Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Local Artist Sums It Up...

Add- 2 – “Luxury”

By: Matt Kuhnen

For: The RedEye - Chi-Tunes

Next Show: 3/3/10 @ Subterranean / $7 (FREE before 10PM) / Show @ 10PM

Website: www.myspace.com/add2

Andre Daniels, A.K.A. Add-2, is a true Southside Chicago hip-hop artist that is literally trying to “add” something to the rap game.

“My stage name comes from a phrase my father would say to encourage us when we were kids” said Daniels. “He always told us to never take anything away from what you do…always add to it. For me it was a symbol of progress and to keep pushing myself and building my career as an artist-- never compromising my art, but always improving it”

Add-2 has already been compared to Kanye West, Twista and Common, but not just because they share the same area code. Add-2’s lyrical delivery is as flawless as his predecessors, and with a top single on MTVU’s video countdown and a SXSW gig coming later this month, his national fan base is rapidly growing.

The RedEye caught up with Add -2 to talk about his latest mix tape, his live show, and his obsession with a certain cartoon family.

How do you describe your sound?

I would consider it “True School” Hip-Hop. Its new school hip-hop, but at the same time it’s rooted in the true foundations of 90’s hip-hop – it’s conceptual and intellectual, but it’s also party music.

Tell me about your latest mix tape.

It’s my third release and it’s called Tale of Two's City Vol.3: The Rise & Fall and it’s presented by Okayplayer & 2Dopeboyz. At the time I wrote it, I was focusing on my everyday life and what I was experiencing. There were some dark times in my life at that point and that’s why I called it The Rise and Fall. Despite the fact that I was getting further in my music career, emotionally, I was going through hell. Everyone has ups and downs in life and you just have to deal with it. No one can stay up forever.

What was the idea behind your video for your single “Luxury”?

The song itself is basically about talking to a girl who is used to the finer things in life, but you aren’t able to give her those things. The concept of the video has me playing the “everyday man” cutting her grass and seeking her attention, but later on she sees me for who I really am. Everyone’s video is up in the club throwing money around with the nice cars and the jewelry, but nobody has that in the beginning-- we really wanted to keep it real.

What has being a part of MTVU’s “The Freshman” done for your career?

It’s definitely a good place to show case new artists and rising talent. With the way the music business is today there aren’t a lot of opportunities for an artist to emerge, but I was picked as the only Hip-Hop artist and based on viewer votes my video for “Luxury” came in at number one on the countdown and its still in their current rotation. I believe it has already taken my career to a whole new level and I’m very grateful to MTVU for giving us the opportunity.

What are most people surprised to learn about you?

Most people are surprised at how down to earth I am. I’m not an egotistical rapper at all, and I try to keep myself as available as possible to all my fans. I try to let my fans know I’m not above them—I’m just an everyday person like they are.

What makes your live show great?

Performing my best whether the crowd is five people or five thousand people is what makes my show great. I’m not just rapping at the audience—if I see someone really getting into it I will pull them on stage. When the crowd leaves I want them to say “Wow…THAT was a show!”

Tell me something totally random about yourself.

One random fact about me is I watch The Simpsons every night! I have seasons 1-9 on DVD and I will literally fall asleep every night watching an episode. I’m working on throwing some Simpsons references into a song.

What’s next for Add-2?

March 20th I will be doing a performance at SXSW down in Austin, TX which is a big platform for emerging artists. There have been some deals on the table, but nothing that I think is going to change my life. Right now I just want to maintain the work ethic that I have and maybe shoot some more videos, but definitely I want to keep creating music from the heart.

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