Amplafire - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
Amplafire: The Fire Inside
New York City is in desperate need of new and exciting talent and Amplafire just maybe what the city needs. Born in the Bronx, and raised in Harlem, Amplafire struggled to gain acceptance growing up as a kid. Eventually, Amp turned towards Hip Hop as a way to escape his harsh surroundings. As he sharpened his talents, Amplafire, along with Kaotick and Dyvyus formed the group Sleep Walkaz. The group was coveted by Mase for his All Out Entertainment Label, but unfortunately they already signed a deal with Chuck Chillout's C-Ya Entertainment. But due to label politics the group eventually left C-Ya Entertainment and broke up all together. Now Amplafire is trying to build his career back up. His latest mixtape, Finally, was released last year and caught some buzz in the underground circuit with the standout song "Hold Me Down". You may not be familiar with Amplafire just yet, but trust MVRemix, he has the talent to do big things.
MVRemix: First off, for those not familiar with your music, can you tell the readers who Amplafire is and what you are all about?
Amplafire is an unsigned artist from NY, trying to make a name for himself in the music industry.
MVRemix: Let's talk about some of your background information and history. Where were you born and raised?
I was born in the Bronx and raised in Harlem NY.
MVRemix: What was it like growing up there over the years, because I was reading your bio and it states, "growing up was kind of difficult because I was always treated as an outcast. Not only were the kids in school always teasing me, but everywhere I went people were constantly staring and laughing at me". Can you explain to the readers what that is all about and the struggles you were faced with in your life.
When you look different, people act cruel towards you. It use to bother me when I was younger. It starts affecting you mentally. As I got older I didn’t care what people said anymore. Still to this day people STILL recklessly eyeball the kid.
MVRemix: How did you first get into Hip Hop and into rhyming?
I would always try to rhyme when I was younger. But I didn’t get serious about it until around ’95 when I was asked to join this group called SleepWalkaz.
MVRemix: Tell us about the Sleepwalkaz
SleepWalkaz consisted of myself, Lil Amp at the time, Kaotick and Dyvyus. I was shy back then. Kaotick was wild. He was freestylin’ and battling everybody that came around. Dyvyus had a relaxed style. His rhymes were political.
MVRemix: How did you guys start making a name for yourself in the streets and in the industry?
We started recording a demo as a group. We were dubbing mad cassettes (wow) and handing them out. Kaoticks brother Pucci was running with Big L (R.I.P.) at that time. Pucci would let L, Mase and a bunch of other people from 139th hear it.
MVRemix: I see that Big L and Mase were feeling your guys material, and Mase even wanted to sign you. Can you tell us the story behind that.
Mase was starting his All Out entertainment label and was looking for artist. Unfortunately, we had already inked a deal with Chuck Chillout’s,
MVRemix: What happened when you guys were signed to Chuck Chillout's record label C -Ya Entertainment?
We got a demo budget from Penalty Records and recorded a couple of songs but that was it. It wasn’t working out for us at C-Ya. The group eventually separated. We still keep in contact though and its still all love when I see Chuck.
MVRemix: Since then tell us about the journey and struggles you have had to go through to get heard in this fickle Hip Hop industry.
Its been an extremely rocky 10 year journey. I have dealt with shady labels, foul managers, corrupt accountants and disappointing record promoters. Its enough to make you want to give up. And I’m still struggling to get heard.
MVRemix: Tell us about your new album "Finally".
“Finally” is more like a mixtape. I took 15 songs that I had recorded from 2000 to 2003 and made a CD. Since the music isn’t dated it’s new to everyone else. Right now, my producer Bronze and I are currently working on our new album. All original material. Beats and Lyrics.
MVRemix: You got the hot joint "Hold Me Down", which is being played by DJ Premier on Future Flavas, so has the response to the album been good all around?
That “Hold Me Down” joint is crazy. So far, I haven’t received any negative responses about the single. That was one of the songs that we recorded in 2000 with my man Papa Do-Low. As far as the album goes, I have received mixed responses but overall most people like it.
MVRemix: For those who haven't heard the album or your material, how would you describe your sound? What separates Amplafire from the rest of the Hip Hop industry?
I rhyme about the after effects of what everyone else is rhyming about. When they talk about the dirt they did, I talk about being in court stressed out, wishing it didn’t happen. How I hated hustling. How I hated working a 9 to 5. Why I hate living. The other situations that happen in our community like Child Abuse, and Spousal Abuse. I like to make music that will play on peoples emotions. Some songs will make you cry; be happy; feel suicidal or opposite. These are emotions that humans deal with.
MVRemix: What is your main goal you want to accomplish in this Hip Hop game?
I know its going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of years but my main goal is to be known as One of the Greatest That Ever Did It.
MVRemix: Are you finding it hard to get your material out and get yourself heard, or is it just a slow process that takes some time?
Both. Its hard when you’re working with short paper and a long line of payola.
MVRemix: Random Questions: Who is your top 5 emcees of all time?
Dayyum dawg. That’s the hardest question in this interview. I can give you a Top Ten.
Rakim, Notorious B.I.G., Kool G. Rap, Tupac, Big Pun, Big L, Slick Rick, Lord Finesse, Big Daddy Kane, ‘80’s LL Cool J.
MVRemix: What else do you have going on right now?
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"I rhyme about the after effects of what everyone else is rhyming about. When they talk about the dirt they did, I talk about being in court stressed out, wishing it didn’t happen. How I hated hustling. How I hated working a 9 to 5. Why I hate living. The other situations that happen in our community like Child Abuse, and Spousal Abuse. I like to make music that will play on peoples emotions."