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Name: Adam Bernard
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Artist Of The Week - Sullee
Monday, September 07, 2009

Boston emcee Sullee is probably most recognizable from his time on The White Rapper Show. The VH1 program put him in a national spotlight until he became fed up with what he was being asked to do and packed his things and left, pride and self-respect in tact. Sullee’s musical journey, however, started long before that experience. Born in 1985 to a young mother and an incarcerated father who didn’t fully become a part of his life until after Sullee’s sixth birthday, Sullee had a budding music career as a member of a kids singing group before he even hit double digits in age. After the group disbanded Sullee focused on sports, but at about 15 he realized his NBA dreams weren’t going to become a reality and decided to pursue music full time. This time, however, it wasn’t about singing - Sullee was focused on being an emcee. Now with The White Rapper Show behind him and an album ready to be released in the fall, Sullee is poised to take the next big step in his career, which is why this week I sat down with him to find out more about his music, where he and his fellow Bostonians get their defiant attitude from, and the impact a traveling cartoon mouse had on him.

Adam Bernard: If someone’s never heard your music before what are they in store for the first time they put on one of your songs?
Sullee: I pride myself on being versatile. If you put on a Sullee record it could be anywhere from a very underground, lyrical, song with a grimy beat, to a semi-pop club song. Somebody I really like, in terms of the way he does it, is Fabolous, to give you an example. His commercial shit is really commercial and it’s really for chicks. But his mixtapes are really street. I like to do that. I like to keep my albums more on the commercial side and my mixtapes on the grimy, lyrical side of things. I like to do both because let’s not act like it’s not fun to do a club song and have girls jumpin up on stage, that’s a great time, but it’s also a great time to be in a cipher and spit a hot 16. I like to say I am an entertainer. If the show calls for it, I’ll do it. I’ll do metal if that’s what I need to do. I just like to do shows and make music, as long as it’s good.

Adam Bernard: I’ve noticed that over the years a lot of Massachusetts emcees get a nice local buzz going, but rarely go further than that. What is it about the scene that so often keeps it in its corner of the country?
Sullee: I feel that Boston is a very talented place. New England in general is a very talented place, but we won’t put out records that contradict our Hip-Hop to make money. If it’s to advance my business and my family then we can talk, but we’re still not gonna play me out and that was evident on The White Rapper Show when I was like no, I disagree with what you’re trying to get me to do, so I’m not doing it. It doesn’t matter if it’s wrong, right, or indifferent, it’s what I believe and as an American I can have all the beliefs I want and I’m gonna follow em. Maybe that’s what it is. Maybe Boston still remembers the American Revolution and we’re just like nah, we’re just gonna do what we want.

Adam Bernard: It’s in your blood.
Sullee: It really is, man. I’m a history dude and Boston is one of those places where we told the biggest empire in the world, the English empire, they used to say the sun never set on the English empire because there was always somewhere that it was daytime that England owned, and we told them get your fuckin tea, get the fuck out of our harbor, we’re gonna throw the shit in the ocean, and we started a war with the biggest country on earth and that attitude is definitely still in Boston, absolutely.

Adam Bernard: Obviously you showed a bit of that attitude while on The White Rapper Show. After all the edits were done, how did you feel about the way you were portrayed?
Sullee: When you watched me on that show, that was me. If I’m drunk and I’m bein loud, that’s how I am drunk and if I’m tryin to get in Misfit’s bed, that’s the way I am when I see a pretty blond girl. I actually just got an email today from somebody saying “I really respect how you left the show, it takes a real man to say no to money.” That’s really dope to me because I pride myself on being a man.

Adam Bernard: What was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for you that made you just pack up your things and leave?
Sullee: It was the snitching thing. I was raised that you don’t tell on people. Serch tried to say that snitchin’s a legal activity and I was like nah, man, c’mon, you’ve never been slapped for saying cousin Paul did this, or cousin Joe said a swear? Like “hey, stop being a fuckin tattletale.” The way it was put to me was for $100,000 go in the back and tell me why it was your teammate’s fault. What kind of bitch move is that? That’s how I looked at it. I came here with nothing and I can leave with publicity and nothing else and be happy.

Adam Bernard: You certainly left with a good amount of publicity and now you have an album coming out in the fall titled An American Tail. Is it safe to assume you’re a fan of the movie?
Sullee: Yeah, that movie’s intense! He’s an orphan, there’s all these orphan’s everywhere, there’s drunks, the mob, they’re all smoking, it’s like holy shit man, it’s a little mouse, he’s just trying to be a mouse in America and get away form the cats, he’s not trying to deal with all this mafia, smoking, orphan shit. That shit is crazy.

Adam Bernard: Do you see any elements of your own life in it?
Sullee: Yeah, actually I do. My father was locked up, so when Fievel was looking for his father, I knew where my dad was, but why didn’t he come home? I had questions like that.

Adam Bernard: It’s pretty crazy that we were shown a movie like that at such a young age.
Sullee: And that’s dope. That’s why my generation is so ahead of the curve because we were watching stuff like that. We were raised in a very easy time, but we were raised by very hard people. The people who were teenagers and adults in the 80’s had my generation. I was born in ‘85. My mom was born in the 60’s. Her generation was raised by people that were born in the 40’s and 50’s, so they were raised very hard which is why they raised us very hard, but then the way society changed it got very easy, excuses were made and things like that, so it’s easier today, but we were raised by hard people, so we’re hard people at our core with a soft exterior.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/sulleemusic
Twitter: twitter.com/sulleemusic
Facebook: facebook.com/bobbysullivan


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:09 AM  
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