What’s the official name you go by?
Billy GRAM. My patna Jay Adams from Detroit we basically came up with the name. I took it from the preacher Billy Graham and also a wrestler named Billy Graham. And modified the spelling to fit me.
Where are you from?
Fairfield, Ca, USA.. Yee!
How long have you been rapping?
Since like 14,15 years old. Even before then really, but I didn’t always take it serious.
How did you get started?
I used to write short little raps and poems in about the 5th or 6th grade. It wasn’t until maybe 15 I got into writing actual songs. I dont know man, I figured I wanted to be involved in music in someway, one way or another, and it just so happens I write dope raps.
What kind of music would you say you make?
Sometimes I dont know how to describe it myself. It’s dope music. SOAP music. Swag on auto pilot. I make ill shit. I try to make something people can connect to, whatever it is. We all human so we feel hella emotions a day. And luckily music helps us express and tap into emotions. I jus wanna tap into a couple.
What inspires gram to make good music?
Good weed. Good weed and good music. I like listening to real dope songs or some dope beats while I’m smoking and writing whatever comes to mind; about everything I see. I pull from everything: my personal life, sports, the streets, everything I ever had and everything I ever wanted. I just try to be as imaginative as possible.
What stamp would you say you would like to leave on the world?
I just want to be somebody that has earned the respect of my family and my peers. I don’t want to get comfortable with thinking about what the world thinks of me. Because the world thinks some pretty terrible things about great people. I just want to be successful in my own right. Thats enough for me.
Do u think there is a difference between an artist and a rapper?
I mean… What do people mean when they say that? If I’m expressing my artistry through rapping…am I not an artist? Is rapping not an art form? I get it. Its the old adage of like the difference of hip hop versus rap or artist versus rap. In a nutshell, nah I don’t really see a difference.
What separates you from all the other up and coming artist?
I dont sound like nobody, I mean nobody. Like listen to my music and listen to another up-and-coming artist thats out of the bay area where where I’m from. Gram sound left field. But the good thing about that is I can rap my ass off. And thats not to be cocky or arrogant or whatever. I just know at the end of the day. I can rap. Thats not always everyones goal. Im a dope rapper, thats enough for me to feel like i separate myself. Plus the guys that I work with.. Production wise from Blaze Trackz, BrianTronic or Infinite Trax, whoever.. they’ve all got great minds as well.
What do you feel that you have to offer the industry?
Concepts. Everything I’ve ever done has kind of had a running theme. I spent a lot of time paying attention to the small details, probably too much time. I cant be the next guy, my shit cant sound like your shit. I gotta be original. Eminem my favorite rapper. I don’t rap like dude. But I feel like I got some fresh shit and i got a good team that help me get a lot of shit done. So not just “I”, but “we” work hard man.
Tell the world something they would know about gram?
I’m dope. Uncut. Raw. Grade A. Dope. If you don’t know that by now.. Soon you’ll understand.
What would you say is the state of hip hop right now?
I think hip hop is in a good place right now. For a while, I guess a couple years or so a lot of people were kind of down on it. Or at least we were down. You know how, say, maybe you work a 9 to 5 and they always talk about keeping up the morale of the workplace. It’s like the morale of hip hop was down, feel me? Now it’s like, in my opinion we hitting a turning point. There’s more walls being broken down again as far as regions being open to work with each other. Especially in the Bay and LA, it’s ill. It seems like we more open to supporting each other and getting money. It’s some bad parts, or negatives, or whatever but I feel like for the most part niggas is more concerned with pushing forward. Thats what I’m concerned with anyway.
Any up coming projects?
The Hulkamaniac EP is what I’m pushing. We kickstarted it earlier this year with NWO to kind of test the waters and I think its pretty much ready to go now. I’ve revisited it countless times, retooled it, remixed it, everything. Now its time to release it. I hope people like it, it’s dope music. Its aggressive content.
What inspired the newest album?
Anybody that know me knows I love hip hop and I love wrestling. So I’m giving them that and being me. Just deciding to strip away all the bullshit and be me. I feel like with this project, The Hulkamaniac, people that may have heard of me from BARS or whatever get a whole new experience of who I am. And those who are just getting introduced to Billy GRAM from square one. So I’ve got every song 11, 12 songs named after specific wrestlers or events. Concepts though, like I worked hard on making something I feel is dope and aggressive and fly at the same time. It’s kind of like an introduction of sorts. I’m building the foundation. Some people might listen to this project and feel like it doesn’t reflect the sounds of some or most of the artists I surround myself with. And thats ok. Because while I’m doing this, I don’t want to lose that hunger. So this project is for me, I did this one for me. The next one and from there on out.. It’s for the people.
What in your CD player right now?
Honestly? Michael Jackson “Bad” is in my deck right now. That shit, my shit and Kendrick, and Street Knowledge’s new tape.
What do you think it take to makes a classic?
I think a classic kinda happens on accident. I think everything has to be organic and fresh. Time has to be on your side. And you got to be in a space to make good quality music. Nowadays I think some people get caught up trying to make and mimic classics instead of delivering a strong product. Im not looking to create classics. Im just looking to create great music and the people, can decide how they feel about it.
Who would you say had the hottest classic album in history?
Thats hard, for me.. My personal favorites I fuck wit 2pac’s 7 Day Theory.. I think thats a really good powerful album.. I like Eminem’s second joint.. Marshall Mathers LP. I’d have to say The Blueprint for me, personally. I think from start to finish Jay-Z made a dope album. From number one to the bonus cuts I can listen to that album a million times and never skip a song.
If you can come face to face with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why?
I probably gotta say Eminem. I wanna cypher wit dude. I probably couldn’t hang on his worst day and my best.. But to rap with Eminem, a guy who I consider to be one of the best at putting words together and rhyming within rhymes and all that shit. Em. I’d love to smoke with Snoop though. That would be some ill shit. Snoop could come to The Roundtable or we could bring The roundtable to Uncle Snoop its all good.
You have any up coming shows?
Right now we just working on the music, the music, music, music. I’m building a catalog and just growing and expanding you know different styles of music a bunch of different concepts. I’ll hop back on stage once the record drops and we start getting the reaction. Im always out now though, trying to angle my way in different situations and circles.
Where can your fans hear your music?
Billy Gram on Youtube. Reverbnation. I’ve got a new website coming soon. Putting some things together as far as gaining the rights to a specific domain. But for now youtube, my twitter @BillyGRAM and so on…
Any shout outs?
Just my fam and my team. What up. Stay solid, ten toes.