Published February 27, 2016
You have to love the true beauty of social media. I've come across many artists and creative souls via Twitter, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and other platforms; these are individuals I may not encounter if not for the reach of technology. One dynamic individual who I've come across is a Little Rock, Arkansas emcee that goes by the name Cadeem (@Cadeem_1606). The first word that comes to mind when referring to Cadeem is humble. Be it his upbringing or his Southern upbringing, you get the sense that Cadeem has a soul and spirit maybe a decade or more ahead of his calendar age. I had the pleasure and distinct honor of interviewing this conscious, intelligent, socially aware who has a very bright future in Hip Hop and beyond.
We coordinated our interview as a very conversational, free-flowing affair. Since there is about 850 miles separating us, of course the interview would be phone-based. With me traveling to Durham for an event, I opted to travel to Duke University to conduct our interview. Looking for a relatively quiet area inside the Bryan Center, I was able to have a very dope conversation with Cadeem, touching on everything from his influences, the Little Rock Hip Hop scene, relationship status to what the future holds for this budding lyricist. With the blessings of Cadeem, I give you this slice of journalism, because Little Rock indeed has something to say.
WISDOM SEEKER: What sparked your love of Hip Hop?
CADEEM: I can safely say listening to samples. I was originally a jazz head. You could hear those elements and put them in Hip Hop. It just blew my mind when I heard a sax and it didn't sound corny. I mean, this is jazz, but he is rapping to it. You could just hear the jazz influences in the music I was listening to at the time. Music in general, to be truthful, sparked that love. My family is musically inclined, that's for sure.
WISDOM SEEKER: Name five artists that have influenced you.
CADEEM: Elzhi. Nas. This will throw you for a loop, but Ab-Soul. Dope artist. Oh my goodness, let's say Joe Budden. I'm from the South man. (laughter) He ain't done nothin' since "Pump It Up". This is difficult man. Who is gonna get this last spot?
WISDOM SEEKER: We're going to come back to that one. Name three producers who inspire you.
CADEEM: Dilla of course. Let me see who else can get this spot. 9th. Knxwledge. Do you know who Knxwledge is?
WISDOM SEEKER: Definitely! He's a dope producer based in Cali on Stones Throw.
CADEEM: I heard him on "Killuminati" (featuring Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ). This is some coffee table, smooth...took the beat to a whole 'nother level. It's so many niggas that got that heat man. But just wait 'til you hear what I have cookin'.
WISDOM SEEKER: That leads me to my next question. What are you working on right now?
CADEEM: I don't want to give out the title of my new project yet. (laughter) My first tape came out on December 5th, when Mandela died. That first project I was a rapper. Straight rhymes, no chaser. I was a straight rapper. Metaphors. Deep lines. Intricate flows. My next project I was a musician, similar to a Quincy. I would love to work with him before he passes away. There were certain songs that didn't make the project, but I was happy with the result. Now this third project, I'm an instrument. I'm taking plenty people on a ride with me on this one. Over the years people that have been with me will see the growth. That will be the difference with this one. I won't be in the studio again until January. [Editor's Note: This interview took place November 2015] I will do as much as I can once I get back in the studio. I'm just telling the blogs to wait while I make more music to hear. I'm not sure when I will drop the new one, 2016, maybe 2017. When the time is right you will hear it.
"Roll it over light it up I'm never beginning wrong, is my environment worth the world that it's spinning on. Good luck with that chain of thought knowing that you won't need 'em, prisoner of the mind and a slave to your own freedom."
WISDOM SEEKER: Who are you working with?
CADEEM: There is this great instrumentalist from Detroit, Prentice Jackson. I also have a good friend Bryan Cole that I work with as well. Funny story...I stole one of Prentice's beats for my first beat! (laughter) I was in the studio and he heard it and noticed it was his. If it was just that easy with someone else! Jordo, out of Connecticut, a few of his beats ignited this project. The new project was supposed to originally be an EP. Looks like it will be a full-fledged release now. Now I've said it before on Twitter, but I grew up under Dilla. I am a child of Dilla. I planned to do a song on each project with a J Dilla beat. I wanted to do a whole project with nothing but Dilla beats.
