Interview: Perrion – “Surrounded By My Upbringing”Featured, Music — By JGM Staff on May 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm
We have already told you that 21 year-old Perrion is one of the dopest emcees coming out of the city right now. With his smooth flow and his authentic Harlem bravado there is no doubt this cat will be all over the place in a year or so. I was able to kick it with him and his manager Andrew “Roo” Rivera to speak about the past, present, and future for the up and coming rapper.
Interview by Brian Padilla
JGM: Tell me a little bit about your upbringing?
P: I was born in Washington Heights Presbyterian Hospital and I was raised in Harlem.
Roo: Rest in peace Malcolm X.
P: Yeah that’s where Malcolm X died, right across the street.
JGM: Where in Harlem did you stay at?
P: West side 151st street. It’s kinda up the block from Rucker Park. Right where they shot the “Bout It Bout It Pt.3’” video.
JGM: Shit felt like forever ago. I know your brother Preview kind of got you into hip-hop. Did he just push Ready to Die and the Wu on you? How did your love for music come about?
P: Actually it was my uncle. My uncle lived with us when we we were in jersey for a little bit. We slept in the same room and he would always play mad Wu-Tang, Redman, Jay-Z, all the classic 90′s shit. He used to rap too. He did a show at his high school back in the day. It was pretty cool – he had box braids and shit. So my brother started rapping and I would beatbox. Eventually I started writing. I was like 8.
JGM: Damn that’s pretty early to start writing. I know you got signed to Universal…
P: Haha, I got signed to Universal at like 13 or 14.
JGM: How did that happen?
P: Well it actually happened because my brother had a name for battling people around Harlem.
Roo: Tell him the Cory Gunz story.
P: Oh shit yeah. My brother battled Cory Gunz once.
Roo: His line was “if I see your grandma I’ma punch the ol’ bitch in the face” or something like that.
JGM: That’s crazy. So Universal what’s going on?
P: My brother made a name for himself battling and shit and our barber had a couple of connects because he cut hair for Diddy, Noreaga, and mad other people in the music industry. He put us on with this dude named Ron Migichin who actually passed away God bless his soul. He took us to the Universal office and we made a little demo tape. They heard it and they fucked with it.
JGM: It was just that simple? Kind of seems fast.
P: It was overwhelming for me at a young age. We went on tour. We went to L.A to do an O’ryan video shoot. We we’re in his first video “Take it Slow.” Remember that dude?
JGM: Yeah of course Omarion’s little brother. Did you like fucking with Universal or are you happy that didn’t pan out?
P: I mean I’m glad it didn’t stick. I would have grown up to be a little shithead.
JGM: What do you mean?
P: I probably just would been mad cocky. I wouldn’t have finished school. I probably would have ended up like Bow Wow – washed up.
JGM: How did you start writing though?
P: The first time I started writing again I couldn’t sleep and I was just like I’m gonna write a verse. It came out tight and I was like I gotta start writing again. I worked at this little chicken spot, saved up mad bread, and just built a studio in my room.
JGM: What’s going on with school and your parents through all of this?
P: Haha I was fucking up. I was smoking mad weed just not giving a fuck. I would skate with my homies all day come home and just blast music real loud in my room. Wake up in the morning do it again. When I graduated High School I didn’t have a job so I was just making mad beats. Then I started working at the chicken spot and got some cash.
My mom always knew I wanted to do music and shit so she supported it. Whether its rapping or playing drums I’ve always been into music its my thing ya’know. She had that feeling that it was gonna work out so she didn’t really trip that much. My pops used to shit on me sometimes. He would tell me straight up you need to find a back-up plan.
JGM: I know Roo got you back up to NYC to start working. How did y’all get to working together?
P: Well I wanted to come back. I’m the one who asked him to be my manager. Me and Roo didn’t like each other before. We were youngns’. It was like sophomore year in high school and we dated the same girl. It was stupid.
