NJ Radio Host Richard Scott
Every Monday between 7-8pm EST, Richard Scott plays music from some of the elite emcees in New Jersey. WKNJ 90.3 has been Rich's platform for the past year where he interviews NJ artists in an effort to spread awareness about their projects and movements. We took the time to bring you an exclusive interview on the Interview Man himself, and dive a little deeper into the mind, passion, and favorites of a true trailblazer in NJ rap culture.
Before we get into the music, you started your life’s journey as a military man, was released from service, and was diagnosed with PTSD. With mental health being an important issue these days, what’s your take on it?
I think it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it’s definitely something that should be addressed. Being too proud can lead to further issues down the road. It took me a long time to figure out how to deal with my PTSD, and I still have breakdowns once in a while.
I think now that we've seen more artist and athletes coming out about their experiences, it’s becoming less looked down upon. For me music really helps when I feel like I’m losing control. Whether it‘s just putting my headphones on and vibing, watching music videos, or preparing for my next show.
What would you say separates a good interview from a great one?
A good interview will come off like a conversation. When the artist and host can bounce off each other it’s magic. You need good questions and topics for the artist that are original, and stay away from the ones they’ve been asked a million times. This requires research by the host and an artist who is open to talking. It’s the absolute worse when an artist is dry and gives the most dead end answers possible. This is their moment, so to go into an interview and be short spoken is a bad look for them.
An example of a great interview was when I met with Kxng Prince from Irvington. He had so much to say. Interesting things to say. He made it easy, and gave so much for the audience to learn about him as an artist. Really dope.
If you had to name your top 5 emcees from Jersey, who would they be?
Now that’s tough, since I have so many I really enjoy. I don’t want anyone to feel some kind of way for leaving them off this list because there are so many great artist in the state. But I would say:
Cruch Calhoun: I really enjoy his sound. He is so laid back and so real. Cruch was a great interview, he was easy to work with, great attitude, and supportive of the movement. He got that cool, slow tempo in his deep voice, and just does not drop bad music. His collabs with Foe Huned are some of my favorite, and that tape they dropped back in the day Boyz N The Hood is a classic! I know the fans and myself are waiting for that Big Loco to drop, so if he sees this he needs to know, WE WAITING!
Killa Kherk Cobain: Kherk is on a whole different level. He took the Jersey Club/Rap and turnt that shit way the fuck up. I don’t understand how all these clubs aren't playing his music. He has the whole package to go mainstream. The style, the music, the attitude, the creativity, it's all there. On top of that, the man is out there helping the community and working with kids that have autism, so it’s hard not to cheer for him to win. I always look forward to his drops and how he experiments with his sound. Somebody give that man a deal.
Albee Al: Albee is Albee. I'm not gangster whatsoever but when I listen to his music, I turn into the hardest person alive. From the production to mastering his style, his growth from Everyday June 30th to Koba is crazy. I really wish he got to perform more. I think a lot of places wouldn't let him for a while, but in the last few months he had a couple shows that I couldn't make it to. I went to his album release party for Koba at Dolce’s and you could see the energy he brings into the room, could only imagine what it’s like at a show.
MBM Franko: MBM might be the hungriest artist I know. It seems like he drops new music every day. He constantly switches it up so you’re rarely getting the same style twice. His cover art is always really dope, and he is very active on social media. He has been another person who’s supported me and what I’ve tried to accomplish thus far. I fuck with his music super heavy and admire how hard he pushes himself. His Clout Demon tape is one of my favorite projects that dropped this year.
Sunnie: Sunnie is an artist someone sent me a month or two ago and she is amazing! Her image, her music, her visuals I cannot get enough of. It’s such a cool vibe, and completely opposite of every other artist I listed so far. I must have listened to her song Magic like a million times already. Her vocals are so unique, she paints a whole picture with her lyrics, and her videos seem so natural instead of over done. I really look forward to seeing how her career progresses.
What interest you about the underground that drives you to run a platform strictly for them?
I think it comes from the interest everyone has with underground music. It's fun to find a song or artist and show people who haven't heard it, and than support the artist and see how they grow. When the music is in its most independent form, the artist has complete control of their sound and image. The artist is hungry and you get to see who really wants it.
I wanted to support and use any kind of platform I had available to me. I could’ve just been another show or playlist that plays mainstream artists, but why not go the other route and give some shine to those hustling hard in Jersey. There are plenty of artist right here that are on par with the mainstream, so bringing them on to the show for interviews just made the whole thing work. I'm passionate about music and about supporting others, and this is my way to combine both.
How do you feel about the following statement: Jersey artists don’t connect or promote each other enough.
I don’t knowwww. I see a lot of Jersey artist working together and networking with each other. From Jersey we are just naturally competitive but I think the artists know working together is easier than bumping heads. There are a lot of cliques, and some artists beef, but I can’t say I completely agree with the statement when it’s limited to Jersey. You can say that about any region and not just stigmatize what happens here.