Interview with Bugsy Da God
MISH – When did you first know that you wanted to become an Emcee?
Bugsy Da God – Well I grew up as an 80s baby listening to all types of music, especially hip hop, and became enamored with it off the gate. There was so much great talent that came on the scene in the 80s and 90s, it made the game exciting and I enjoyed listening to a lot of them, but once Death Row broke into the scene in the early 90s with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound and the rest of the click, that really caught my attention. They had their own unique style, the West Coast G-Funk and I was digging that. Then shortly thereafter, the beast called Wu-Tang Clan emerged outta nowhere and it was a wrap for me! At that point, I fell in love with the game. As time went on, more and more heavyhitters came into the game, featuring the likes of 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Mobb Deep, Nas, Jay-Z, etc. A lot of great music was droppin so the variety and the versatility of it all inspired me and made me wanna rap, so I started to write rhymes when I was 14 years old. But it was a long process before I was able to actually be a player in the hip hop game and make my contribution.
MISH – Has there been any influential figures in your life that have influenced your music?
Bugsy Da God – Yea most definitely! I was born into music. I am of Dominican descent so I had several family members who were musicians, some who were actually out there in the commercial arena playing with a lot of popular bands from the Merengue genre, which was the trademark music in the Dominican Republic for decades before Bachata came in. One of my uncles used to travel the world with many Latin bands and whenever he was around or whenever I went to visit him, he always brought me over to recording studios to watch the whole recording process and that was real big for me as a young kid. It was very exciting to see it all unfold and that helped the actual music making process. So my uncle influenced me a lot. Then, of course, you have hip hop music and all its prominent figures that I mentioned earlier. That alone inspired me.
MISH – When did it happen that you came to be a part of Napalm Music?
Bugsy Da God – Well I actually met The General Dom Pachino back in 2005 at a Wu-Tang show in New York. He wasn’t a part of the act that was performing that night. He was just there chillin in the cut, at the bar having a drink, rocking the Army fatigues from head to toe, so it wasn’t hard to spot him at all. First of all, I was a big fan of Killarmy since the group’s inception. I think they were one of the most prominent and successful groups out of the Wu-Tang empire, so when I saw PR at the spot, I had to approach him, in a respectable manner, of course, and pay homage. He is the type of dude who is very humble and at the same time, studies you like a scientist, so he feels out your energy as soon as you engage in conversation with him. If he don’t feel your energy, then the convo is over. But with me it was different because I approached him just like he was another human being, not on some stan shit lol. I came in with good energy and we ended up building for a while that night and having a few drinks. So from that point, we stayed in touch and formed a friendship and it turned into a brotherhood as time went on. As he got to know more about me as a person, he discovered that music was one of my passions. He heard some tracks I had made at the time and told me that I had potential, but that I needed to work a lil more on my craft, so he took me under his wing. Once I graduated from the Napalm Academy, it was on! Ultimately, I was signed to Napalm as an artist and then later on as the Vice President of the label.
MISH – How would you explain your style when on the microphone, and how does it make you different from other emcees out right now?
Bugsy Da God – Well first off, I learned from the best, whether it was listening to their music and studying their techniques, or actually learning from them hands on. I learned how to be an emcee by listening and was able to develop my own style. I would like to say that my style is versatile with a militant twist. Inspiration plays a big part in my development because many of these brothers who were successful back in the days all inspired me one way or another. Not to mention that I had my big brother Dom P show me a lot as far as rap techniques and delivery and such. His lessons taught me to build a solid foundation and build my own shit with my own tools. He showed me how to move in a room full of lions, so from that point, it was all on me to execute and do it my way effectively to succeed. I remember building with GZA a few times and the advice he gave me years ago as far as studying and staying sharp mentally. See, I’m the type of guy that believes in self-competition in order to attain self-improvement. If you create music, whether it be a track or a whole album, always have the mentality of bettering your last effort. As far as how my style differs from other emcees out right now? Well, peep the talent pool out there now in the commercial arena. They bring no substance into their music, in my opinion. I feel that I bring that substance to my music. Its like cooking up a meal. You want it to taste good, so you add some seasoning, some of that adobo on the meat to make it taste good. In that sense, I add the seasoning to my meal. These other emcees just defrost the meat on the microwave and call it a meal lol. That’s why you have artists who put out 1 hit tracks, its hot for a while, but then they cool off. I believe in making classics that stand the test of time. That’s the formula for success.
MISH – In 2011 you dropped your debut album “The Terrorist Advocate”. What are you most proud of when it comes to that album?
Bugsy Da God – I’m proud of the fact that it was successful and well received by the fans worldwide. Til this day, I still get messages and comments on my social media about the Terrorist Advocate album and how much they enjoyed it. Many people consider it an underground classic. It makes me feel accomplished because when I created that album, I was dealing with a lot of personal issues at the time, so it was one of the darkest time periods of my life. I discuss some of it briefly on the Camouflage Disciple album on the track titled “My Life”. So basically I created that album during a time of chaos in my own life, but sometimes through bad things, you can create good things. That album is a reflection of that chaos, but its success makes it that much sweeter. I’m very proud of my first born’s accomplishment and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
MISH – What projects have you been involved with in between albums, and has it been with any other artists?
