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93.9 WKYS is embracing local talent, and every Monday, we will prominently feature a local artist on the WKYS website.

If you would like to be featured on 93.9 WKYS New Music Monday please submit your song in an MP3 format, your photo, your bio and contact information to our DMV’s OWN page and every Monday we will feature a deserving local artist.

This week’s featured artist is Lyriciss.

How long have you been involved in music?

Well, I’ve been rapping since the age of 9, overall. I’m 23 now, so that’s 14 years of just being involved with the craft of rapping. I started taking it serious as a career around the age of 18 or 19. Everything over the last 4 years has been building the brand and becoming better as a well-rounded artist.

What inspired you to pursue a music career?

For one, hip-hop is what I love…I grew up on hip-hop, go-go, R&B, soul, & neo-soul. I always gravitated to hip-hop the most, though. Then when you add on the fall of the economy and lack of jobs to the actual passion of the craft that I have, I just decided to go 100% with the music. It’s like, “ok, if I’m trying to go by life the ‘right’ way and no doors are opening, I’m going to forget about the standard and follow my heart with this.” I’m just blessed in the fact that people really do enjoy the music and it’s turning my dream into a reality.

What are your songs about? How would you describe your music for the public audience?

Truth be told, that’s not a simple question. I speak about life and what goes on in it. I don’t think I can really be pigeonholed or boxed into a certain category at the end of the day. People can easily TRY to call me a “backpack rapper” or “conscious rapper” because I don’t really talk about “gangsta” topics on my songs, but they’d even be reaching with that. I think that’s more of a bigger problem in hip-hop as a whole anyway, though. Everybody wants to say they’re different, yet they’re all looking for a lane to classify themselves as. The best way to be different is to be yourself, and that’s what I do. I have songs about handling responsibilities as a man. Songs about the ups and downs of the life of a young drug dealer. Songs about alcoholic, disloyal fathers and husbands. Songs about partying and enjoying life. Songs about the ills of the government. I cover a lot of bases because all factors are embodied in everyone that walks this Earth. My goal is to always have something for someone to get out of my music.

What would you say has been your challenge for you as an artist?

Being myself in an industry that doesn’t want you to succeed without following their mold. That’s not to say it’s hard for me to be myself, but it’s harder for me to get ahead when I’m doing such. I have some pretty loyal fans and supporters, though, so I don’t feel discouraged about it…everything is timing.

What would you say has been your biggest break, thus far in your music career?

Hmm…that’s a tough one. I don’t think I’ve had a break yet…I’ve had some amazing looks, but nothing that has broken me through that glass ceiling yet, you know? It’s still a work in progress. The biggest moment so far, though, was actually quite recent. DJ Premier, who is probably the biggest hip-hop producer and DJ to ever exist, recently got hip to my music and ended up playing my single, “The Balance”, on his show on SiriusXM, “Live From HeadQCourterz”. Did the whole works on it, too…scratches, breaks, and brought the track back a few times. Definitely was honored by that. I’m hoping to work with him soon if possible.

What message do you want to send to your listeners?

No matter what, live your life the best you can. We’re raised in this day and age to believe that there’s only SO far we can go without being famous, which is far from true. If you’re a student, be the best student in your classes. We need doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc. We can succeed in anything, long as you put in the effort. We’re NOT destined to die by 21…prove the masses wrong.

If you could perform with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

When it comes to performing, I’m all about stage presence ALONG with the quality of music. With that said…Kanye West…Jay-Z…Sean Price…Kendrick Lamar…Busta Rhymes…Fashawn…Gods’Illa..

You can get at Lyriciss at @Lyriciss

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