Sly Rankin – Bless upPOSTED ON:
Dec 27 2017
HHO: Introduce yourself to the fans.
Sly Rankin: Whats up world its Sly Rankin How did your artist name come about?ourself to the fans
HHO: How did your artist name come about?
Sly Rankin: Had a little rap group back in high School. Shoutout Wolmers High in Kingston, best school on the island. We used to beat desks and make up our lil rhymes. One day we decided we all coming back tomorrow with hiphop names. I dug da name Slylock out a comic strip. Kept that name for 2 group projects wit Gangsta Colony. When i started doin solo tracks, I wanted to make it more personal. By then people were just calling me Sly, so i kept that and added my real last name. So ye, ‘Sly Rankin’. Rankin was a slang in the 80’s in Jamaica. It meant like ‘OG, top dawg, boss’. So it made sense.
HHO: Where are you from?
Sly Rankin: Grew in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Then moved to Kingston, Jamaica after high school. I been living in South Florida for the last 3 years.
HHO: Who were your musical influences growing up?
Sly Rankin: Well I didn’t get hiphop until late. Before hiphop i was a straight dancehall/reggae fan like everybody else back home. Bounty Killer was my favourite artist. First rapper I really bumped though, was Mase. Then DMX was like God to me. Went through a Nas phase too. I was a big Eryka Badu fan too, mama had dat rastafarian empress vibe. To this day she’s one of favorite artists.
HHO: What hip-hop albums did you grow up listening to?
Sly Rankin: Harlem World was the first album i probably knew word for word. I bumped X first 5 albums heavy! I discovered him off Harlem World too. Slim Shady LP got bumped heavy. Lox first 2 albums got bumped heavy too. East coast had the game then, thats what I grew up on hiphop wise.
HHO: What is the current single/project that you are promoting?
Sly Rankin: Current single is ‘All Star Flex’ and the mixtape is ‘Black Green Gold’.
HHO: How did the record come about?
Sly Rankin: Well me and my peeps is all Jamaican or from that background. So I’ve been in the States for 3 years trying to infiltrate some hiphop circles but all our music connections are dancehall reggae connections. So we wanted a single that could go both ways, get love from both the reggae/dancehall djs and the hiphop djs. And that’s what this is. I got a lot of basketball metaphors in there, cause I’m a big basketball fan and I wanna still showcase some wordplay no matter how commercial the single is.
HHO: What would be your dream collaboration with any rapper or producer?
Sly Rankin: Well I grew up thinking Timbaland was the best producer, but conceptually I think me and Kanye could do more impressive work. As far as artist collabs, I got too many to choose 1 from. So if I had to choose it would be Jayz. Just cause I think he’s the best all round rapper mainstream has seen.
HHO: Are you currently touring or have any upcoming shows?
Sly Rankin: We did a small Tri state tour in the summer behind this single. We just dropped the mixtape like a couple weeks ago so we’re grindin’ on that and waiting to schedule some new dates.
HHO: How is the response from your fans & djs been?
Sly Rankin: The single has been getting a lot of love. Its been crazy. Like we planned it, both reggae and hiphop djs have been showing love. I’ve never heard my song played in so many venues, its been dope. We got to do some shows on the strength and we’re just getting started. My fans that have been with me since Jamaica reach out and tell me how proud they are but what’s great is the new fans we’ve been making. The new mixtape is gonna help us build that even more.
HHO: What artists do you listen to the most?
Sly Rankin: Right now in my phone I got a bunch o’ Vybz Kartel and Aidonia, thats on the reggae/dancehall tip. I got some Migos and some Kendrick. I always bump Rick Ross, he had the best album this year i think. I got the whole 4:44 album. My favorite rock band The Killers.
HHO: What are your plans for 2018?
Sly Rankin: We gonna keep pushing this single and the new mixtape while we record what is gonna be the dopest rap album mankind has heard.
HHO: What are you doing that others are not?
Sly Rankin: The way I fuse the Caribbean in my music, talking about immigrant life in my music. Like not just reggae influenced production or patois here and there, but the perspective of an immigrant in my music. And I think there is depth in my music, I make an effort to have interesting layers and concepts. I treat it like art.
HHO: How can your fans reach you?
Sly Rankin: I keep it simple… its Sly Rankin on ALL social media and slyrankin.com is my personal website.
HHO: Any last words or shout outs?
Sly Rankin: Shout out my label Solja Life Records and Gangsta Colony thats my musical family. Shout all the people supporting me and my music, the djs especially for giving the new music a chance. And shoutout all the immigrants, legal and illegal. We’re all people and we all just want the best life for ourselves and our family.