ARay was recently selected by www.industryallaccess.com as Austin, Tx's Spotlight Uprising Star..
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ARAY: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.. Aray is a war god worshipped by the pre-Christian Armenians. He is probably derived from the Greek god Ares. Some traditions suggest that he was also a dying-and-rising god. BUT... Adam "A-Ray" Raymond was born in South Dakota on April 18th, 84 (2 Days Premature). Adam first started writing raps and poetry in 98 during a rough adolescent stretch which had landed him in a juvenile treatment facility. At the time Adam went by the rap name of Powder. Powder released a 4 song Demo, "Just The Beginning" in late 01, under the rap name "Powder". He used that Demo to shop Mgmt and Booking, and ended up signing with Bliss Artist Mgmt out of MD and Fresh Flava Ent out of DC. From there he released a self produced 9 track album, "Verballistic Arsonist" in 03. In 04 Adam hopped a plane for Oakland International Airport to meet Francisco "Versatyle" Ruiz, the beatmaster/ceo of "Way2Vicious Productions". Powder and Versatyle professionally recorded a 10 track album, "Reality". He was beginning to make an impact in his region, and in the East, but in 05 Adam had to step back from rap to take care of some legal troubles that had been chasing him since 02. Adam moved to Austin, Tx in Dec 08 and fell in love immediately upon arrival to the ATX. And it didn't take long after getting to the 512 for Adam to realize that there was no avoiding it or delaying it any longer. Music pulsates thru his body, and it was time to plot a return to the Music Game. One problem tho. Alot had changed in 4 years and he didn't feel like Powder fit him anymore. MEET "A-RAY". Now Black Lighter has released the "SPS" mixtape, the "A-Ray & Travis-T Mixtape" and both ARay and Travis-T are in the process of working on solo projects... ARay's (Due out on ARay's 27th Birthday 04/18/11 is entitled "Greatest Misses... The Unknown Hitz"). Catch more info from both pages!
Texas underground super soldiers
[Long Road Industries in association with 307 Underground took things to the next level with this interview. We recently got in touch with “ARAY” of Black Lighter Entertainment, and asked him the some questions; as Hip-Hop in the 307 is on a fast increasing rise. Although he’s reppin’ music coming out of Austin, TX, he’s found himself planted here in the DUB!! (WY) Let’s do this…]
[LRI- “How did you come up with “Black Lighter Entertainment?”]
Black Lighter Entertainment (BLEnt) is a promotional label/company/crew that I started with a little help from Travis-T. I was producing and promoting and needed a name for it all to fall under, hence BLE! Travis-T drew up the logo, we found a small investor (shout outs Big Mike) and the rest is history. Now to the funny story behind the "Black Lighter" aspect of it is back in 2009 I was producing a demo for "Seven Pointed Sin", a rap duo out of Austin, and we were taking a break in the studio and were out on my porch... We were talking about what I should call my company and we all had BLACK lighters... We joked about the BLACK LIGHTER POSSE and it really just stuck from there....
[LRI- “For your age you’ve have quite a resume. A decade since your first release, what are you looking to bring to Hip-Hop?”]
Well REALITY I guess.. I'm looking to share me and my life with some people and maybe someone can learn from my mistakes... Maybe not.. Who knows, but I know this much: My music is about my life and whats goin on in my head. Its real and I plan to bring back to hiphop lyrics with more density than cars, clothes and hoes...
[LRI-“Is “ARAY” planning an anniversary album, maybe callin’ it “Re-Beginning??”]
Not really. lol.. I just feel like I was at such a different mindstate and point in life 10 years ago and that was Powder. Thats not really me anymore. Right now I am working on a new solo project called "Greatest Misses... The Unknown Hitz" which will have a majority of solo tracks on it but will also feature some collaborations. But who all will be on there is a secret for now :-)
[LRI-“Are there any particular projects you’re currently working on? Where can people go to hear “ARAY” and Black Lighter ENT.”?]
Well one big thing that BLE has going on right now is helping get "TEXAS UNDERGROUND SUPER SOLDIERS" off the ground (or True Underground Super Soldiers/TUSS). TUSS is my family. My crew. My people! RayRay and CMR are even involved with TUSS. And to me, its alot of what I was trying to do with BLE, but on a bigger level.. TUSS is a way for us underground artists to all link up, promote and help one another. If one TUSS artist becomes successful, it brings attention to what ALL OF US are doing. It helps all of us.. Its a way to truely bring the unity into the underground. Maybe one of us won't make a big enough splash to catch the worlds attention, but as a group WE CAN get the attention the underground is missing in this business! Other than that I am just workin on my solo project, "Greatest Misses... The Unknown Hitz", and I am also helping co-produce a new solo album for Travis-T (formally CRayZ). Travis-T has been on BLE since the beginning. He was a member of "Seven Pointed Sin" and he is also the one who drew up the BLE logo.... You can hear both of us on REVERBNATION: Travis-T- http://www.reverbnation.com/TravisTatx and ARay- http://www.reverbnation.com/arayofble . My Official Facebook Artist Page is here: http://www.facebook.com/arayofble Also, we have some videos on my YOUTUBE channel here: http://www.youtube.com/aray512 and you can find me on TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/arayble
[LRI- “Your pictures show you sporting Black Lighter gear. Where can fans grab a hold of it?”]
Great question! The "Get Lit" shirts (that EVERYONE loves) are currently out of stock right now... I hear that question alot, and I plan on getting more printed up in April when I get back down to the ATX.. We use a local Austin screenprinter (shout-outs to Austin Shirt Werks) for the "Get Lit" shirts... But I also have been in the process of designing some ARay gear too, and you can find that on my REVERBNATION page or on my Official Facebook Artist Page: http://www.facebook.com/arayofble
[LRI- “We heard you are living in Wyoming? There is a lot of buzz in game of the 307 having talent. What do you think of it?”]
