Zach89. The name may be unfamiliar now, but after looking at Queens, New York’s track record of churning out hip hop legends- it won’t be for long. The one-time reality star (Run’s House) and 1/3 of Team Blackout is out to prove that he’s not a rich kid with a famous co-sign. In fact, he’s much more than that. A college graduate with a degree in music performance, Zach’s musical talents have the potential to take him far beyond everyone’s expectations…and more.
With one very successful mixtape, RapZhody, still making waves on the Internet and another one on the way, people will finally get to know why he’s worthy of their time. Check our Mixxclusive below:
Mixx: Did you grow up playing different instruments?
Z: I played the drums- that’s my main instrument. I dabbled in a couple other instruments like piano, guitar, but drums is the main one.
Mixx: When did the rapping come into play?
Z: Coincidentally, I got into rapping and playing the drums around the same time actually. I was around 10 years old at the time. I just got into both of them real heavy and kept up.
Mixx: What is it about hip-hop that drew you to it as a kid?
Z: I think what it was about hip hop was the aggression. I’m a quiet, real laid back kind of kid and that aggression brought something out of me.
Mixx: I’m sure you look up to other rappers from Queens. Is there one in particular that is a major inspiration?
Z: I’m a HUGE Nas fan. There are so many legends from Queens.
Mixx: Do you feel any pressure coming from Queens as well?
Z: Actually, I don’t feel any pressure. I feel more of a sense of pride. Saying that I’m from Queens just feels good. I’m glad that I was born and raised here.
Mixx: Speaking of Queens rappers, what do you think of Nicki Minaj?
Z: I got mad love for Nicki Minaj. She’s a superstar; she’s on a whole other level now. She’s the only female rapper out there right now that’s killin’ it, so I can’t hate on that…I definitely appreciate what she does and how she approaches a track. She has so much charisma and style and the way she raps is unique.
Mixx: How do you think your jazz/music training sets you apart?
Z: I would definitely say that it sets me apart. Being an actual musician helps with my rapping because I can play around with different rhythms; I can approach the music at a different level as opposed to the typical rapper.
Mixx: Do you produce?
Z: At the moment, no. I want to produce. I don’t know much about the computer/technical side of things, but as far as playing an instrument, I think I could really get into that and produce later on.
Mixx: For those who don’t know, what is Team Blackout?
Z: Team Blackout is group consisting of me, my man Reggie (Poulard) and JoJo Simmons (Rev Run’s son). Run’s House is where we got our first ‘look.’
Mixx: What was the reality show experience like?
Z: It was cool and definitely a learning experience. The first time I was ever on the show…I was 16 years old. I was fresh in the game; didn’t know nothing about nothing and I feel like I grew a lot as a person and an artist by being on the show all those years.
Mixx: Are reality shows really ‘reality?’
Z: It’s reality. They don’t have the cameras in there 24/7, but they have it on a certain time frame.
Mixx: Is Team Blackout still together?
Z: We’re still a group. We were friends before we started doing the music thing. But we made a conscious effort to focus on our solo careers so everyone can get to know us on an individual level. But, if an opportunity came up for Team Blackout to shine, we’d definitely take it. But, right now, we’re working on solo stuff…I would say we’re on a hiatus, but we’re definitely not over.