Built with dense with metaphors, double entendres, multisyllabic rhyme schemes, raw emotion and vulnerability, Uno Hype‘s music listens much more like an anthology than traditional rap music. Uno is conscious of his unshackling purpose through music, something he speaks extensively during our conversation.
In his new interview, we take the opportunity to ask Uno about his new single Color Me and what recording during quarantine has been like for him. We also talk in-depth about what a world where blackness is accepted looks like to him, the role the internet has played in his career, and how advocacy is used in hip-hop. Check out the new interview down below.
For those who don’t know, where are you from?
Montgomery county, MD
During this quarantine, people have been keeping themselves occupied in unique ways. How have you been keeping yourself busy?
Reading a lot of books, The Artist Way is one of em to be specific by Julia Cameron. It comes with writing exercises so that’s kept ya boy busy.
You have been around for a while now. I think the first time I remember hearing you was on a late, Capital STEEZ track back in 2012. How have you managed to keep your consistency?
Having a love for music and music simply being apart of my identity. It’s always been and always will be me. I make music for people who need it and going through things; that’s just something people will always experience.
Where do you think your headspace is now compared to – let’s say 2,3 years ago?
My intentions are clearer. The belief in my craft has changed a lot. Better people around me has also been a huge impact.
Let’s jump into the music a bit. You recently dropped your new single ‘Color Me.’ How did the concept for it come together because there’s some pretty heavy stuff in there?
Alright, so the concept came from an episode of the Twilight Zone. The episode was titled I Am The Night Color Me Black, and the episode was pretty dark. You gotta watch it to truly understand the full concept of Color Me.
You’re hitting on topics like social justice, mental health, and ideas surrounding Black identities on ‘Color Me’. How have your life experiences shaped the way you’re thinking about these things?
I think through my lens, it shaped the way I move, the way I was brought up, and it’s ingrained into my mind. I feel like I also hold trauma from my ancestors and a lot of things are very generational that have shaped me entirely.
Do you think people put too much pressure on hip hop artists to use their platform for advocacy?
Nah, I don’t think they put enough. We’re storytellers at the end of the day and this fight is forever and if you’re not doing anything to help aid your people in this fight, then what’re you doing?
What does a future where blackness is free and accepted look like to you?
It looks like me having to stop worrying about where I’m at, who I’m with, and constantly having to look over my shoulder. Oh, and we ain’t free until the black woman is liberated.
I wanna ask you about the internet. What role did that play in you distributing your music? You’re talking about achieving a sense of your artistic self. Did the internet inform that in any sense? Does that inform the way you write or your style at all?
I came from the pre-internet era of selling CDs outta my backpack. I kinda grew with the internet so I feel like it definitely has helped the process of getting your music out. You can do it all on your own and don’t even need a major label anymore.
When looking at your sound and your artistry as a whole, you’re definitely a prominent figure in this scene, this corner of rap that’s avant-garde, it’s very different from the mainstream. We wanted to know how you, in your own words, would define it?
Thought-provoking. People that bring awareness to the heart of the matter. And I also like to mix genres as well.
What can we expect from you moving forward? Or is everything under wraps?
More music. More blackness. More Uno.