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CVIDDY TV | WINTER DIGITAL ISSUE 6: mIRROR Monk Interview By: Catiana Saillant | Portraits By:Orlando Barros

Photography: Orlando Barros
Before the biggest acts became who they are today, they were nameless newcomers who were finding their way into the industry. With the power of social media especially SoundCloud and Twitter, new young rappers are becoming known names within a shorter period of time. So before they become household names, you should get to know the path they embarked to get to where they are now. For the latest segment of CViddy TV Winter 2018 cover issue 6, a digital series in which young up and comers in hip-hop walk us through their career journey up to their current life, we talk to South Florida rapper Mirror Monk.
Photography: Orlando Barros

On the morning of Nov. 28, 2017, rising Miami rapper Monk, who now goes by Mirror Monk, joined us at Asylum Studio in Hialeah, Florida where we sat down to discuss his journey and to where he is now.

Get to know more about Mirror Monk’s journey in the dialog below.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

Tell us about your life and how you grew up?

"I grew up in Little Haiti the Little River section, now known as Uptown. I wouldn’t say I grew up poor but I grew up alright. I went to school even though I didn’t go to all the field trips; I went to all the free ones (lol) I grew up with 3 brothers and 1 sister. I went to Horace Mann Middle I lived the average life as a kid, I would say up until 16-17 was when I started to understand what life was and how f*cked up it was because my parents tried their best to hide me away from the realities of life. My older brother was getting into a lot of trouble in the streets, then my second oldest brother he was harder on me and my other brother. He sheltered us away from all of the bad stuff. I really didn’t know what was going on until I was 16-17 then that’s when I started to ask questions about life and started doing the regular sh*t that kids do, getting into trouble, playing games, making jokes. Pretty basic life; Ya feel me."

What brought you to music?

"Okay so remember about the brother I told you that tried to shelter my other brother and I. He used to come home with his rap CDs and sh*t. Well before he really didn’t let us listen to rap because of all the cursing and shit. So me and my other brother who is a year older than me would sneak off and listen to it and suck the juice and learn the game, you know to soak up the game. I would print out lyrics of songs from the internet back then. I remember one time in the 4th grade I got in trouble for Tupac All About U lyrics. I left the lyrics on my desk and went to the bathroom and when I came back the teacher was like I need to talk to you after class, and when everybody left she was like the lyrics I found on your desk was blah blah blah… I guess she read them and figured it was inappropriate for a 4th grader (lol.) I was into it as a listener first but the love grew for it more when I started rapping. I would say I started professionally rapping at 19 but the love for hip-hop started at 10-11."

Photography: Orlando Barros

Where did the name Mirror Monk come from?

"Basically, I got the name Monk from the streets. I then took the name Monk as my rap name. When I used to search my name on the internet, the TV show Monk would pop up so I had to put the Mirror in front of it. I put the "Mirror" in front of it to single me out when you search me. It started to develop its own meaning. Like Mirror Muzik is a reflection of the music and myself. The listener as well and what they hear is what they reflect off."

Tell us about Mirror Muzik the label.

"My right hand Gutta and I started the label. I was like 18-19 and he was 22, we would sit around and make music all day for no reason so we decided to come up wth a label name. I came up with like a thousand names before I got to Mirror Muzik. We went an incorporated it and ended up building our own studio and from there we started doing our thing independent, out of our own pocket."

What would you say is your best body of Work?

"I would say "Reflections." Not saying it is my only body of work because i’ve had music before then but just the way it came together. All the songs were already out all I had to do was put the songs together into a tape. When I listen to it or ride to it, it's like I can’t skip a song, I just let it ride out. Even when people tell me when they listen to it they say, they can’t take it out, they just let it ride out, and they don’t have to skip a song. I guess because all the songs were singles at first or were already out so it already had the impact. That’s why I say it’s my best body of work. That time was when I was finding myself as an artist. Back then, I was doing music but I was more into the lyrics and the structure of the song. As I became more conscious and aware of my music, I put more into the message and energy into my songs song. That’s why Reflections is my best body of work because all the feelings and emotions that went into making that tape."

So you are working on your next project, so what can we expect from the project?

"The project, I don’t really want to put a date on it because as J. Cole said: “Ideas don’t have a date”. And it hit me like damn he’s right because it’s not a finished product until it’s done. The creative process you cant do that at the same time as you do the marketing and the promoting process. So I want to finish the creative side first, and then when its done I'll put a date on it. But I’ll say it’s about 67% done. It’s coming soon though. The title is Mirrors on the Wall: Reflections II."

Photography: Orlando Barros

Who should we expect on the album as far as producers and do you have any features?

"I’m sorry y'all it ain’t no features on the tape and since its Reflections part II, I wanted to use my life, my story, my everyday troubles and struggle to connect with the audience. That’s why I have no features. Rippa produced the entire album because for a project like this you have to sit down with the same mind and channel the same energy and create"

What’s next for this project?

"Just tour and hit the fans to xpand the fan base and make money. The website coming soon too with merchandise. Along with a short movie/documentary that’s gonna tell the story that goes along the project."

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Jeromy Alexander
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Orlando Barros

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