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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week – Gif
Monday, July 17, 2006

Hailing from Spanish Harlem, Gif has some very interesting perspectives not oftentimes seen in today’s Hip-Hop world. A lot of rappers will tell you all about their personal wealth. Gif, on the other hand, would rather speak about personal responsibility. Gif’s life in Hip-Hop started at the age of 13 when his friends urged him to rhyme at a talent show. A buzz grew among his classmates and Gif started rhyming all around his neighborhood. He battled everyone and openly admits there were times when he “got destroyed,” but those losses only inspired him to work harder at his skills. Once all the battling got old Gif went to work writing songs and making music. On Gif’s full length debut, View Of A Loser From On Top Of The World, listeners are hit with a combination of lyrical skills and fresh ideas regarding life, and as this week’s Artist Of The Week Gif is hitting readers with some of those ideas, too.

Adam Bernard: Last year you released an album titled View Of A Loser From On Top Of The World, how'd you come up with that concept and what does it mean to you?
Gif: I basically put this album together when I was at the lowest stage of my life. I was homeless, broke, disenfranchised, and unemployed. Everything I had, I had lost. My place of residence, my job, my steady income, my girl had left me, so that's where the loser part comes from. The album is basically a collection of my views and perspectives. I see the world like I'm on top of it looking down. I see how it's mostly water while everyone else sees mostly land. The top of the world part is just a metaphor for having a view that not many, if any, have.

Adam Bernard: You give people some food for thought with your music. How important is this for you to have in your music?
Gif: I just did what comes naturally to me. I didn't intentionally set out to give people something to think about. I was just making music. What came out was whatever I felt at the time. I just saw to much finger pointing going on, too much blaming and not enough of people taking responsibility and accountability for their own actions. With a lot of what we call positive music everything is the government’s fault, it's Bush and Condoleezza Rice. They say fuck Bush and Condoleezza Rice. I say fuck saying fuck Bush and Condoleezza Rice. Look in the mirror. The song “Self Destruction” came out in the 80's somewhere and the lyrics are still relevant. That says a lot. The old school rappers blame the new school rappers, saying things like "they rap about guns and violence, our Hip-Hop was more about fun and teaching." I hear that and it's funny to me cause I remember when positive music dominated the radio and people were still getting robbed for their sneakers and bombers and shit. Rev Run got shot in the ass back then, so they can't claim positive music breeds a positive attitude because I saw the evidence that it doesn't. It's important to me that people know what is truly going on. I don't want people being fooled into focusing on how the world has done them wrong and not allowing themselves to see where they went wrong. All that does is leave them making the same mistakes and holding other people accountable, which prevents them from ever fixing the things within themselves that allow them to make those mistakes.

Adam Bernard: What are some of the most pressing issues you'd like to see more MC's bringing up in their rhymes?
Gif: What I'd really love to see is a female rapper on some female shit. That would be hot! There hasn't really been a voice for the mothers out there that have been through the shelter system and that have had to deal with the public assistance system. I mean 2Pac made “Dear Mama,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and “Brenda's Got A Baby.” There are a lot of females still going through that shit and none of today's female rappers are really touching on it. So many people are going out of their way to seem extraordinary to the point they've made ordinary extraordinary because it's out of the ordinary that you see it.

Adam Bernard: In terms of your own career, what do you feel is the next step for you?
Gif: I don't have the script to my life I'm improving. I'm not gonna front like I got some great master plan cuz I don't. I know creatively I'm trying to do a lot of things. Right now I'm trying to find a Minister or Preacher that will debate with me on a song about religion. It's gonna be on a “is it more about God or virtue?” type of topic.

Adam Bernard: Finally, what is Gif's gift?
Gif: Life!

Website: www.dagif.com

MySpace: myspace.com/dagif

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