Rashid Hadee is a multi-talented artist from Chicago who always brings quality music, whether as an MC, producer or both. He has released several solo projects but also worked in collaboration with many artists, including his extended Chicago musical family. As he’s been featured quite a few times on Word Is Bond already, I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with him and ask a few questions, so that we can discover his universe and get to know him better. With his new album Aural Sex: The Search For Pinky Tuscadero and the numerous videos he has released recently, Rashid Hadee keeps himself busy and I want to thank him for taking some time to answer my questions. Also, a big thank you to Greg from Honest Management, who made this interview possible. Without further delay, let me leave you to enjoy Rashid Hadee’s words, as he unveils some secrets about Pinky Tuscadero, talks about his videos, fellow Chicago artists and much more…
First of all, a month after the release of Aural Sex: The Search for Pinky Tuscadero, how do you feel about the project and how it was received?
I feel absolutely great about my new project. It’s been so much work put into those 11 tracks that its a pleasure and honor to even answer this question. The reception has been great. My existing fan base is enjoying the new music and I’ve even made some new fans. I’ve seen a lot of people revisiting my older projects like Dedication, Serenade For The Moment, 808s & Hadee and Hadiesel: The Fuel Up ever since the new release. I’ve been getting great support from a lot of music websites and blogs so I’m super happy about that as well. This project is a great team effort by Honest Management and me and the joint definitely came together real dope. I definitely look forward to seeing the numbers behind my project increase in due time, just need my fan base and supporters to keep the word of mouth going.
With the help of Thaione Davis, who is a very talented MC, producer and director, you are releasing excellent videos, both for collaborations and singles from your album. Do you feel most artists don’t really take time to create appealing and innovative visuals to promote their music nowadays?
Thanks a lot! It takes a lot of hard work, effort and dedication for us to get these music videos out. It’s nothing easy about that at all! For us to be doing 11 of them for this Aural Sex project is really putting all of our talents and patience to the test. We’re all putting our talents on the table and coming with some great ideas. It works because all the directors we are working with are incredible. Cats like Thaione, Rookie, Domi and APJ are all incredible editors and directors. Combine them with the right music and it’s always gonna be a winning combination. I believe I may be the first artist to release a new video for a song on their album every week, in the sequence of the album. Yeah I do feel a lot of artists don’t really try to make the visuals appealing and worth while. For them, it’s more about quantity and not quality. The masses still support them plenty, way more than what I’m seeing at this point, so I can’t really say that’s a bad thing (Laughs). The videos that I’ve been putting out are like mini-movies because that’s how we want it. Not saying that I’m better or my team and I are doing something better than other artists out there just because extra thought is put into it, but that’s just what we’re doing. I can’t really judge any other artist out there. At least not until I also have 10 million views off of a one-shot video that was made with a cell phone like some of them (Laughs).
Speaking of the videos: for most of the singles from Aural Sex: The Search for Pinky Tuscadero that have been released so far, you are either stalking you future or ex girl, or taking part in wild sexual activities. Inquiring minds want to know… Are those the best ways to find Ms Tuscadero?
Yeah I was getting my stalk on, wasn’t I? (Laughs) That was fun to do. I’m not the stalker type, so it was fun to walk in those shoes on camera because that’s how the story goes. The whole Search For Pinky Tuscadero story is about me starting off innocent but my attitude and actions start changing because of the things that keep happening with these women. That’s real life for any guy. If you have ten consecutive bad relationships, you might be a little messed up in the head and do some crazy things after a while. “Back On My Grind” was designed to set the tone and let my fan base know I’m here, but in “POV” I was super innocent, shy and feared rejection, but I was able to meet the girl once I overcame my fears. In “Something Special”, I wound up meeting a girl who was cheating on me with her best friend that I also cheated on her with. That’s a real messed up experience for anyone to go through. In “She Ain’t Coming Back” my girlfriend gets all upset for no reason and storms out on me. I wound up being in the same place at the same time 3 months later as I was missing her and wanting her back. Which brought us to “The All” video and she’s tied up to a chair with her friend in an undisclosed location. That’s something I wouldn’t really do in real life, but I have thought about doing it. I’m sure other men out there have thought about it and women too have thought about tying up their ex when they see them with a new love interest (Laughs) But, If you haven’t noticed, in these videos Pinky Tuscadero has been right there the whole time. I’m just missing her in every scenario. In “POV” you can see her sitting right behind me the whole ride on the train and I didn’t even notice her. Pinky pops up in every visual somewhere (on some Alfred Hitchcock type thing). That’s the whole point, I’m going through all these bad relationships because I’m not with the right girl while the right girl is under my nose the whole time.
