashion, sneakers, running a Hip-Hop site, in essence just branching out to fulfill his ultimate creative purpose. Make no mistake about it though, the music is taking precedent for this year and for years to come.
"The Finale" is a recent offering from Drique London, but it is definitely not a final listening from this very talented, humble and grounded individual. Even though we talked music and his career for a brief time, I feel that I have known him for a good while. He is wise beyond his years, and dope beyond the average emcee spittin' nonsense. Follow him on Twitter @DriqueLondon to catch a glimpse of what makes Drique London poised to make noise for a long time to come. You can also go to his blog for further information and discography: http://driquelondon.blogspot.com/.
Special thanks to Drique London for allowing me the opportunity to document this place and space for others to notice the talent that he is. This interview has been a long time coming, since our original discussion took place months ago. I hope and pray that this does a little justice for the artist that he is, and will become over the years.
Peace and blessings!