Roo: It’s not like it gets us tight. It’s just when you think about it in the grand scheme of things we could have just both did what we had to do and been out. I ended up dating the bitch for two and half years and it ended terribly. I could have been Perry’s friend and I would have been Tyler, the Creator by now. We could have been making moves much sooner.
JGM: Tell me a little bit about your next bum CIRCUIT BREAKER. That’s when you started adding electro to your music.
P: My boy Dookie put me on to chill wave. We’d go skate, smoke buds, and just chill blasting it in the car. I was like what the fuck is this shit it’s tight as fuck. I told him I was like yo I’m gonna make a mixtape to this. When I came out to NYC he hit me up on Facebook and it sparked in me right there. I knew I had to do this mixtape. I was already up on a couple of the artist like Bibio and Neon Indian so I was like I’m gonna rap to all the shit that I’m listening to.
JGM: So then you do your most recent album “FROM PARIS WITH LOVE” with Myth Syzer.
P: Yeah the first track he sent me was “Gettin It.” I recorded it and sent it back in the same day. After that he was like I love this shit and sent me 30 beats. I was up until 4 A.M. writing that night.
JGM: You got BLACK DAVE on there too. That’s one of my favorites.
P: That’s the fucking homie.
Roo: He’s like the east coast Based God. Black Dave’s the biggest personality. You can’t take him too seriously he just raps because he likes it. He’ll be skating first, but he just raps because it’s funny to him.
JGM: He really is the east coast Based God – very interesting character. Now that you’re getting more attention as far as blogs, videos, shows, all that type of shit how are you handling thirsty niggas?
P: I don’t. I just chill. I just smoke, skate, and really try not to pay any mind to it. Haters on twitter though.
JGM: People are coming at you on twitter?
P: Yes! All the fucking time yo.
Roo: Na its one kid. I’m not going to say his name because I don’t want to give him attention. Now his man started to do it because I think they realized that Perry is getting attention so they think that if they fuck with him get retweeted or whatever they’re gonna get more followers. I’m like yo my nigga you a bird.
P: It’s crazy though people that we used to chill with six months ago who stopped hitting us up are coming out now. Now you wanna hit me up cus’ we’re chilllin with A$AP Rocky – then you wanna hit a nigga up.
Roo: It’s dudes too. Niggas are worse than bitches. “Oh can i get a song with Perrion?” “Yo can you send this shit to Perry?”
JGM: So you just gotta brush dudes off basically. I assume you’re not working with anyone right now then.
P: I did a track with Bryant Dope. We’re about to do some more shit in the future cus’ he’s the homie – cool as fuck. About to do a track with Joey Bada$$ too. Probably gonna fuck with Wiki. Actually Wiki’s producer is the reason I have everything. He hooked me up with Professor Logic who did all the beats.
Roo: So shout out to Rat King for hooking it up!
P: He was sort of like a mentor as far as setting everything up. Told me what to get for a studio and what not. He’s cool as fuck.
JGM: So you’re making beats for rocky?
P: Yeah. Hopefully I’ll get on his next album LongLiveA$ap.
JGM: I hope you do too man that would be tight. What’s it been like since the SPIN top 5 Best Artist back in February?
P: That was nuts. I was so hyped when that happened. My twitter followers shot up a shit load after that. I actually have a really really really dope interview coming up. It’s a surprise.
JGM: Haha okay I will be sure to keep an eye out for that. Where are you at a year from now?
P: A year from now? I want to have enough money to live in my own place, a nice little hooptie ride, be in Cali maybe.
Roo: Fuck that I’m trying to have a hooptie for my cousin.
P: Haha. I’ll be straight with that.
Roo: I mean a year ago we made a plan and we surpassed it so a year from now I want to be making bread. We want to be at the point that any artist wants to be. It’s not going to be a Jay-Z or Kanye level but I want it to be big for Perry. He deserves it. He’s nicer then a lot of these niggas. That’s not a diss- they just rap for different people.
JGM: Y’all are going to make it soon and I’m real excited.
Roo: A year from now we can do the follow up interview in Vegas.
JGM: I’m in.