This is going to be the last mention of videos before I move on, but in Something Special, a (slightly-too-sexy-to-be-real) psychiatrist listens to you as you describe your crazy love life and exactly how “special” it is. We don’t know if the sessions were effective, but do you think music is actually the best therapy?
Absolutely, music is the best therapy. Music and marijuana! (Laughs) and M&M’s! But actually, I was thinking about this the other day. Musicians like myself are always involved in tough relationships. It’s hard for us because we don’t have the time for love but we still want it so bad. We always wind up breaking up with our mates. Musicians are always heartbroken because of what we do. But we’re so happy to be living out our dreams that it all evens out to a pleasant attitude when you see us. We write these songs as an outlet for our emotions and our experiences helps develop our stories. It helps to make music that other people can relate to and that’s where the therapy takes place. If you place the right words on the right music, you can turn someone’s whole day around. People feel better when they know that they are not alone in the world when it comes to their experiences.
You work quite regularly with other artists from Chicago, notably Thaione Davis and The Primeridian, with whom you form a winning team. Is it important for you to create music with people in your immediate circle? Also, I heard through the grapevine that you were once in a group and I was wondering if a new project could hypothetically be in the works.
It’s definitely very important because the artists in my immediate circle are super talented. It’s fun to work with them because we always have a good time in the studio and have some great conversations. All my homies got dope flow and dope vocal tones. We share a lot of laughs when we’re in the lab and we stay in the studio for hours. It probably takes us one hour to make a song but we’ll spend three hours just having the realest conversations and kickin’ it. But yeah, back in Mississippi (my second home) as well as some of my time in Chicago before I started my solo career, I was apart of a group called Chapter 13. Everyone involved pretty much went their separate ways or away from creating music, except me. I just didn’t prefer to have my own family (wife and children) before I gave my dreams and talents a chance. I’m just not ready for that yet plus I enjoy my life as it is. Being an emcee and producer, releasing music and going out to venues to perform is something I’ve always wanted to do. But I do wish I still had my homies around. I miss them so much, they are my brothers. They’re really the reason I do this because I used to enjoy their reaction to the music I made and they always made something that I thought was doper than me! It was such a fun run for me musically. I’d love to do a new project but it probably will never happen, we haven’t spoke in over 4 years. Ever since I moved to Chicago from Mississippi, we all started growing apart. That’s one thing I learned about being in a group, you have to stay together and do everything together, as a group always. Everyone has to play their role.
You already express your creativity in different ways, including producing and MCing, but are you interested in taking that energy to a stage and connect with the audience in a more personal way? If so, do you feel adventurous enough to explore the world and tour in Europe, Asia or Africa?
Oh yeah, I love being on stage performing! For me, that’s the final phase of a song. When you are in the studio creating a song, it starts there but it ends on stage. I’m still trying to get the opportunity to perform for my entire fan base. I know this will change but I haven’t gotten the opportunity to perform on a large scale or go on international tours like some artists. It’s a lot of connects involved with that but it’s a level I believe I’m about to reach because of this album. For now, the people are getting every other artist except Rashid Hadee on their stage but I definitely look forward to seeing that change real soon. That’s why we are working so hard and releasing visuals for a great project every week. It’s funny because I’m an artist that’s been buzzing for years that has a fan base in other countries all around the world. I had a fan base in North Carolina and Japan before I had a fan base in my home town. I still feel like I don’t get the full support at home which might not be the case, but that’s what I feel. That’s why I can’t judge any other artists when they’re getting mad shows, getting paid for them and getting record deals. Like I said, I look forward to the challenge of changing everything. But anyway, I really look forward to touring other countries because I absolutely love to travel! I love traveling just as much as I love making music. My management has plans to book shows in those areas so anybody interested can reach out. That’s a definite focus as we continue pushing visuals and promoting the album. I believe I’ll get to those areas soon but only time will tell. I do whatever God wants me to do and I have faith that God will make sure I get the opportunities that I need and/or deserve to get.
Anything else you would like to add?
Yeah shout out to Honest Management (www.honest-management.com | @Olskool_IceGre) for helping me take everything to the next level. Make sure you check out my new album Aural Sex: The Search For Pinky Tuscadero at rashidhadee.bandcamp.com and subscribe to youtube.com/rashidhadee, “like” my Facebook artist page at facebook.com/rashidhadee and follow me on twitter @rashidhadee! PEACE