WISDOM SEEKER: Now are there any other creative talents?
CADEEM: Truthfully, no. Like Professor X when he was younger. I focused so much on writing that my other talents kinda dwindled.
WISDOM SEEKER: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
CADEEM: In five years I will be 29. I think I will be opening for a serious legend, or someone opening for me. Opening for Rakim! Looking back at my music, I have a lot of friends that are fraternities and sororities. Hip Hop became my fraternity. Cats my age are trying to break out truthfully. You have a Rakim, you have a KRS-ONE. Can I speak on this?
WISDOM SEEKER: Of course.
CADEEM: I did a tribute to Black Moon. What's that beat? "How Many MC's...", that's it. As soon as I laid my Buckshot verse my engineer asked me if I wanted to lay it. For some reason I said no. Twitter, man. Now Buckshot is following me on Twitter! Me! That's an honor and blessing. Not even sure if he knows that yet. (laughter) Then I got turned on to Sean Price. I found out Sean Price passed away while I was in Chicago. Total shock. He was such a lyrical beast, man. Really sad day in Hip Hop, really sad.
WISDOM SEEKER: It caught me off guard completely. I was a huge fan of Sean P. Met him at a show in B-more a few years ago with Boot Camp Clik. I still can't believe that he is gone.
CADEEM: Same here.
WISDOM SEEKER: Since you talked about Chicago, where have you performed?
CADEEM: Little Rock of course. Dallas and Chicago. I'm living a double life. They both showed me much love. I'm looking to move to Dallas.
WISDOM SEEKER: Why are you relocating?
CADEEM: I want to get my music out there to the people. My girl lives there too, need I say more? (laughter) I have family members in Dallas. Now do you remember in 8 Mile how no one took B Rabbit serious until the end of the movie? (laughter) That's how I feel sometimes. I told my auntie about me releasing music on June 5th. While I was watching Inglorious Bastards, at 12:05AM she hit me up saying "it's June 5th". It's good to have some support from family, I can't even lie.
WISDOM SEEKER: When someone brings up Little Rock, the first thing that usually comes up is the HBO Documentary Gang War: Bangin' In Little Rock. Describe the Hip Hop scene in Little Rock.
CADEEM: The scene is ok, it's what you really make it. You have your gangsta rappers, of course. You have your trap rappers. There are a few of us that bring that lyrical side to Little Rock. I pride myself on my pen and being a lyricist, first and foremost.
WISDOM SEEKER: I wanted to let you know that you are a very dope lyricist and wise beyond your years.
CADEEM: It's real humbling to hear that. I appreciate it.
WISDOM SEEKER: No doubt. Now would you consider yourself a producer or more the ear when in the studio?
CADEEM: It's the latter, but I want it to be the former. I can hear guitar riffs really well. Now my girl, on the other hand, she's a producer. She is definitely musically inclined. I will keep her to myself, at least for now. (laughter) I know that sounds selfish, but it's good to have someone in my life that has that direction. I'm trying to be the first one to blow up. In college I was just "the boyfriend". I was Stedman to her Oprah. I can't wait to go to her hometown and blow up. (laughter) She's been in Dallas all her life. Call me petty. (laughter)
WISDOM SEEKER: Tell everyone where they can find your music.
CADEEM: Of course you can find me on Twitter @Cadeem_1606. My Soundcloud link is https://soundcloud.com/clark-cadeem. On Facebook you can hit me at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cadeem/183248918400542. My Reverbnation link is https://www.reverbnation.com/cademptious. I will change my Instagram this year (2016) and I will also add Snapchat soon. My Hand Of God EP with M.O.B. Trey came out in October. You can find it on Bandcamp at https://mobtrey.bandcamp.com/album/hand-of-god. We grew in this together. Yin and yang. It's five dollars to get it on Bandcamp. It's well worth the purchase!
WISDOM SEEKER: What do you want to tell all the readers?
CADEEM: I want to thank you for this interview. It's a humbling experience to have someone want to reach out and inquire about my music and background. I want to make sure that everyone is able to listen to the music, feel the music, like I feel the music. Thanks to everyone out there! Peace!
Directed/Produced by: Archie Howard III