(Photo Credit: www.myspace.com/isaiah)
Isaiah is a hip hop and tattoo artist from Tucson, Arizona. I saw this guy tear up the stage in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the Blind Pig. He opened for Murs during the Murs for President Tour and totally killed it. The bass was so intense during one of his songs that I thought I was dead. Dude was walking around the stage, with the most amazing stage presence ever, spitting verses at the crowd and totally blowing my mind.
How long have you been involved with the music industry?
Never. I’m not officially signed to a label, never have been. The closest I come to the industry of music sales is online digital stores, itunes & amazon, and small independent record stores. I been rapping for years, freestyling, battling locally, recording on shitty four tracks with shitty mics, doing plenty of collaborations and guest spots all before this more available record I recently released with MURS 3:16 PRESENTS. That record isn’t even very available now. I’m going to be lost forever unless DEF JAM learns what’s good for them.
What were your earliest musical influences?
I grew up through Tucson’s punk scene and had attended punk shows since I was 6 years old. When I became more involved with purchasing records and choosing my personal collection during my early teens I stared buying Ice-T and Public Enemy bootleg tapes from the swap meet. The most recent influences that have impact to my rapping would be Saul williams, company flow, anticon, mike ladd, mos def, roots manuva, scarub, murs, outkast & the whole dungeon family…additional musical and songwriting influence would be a much longer list. This is good for short since your eyes will soon bleed out from staring at the computer screen.
How did you link up with Warner Bros. recording artist Murs?
I met MURS here in Tucson while he was visiting or some shit I can’t remember. MURS is approachable in a regular manner because he is very grounded and humble. Eventually we became close friends, once I worked for him at a hip-hop shop he opened in Tucson. After hearing my capabilities of rapping super amazing over and over again he asked me to release a record and then did. For the record he has been flipping the story telling it as me asking him, COMPLETELY UNTRUE. He does that to upset me and entertain his own sick humor…MURS is a huge jerk.
How did fans react to your album “Murs 3:16 Presents: Isaiah”?
Like the rabid animals they are.
Tell us a little bit about your tattoos and your job as a tattoo artist? Do you own a shop?
All my tattoos are a tribute to the J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
But really I’ve been getting tattooed since 13 years old, I’ve had various reasons or none at all. Tattoos do not have to have reason or any that can be explained just once or simply. It’s still art, it’s still subjective, it should always be elusive. I’ve always had an interest for americana and subculture; throw in iconography and mysticism and i’m drinking the kool-aid before the preyer.
I have been a professional tattooer for approx. 6 years, with a formal stanch apprenticeship. I have owned and operated “STARING WITHOUT CARING” for approx. 3 years. For shop info and work portfolios go to www.myspace.com/staringwithoutcaring
I interviewed VerBs and he said that he would like to collaborate with you. Think it’s going to happen?
YES. Verbs is a great person and an inventive rapper. I promise we will combine sooner than later. Everything relies on my recording situation at the moment. Once I finally get set up I will be much more prolific.
What’s up with T.T.T.?
T.T.T. is a random collection of people who relate in various ways to one another and our personal production. Almost everyone in T.T.T. makes music, if not they produce some form of art. It was mainly started to help promote different shows and projects but has expanded into various facets since it is a loose collective.
T.T.T. is a acronym with no precise definition, the terms and usage will change for the project or promotion.
Your music myspace page claims WERDEMUP as your record label. What can you tell me about that?
WERDEMUP is my record label, a song title, a blog, and another collective of artists. Hopefully one day it will be a type rainbow in the burning sky.
I’m pretty sure when I saw you opening for Murs it was your twins birthday. I remember singing happy birthday or something. What is it like being on tour and being away from your family?
Crappier than all hell. I will not tour again for any length without them or never again.
Trading time spent with stupid drunks for my wife and kids is ridiculous.
Now that we are talking about your family, I would just like to say congratulations on having a beautiful one. How did you and your wife meet? Any relationship advice for Chapped Lips and Chiclets readers?
I met my wife in high school right before I was expelled. I was between several schools and having troubles with my living situations and ended up moving out on my own and she moved in with me. We were both about 16 years old and helped each other survive. Before we got married we broke apart with no intentions of reuniting but after time passed we both figured how impossible life was without one another…we married and a year after that she was pregnant with twins. We have been together for approx. 11 years, married 6 years and our twins are 5 years old. I’m 27 now.
My advice is to never hold anyone to unrealistic standards or expect perfection from your mate. Their problems and imperfections will strengthen perspective of your own position and mature your patience. If you love someone truly there is nothing absolute ever. There will never be a limit for love and you will compromise and adjust constantly.
Is your wife supportive of your music?
YES. Though, she does hate how often it removes my interaction with the fam. She is NOT supportive of my music taste.
What can you tell me about Tucson, AZ? I’ve personally never been there.
Tucson is changing lately, or i’m growing older and confused with it.
currently there is construction for development all over the city and I think after it is finished it will have a different atmosphere. The weather is hot but dry. Cops here are lying filth and break the laws themselves constantly. Tucsonans are very respectful and proper etiquette is important here. Golden rule…we obey the golden rule.
If you could perform with any musician ever who would it be?
Ol dirty bastard.
You performed at the Paid Dues festival in 2008. What can you tell me about that?
It went well but I feel my tour set was better composed. That event is spectacular and I hope to attend every one from here out. People need to support events like Paid Dues so they continue to happen and provide access to new and different audiences.
What would be the best way for your fans to support you?
Buy my music online or request it at your local record store.
Tell your uncle to sign me and give me millions of dollars so I can quit tattooing and rap amazing for you forever.
Constantly post comments on MURS’ myspace and twitter asking for my record.
Buy my records.
What can we look forward to in Isaiah’s future?
The future is filled with hoverboards, cyborgs, robots, alien creatures, star trek, will smith, rocket ships, and lazers.
Are you a big internet guy? What are some sites you check on the daily?
I’m the biggest interweber. I check grandgood.com, beerandrap.com, thefader.com, maddecent.com, freshnessmag.com, hypebeast.com, allhiphop.com, hiphopdx.com, fecalface.com…check for me on twitter as werdemup.
Thank you for your time! Anything else you would like to share with Chapped Lips and Chiclets readers?
If you are going to download my music at least share it with as many people possible! Spread the word so I can tour and continue to make music otherwise you will only get one or two albums to download and then I’ll have to go do construction to provide for my family because you wont contribute to my musical career.
Spreading word on my music will help me continue to do it! put it in your mixtapes, blog, home videos, myspace, t-shirts, magazines, ipods, playlists, mp3 oakley sunglasses, etc.etc…
You can check out Isaiah’s music on myspace here.
You can buy his album, “Murs 3:16 Presents Isaiah” off of Amazon here.
You can peep his portfolio here.