Align With The Nation: Delasean Interview
The time is ripe for Delasean to strike, and the young rapper is definitely taking advantage of his current momentum. An ample supply of enthusiasm and motivation grew a teenager’s casual pastime into the very tangible possibility of a lucrative career. At 19 he’s already dropped four mix tapes and his fifth, “OverTimeGrind” is set to release on his favorite holiday-4/20. Delasean is making power moves; securing shows with established names like Method Man and Red Man (4/18 at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins). In light of his mounting popularity; Delasean maintains a level headed humility laced with the necessary confidence to secure his place in the rap game. And as Delasean lays out plans of evolution and expansion for himself and his crew Shock Nation; it’s clear he doesn’t plan on vacating his spot anytime soon. Follow him on Twitter @IAmDelasean to stay updated with his moves.
You frequently mention your affiliation to Shock Nation; explain for us exactly what Shock Nation is.
Delasean: Shock Nation is ambition, drive, and faith. I don’t know it’s just the group you know. It (Shock Nation) started off sophomore year in high school. I was on the drum line with Russell Grande and I convinced him to go to this summer program with me. He talked about being a rapper all the time; I had never really thought about rapping prior to that and I just thought fuck it let’s do it. I was always interested in music don’t get me wrong I just never thought rapping would be where my talent branched out. So we just started and wanted a name; we were young as hell so my thinking was surface level at the time. We came up with Shock Nation because we were rocking G-shocks all the time; that was pretty much the ideology behind it. Now it’s different it started like that but now it’s serious, this is my life. I laugh when I think how we thought of it but it shows how much I’ve grown since then. What could have been just bullshit has taken me so far just on ambition, drive, and faith. That’s why I say Shock Nation embodies those things
What is your role within Shock Nation?
Delasean: Uhhh I think I’m the Co-Commander in Chief next to my bro Russell Grande. That is Shock Nation, just us two as far as rappers. We get love everywhere though everyone feels nation so it’s like we’re deep but tight at the same time. We both own it I just happened to push alot more projects on my end and Russell he’s more of that slow cook that lets it stew he likes it 100%. He just needs to drop one now; I know he got bars that’s why I always feature him.
You and Russell vibe well with each other, would you ever consider doing an official collaboration…Outkast style?
Delasean: Way ahead of you I’m currently working on my 3rd Solo Tape OTG; which stands for OverTimeGrind. I got a couple of features from Russell Grande on there that’s it though I really wanted it to make a statement on how hard I can go. If you can’t stand on your own feet what are you doing. OTG is dropping 4/20 so look for that on Datpiff and Hotnewhiphop. Aside from that I’m working on a joint project with Russell Grande and we’re just going in like how we do on that “Clock In”. We’re gonna just eat it; but we’re always trying to be original. If you think you know you’re trippin’ because even I don’t know until it happens.
How have you seen yourself evolve since your first mix tape? What do you want to do to continue to refine your craft?
Delasean: Maaaan when I think of that “Higher Level Thinking” I just listen and laugh my ass off. I got a couple of favorites from there but I don’t feel like that tape represents me well as an artist at all. I’ve grown so much its crazy man and it’s a simple recipe; I just work hard. People should just know if you think I’m going to get worse you are sadly mistaken. This OTG is by far my favorite project I’ve worked on ever. They don’t know they got the game all wrong they talk about passion but they don’t even know what that word means. I stay hungry out here. I’m so hungry that when people see me eating they get hungry you feel me? What I mean by that is I make it look easy and when I do it people get inspired to grind. I’m so young but I got the puzzle in my head solved. You guys will see soon enough I don’t rush. I’m only 19 so I have time and I want to do it my way. I’m just going to make sure I got everything right before I make my moves.
How would you handle a groupie or an obsessed fan? (Think Eminem and Stan)
Delasean: Haha. Depends how obsessed they are. If their just a hardcore fan that been keeping up with us from the beginning then I’ll kick it with them, smoke one or something to show my appreciation. But if their obsessively stalking me I would try to get them out of my life. That’s a hard one hopefully I don’t find out how I handle that in the future.
Do you listen to other genres of music to influence your sound, rock, jazz, blues etc?
That’s something I’ve really been working toward doing because with music there are endless ways to tackle a beat and the rhythmic patterns vary from genre to genre. I plan on producing one day so it definitely wouldn’t hurt. I guess my answer is a little bit but not enough for me to really give credit to another type of music right now.
What artists inspire you?
Delasean: I get inspired by artists in different ways. As far as originality; my favorite artists are School Boy Q, and Ab-Soul. As far as how to do my music business wise; I’m inspired by Funk Volume, Curren$y, Nipsey Hussle. I want to make Nation stand among those names. Beyond that there’s J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and the whole DPG clique. Growing up, the west coast sound was really heavy in my life. People don’t know it but I wasn’t born in Colorado. I’m originally from California but I’ve lived here so long. Colorado doesn’t really get too much love and I love the city I grew up here that’s why I rep CO.
How do you maintain originality? Especially when so many main stream rappers mimic each other?
Delasean: That’s a hard one. I really just try not to sound like anyone. I want to have a Delasean sound you know? That’s why I say I’ve grown so much “Higher Level Thinking” was the start of me creating my own sound. At that time I didn’t really know how, I was still figuring it out. Now I feel like I have a niche; I know what I want to do and how to do it. That’s the beauty of figuring out your sound; you can do it again and again.
What do you have planned for the next year musically?
Delasean: Big things. I want to start touring a little. The fan base is starting to get heavy and this OTG is really just going to make people see I’m done playing games. I’m trying to make a better class of music. It’s funny people listen to my last tape and compare their new to my old; and I’m laughing like I left that alone so along ago. But in the next year there will definitely be alot more shows, April 18th we have a show with Red Man and Method Man at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins. That show is going to be live! If you want a taste of some new Delasean definitely go there.
What are your ultimate plans for your music career? What occupies your time besides rapping?
Delasean: I’m just planning to see how far it can take me you know people say it all the time; you only live once but it’s the truth. I want to know I gave my all in what I really loved no matter what the outcome. At least I can say I was happy and did it my way. Other than rapping I just exercise and play basketball. I want to be like the Bob Marley of rap haha. All he did was smoke weed, make music, and play soccer. I just want to smoke weed, make music, and hoop for life; I could live good like that.
Where did the name Delasean come from?
Delasean: I went to the top of a mountain and a guru deciphered my soul. I’m hella bullshittin’ it’s just my middle name, Ryan Delasean Mullins. I went by Wise One at the beginning because I always wanted to have bars and go hard. I felt if I ascribed myself a deep name it would contribute deep thoughts. In a way I think it worked a bit because I strived to look for more; whatever that meant to me. I went with Delasean because I always wanted something more personal. My mom always called me Delasean so I was just like Delasean it is.
How do you feel about the state of the rap game? How do you want to impact rap music; what do you want your listeners to come away with?
Delasean: I’m excited for rap and what’s coming. I feel like a new breed of hip hop is forming and that’s what I’m looking for; that’s what makes music so tight there are an infinite amount of ways you can take it in just rap alone. So I’m excited because there are alot of people like me who want it their way and that’s going to change the game in a big way. In the music game it’s just about planting your feet, knowing what you want, and not stopping til’ you get it. As far as impact, I want people to feel me. Who knows what my sound will be a couple months from now or a year from now. I never stop developing I’m a knowledge seeker. I want to be better. I want my listeners to be able to feel me. I have music of all sorts and like I said this OTG is going to show them a lot of that new Dela style.