It looks like Russ Maurice is back from his hiatus and is marking his territory in the industry. This time he brought his collective B L K A V E along which consist of himself, mB Tray, and TheProphessor. Russ gained more recognition after dropping his single 2:00am; he recently dropped his first solo project titled b.e.2016 in June 2016.
I got the chance to ask Russ a few questions so we can get to know him more as the artist he’s developing into. Check it out below.
Where are you from?
I’m from New Brunswick, New Jersey. I grew up on the East coast.
When did you start rapping and what made you want to start?
I started rapping when I was 15 years old, I started because just making beats was boring to me. I wanted my voice and message to be heard. Writing and rapping is my escape keeps me sane.
How much have you improved since you began and what do you think you need to improve on?
I think I’ve improved significantly since I started. As far as what i need to improve on just keeping the flows fresh and everything interesting. I feel like there is always room to improve.
Do you ever get discouraged pursuing rap?
I NEVER get discouraged. I’m too strong minded to let anything stop me. If you’re with it its all love. If not f*ck you. I’ll keep doing me anyway. You have to always believe in yourself because if you don’t who will?
What is art to you?
Art to me is pure creativity. It’s the best form of self expression that God has blessed us with.
How did the name B L K A V E come about?
B L K A V E is a shortened version of “black avenue”. My favorite color is black. Avenue is a street this. This our street! if you’re down with us, you’re on it. If not then its kick rocks! Get the f*ck off our block. It’s family, crew, and gang all along those lines.
How can people get your merch?
Until I get a website running, you can just order it through myself on either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
I just dropped b.e.2016 which is an EP. Now my focus is on my artist mB Tray. His first project and my debut album is set to release in a few months.
What sets you apart from other upcoming artist?
A lot sets me apart from other upcoming artist because there is only one me. Most of these upcoming artist are just trying to build onto a wave that’s already going. I’m trying to bring 90s and reality raps back. That’s what the world needs.
Where do you look for inspiration?
My inspiration is my family; especially my beautiful daughter. She made all of this happen. She got me on my feet finally after five years. As far as musical inspiration: Biggie smalls, T.I., Kanye, Jay Z, Kid Cudi, Tyler the creator, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Travis Scott. Then there’s a few select 90s artist who are my biggest inspiration.
What is your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal is to live my dream of making this a well paying career and being one of the first rappers in awhile to have a DIAMOND selling album. Ten mil worldwide. That Michael Jackson type of sh*t.
What music do you listen to besides rap/ hip-hop?
I listen to EVERYTHING besides screamo rock and most country.
What would you say is your targeted audience?
My targeted audience is the youth but I want everyone rocking with my music.
Does anyone ever compare you to well known artist?
Not really. People look at me as different in a good way and I love it. I got compared to a new generation’s Nas at one point but I wasn’t feeling that.
If you weren’t pursuing rap, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t pursuing rap I would of stayed enrolled in college and had my diploma by now. I wanted to be in the NBA at one time but Columbia high school shot that down early. Just any job where i can help people. That’s why God put us here. To help others.
Anything you want your supporters to specifically know about you or your brand?
I just want the people to know that they should get to know BLKAVE because this movement bout to flood the world. mark my words