Bugsy Da God – Well, when it comes to Napalm, I’ve always provided my own contributions to many Napalm projects behind the scenes. That goes with playing the Vice President role. I was actually very close to getting my brother Kevlaar 7 (R.I.P.) signed to Napalm to release his “Die Ageless” album through us, but that didn’t materialize. Had the deal came to fruition, I would have played a big role on it along with my brother Bronze Nazareth, who was an executive producer on the album, and of course, big brother Dom P. That would have been a big undertaking for us, but again, things didn’t materialize that way. I ended up giving my brother Kevlaar a verse for one of his joints (Famine O’Clock) and that album was very successful to me regardless. I also have featured on other artists’ projects throughout the world and still do, so the work don’t stop.
MISH – What is the most difficult challenge you’ve had to endure to get to where you are today?
Bugsy Da God – Fighting, scratching, and clawing my way up when life’s heavy currents were pushing me down. Dealing with the disappointments, the heartbreaks, the struggles, the criticisms… I had a lot going on in my life on a daily basis; working a 9-5 job, not making enough money and struggling to get my bills paid, dealing with my personal life issues and on top of that, my responsibilities to Napalm as far as the executive role I was playing and at the same time trying to create an album and make it the best that I could make it. At times, it was very overwhelming and there were times I was ready to throw in the towel overall, but even when I was close to defeat, I rose to my feet and weathered thru the storm. No matter how many punches life threw a me, even if it knocked me down, I didn’t let the referee count to 10. Thankfully, I kept fighting and today, I’m in a much better place physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I still have a lot on my plate, but I’m pushing forward much stronger than I’ve ever been and have a great support system around me. After God and my family, my brother Dom P is definitely amongst the elite in my small circle of people, as he witnessed a lot of what I was going through for a long time and was always there to give advice.
MISH – Your latest album “Camouflage Disciple” just came out in the end of October, How do feel about this album, and are you satisfied with its outcome?
Bugsy Da God – Man, I just feel blessed to have that opportunity to put out another gem! I feel that its my magnum opus, my best one yet! It was a 4 year process as far as putting this album together, gathering the elements to formulate the deadly compound. It was a lot of work and I put my blood, sweat, and tears into it to make it the best I could make it and the results are manifesting themselves in a positive way. So far, I’m very happy with the response from the fans. I’m getting a lot of love through many methods of communication and I am very thankful to all who have supported me throughout this journey. I’m still soaking it all in, so I’m letting it ride for a while. But so far, very happy and super proud of this album and all I was able to accomplish with it! I also want to give my brother Dom Pachino a lot of thanks for believing in me and allowing me to carry that Napalm flag once again. He knows I appreciate him for everything he’s done for me and being very instrumental in my career.
MISH – You had a chance to collaborate with many different artists on your new album, how did it feel to have and work with such a powerhouse line-up?
Bugsy Da God – It feels awesome. These are all brothers I have looked up to, just being a fan of their music and everything, so to have the opportunity to work with all these brothers is a blessing. I have a lot of respect for them all and I wanted to work with them all so I had to find a way to make it happen. This was all a part of the process of formulating the compound and why I wanted to take my time to make the Camouflage Disciple album what it is today. I’m very happy for the accomplishment and I thank each artist and producer on my album that were able to partake.
MISH – What can we expect from Bugsy Da God and Napalm music in 2016? and what if anything would you like to say to your fans?
Bugsy Da God – Well right now I’m in the studio with Dom P working on a collaboration album. Many fans have asked us, either individually or when they see us together, when we gonna do a joint album, plus P and I had discussed it a few times before. Ultimately, it was inevitable so now we are working on that, plus Dom P is getting ready to release his long-awaited “Life of a Performer 2” DVD this Christmas, so you can catch me on that for sure. We actually working on a soundtrack as well to include in the DVD package, so you can catch brand new tracks from Bugsy Da God, Dom Pachino, Team Napalm, and many others on it.
Enclosing, to all my fans and supporters throughout the world, I wanna thank all of y’all for the love and support each of you have given me since day 1 and continue to give me. Its very much appreciated. Continue supporting Bugsy Da God and the whole team! We make music for us first, of course, but we also make music for the people. We represent the people and we gotta keep blessing the people with that dope shit they all deserve. No disrespect to the commercial artists out there doing their thing, but I will forever be an underground villain, down for the cause of saving this music shit against all tyrants trying to destroy it! PEACE and love to all and be on the lookout for all Napalm releases on www.napalmmusic.bandcamp.com! Advocate signing out!
CHECK OUT “Camouflage Disciple” album on [Napalm Music Website]