I've never doubted the talent out here! If the market was HALF as good as the talent, there would be a buzz about the music here... But the market is rough. But hiphop is very prevalent here.. Its a beautiful thing..
[LRI-“ Syndakit Entertainment is hosting the Summer Jam 2011 festival at the Flaming Gorge in Green River, WY. Will we see ARAY, or anyone else from Black Lighter there?”]
Well as of yet we had not discussed it... To be honest I would love to make it, especially if I could bring some of my BLE/TUSS family of artists with me! But as with everything, especially when it incorporates a 1200+ mile trip, its a money issue... But shit, I'd do it for the bare minimum it would cost to get my ass up here! I love doing shows, especially festivals and considering its in the 307 where my music career all started!!! HELL YEAH I would love to do it.. But we'll have to see what happens...
[LRI-“Do you have any other upcoming shows?”]
Yeah, April 9th in Dallas with a great line-up. But I can't spill the beans yet til I got the promoters say. And he's banging out the graphics, etc. But let me say, there's some BIG names on it! Also, I am planning on rocking a show here in Rawlins at Michael's Big City Bar, but the dates not set yet. I've really just been tryin to focus my energy on the new album (writing and producing that), as well as workin and stacking cash... But I am hoping to also hit the stage in Casper before I roll back to Texas at the beginning of April...
[LRI- “Guys like Eminem, and underground artists like Atmosphere have paved some way for Hip-Hop, but did you find a struggle trying to get noticed?”]
Definitely. The whole business is a struggle of sorts... Hunter S. Thompson said this about the music biz: ""The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." So that tells you right there that its not easy... Its a definite struggle though. Its not for the weak or those who give up easy. But I love music and sharing myself with my fans, so its all good. I enjoy the struggle. ;-) It builds character and gives me song material.
[LRI- “If you could work with anyone, Dead or Alive, who would you want to collaborate with?”]
Well. 2pac.. That would have been amazing.... Tech N9ne, E-40, Slaughterhouse... But I think my dream collab would have to be a Timbaland beat, with Travis Barker and Tom Morello on it.... Then maybe throw 40 and Tech in there too. Lol... Now that would be FIRE! Other than that, there's really a ton of artists, and producers I would love to work with...
[LRI- “Some people say Hip-Hop is dying… What can you say to the doubters?”]
Hiphop isn't dying at all.. There is still great hiphop out there.... Alot of the times, you just gotta dig to find it.. I think what has happened is that us as hiphop/rap artists have allowed it to become so commercialized and watered down.. The media supports a dead hiphop alot of the time, I can see that. But hiphop as a whole is far from dead, and I think meaning in music is coming back... Haterz gon' hate, oh well... They can't stop real hiphop and we can't stop them... We balance one another in a way....
[LRI- “Is there anything else you want to the people and fans?”]
I wanna give some shout outs to my people: My mom, first and foremost, because back in the day and still to this day, she supports me and my dream. Second, my fans and those out there who see my talent and that believe in me, THANK U! I WON'T LET U DOWN!!!! Also: TUSS (and EVERY affiliate. U all know who u are and I thank U!), Mr.Hatchet and TrueJuggaloFamily.com, Faygo Luvers, Strange Music (Britton Kimler and Cross Eyed Joe especially), Soundness of Mind, Claas and Ronnie Blaze, Richard @ Austin Shirt Werks, our old investor Big Mike, Convicted Music Records, Fresh Flava Entertainment, Fat Kidz Inc and Haltom City Records, Dented Mindz Productions, VHopNation.com, Austin and Texas Hatchet Cartel, 3rd Deck Music Group, 307Underground Magazine, Syndakit Entertainment, Phranchyze/Dubb Sicks/KB the BooBonic and the whole ATX music scene (512 stand up!!), and last of all the street soldiers out there pushing ARay, BLE, and TUSS to the people! Your work in the streets and online is noticed and appreciated!
Lri- who have you collaborated with?
Travis-T, Nok1, Ghost, J Biz R, Mandy B, Supermanning, Versatyle, Ghetto E, BDub, and I currently got 2 collabs in the works: One with my boys Soundness of Mind out of Dallas, and one with E.Leonard out of Sacramento.
What artists are you major influences?
As stereotypical as this sounds, i wouldn't be real if I didn't start off with saying Tupac Amaru Shakur.. He just had a huge influence on me as a person, as well as me as a poet, writer and emcee... Also, Tech N9ne. And both him and Pac taught me something, BE REAL. BE ME. SHARE ME. People can relate and respect that! Also, Rage Against the Machine. Zapp (and Roger Troutman). E-40. Eazy E. Big L. And really, the whole 80's and 90's hiphop scene.. The guys who paved the way for us!
Who have you shared stagewith?
Well, including who I shared the stage with as Powder: Tabbo, JUSTin Tyme, Mr. Ballistic, DJ Nyke, DJ Kid Capri, DJ Notion, Lil Flip, Con-Crete (of SKR), Scum (of LSP), Doomsday Productions, St. Dog (of Suburban Noize Records), Insane Poetry, Soundness of Mind, Claas and DJ Ronnie Blaze (of Hatchet House's Tunnel Runners), Jason Porter (of Hatchet House's Tunnel Runners), SouthSide Hatchet Swingin Mob, Dubb Sicks, KB the BooBonic, Fat Kidz Inc and U4ik (of HCR), Lost Ninjas and the HDP family, Painkillaz, and of course ALL MY TEXAS UNDERGROUND SUPER SOLDIERS family (Ghost, Travis-T, J Biz R, Nok1, B-Down, Prophet, and more!)... I'm sure I forgot some, but oh well.... SORRY N SHIT!