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Artist Spotlight: Hollywood FLOSS

Hollywood FLOSS caught our attention in 2009 [see breakthrough artists of 09] and hasn’t stopped since. Consistently dropping dope music since, the Houston emcee’s hard work recently culminated with the release of his debut album House Of Dreams [purchase]. FLOSS has no plans on stopping for 2010 as he preps the release of the Xperiment Volume 2 dropping shortly. With the recent album release and a mixtape on the way, it was a perfect time to get into the mind of the T.H.E.M. collective member. Hit the jump to learn more about Hollywood FLOSS.

Why the name Hollywood FLOSS?:

LOL everyone has inquiries about the name, but it started as a hood nickname “Flossy B”. The B is the first initial of my government name and the flossy came from neighborhood friends who always said I was flossin’ or fresh with clothes… I’m from a poor to low middle class hood but I was fortunate to have both my parents present and when they could, they would buy me extra Jordans or Polo or Tommy Hilfiger or whatever was hot at the time, and my friends would just say quit flossin on them. Well when I decided to rap I didn’t like FLOSSY B, so I changed that to FLOSS, but then that was too plain so I added the Hollywood to make it memorable and a brand. So now when I book shows or release music, people don’t know what to expect, is it a rock band, a girl or a boy etc. So it really helps marketing wise. I’ve had acronyms along the way like Flawless Lawless Opposin Stagnant Situations, but I like to keep the FLOSS to remind me of old times. ALOT of people have expressed the dislike for the name, but its me now and “I thought this was the “MUSIC” industry and about music not names” lol

Who are your musical inspirations?

My musical inspirations come from my life experiences first and foremost… 90% of my music comes from me living life or situations i’ve witnessed. In the other sense , the many musical artist that influence me range from Andre 3000 to Prince to Fiona Apple to Coldplay. I listen to every genre that i can and try to take what i like from them and infuse Hip-Hop to them.

Your new album, House Of Dreams, was just released this month. Tell us a little bit about the LP – guests, producers & concepts/themes of the album:

Yes, House of Dreams was released digitally May 1, 2010 and it is my official debut LP. The title is just my way of saying “My Mind” … Dreams are housed in your mind, but In My Mind title was already taken by Pharrell so I came up with my own twist to it. House of Dreams features production from Chris Rockaway, John Dew, T.I.M.E, and myself with vocal features from Kidd The Great, Dannie Walker and my T.H.E.M. family (Rob Jay, Hash Brown, and John Dew). The theme for the album is my personal fears, aspirations, goals, dreams and nightmares, but the key is everyone can relate to these same fears/goals that I discuss … it really is meant to help me bridge the connection to my fans

How does it differ from your past work?

House of Dreams differs from any of my previous work because it allows me to be more personal and make songs, which differs from my past work where I felt I had to prove i could rap well for my audience to listen by displaying punchlines or freestyles… This project challenges my fans and me as i journey into becoming an all around artist.

You’ll also be releasing The Xperiment Volume 2 soon. Explain the concept behind this mixtape:

Haha sorry for the delay of Xperiment Volume 2… but i wanted to make sure it was a step towards greatness rather than computer trash cans. The whole concept of the Xperiment process is to make a collection of songs / freestyles that i wouldn’t normally use on LP’s and to let blogs/fans A&R the project. Simply put, I make the music and the blogs/fans not only select which tracks will make the cut, but they title the tracks, sequence the mixtape and really become the A&R to my music… That way everyone is involved and happy with the outcome.

You’re a member of the crew T.H.E.M. Tell us about the group & how you formed:

T.H.E.M. – is The Houston Elite MC’s and we are a collective of MC’s who formed to merge our talent to showcase what Houston has to offer in the music scene. It was formed out of a mutual respect for everyones talent and belief we can really shed light to the city… It involves the core members Hollywood FLOSS, HasHBrown, John Dew, Hip Phonix, Dustin Prestige, and Kidd The Great w/ affiliates Rob Jay, Nya, Upgrade and Thurogood Wordsmith.

What’s your assessment of the Houston hip hop scene right now?

I see that the talent is there, but the world has yet to take notice. The scene is divided but working towards reaching out to different crews and thats a positive for the future. If we dedicate to make not only ourselves better but the scene better than Houston Hip-Hop’s potential is limitless!

Do you feel like you’ve found more success outside of your city than you have in it through the internet?

At this point my success on the net to city is about 65% net to 35% city. Houston is a big city and to take over the city I’m going to need more resources, but I’m working hard everyday to assure that happens… The internet love spreads faster and is more in your face because we use the technology so much but can be tricky and make you seem bigger than what you really are.

Free projects have been the way to go for up & coming emcees in this day & age. How do you go about deciding what you will offer for free & what’s up for purchase?

For everyone it will be different. In my case, I have given away about 50 songs for free, so its my way of testing my fans to see if they are willing to step up and now support me. It also is another gage of what ages feel your music and where your markets are in the world. Me selling an album is not the end of me giving away free music, but I must know my worth!

Do you think a site like Bandcamp that offer a “donation” option could change the way artists like yourself release their music in a significant way?

Bandcamp is a big deal to upcoming indie artist like myself and has already changed the way we operate. Radiohead started the online donation method and now look, a website is created using the same method. It releases the pressure of fans to pay the traditional 10 – 15, but still makes them give you something if they want your music.

What song defines your career up to this point?

The song that defines my career is “When The Worlds Against You”! The song is on House of Dreams and is for the underdog in us all!

If you could only have one album to listen to, what would it be?

WOW! you gonna pull that card on me… Ok well i might have to put together a mixtape for that question haha! But if i had to choose probably Al Green greatest Hits or Prince – Purple Rain.

Any shout outs or last words?

Of course – shoutout to my brothers T.H.E.M. and my city Houston. The blogs who have dedicated so much support to me: www.missls.net and Tone Mavis & last but not least, Justin and Kevin Nottingham for the support!

I’m Back

[audio:http://kevinnottingham.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Im-Back.mp3]

She Said

[audio:http://kevinnottingham.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/08-She-Said-1.mp3]

When The World’s Against You

[audio:http://kevinnottingham.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/06-When-The-Worlds-Against-You-1.mp3]
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About Justin

Editor-In-Chief - Justin Ivey is the Editor-In-Chief at KevinNottingham.com and has been with the site since 2009, when he began working as a summer intern. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Justin is a graduate of Louisiana State University. He has previously written for such outlets as Complex, DJBooth.net, SoulCulture and The Well Versed and is currently a contributor at TheBoombox.com, Knockout Nation and DIG Baton Rouge.
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