Add-2: Do The Math
Add-2′s been getting more attention in recent weeks. His verbal explosion over The Roots’ “75 Bars” spread across the web, and made many sites add Add-2 to their radar. The fact that people are watching is not that big of a surprise to the emcee from the Windy City. A freak accident during his youth put Add-2 in the hospital for a month, and left him with a scar that drew the attention of his classmates. Using the attention to boost his confidence, Add-2 is ready to step into the spotlight for his music.
In this exclusive RH interview, Add-2 chops it up with Quinton Hatfield about his music, his city, and much more..
RubyHornet: Add-2, you’re a Chicago based artist and within the past couple of years Chicago has been making a lot of noise in Hip Hop…I’ve heard from other MC’s that it’s still hard to get out in the city, so speak on your behalf in this matter?
Add-2: Yeah man, Chicago is still in that transitional state right now. We’re starting to get more shine and a lot of attention is still coming back towards it, but it’s still in that transitional state. We’re trying to get out of that old crab-in-in the bucket mentality where we’re trying to get out of that old world we were stuck in. Before it was really hard to get on in Chicago and a lot of artists had to leave Chicago just to really get where they’re at. We’re trying to embrace each other and really help out uplifting the city.
RubyHornet: Being a Chicago artist, would you say Chicago is heart of the Midwest?
Add-2: [Laughs], I gotta be real…I think Chicago is the best city in the world. For me it’s the center, and we got a little mix of everything. We have a little bit of down south flavor, we also got that east coast mentality, and it really comes together. Chicago is definitely one of them cities where it’s so fast-paced, but at the same time it gives you a different taste of everything. I definitely think it’s the center point of the Midwest. As far as I’m concerned, yeah we’re the best city in the Midwest, and maybe the best city in the whole world.
RubyHornet: How would you describe the Hip Hop scene in Chicago on the independent level?
Add-2: The Hip Hop scene is growing, the Hip Hop scene is definitely there. We have a lot of top emcee, there’s emcees that have been doing it for years and years. It’s people who’ve been really forefathers as to why people are here now. We have a lot of culture that goes along with our music and everything. In the indie level, there’s a lot of up and coming artists. There’s a lot of people that you really need to start paying attention to. There’s a lot of artists out here doing real music, and a lot of real lyricists out here in Chicago too that people need to hear, depending on if they get the right shot.
RubyHornet: How does Add-2 stand out from other artist in the 773?
Add-2: Add-2 is always and forever going to be Add-2. That’s the biggest difference in me being myself and everybody else. It’s sounds like a cliché statement, but it’s the realest thing I can give you, because my experiences aren’t going to be the same as anybody else’s. What I do as far as musically, I don’t see anybody doing what I’m doing right now. It’s taken a lot of regular influences. It’s taken a lot of song writing ability along with trying to put skillful elements into it. Now I’m trying to do it with Hip Hop and jazz, and put it all together into one thing. Add-2 is going to stand out, because Add-2 is going to be Add-2.
RubyHornet: Speaking on your name what is the significance of Add-2?
Add-2: My name comes from my initials. My initials are A.D.D. and my dad didn’t think about the D’s at first [laughs]. He always said, ‘whatever you have, don’t take anything away from it. Add to it.’ I was his second kid and a lot of things in my life had these number two coincidences to it. Both of my grandfather’s died before I was born, and I never got a chance to meet them, talk to them, or none of that. I also have two brothers and I had this accident when I was younger and it left a big scar on my head and I could’ve died. So in a sense, it was kind of like I had my second chance at life and everything. The name it was kind of like I stumbled across it and there were other names I tried out that didn’t work. This one seemed like something that was God-given.
RubyHornet: If you don’t mind, can you speak further into the accident you experienced growing up?
Add-2: Yeah, when I was maybe about a year old I fell out of my grandmother’s bed, and hit my head against the railing, and it knocked the bone out of place. It compressed my skull, and I went into surgery and everything like that. During that time, my godfather came to visit me and while he came, he died at the hospital. I was in there for a month or so and I ended up not having any brain injuries and was perfectly normal. But it left that scar on my head and of course growing up it makes you kind of self-conscious. You got people staring at you, looking at you crazy, and you know they’re always wondering what happened. Or they just don’t want to ask, they just look at you. So it made me a little self-conscious, but at the same time it helped me because after a while you get used to it. It’s like ‘okay, well it ain’t nothing now.’ And if they ain’t gonna say nothing they ain’t gonna say nothing. I wasn’t phased too much by people looking, but I knew I was going to stand-out regardless. In fact it made me a little more confident.
RubyHornet: Last night as we talked you talked about the radio show you do in college, so how is that coming along?
Add-2: Yeah Rascal Radio, man, we’ve been doing it for two years now and we won a couple different awards. We’ve had a few different guest on there and it’s been really, really, fun with me and my co-host. We been having pretty much the most, I don’t want to say, controversial show that radio station has had as we try not to get in trouble. It’s been really fun, it’s a Hip Hop show that’s based around competition. So a lot of our audience calls in with feedback, we’ll talk about their issues, Hip Hop, and anything else in between. It’s been fun and everybody loves it now for our sections. We have a section called “The Wack Lyrical Moment” where we play some lyrics from an artist who has some real wack lyrics in a verse and we put them on blast. It’s a very diverse show, and we got a wide audience. It’s been real fun and I will miss it when I graduate, but it’s been real fun and a real success.
RubyHornet: As far as the upcoming projects what are you working on?
Add-2: Right now I’m in the process of working on a mixtape called Add-2 Presents “The Tale of 2 City” Volume 2. Volume 1 was real nice, so we decided to follow up. I’m also working on the Rascal Radio Mixtape and Project 94. Project 94 is a project I’m doing with my partner Slot-A, he makes beats and he rhymes. It’s going to be real nice and different from what you hear out now. It’s all going to be on add2.com.
RubyHornet: How would you describe yourself as an emcee, and why should people give you a chance?
Add-2: Add-2 is different from everybody else right now. If you want to hear lyrics, good party songs, good beats, good concepts that’s the type of stuff I do all the time. A lot of people are straying from the heart of being a emcee. They just settle for making money, but money doesn’t motivate me right now. Yes it’s good to have, but it’s not something I love. I love to rap so my whole thing is to try to progress with it. My whole thing is to be an MC in every essence of the word.
RubyHornet: Add-2, I appreciate the love for Ruby Hornet.com. Throw out the myspace and how fans can reach you?
Add-2: Yeah fans can reach me on www.myspace.com/add2