Rapper and entrepreneur Six Sev is readying to unleash his debut project later this year. The Crenshaw-native released a three-track EP in February and did a slew of features earlier this year. Sev, part of the Los Angeles collective District Boyz, is the artist behind the Super Mall design featured in Nipsey Hussle‘s Marathon store. “I feel like he really played a part in my transition to success,” he talks about developing a relationship with the late Hussle.
Earlier this month, Six Sev teamed up with Adidas brand ambassador Gills Veni Vici to bring honor roll students new shoes. The event was used to celebrate their graduation from Crenshaw High School. Sev previously lead cleans up in the community as well as a block party for Black Independence day. Check out our interview with Six Sev below.
How did your relationship with Nipsey Hussle develop?
I actually met Nipsey at Hungry Herolds, which is in the Slauson Donuts parking lot. I had stopped there to get some Backwoods and saw him. The homie was like “just talk to him, tell him about the hoodie.” And I’m trying to play it cool like “nah, I don’t want to be one of them niggas begging and asking for help.” But then I thought twice like “I’ve been waiting for a while to show him this idea.”
So I just went up to him, like “check it out.” Before I could even introduce myself, he already knew I had something for him. Soon as I showed him, he told me to link up later that night and come to his office. That’s how we initially met and then we kept the ball rolling from there.
Can you describe the impact he made on Crenshaw?
Nipsey’s impact represents the hope we weren’t supposed to have. Somebody from Crenshaw, especially from the 60s, wasn’t supposed to make it like that. So for him to show us that it was possible, everyone felt like they could do it. I feel like more people are trying to start businesses and have different outcomes instead of robbing and committing crimes. People are seeing that it is a legit way, especially when you get a little bit of money to do something.
Individually, he affected everybody a lot. He made you want to get on your shit and be a better person. Me, I wouldn’t even have a car if it weren’t for him helping me out. I feel like he really played a part in my transition to success.
Is there any advice he gave you that really stuck out?
It was two things that stuck out to me. The first thing he told me: “How much you want for this design? Don’t try to get rich quick.” So I waited a year for the design to come out. When the design came out they tried to front me ten bands, I’m like “no, I want the percentage.” Another thing, we were in the studio and he was like “Niggas be rapping good as fuck and don’t be talking about nothing.” I reevaluated my music because, in every song, Nip gives you something.
Alright, let’s get into the music. Who were your musical influences growing up?
Alright, so my biggest influence music-wise was Kanye West. Then that got me into Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Pharell, and more. I started off listening to East Coast rap heavily, but as I explored myself, I got into the West Coast. Now I have a wide spectrum of music that I listen to.
Walk me through your childhood, what’s it’s like growing up Los Angeles?
Growing up in L.A., it ain’t nothing like it. It’s different chapters in your life. As a kid, I wanted to hoop. It was cool, you would meet a lot of people through sports. I went to Crenshaw High but in middle school, that’s really when I saw the gang culture, my homies get put on and so forth. That’s really I say once you turn 13, 14, you really have to decide who you want to be out here.
I wanted to be a creator always. When I was younger I’d sketch shoes and come up with brand new designs. I used to write raps so I would always stay out the way, I kind of stayed out the way as far as being in the streets. My big brothers did that and I seen how it always hurt my moms. I always wanted to be a good example of success in the family.
Also, growing up, you see a lot of people fall off. After high school, some people go to jail, others die. Some people are just strung out. It’s a lot of different routes people go and you look at the one you take. It’s just crazy when you see the reality of it and how somebody you could’ve just been on the yard playing basketball with is now gone forever.
How did you get into music yourself?
My dad would always play Oldies. When I heard Kanye and the sample-heavy beats, I could resonate with it ’cause I heard it before. That soul music just hit you differently. I always felt like I had a heart that fought for change and my young self could sense that through the music. That kind of music hit me first.
I remember my big brother had plenty of CDs. He wanted to be the rapper in the family, and I wanted to be the hooper. I got a hold of CDs one day and burned them on my Xbox. It was the Blueprint 2, The Black Album. He had some crazy shit, like OG CDs. I would just listen to it as I played the game, but subconsciously, that’s how I learned how to rap. Just listening to it over and over was like I was studying it in a way.
Recently, you partnered up with Adidas to bring shoes to the Honor Roll students of Crenshaw High. What was that experience like?
Gil Veni Vici hit me like “Yo, bro, I want to do something for the community.” I’ve been doing clean-ups and visiting the kids at Crenshaw and volunteering. I went up there and arranged it with the principle. Gil got the shoes and we just made it happen. It felt good because these are things I always wanted to do, which I want to do more. That was just the first move to giving back to the school and making Crenshaw great again.
What are your goals for 2019?
To release my debut project. I hope it gets the real recognition it deserves because I put everything into it. I’ve been recording music for five years and I put all that content into this one tape. I also want to get a passport, I want to travel, go to Africa. I want to find a lady and get a bag, I want to be able to spoil my mom, nieces, and family. That’s really it.
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