A Manifestation Machine Exclusive Interview with Wisconsin Hip-Hop Artist, Undecent, Returning to the Rap Game After a Four-Year Hiatus
Today at Manifestation Machine, we do an exclusive, one-on-one interview with arguably one of the most buzz-worthy hip-hop artists/producers to ever come out of the great state of Wisconsin, Undecent (whose real name is Patrick, as he is keen to point out in his aptly-titled track “Real Name”, off of his most recent album), who is, simply put, the definition of a “manifestation machine”–a success-oriented individual who will stop at nothing to create a life worth dying for for himself and his family.
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Born in Menasha, Wisconsin in the late 80’s, Undecent grew up in a middle-class family, the youngest of two boys, and, like many of his classmates, played sports (in Undecent’s case, football) for his hometown Menasha Bluejays. Unlike most of his classmates, however, he also harbored a deep love for hip-hop music (especially that of the late Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G., who he routinely cites as his greatest inspiration) that most of his classmates couldn’t seem to wrap their heads around.
As a young, white kid growing up in a predominantly-white city with a population of under 20,000, and despite the fact that Eminem—easily the most successful white hip-hop artist of all-time—had become wildly popular right around the time Undecent was entering high school, no reasonable person would have believed that Undecent could have loved hip-hop as much as he had, let alone that he would go on to become what he has since become, which is easily one of the most clever, lyrically-gifted, and original rappers to ever emerge from the Badger State.
While other well-known hip-hop acts from Wisconsin, such as The Rusty P’s and The Crest, focus on either an “old school” style of rap (similar to that which was popularized by late 80’s rap acts such as The Sugarhill Gang) or come across as a cheap knock-off, in many ways, of the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based, underground rap group Atmosphere, Undecent’s style is decidedly one-of-a-kind and a breath of fresh air in what is otherwise a sea of musical sameness, wherein nearly every “hot new rapper” that has “made it” or “hit it big” in the last decade is a carbon copy of the rapper that came immediately before him or her (to the point where underground rap legend, Hopsin, has parodied and made a mockery of this complete and utter lack of authenticity and originality in hip-hop music today, via his 2015 song “No Words”).
In the interview to follow, we here at Manifestation Machine hope to shed some light, for those of you who’ve not yet had the pleasure of getting to know “Undiggy-diggy-decent”, on who Undecent is, what he’s about, and what he achieves to achieve in the next leg of his already admirable, young, and just-getting-started career.
Manifestation Machine: Undecent, thank you very much for joining us today; for taking time of your business schedule to share some of your success-oriented knowledge and musical experiences with our readers—especially your fellow musicians and entertainers among us—who we are quite sure will benefit immensely from what they are going to hear from you here today.
Undecent: It’s my pleasure. There isn’t anywhere else in the world I’d rather be right now.
MM: Let’s get started. A few years ago, you released an album with your cousin, Cory Crush, entitled ‘REALigion and the Mourning After‘, followed by your first solo album, ‘The Distance to Existence‘—the release of which you supported with a brief tour with fellow Fox Valley, Wisconsin native, Handz Onn—and now, four years later, a comeback appears to be in the cards for you, complete with plans or a brand-new album. Tell us—what can we expect from Undecent in 2017/2018?
U: You can expect greatness! I’m kidding (kind of). I can guarantee that you will see a more focused, streamlined approach. I am releasing a new album titled ‘Underrated and Overlooked’. I can honestly say that I have never been as hungry as I am now. I am also looking to be on stage as much as possible. The energy that you experience performing live is second to none; it fuels me.
MM: Since your last album, you and your girlfriend welcomed into the world your first child—congratulations on that, by the way. What do find to be most challenging about balancing home life with a musical career and what, if any, advice do you have for other young musicians with children who may believe that their kids are a hindrance to their career?
U: Thank you, and honestly it is not a hindrance at all; if anything, it feeds me more motivation. I want to provide my family with all the finer things in life. I love my family and I love music. It’s as simple as that. My girlfriend has been nothing but supportive, and I will always love her for that.
MM: It’s well-established that in early on in your career, you had some issues with alcohol addiction, as evidenced by the cathartic and, some would say, depressing tone of some of your recordings in and around the years 2010-2011. That said, it’s equally well-established that you’ve been 100% sober for quite some time now and haven’t had a drink in several years. Knowing what you know now, about just how easy it is for a young musician or entertainer to get hooked on alcohol or drugs, what advice, if any, would you give to your former, 18-21-year-old self, or perhaps for other 18-21-year-olds looking at starting a career in music, in terms of avoiding or indulging in addictive substances?
U: Treat your music like a business. You wouldn’t go to your day job drunk and you shouldn’t perform your set drunk. If you are serious about a career in music, you need to be serious about your music. You have to remember that there are millions of artists out there that are just as hungry as you are. Don’t blow your chance because you took advantage of the free drinks offered to by the venue you are performing at. Have fun, but always stay in control. Always remember, just because you party like a rockstar, it doesn’t make you one.
MM: Like many musical artists who’ve yet to “hit it big” with, say, a hit single or a major record label deal, you’ve had to find time to write and record new music while simultaneously holding down a full-time job. How do you make time for your music or fit it into your very busy schedule and what, if any, advice would you have for aspiring rappers who, like many people, have two to three jobs and almost no free time, in terms of getting their time in the studio in, in spite of their circumstances?
U: The real question is ‘how do I make time for a full-time job while working on music?’ I honestly think about my family and music 24 hours a day. As soon as I clock out of work, it’s family time; as soon as my son goes to sleep, it’s music time. I honestly don’t sleep much and wish that there were more hours in a day, but when you are passionate about something, you find or make time because you have to. Very rarely do I “go out”. I’m all business all the time.
MM: With the advent of social media over the last decade, and especially with Twitter and Instagram having really taken off since your last album, what is your take on how important social media is to musicians today and what, if any, advice would you have for others like you, in terms of how they can best use it to reach new fans and stay in touch with existing ones?
U: Social media makes it easier to get noticed. I mean, you can become a star literally overnight. But I also feel like social media takes away from the art of the music. More people are worried about “getting hits” than about writing great music. There is a fine line and I honestly understand each aspect. I’m looking to walk that tight rope, where my great music is what makes me popular.
MM: In the past, you’ve produced your own beats (or instrumentals) for your tracks, as well as bought some from various producers from around the world. What, if any, advice would you give to your fellow recording artists, with regards to negotiating on the price of beats, recording on a tight budget, or producing their own music to save some money?
U: Do not settle for lackluster beats! Pay the money! You need great production to become a great artist. I was awful at making beats and I realized that, so I purchase all my beats now. I use SoundClick, SoundCloud, and even YouTube to find instrumentals. When negotiating beats, you need to remember that you are in the position of power. There are so many incredible producers out there fighting for your money, and you need to remember that. I’ve gotten exclusive rights to instrumentals for as low as $50.
MM: Now for the old “time machine” question: If you could go back in time and do anything differently, in terms of the songs you’ve recorded, the gigs you’ve performed, and/or the decisions you’ve made with regards to your musical career, what would you change and why?
U: I wouldn’t have taken four years off! [laughs] In all honesty, there isn’t a whole lot that I would change; the hard times and the mistakes have taught me a lot of valuable lessons. However, if I had to change one thing, I would not have rushed my last album, ‘The Distance to Existence‘. There are one or two songs on that record that make me cringe when I listen to them, but what is done is done, and I am still very proud of my first record.
MM: Last, but not least, what are your major goals, with regards to your career, say, over the next five years or so, and what does your long-term vision look like, in terms of where you see yourself ten years from now?
U: My short-term goal is to become a top-10-selling, indie hip-hop artist. I love the idea of having complete creative control when it comes to my music. The idea of having someone tell me what to write about is scary. I also want to become a full-time musician within the next two years. I want a passionate “cult” fan base. I also want to perform at Red Rocks Amphitheatre; that place is dope. Long-term, I want to go platinum and move to Hawaii. I’m a simple man. [laughs]
MM: Undecent, it has been a pleasure speaking with you, and I think we here at Manifestation Machine can speak for all our readers when we say that we are all much better off for having had the opportunity to chat with you.
U: The pleasure is all mine, and I hope to speak with you again very soon! Maybe even to do an exclusive interview when my new record drops!
MM: We’ll be here to help spread the word, anytime you need us. Anything for our fellow entrepreneurs.
To learn more about Undecent and/or to hear his one-of-a-kind brand of Fox Valley, Wisconsin-based hip-hop, be sure to visit the following links:
Undecent on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/undecent/
Undecent on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUhkK9YR2zY-nVMVmDFznbg
Undecent on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/undecent920/
Undecent on Twitter (@undecent): https://twitter.com/Undecent
Undecent on ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/undecent
Undecent on BandCamp: https://corycrush.bandcamp.com/
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this interview as much as we enjoyed doing it!
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