Pictures- Bottom row: Left- Bri Moyelle // Center- Ariel Lopez + Bri Moyelle + The Draft // Right- The Draft
4/28/12, Rutgers University, UNITY DAY. I got the chance the meetup with Unity Day performers Bri Moyelle and The Draft (Terrill Johnson) in 90.3FM The Core's studio as they prepped for their interview with DJ+HostAriel Lopez. Here's a cut from their session:
Ariel: "When did you actually start rapping, or consider rapping? When did you feel like that was like, “Yo, I need it,I’m doing this, I’m gonna be a rapper?”
The Draft: “I wanted to rap for so long, I’ve been a hip-hop fan since I was like 5. When I first heard Hip-Hop Hooray by Naughty by Nature, I learned all the words, but the type of person I was in high school, [nobody] was gonna pay attention to me. I mean, I lived in the hood…but I did ballet in high school, so there wasn’t anybody about to take Terrill Seriously as a rapper… Now I’m in college, and what happened was one of my friends…played a beat, and was like, ‘Yo, write a verse to it’. So I wrote a verse—and he raps for real—and my verse was better than his! [He said] ‘Yo, we should keep going!’ So we did a couple songs, and I’m like ‘Yo… I might really try this’! And then the past couple months, this fall semester, I was writing and put together No Doubt, and that’s the mixtape I got out right now.”
Ariel: ”Cool, cool, actually that’s sad. Your boy was like, ‘Yo, spit a verse’, and you were better than him, and he’s been spittin’ for a while—that’s SAD! What about you Bri Moyelle?”
Bri: Well, I’ve been singing since I was a little girl, but I didn’t really decide to take singing seriously until recently. Last year, my mother had got diagnosed with brain cancer, and so that kinda made me take a second look at life and decide, y’know, what’s really important and what do you really wanna do—what’s really gonna make you happy. And I really started taking singing seriously, and I [thought] “Yo… can I really do this?” And I thought… “Yeah, I can.”
Ariel: "That’s dope! So tell me, what plans do you have coming up for yourselves…as far as music?"
The Draft: “In the immediate future, I’m working on something called The Backup Plan, cause I feel as though my goal is to not have to finish school, but for it to be a choice… I’m only nineteen, I’m trying to be well-off, like being able to pay my own tuition through music. I’m not gonna drop out of school, cause I don’t think I’m ready to live alone… So I’ll enjoy college, why not? Who doesn’t wanna be famous in college?”
Bri: “I wanna be famous, but I don’t care about college.And I know that sounds bad but-“
The Draft: “Why not be famous and get a degree?”
Bri: “I promote education, but for me, I know that I’m not concerned about finishing, because college ain’t for everybody…I’m paying student loans for what? To sit there, look at the teacher, and text?”
The Draft: “I feel as though [black people] weren’t even allowed to do this before… so why not just get a degree? It’s basically like me saying F-you to the people that don’t want you to succeed…
Music is an opportunity for people to hear you talk, and believe what you’re saying. When you listen to music, you get your opinions on life… when you have that strong of a voice, it [becomes] an option for you to get a degree. If you choose to get it anyway, not only can you go out and get a job in the professional world, but if you didn’t wanna do that, you can just go and write music.”
Bri: “I think the reason I don’t wanna be in school is because I went to school and became a whole bunch of stuff that I wasn’t. I became a Social Work major, a Mass Comm. major, and all of these miscellaneous majors that aren’t really what I want to do. Now that I really want to sing… I wanna be a music major, and maybe I’ll enjoy school more and want to finish. I think that a lot of people that’s out there and changing majors and not really in a major they want to be in that’s their passion, they really need to get that stuff straight. I’m a junior and I need to start all over because I didn’t go with my passion.
Ariel: "I agree with The Draft actually. You should go to school so you could have a stable income, cause music is the most risky thing ever."
Bri: “Stable income? In what job market?”
The Draft: “True. You’re not making too much money as a graduate anymore.”
Ariel: “I’m talking about science, being a doctor- if I’m gonna get a stable income… I’m talking starting salary 80k-100k”
Bri:"But one song could get you so much money-"
Ariel:"Exactly, but how risky is that?"
Bri: “How risky is everything in this life? If you don’t take risks, you are not living!… There is no ‘music on the side’! Either you’re in or you’re out, you’re hot or you’re cold!”
The Draft: “But, Teara Thomas is still in college right now… the girl that was on The Cloud with Wale…she’s famous…
Bri: “I ain’t saying that it’s not possible to do it—you know, on the side. I’m saying, I’m one of those people [who say] ‘Either you go hard or you go home’. If you’re half-steppin’, I don’t wanna deal with you!”
You can find:
- Ariel on twitter @_yellariel
- The Draft on twitter @TerrillJohnson
- Bri Moyelle on Facebook // look out for her twitter coming soon.
- The Draft- No Doubt Mixtape // Datpiff