Noe is possibly one of the biggest unsigned acts out there right now. His Byrdgang are riding high with their debut LP and his links with Jim Jones are proving to pay dividends right now. Check out what he had to say about his background as well as his plans for the future and even about his ghost-writing when he recently spoke to Danielle.
For our readers who are not familiar with you already give us a little background info on yourself?
Noe: My name is NOE. I have been in the rap game for about three years now. Much of my popularity and buzz comes from the underground and mix tape circuit. I am the lead member of the group Byrdgang, which was created by Sony recording artist Jim Jones. I was born and raised in Baltimore City. That's my home and source of inspiration musically. I am featured on numerous major releases such as "MOB the Album (Byrdgang Asylum)", "Harlem Diary of A Summer (Jim Jones / Koch)","Hustler's P.O.M.E(Jim Jones / Koch) and "Prey IV Reign"(Jim Jones / Sony). There are more but for time's sake, that's the idea.
You recently released "NOE torious Kid" what response have you been getting from that?
Noe: It was one of the biggest mixtape releases of 2008. It’s still getting downloaded. Lyrically, I bring it all to the table. It is what it is. I take on all comers. Whether be for the sake of the music or the streets. Its never mattered to me. "NOE torious KID " dropped near the end of the year, which was a good time. And it just blew up overnight it seemed. I knew DJ Whoo Kid was major. But I think I didn't have a keen enough sense on how major. The album was all over New York in a week. It gave me all the street credibility that I would need to take it to the next level. Shout outs to Whoo Kid and Nelson at G-UNIT on that.
Your track Na Na Nana Na is currently #2 on Bet’s 106 & Park. That must be a huge accomplishment for you?
Noe: In terms of having a shot at writing another single, yes. But its Jim's record. So its a really really good look for him. My time is coming. I enjoy putting my creative writing into a project and seeing it come to life through another artist. Plus writing can be a very lucrative business. Either way I appreciate every time anything I'm a part of does well.
You have written for Diddy in the past right, what song did you right and how did you get that gig?
Noe: I wrote Diddy's verse on "Showstopper" /Danity Kane. That opportunity came about when my business partner Nicole Chaplin played my music for Conrad Dimanche who at that time was Senior VP of A&R at Bad Boy. He said Bad Boy couldn't sign me but that they were looking for writers for Diddy's "Press Play" album. I didn't take to the idea instantly, but after some thought, I knew I had to get in the game. As an artist – that should always be the focus. I stayed in the studio writing from 12 in the afternoon until 5 or 6 the next morning most times. So it was a challenge. But it was worth it.
How did the Byrd Gang link come about?
Noe: Nicole set up a meeting with Jim Jones. He took the meeting. We met him at his office at Warner about three years ago. The minute he put my CD in, we all could tell that he got it. He understood the vision. But he also knew it would be difficult to break an artist who sounded so similar to an already heavily established artist. Nonetheless he went into it heart first. In this business you can never say the wrong thing to the right person. He was the right person. I've been "Byrdgang" ever since.
You have been interviewed by some of the big boys and girls in the industry, what’s it like for you to be recognized by the heavy weights within radio and press? It has to be a good feeling right!
Noe: I stay humble and grateful and enjoy all these beautiful blessings. I stay the same way through the adversities. It's always a good feeling to be honoured for your talents and work ethic. Any artist should bow down when others take notice of what they are doing it. Even if you don't like the feedback. Keep it moving. We are in a recession and I drive a new car. My children don't live in the hood anymore. I own businesses. This is all because people take note.
The KILLER question is…why ain’t you signed to a major label mayne!!??
Noe: Honestly. Its all political bull shit. I have to be one of the most almost-famous unsigned artist in the entire business right now. Its crazy. But its fun.
But the bait has been tugged at. We got the big fishes biting now. Now the execs (Executives) are finally understanding my point of view. They are a little late, but then the big boys always are. Now I'm hot. And getting hotter. So my signature's gonna cost.
You wrote tracks for Jim Jones Pray IV Reign release, do you find it easier to write for others rather than yourself?
Noe: Its always easier to write for myself. I don't have to think about how I feel about a particular subject. I just feel it and then I write it. Writing for others can be challenging. You have to figure out a way to capture the essence of the artist and write the composition in such a way that the artist's own style is not compromised. That's a headache at times. Its almost like acting. You have to literally get in to character and become that person. Think like that person. Then spit it. Its all good because the publishing income takes care of that migraine. Easy.
You literally wrote 90% of the Byrd Gang Album and it debuted at #5 on the Billboard charts, what went through your mind when you heard that? That’s a huge achievement for any artist but considering you are not signed to a major label that must make you stand even taller than the next man who is “major”?!
Noe: The Byrdgang album was my heart. I took that project extremely serious. Maybe too serious. But I loved every record. It was life. The music moved. It didn't stand still. The energy flowed throughout. It was a classic album. I have done and seen more than most artists have that have had major deals already. I am a firm believer in building your brand. If no one knows who you are and what you represent, then there is no demand. I've created a demand. Not only by putting out good music but by being consistent with the good music. I never ever stop. I record about five songs per week. Mixed and Mastered and ready to go.
What’s going to be your next move musically?
Noe: The next project is my single "Reaction" featuring Jim Jones and Jenny Red. We doing an album entitled "Basic Chemistry". That's the first single. Its going to change the way music is heard and formatted. Its groundbreaking. At least in my opinion. That's where the focus is right now. You never know how I'm going to come at you with the music. But I go for the jugular every time.
Noe: Gotta send respect out to BACE Enterprise, Nicole Chaplin, TKM Management, Millz & Adrienne of Leverage Marketing, Akeem, Jimmy and the whole Byrdgang / Dipset / Skullgang squad and the whole city of Baltimore. Stand up. We in here! Byrdgang Babah!
By: Danielle Fear
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.
NOE The Name, NOE The Difference: