Garcia - Making Noise in
1/1/05 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview
You may recognize this
week's featured interview subject, as he was one of LR's
featured artists in April.
While Pitbull moves up
the charts, many in Florida still recognize that this
Cubano is destined to blow and help put Miami hip hop on
the map even more. Be sure to keep your eye on this kid in
Garcia speaks with LatinRapper about big sales, big moves,
and Miami hip hop in an exclusive interview.
LatinRapper.com: Lets talk about the big news first, how
many copies of Anti Social have been sold this year?
We're up at 50,000 if you count what's being shipped and
moved. We got hooked up with a nice little licensing deal
overseas. Between street sales, internet sales and all that,
we're up to 25,000, plus 25,000 over there. We're really
excited about that, man.
Those are great sales for someone on an indie. Did Crazy
Hood expect Anti Social to do so well with just grassroots
We'll, we never expect the best, we only expect the worse,
that's why we're never let down. We just basically do stuff
and put it out there and grab a response, we got a huge
overwhelming response on the album, and that's what actually
helped other distributors to grab on to it. We definitely
worked our asses for it, I cant say we were expecting it.
LatinRapper featured you in April because it was obvious
you were putting out a hot album, as far as mainstream
promotion on t.v., didn't you get some countdown love on the
Yeah, Mun2 actually still has come get it on Mun2 jams, we got
some love in Tampa, New York, I think L.A. Mun2 jams, as well
as the local news stations, like Fox down here in Miami did a
whole piece on me on the news. The video for "Come Get It" got
a lot more exposure than expected, especially with no budget.
So whenever we expect the worse, we are that more
The video for "Come Get It" by Jokes was pretty hot, did
you get it on BET?
Nah, we didn't have it on BET, but you know, we're realistic,
we're still indie, we're not that large, we're still working
on that goal. The video is still hot, but format wise, I don't
think we were on BET's level yet, but we were damn near close
to it. We got love on a lot of local stations, and Telemundo,
but we couldn't go to BET or Viacom and make that kind of
noise yet. And BET has that show Uncut, but we don't have any
hoes stripping or anything like that, so that wouldn't fit.
But we did sent it to them, we tried.
For those up and coming artists who don't know, how
difficult is it to get your video on a station like BET if
you're coming from an indie and not a major?
Ridiculously different, close to impossible at times. You
gotta figure with the speed of technology, making the video
becomes extremely easy, just like recording five years ago
became easy. Being that I direct videos, it's becoming real
easy to make videos to compete. On the other hand, I think
that's a good thing, because it comes back to talent. If it
really wasn't creative, and it doesn't stand out, that's not
gonna be a good thing. So to mess with a big conglomerate
station like that, its real hard. A lot of people think they
are gonna make a video and blow up, its not that easy, you
gotta pay dues.
What got you into rapping in the first place?
Believe it or not, I wrote my first rhyme when I was 14. This
is how old school I am. Making diss songs of Kriss Kross, I
had no beef with Kriss Kross, but I was just young, so I
started writing rhymes as a joke for my friends. By the tI'me
I was 18 I had a single, it started out as a joke, people
thought that I was at least better than other people writing
rhymes at my age. Hip hop already had a hold on me, after
writing that rhyme I became the mc that I am. And I was a huge
fan of Kriss Kross, I just did it as a joke, after that kit
kind of fell into place.
Miami was known since Luke and 2 Live, but it seems its
really blowing up now. Why is that?
Its just falling into place, Miami is a huge city and it's a
huge tourist town, so everyone from all over the world is
constantly coming here, at least to South Beach anyway. What
really made it come to effect is radio showing love to local
artists like Pitbull, Jackie O, Dirtbag, and once they hear
you on the radio they are gonna go download your music on the
internet, and follow your career as an artist. Miami has
always had a huge hip hop scene, its just been slept on. Aside
from Luke, and booty and base. DJ Kraze is the number one
turntablist in the world, he was the world champion DJ in '98.
The number one breakdancing crew, Ground Zero, they're from
Miami, the top known graf heads, they're from Miami. Its
nothing new to Miami, people been rapping here for years, we
just got pigeonholed with the booty music. Don't get me wrong,
in Miami we love booty music, there's just other stuff that
Miami had to offer, and a while before the media caught on to
the tourists, that's why I think Miami is getting the exposure
When an artist such as yourself pushes this many albums
locally, the majors come calling. Any thoughts on signing to
Yeah, we're talking to a few people now. There's a couple
people interested and talking to me, especially now that I'm
getting a lot of play on commercial radio on Miami. Started to
clock a lot more bds, spins are getting more noticeable. Of
course I'm having thoughts, of course you are gonna want the
financial backing of a label or an investor. What Imma do, I
have no idea, I have a couple of options on the table,
hopefully first quarter of 2005 I make my decision and go that
way. Independent is cool but it helps financially when someone
Your artist name is presumably your last name. Do you ever
consider that some consumers may not pick up the album because
they know you're obviously a Latin artist and might pigeonhole
you with others?
Uh, I get pigeonholed all the time and stereotyped by a lot of
labels. Universal Latino wanted me to do an entire Latin
album, they wanted me to do some reggaeton stuff. Latin kid,
name garcia, big chain, okay we want him to do reggaeton. Or:
'Latin, Miami, make him sound like Pitbull'. No disrespect to
Pitbull, I just did a song with him. I'm positive about being
Latin, I'm not scared of my last name affecting me, if
anything I think it helps me, because of that Latin explosion
in hip hop for the last 10 years. Now Latins are really
getting love, now lets get past the stereotypes so people see
the different forms of Latin hip hop.
