26-year-old Pittsburgh Rapper, Hardo is coming off the release of his latest project, The Fame Or Feds Story which is currently available on all platforms. The rapper whose real name is Joseph Barnett talked with us about his latest project, his relationship with the late Mac Miller & Jimmy Wopo, growing up in Pittsburgh, his favorite artist growing up and much more. He talked about his life behind bars and what influenced him to keep going with Rap. He proclaims the project as the best to come out the streets in the last 5-6 years. The project comes with production from Zaytoven and more + features from Mayhem Mal, Deezle, the late Jimmy Wopo and more. This kind of music is strictly for the hustlers from the streets. You can check out the project here.
“That’s when I finally started putting music out, I went to jail. The day I came home Mac Miller was in my DM saying “Like I told you, you could do this & call me asap.” And we had been in touch ever since”
Get into the interview below.
RESPECT.: Why did you name your latest project, The Fame Or Feds Story?
Hardo: Me and a friend of mine name Beasley, he got two years in the feds right now and our first three mix-tapes were called, Fame or Feds just the mix-tape. Like I said now he’s in the feds and now I’m on the bricks for fame so it’s like a major part of my story which was a revelation of what actually happened. So this is the first time I named it a first project of my own and I named it The Fame Or Feds Story because I wanted to re-tell that story. That’s why we named it that, because of what we was going through and how everything turned out for us. That’s the whole purpose of having a project so people can hear my actual story.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, hat influenced you and gravitated you to do rap?
In Pittsburgh, all my friends that was around me. I was the youngest out of my crew. They were in a rap group in the city with people a few years older than me and I always wanted to be like them. Wiz was blowing up and I didn’t know him personally but I was a super, major fan of Wiz Khalifa’s and always in the back of my mind their was nobody like blowing up in the city that represented the demographic that I do and I always wanted to be that person that really represented the struggle of Pittsburgh. That was like my biggest motivation and me and Mac going to school together and seeing him blow-up. That just gave me more motivation.
What kind of relationship did you have with Mac Miller?
Me and Mac went to school together from 9th grade-12th grade. Same drop-off point and pick-up point. 10th grade I started recording at his house on the daily, I wasn’t putting music out until I graduated school. It was just like fun at that time, but he was taking it serious. We all were real close friends, same grade, same classroom. We was real close and then I started going to a different school in 12th grade and I looked up and seen Mac on MTV Jams, and that was one of the craziest moment’s I’ve ever experienced. I never seen nobody blow up in my life, I didn’t know Wiz. But then I look up and see a guy that I actually know on a countdown on MTV. It was crazy, that really gave me the motivation. That’s when I finally start putting music out, I went to jail. The day I came home Mac Miller was in my DM saying “Like I told you, you could do this & call me asap” and we had been in touch ever since.
Do you have a favorite track from your latest project?
“Everything” is my favorite. My favorite because it means the most to me. “Here for you” off the project might be my favorite. Because of the content of letting people understand the role I play of trying to be here for people that come from the environment that I come from. That was like the core of that song, I used to say I don’t see people in the hood get married alot I see when people get buried and things like that so that was my favorite song.
Growing up who were some of your favorite artist?
I grew up listening to Soulja Slim and BG. In my city that’s who we all live for they was like the biggest things to us. For them to not even be the biggest stars in the rap business. I was always like a Jay-Z fan, Meek Mill, Jeezy, Wayne that’s what I grew up on.
Is their anybody in rap at the moment that you haven’t worked with, that you would love to work with?
Right now, I would like to work with Lil Baby because that’s like the only other real hustler that’s young coming up in the music business.
Is their a album out that you’ve been banging lately?
The Fame or Feds Story the only project that I’m listening to. I feel like don’t nobody have nothing close to what I’m representing and oh yeah Kevin Gates his latest project. That’s the only fire project that I feel has come out. I don’t believe in nothing else.
Tell us one thing that people might not know about you?
I’m the most humblest artist, I know that I come from the things that I come from, some people always think that I’ma be one way but I’m really like the nicest person in the world unless you come on my bad side. I treat all my fans with the same respect that I would treat the higher-ups. That’s one thing about me. I’m always open ears and open-minded and real supportive. Those are like the major things about me forreal that has carried me along way.
What kind of relationship did you have with Jimmy Wopo?
We had a close relationship that’s like my little brother on my way coming up it wasn’t nobody in the streets that was really ahead that could give me the ropes of what was going on or had the real experiences yet. I was out there by myself and believing in my team so when I seen Wopo a young dude with alot of talent from my city I gravitated to it immediately before anything was even popping at all.
He was somebody that I was able to mentor, tell him the mistakes I made and show him everything that I did wrong because I did about 3 1/2 years on my process of getting to where I’m going from making a bad decision. We both were from the streets and he knew my story was real and I knew his story was real. The respect was very mutual and that was like my lil bro. The fact he was 19, he was 21 when he passed, when I was that age it was hard for me to always listen all the time. It’s just sad that he didn’t get the chance to write his wrongs. That crushed me alot, I think about it all the time forreal.
Last words to end the interview:
Go get The Fame Or Feds Story on all platforms. The best street album in the last 5-6 years. Song for song and that’s not because, it’s me. It’s the truth.
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