Learn more about the Chicago native.
Hailing from the East Side of Chicago Ausar Bradely, is on the rise. With a flow like Common, a mind a like Cole, the aura of Lupe & a sound of his own; Ausar should be on the radar of every avid hip-hop lover.
I recently sat down with the rising star and discussed his growth as an artist, his latest project, future plans and his relationship with music. Check out our full conversation below.
Now, I know you’re from Chicago so how has that influenced your sound?
My favorite rapper is Common, and Common actually grew up around my neighborhood. So when listening to his music, I was drawn in because he’s from my hood, and everything he was talking about, I could see it while listening to it. Naturally I drew a connection to him, and that had a heavy impact on my music. I like to pride myself on vocabulary and storytelling, which are two trademarks of Common.
How would you describe your sound?
How would I describe my sound? Umm, I make family barbecue music.
Ah that’s an interesting description, I’ve never heard that one before.
I mean yea, I feel like I make music that tells my own story. I kind of try to tell a narrative of hope and faith, and then I want it to feel good. I want you to be able to feel something when you listen to my music.
I know you’re apart of an organization called W.O.R.D. Can you talk about that?
W.O.R.D. stands for Writers Organizing Realistic Dialect, and it’s a collective at my college for anyone that just loves the art in general. There are people in W.O.R.D. who rap, sing, write poetry – there’s even people that don’t do anything, they just come to enjoy the atmosphere. It’s there to teach and create an outlet to help you advance as an artist. I didn’t put a song out until I joined W.O.R.D.
Would you say W.O.R.D. impacted your musical development significantly?
I wouldn’t have started rapping if it wasn’t for W.O.R.D., because my manager and Josie Green and a lot of other people in that organization lit the fire underneath me and basically said “If you want to rap, you can for real do it.” They encouraged me and let me know they believed in me.
Did you go into W.O.R.D. as a poet of a rapper?
I actually went in as a beat maker. My initial goal going into W.O.R.D. was to find different people to hop on beats that I had made.
So you were a producer before you were a rapper?
Yea, which is really interesting because I don’t produce anymore.
I know you write your own raps so when did the writing component come into play?
When I was younger, my older brother used to sit & listen to instrumentals, and because I was always up underneath him, I was just like “Imma write with you.” Then, it turned into “Let’s put the time on for 30 minutes and whoever comes up with the best 16 wins,” and that turned into me wanting to be better than him. I’m competitive. After that, I just learned to love writing.
So would you consider yourself a writer before a rapper?
That’s interesting. A lot of people from Chicago characterize themselves on being writers before rappers.
I mean, writing is an attribute of rap, but it’s bigger than that. I started writing poems way before I started rapping, and I feel like anybody that raps probably started off with poetry.
Anyone that raps well.
Yea, anyone who raps well probably started off with poetry cause it’s kind of the gateway.
When did you fall in love with rap?
After I bought the Blueprint 3 and heard J. Cole for the first time. Cole is who I sort of want to model my sound after. He and Common are both huge influences.
What was the process like for creating Growth?
The EP wasn’t even entitled Growth a first, it was titled Rise. Then, on top of that it was suppose to be a dual EP with someone in my collective, it was going to be a visual type thing. I was listening to some of the songs I created and just realized they all had the same premise of growth, so that’s what I decided to center the EP around. It was rerecord in about 2 weeks, but the writing took about 5 months.
So what’s next?
I’m just trying to get as many shows in as possible while I’m still in school. I’m also working on my next project which probably won’t be out for awhile. The name of that project is going to be David, and Growth was the Blueprint for that project.