Translee has been buzzing with the release of his project, Freedom Summer, early last year. The Hustle Gang artist has been putting in work to get his name put on the map. With an upcoming project that is on the way, Translee has made a promise to his friends to release a new single each week leading to it. We have sat down with the Alabama native and discussed his political views in the hip-hop game, the true meaning of why he called his buzzing project, Freedom Summer, how T.I. brought him in the Hustle Gang family and more.
RESPECT.: What are your political views in the hip-hop game?
Hip-hop has a voice. We are the MLK of the world since we don’t have one these days. We don’t have an ear for the voice. A duty or obligation to speak out on certain things. If it’s not being yelled out to the Diddy’s of the world, it will be hard to spread to the word. It’s making it to where we can’t hide it. Social media is a Martin Luther King if you think about it. Everyone knew what was going on. A lot of people don’t be informed.
RESPECT.: What made you call yourself Translee?
It is my real name. So my great-grandma named my grandad Translee in the 1920s. I am speaking the truth and can’t hide behind it. “Beyond The King” is the real meaning of my real name by researching it.
RESPECT.: When making Freedom Summer, what were the reflections on that? What was the meaning of calling your project Freedom Summer?
When it got toward the end of summer, it got crunch time. I was pushing it. A little backstory, in 1964 in Mississippi, a lot of people couldn’t vote, and it was the worst in MS. They tried or register to vote and couldn’t do that because they will lose their job. College kids went down to MS to go to black neighborhoods to help register to vote by not being scared of white people. When the police found out, they were beaten and three people got killed. It paved the way to open to register to vote. They were singing on the way to the bus ride to know that they were safe on both sides. The music got them through that and it hit me. Music helps us get through these wild times. It’s the comforter. Last summer was a wild summer, the world needed it. Had half the album done before naming it was named. I was paying homage to MLK.
RESPECT.: With being in the Grand Hustle family, and you looking up to T.I. while studying the music game, what was your reaction to being such an impactful company?
It was a great feeling, and it justifies how I understood that everything that I was doing is paying off. I wanted to work with anybody. I wanted to work with TIP, because he manifests the whole situation and the music game. It felt like it was supposed to happen. He owes me to the game.
RESPECT.: I had seen that you are dropping a single each week until the project drops, in which I’m anticipating it for, when are we going to get a new Translee project?
I don’t have a project date of when it drops. I have a lot of songs that will drop every week because I didn’t want to let it sit for a long time. My sound will be different but it will have the same truth.
RESPECT.: By being with Hustle Gang, what can you say is a learning experience by being a new artist onto the scene?
Keeping it going. I made sure that the music is allowing me to do other things by opening up the door to do more. I can’t count on one thing because I will mess myself up by missing opportunities by me liking someone. You have to work with people that you may not like.
RESPECT.: I can’t help but recite these words “There are more Angela Yee’s no Angela Rye’s” from the single “Each Other.” Define in-depth about that.
RESPECT.: The week of A3C, you had gotten a chance to open up for Mos Def and many more. Tell us about your experience.
It was dope to open for Mos Def. Yusuf gave me the opportunity, and I can’t be appreciated enough for that. It was a good feeling because it was a hip-hop crowd.
RESPECT.: Describe plant-based drippin’.
Official Grey Music is a big vegan. He has grown to where we are mutual friends. Chris Hunter and I own the label Digital Native Culture. Plant-based dripping is a movement and lifestyle that correlates to the vegan style. Will, Official Grey Music, went to the Vegan Festival to perform and now has a brand called ‘Plant-Based Drippin’. ‘
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