Torae Interview

– Torae, an upcoming MC with fresh talent, with a pretty impressive resume already, when it comes to having worked with certain people. In short, who is Torae?
Torae is the new MC, new to the people that is, from Brooklyn New York. On the rise, on the come up. You may have heard me on records with my man DJ Premier, Skyzoo, or if you’re familiar with the Justus League, you may have heard me on 9th’s album. I’m just grinding out there. Right now I am working with Marco Polo, just grinding and making a name for myself and preserve that good music, that hiphop.

– Just reading your bio already makes one wonder why the world hasn’t been attacked with Torae yet.
It’s all timing and preparation and working with the right people, the right system and the support group. The talent was already there, but I had to find some of the things that I was lacking with my team. But every day was a preparation for me. I’m not mad at my struggle or my story.

– It started with a demo and Bad Boy?
Yeah, I recorded a demo back in the day, and this was around the time where you could still run around and shop your demo tape. So I recorded a demo and just started looking at different addresses on the backs of album covers. One of the people that called me back was at Bad Boy.

– Was it your goal to get signed with a major label back then?
Well yeah, back then that was kinda the thing. There weren’t a lot of indies. That’s more or less around the time when a lot of the artists that we now call underground, were still signed to the major labels.

– So what year are we talking about right now?
Uhm, this was probably around like mid nineties.

– When you were pretty fresh in the game, you toured with a lot of big names right away. How was that experience for you?
That was a beautiful experience to be out to get on the road. And see the people, such good people and perform. And you know that’s mad good for the relationships I have with people like Masta Ace, Strick and Punch and Words. And Marco, you know. I am happy to have such good relationships with people outside of the music business. You know these are my homies, my big brothers. So when the opportunity presents itself for them to rock, and they see my grind and see what I’m doing, they extend that opportunity to me. And of course you gotta have the talent. Nobody is gonna bring you out on the road if you’re not dope.

– Tell me about the link up with Dipset.
That was back in the day when I was working with a specific management company, they used to send me out on sort of auditions, anything to get my name out there. Whatever it was, a movie audition or a video audition, a show, they were just trying to keep me in there by having me doing everything. Long story short, one of the videos I was going to was from Cam’ron, the My Hood video. I got the chance to kick it with Cam, rap for Cam and he liked what he heard and he liked my personality and I was kicking it with him probably for the next 3, 4 years.

– That’s something that caught me, when I was reading up on you. You’ve worked with a lot of different type of people in the industry. Not just hanging with one click. You have links to every corner of the industry. That’s interesting.
Well yeah as a person you like different types of music or genres or different acts. When Cam was working on his second album “S.D.E.”, when he was still signed to Epic, I was a real big Cam’ron fan when he came out. Lyrically he was dope and for him to see that I was good, that I was talented, it meant a lot to me. He showed me mad love. They took me out with them, have me do radio and did shows with them real early in my career. Shouts to the Dips, I definitely owe them a lot.

– That would also sets you out for that type of audience, next to say 9th Wonder audience. Cause I don’t think that’s the same kind of audience per se.
Yeah cause definitely now there is more of a divide. I am sure if you listen to 9th and you listen to Cam’s first and second album, I am sure he’ll say yeah.

– Of course there are more people that listen to different kind of stuff, but it just makes you more accessible to different crowds.
I think people in general are diverse. They’re listening taste, their style etc. I am not just one-dimensional. You might catch me at P.Diddy’s party with the white linen on and the next day you may see me at a Dead Prez show with my sister.

– Let’s get back to you. Daily Conversation is the debut album. What does it represent for you? What does it say about Torae?
I think Daily Conversation is a nice way to introduce myself to the people. That’s how I looked at it. I wanna warm up the streets, I wanna warm up the Internet, to get them familiar with me. My voice, my flow, my texture and I think this is a nice way to introduce myself, with Daily Conversation.