Have you been touring lately, or plan to do so to promote
Yeah, I did 2 shows , I've done a lot in Miami, in Miami I'm
up to 4, 500 performances before Anti Social. My most
noticeable shows in the last six months, opened up for KRS
One, I opened up for Mos Def on Friday, I've done a lot of
commercials. I've basically promoted myself. I've performed in
New York City, Baltimore, Atlanta in a club called the
Underground, this last year has basically been a whirlwind.
The most noticeable shows have been KRS and Mos Def, that's
been an honor, that's been really special to me.
"Come Get It" was the big single, but what's your personal
favorite track off of Anti Social and why?
Darkest days, its an acoustical song I have with my cousin,
it's live band, it's got a live band feel to it. I was going
through a rough time when I wrote that. My cousin Adrian, was
a great experience working with her. Brings back a lot of
memories for me on a personal level, that's my favorite song
You've been on stage with a number of big artists, who
would you like to collab with in 2005?
(Laughs) You got a minute? I actually just did a show with
Immortal Technique we actually did the Mos Def show together.
That was real cool, for us, for me being the mc from Miami, on
the lyrical level, him being from New York, we just vibed and
said f**k it, we basically set it off. You can basically look
forward to that. Other artist I would love to collabo off, Dre
3000, Eminem, the Roots, Fat Joe, basically anyone that
respects hip hop and does music not only for economic value
but because they love music. Underground, whoever really cares
about their craft, and respects what they do and have a
passion for it. I think that's why me and I.T. hit it off,
because we both have that same grind and work ethic.
Outside of the rapping, I know that you direct videos. How
has that been going for you?
Its been going good. Directing videos to me was a side hustle.
I met Jokes and he basically showed me how to run with it, not
having to have a 9-5. I have a passion for it, I love film,
and I love motion pictures, but my major passion in that
spectrum is producing. Directing is very time consuming, I
wanna be with music which is my first love. So I wanna get
more projects for Jokes, getting budgets, making sure Jokes
gets what he needs to get done. He deserves a lot more than he
gets right now, he's really the top director in the Latin
world right now, he just needs a break.
The top Latin director of music videos is arguably Jessy
You know what I mean, he's the top director of Latin Hip Hop
videos. He's done videos for Don Dinero, he might do a video
for Kilo featuring Snoop Dog. He's really creative, basically
if I get a deal, he's doing my video.
You've been in the game since ‘92, and on an underground
level you've blown up. What needed to happen between then and
now for this day to come?
Ah.... I just think it was a majority of things catching up to
themselves. I've opened up for everyone from the most
underrated top artist you can think of to Outkast, Tribe
Called Quest, Mos Def, Wu Tang, DMX, Nas. I've been on tapes
hosted by Whoo Kid, Kay Slay, Efn, publications like yourself.
I just think it was a collision of all those things, not to
mention the video work. Which was actually helped by Jokes, he
was the creative producer of The Roof. I think it's things
finally coming together and people taking notice of it. That's
what I think happened for me. I was always the kid that worked
real hard, just that Crazy Hood didn't have that financial
backing. It was blood sweat and f**king tears. My motto is, if
you want it, I want it more than you do. Not gonna f**k anyone
over in the process, but if I cant speak for it in dollars,
I'll speak for it in work ethic, and people take notice of
Who are some of the people you have to thank for getting to
Dj Efn, first and foremost, for believing in me and always
sticking by me. My wife Angie, City Life Clothing company,
she's always been there to help me and guide. Jokes for
creating an image for me on the video tip and really helping
to expose me to the Latino market Mun2. Jay Bishop, pretty
much all the major mixers in Miami and mixtape DJs, most
notably Meddaphore, Megamixs, 305hiphop.com, pretty much the
city coming behind me. After that, the ball was in my corner.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for artists on an
I think the biggest is just standing out right now. The thing
with music is that its so easy to make music, that everyone
and there mother is putting music out there. So how does yours
get noticed in a pile of sh*t? There's a million rappers
dropping albums, so how do you stand out. So its marketing,
how do you get the audience to listen to you and not John Doe,
who lives right next to you. There's just so much music, how
do you stand out of that, its really good marketing and real
hard work. I think a lot of rappers think that they are gonna
put out there CD, or demo, and Russell Simmons is gonna pull
up in a limo and whisk them away. Timing, marketing, and real
exposure, that's real hard. Its real frustrating 'cause a lot
of doors are gonna slam in your face in the process. It comes
back to whether you have it in you. Not everyone's built for
What do things look like for Garcia in 2005?
2005, expect another album, whether its indie or through a
major, entitled "Publicly Personal", and anyone out there that
thinks that Anti Social was dope on a lyrical level, just
wait. Producing, trying to get Jokes on the map. Trying to get
Heckler more exposure. Working my best to get Crazy Hood
known, as well as City Life Clothing now, just basically on
the grind. New album, new single, and we're gonna keep it
moving and not stop the motion we have going. And hopefully in
2005 I make a decision with one of these companies and
hopefully run with it.
Anything you want to add?
A thank you to latinrapper and you, and just to tell people to
check out Crazy Hood and CityLifeClothing.com, and a big shout
out to anyone supporting me and Miami hip hop.
Garcia on the Web:
Garcia on Myspace: