By Tahisha Charles (@MiixtapeChiick) for Boston Compass #124
June 16, 2020
When the quarantine pandemic began back in March, it left artists unprepared and in a frenzy. Venues were being shut down with no reopening date, performances scheduled throughout the summer were being rescheduled to the next calendar year, curfews were being put in place statewide and buildings that served as a safe haven for those to create, were no longer.
Artists have since had to come up with a new game plan for visual treatments and project rollouts in efforts to keep their audience entertained. However, one artist who seems to have it all together from the start is 8Zipp. A Roxbury native, 8Zipp hasn’t been fazed by the quarantine one bit — it has actually made his brand stronger. The rapper has rolled out at least six singles since the beginning of March, while pushing his latest visual, “Cash Rules.” He’s also made an appearance on A&R Director of NNCHVLNT Sylus Gambino’s “Killed or Be Killed” record, which also features Vanni and Kam’Geez and has sparked a challenge for other artists to take on around the city.
Under the label imprint, Shooterz Muzik Machine, 8Zipp has always been a proud Roxbury resident and has never once shied away from talking about his upbringing. During his interview with the Boston Music Awards’ winning podcast, Its Lit Boston, the “Watch Me Win” curator’s manager, Chilla, described his artist as a street rapper. “He’s smarter than what people give him credit for. He’s seen it all as far as this side of life and the other side of life,” said the Shooterz Muzik Machine CEO. “You know we out here having a good time and we’ve also been at the bottom. Me and him had been incarcerated together for three years straight. Me and him were cellmates majority of the time, so that time we just really put our brains together and said when we come out, we gon’ do something positive, do that right thing, and stay focused, and that’s what we been doing since we’ve been home.”
Since the January interview, 8Zipp’s visuals have rounded up to over 75k+ views on Youtube and 13K on Soundcloud. Who does he do it for exactly? The campaign # FreeN**s. A slogan you’ll see on every hoodie or shirt he and his camp wears. He does it for his friends and loved ones who have continued to champion him behind a jail cell. “We made it out the jam, they gotta make it out the jam, too.”
8Zipp keeps it authentic and you can feel his pain. It’s evident from his music that he lives the life he talks about, as well as the rest of the Shooterz Muzik Machine roster (Side Street Capo and KT Cuatro).
Check out all the art and columns of June's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass