Fresh Daily – No Loincloth Necessary

Everyone has a name. It’s what you sign checks with, it’s how people address you, it’s how people know you. Now imagine if one day you received a letter saying you couldn’t use your name anymore, you had to change it, or you would be sued. This is exactly what happened to Fresh Daily only a few short months ago.

Fresh Daily is a Brooklyn based MC who’s signed to UVInk but up until just a few months ago he was known as Ill Tarzan, a name he’d had for eight years. An email would change his life in an instant. Fresh Daily explains he has two email accounts, his personal account and one professional account set up by his publicist. “I hadn’t checked the professional one because someone had made that account, I didn’t make it for me, so I don’t check it as often as my personal account, but I decided to check it and I noticed that I had some new emails.” One of those emails become of special interest. “I opened it and it was from a law office. There was a legal document attached and it was an adobe file so I opened it up and it’s like seven pages of legal documents like it’s come to our attention that you’ve been performing and selling music under this name, Ill Tarzan, and we represent the family of Edgar Rice Burroughs, who wrote the book Tarzan, and we don’t want you using this name because we don’t want any mix up between anybody thinking your stuff is our stuff and just in case your stuff is not mistaken for our stuff just you using the name Tarzan is diluting our brand and we’re aware that you just added the prefix Ill in front of it but you’re still capitalizing off the name.”

How Fresh Daily was capitalizing off the Tarzan name is still a mystery, his stage show has never involved swinging on vines or loincloths. He remember the feeling he first had after reading the message from the law office. “Initially it was like a punch to the face because for the last seven years I’ve been Ill Tarzan everywhere I go.” Others, however, took the news in a different way. Sean “O-ASIE” Williams, Co-CEO of UVInk saw it as “a testament to his recent rise in visbility at this stage in his career and as a marketable personality in this game.” Substantial, recording artist and the other half of the Co-CEO tandem over at UVInk agreed, saying “my initial reaction was ‘damn dog, you're popular!’ It was good to see all of the grinding we've been doing and work he's put in over the last 7 years had been working. Eventually I saw it as a new beginning for him. A fresh start for who we now know as Fresh Daily.”

The initial irony in all this is that Fresh Daily points out a lot of fans didn’t like the Ill Tarzan name to being with. According to Fresh Daily “Substantial was like you know, when you change your name you’re going to find out how many people really hated the name to begin with. He was like yo, when you first joined UVInk I was telling a lot of heads, a lot of fans about it and they were like Ill Tarzan? And I had to convince them, I was like yo, fuck the name, dude is nice. People either really loved that name or really hated it.” The lawyers representing Edgar Rice Burroughs really hated it, and as it turns out that’s all that mattered.

Now named Fresh Daily the artist formerly known as Ill Tarzan has a bit of a hill to climb. “It almost feels as though I’m coming out as a new artist,” he laments “everyone that knew me as Ill Tarzan are gonna be like ‘huh?’ for a little bit so my main focus right now is letting all the fans and all the people who really dig my shit be like yo it’s Fresh Daily now and shout that out on everything.” In a very short time the name has been catching on. Apparently all it took was a few mixtapes and a name change on MySpace. “I changed my name on my MySpace page to Fresh Daily (formerly known as Ill Tarzan) and I plastered my mug everywhere. Two days after I did that I went to a show and people were calling me Fresh Daily.” Meanwhile, while touring in Japan Substantial made some moves for Fresh Daily, as well. Fresh Daily notes “every time someone bought something from UVInk he gave them a Fresh Daily mix tape.”

The re-branding of Fresh Daily is an ongoing process, but one question that he simply can’t avoid is why he chose Fresh Daily as his new moniker. “Fresh Daily was one of the AKA’s I had,” he explains “rappers tend to have a million aliases and that was one of them.” The reasoning for using that nickname was simple, according to the man himself “every time I step on stage I’ve gotta be dope from head to toe and not just on some fly shit but on some where’d you get that fly shit?”

So in the end the name change may actually help Fresh Daily. According to many this name suits him better than his previous one. The work going into letting everyone know about the change, however, is a lengthy process he doesn’t plan on going through again. Fresh Daily notes “if you go through something and you don’t learn something then it was in vein.” The lesson was an obvious one for the Brooklyn native “trademark is important, to have all your stuff trademarked, because of that anytime if someone wants to have a Tarzan cartoon that money goes to Burroughs’ family. He has that all trademarked under his name and his family is cakin off that so if I was to learn anything from that wise old dead man it’s to have your stuff trademarked, to have your legal papers in order.”

According to Williams there’s only one thing Fresh Daily still has to worry about in terms of his name. “He can't ever leave the house slacking on gear and kicks EVER!”

Thankfully for Fresh Daily that’s never been an issue.

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Andrew said…
I remember reading about the press release about this on somebody's MySpace page and wondering why he would fight it. Ill Tarzan really ain't that great of a name. I will say that dude's music is really good though. "Permanent Damage" is a really dope song.

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