Panama hails from Baltimore / New York and has a lot of things popping off. Read the interview conducted by Danielle to find out about his acting work on The Wire, his clothing line Bmore Creative and his forthcoming mixtape “Ring Side Seats” The Weigh In…
Who is Panama?
Panama: When people ask me who is Panama I try to give them the simplest answer you know. With that being said I tell them I’m simply a breath of fresh air, one man, pure truth and real life. Not to expose my man DJ K-Dot he states, “this dude is the essence of hip hop right here. A breath of fresh air. His flows take you on a visual journeys, and timeless experiences”. Now you tell me how real is that, good look K Dot.
You are an actor as well as a musician and have appeared on our screens in the smash hit HBO drama The Wire, what was it like being part of such as successful show?
Panama: To have the opportunity to be apart of a critically acclaimed series is a blessing and for me. I just felt I was getting closer to my dreams. Sometimes you dream where you want to be, but never get a chance to see, but being on The Wire I was able to accept the success, humble myself and push forward for future prosperity.
How would you define your musical style?
Panama: My musical style is commercial reality rap and what I mean by that is I want and will market my music to a large mass, but still keep it as true and real as possible. I’m not just going to make you dance and not give you reality, vice versa. It wouldn’t be real to me, my musical style is life that people can relate too which becomes a personal journey.
You have your own clothing line called “Bmore Creative” where did the idea for this line come from? You have had support from artists like Lupe Fiasco and Method Man right?
Panama: First off the clothing line “Bmore Creative” is a movement and the CEO is Andre Williams. In all reality the clothing line consists of just us two, I’m the marketing genius and he’s the phenomenal artist, everything we do is custom made that’s why we say dare to be different. The idea originated in Baltimore because we attended school at UMBC and we wanted the clothes to appeal to our fellow residents, but still having that international appeal to the masses. Yes indeed “Bmore Creative” has quite of deal of support from various artists and Lupe Fiasco and Method Man are two of them… Big Shouts to them!
Are there any album plans on the horizon?
Panama: In the near future I will be planning to drop a mix album entitled, “Ring Side Seats” The Weigh In Hosted by DJ Blurray, DJ L Gee, DJ Edubble and DJ K-Dot… all the tracks on this mix album will be produced by my super producer BlackJab. Meanwhile I’m hosting tapes for DJs all over the USA to generate my buzz coast to coast.
You are a Brooklyn native, what was life like for you growing up within the Big City?
Panama: I am a Brooklyn native but I’ll be a fraud if I told you I was raised in the streets of Brooknam Vietnam. I spent most of my years in two cities, the Bronx and Baltimore, growing up in the Bronx makes you want it more because the competition is that strong. If you’re an artist coming out of New York you have to have your shit tight, if not you will quickly fall out the race without knowing. Furthermore, when I decided to move and go to school out in Baltimore I took my New York state of mind and applied it in the streets of Bmore. I had an upper hand in my opinion, I feel if I didn’t go hard in Bmore I wouldn’t have landed on The Wire, wouldn’t have recorded records which such artists like Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli, Spot, Vic Damone and Lo Smooth and I probably wouldn’t be having this interview with you.
Who has influenced you over the years?
Panama: If you are looking for me to say some artist name that is not going to happen right now. I can say my family, Young Execs and Life influenced me over the years… no one else.
Where do you want your music to be in five years time?
Panama: In the next five years I want my music to be internationally known because the name is Panama for a reason. This music career is bigger than me.
Do you have plans for any other TV appearances?
Panama: Lets get the record straight before cats think I am simply a recording artist, I am a professional actor that has a crazy passion for acting. Acting comes first for me, this is a craft I went to school for, so with that being said I am always on the hunt for future screen appearances.
Having such a busy schedule must be demanding, do you ever find time to just be yourself and relax?
Panama: Its true that I do have a demanding schedule, but even with that I don’t feel the need to relax at this moment because I am young, fresh and ready to go. Time waits for no man and I am no exception because if I don’t get it, someone else will and like my man DJ BlackJesus states, “I’m grindin’ while y’all sleep” and “I ain’t doin’ this shit for nothing”, go get his mixtape series.
Tell us about your collabo’s with $park Dawg and Yungtexxus? You know $park is my boy! (laughs)
Panama: Oh word, I didn’t know that. Well Spark Dawg and Yungtexxus are my cousins. Both artists recently signed to Desert Storm South, so be on the lookout for them; however, collabing with Spark wasn’t a problem because we are family. I had a Southern record entitled, “Shotty Smokin” produced by the Baron Boys and I figured it will be hot for Spark to hop since he is generating a mean buzz out there in Texas. We also did a joint together called “Gimmie Dat Monkey” feat Spark Dawg and Mike Hee which I was recently told that it will appear on MTV Mixtape Monday with DJ Metro Dee.
You started writing at a young age, fifteen I think? You are now almost twenty four do you feel you have progressed with your skills over the years?
Panama: I definitely feel like I progressed over the years and truth be told with my passion for music there is no way I won’t be known as one of the illest emcees to bless the mic.
Are there any other areas within business you would like to touch on at some point?
Panama: There are a few other areas I will like to touch as I continue on my personal journey other than music, fashion and acting. As I continue to drive for success and prosperity and God continues to bless me I will start to invest in stocks, become more involved in real estate and producing my own productions for companies such as Viacom and whatnot.
Panama: First and foremost let me shout out the man above that is making this all possible for me at this very moment. I will also like to thank my whole team Young Execs, better known as YE. Let’s not forget my dude Andre Williams (Bmore Creative) the number one designer in Baltimore right now. Big Shouts to my super producer Blackjab, super camera man Alex Prudovsky, super engineers Antonio Corcella, Steve, and Bad Samaritans (Alex, Rostnam and Jamal). Let me take this time to big up you for blessing me with this interview, I really do appreciate that you know.
Whats good Lo Smooth, Rated R, Awthentik, Spot, Vic Damone, Sha Stimuli, Skyzoo, Big Cas, St. Laz, Paysoz, Sparkdawg, Yungtexxus, Flawless and Mr. Khalia. Also to all the DJs that ever showed me love, thank you on some real shyt and last but not least to all the websites that ever took time out to write up or setup an interview for me here is a big thank you because you guys understand its all about marketing! Nap Entertainment thru the door… lets get it circuit! Bless to my family heart, mind, body and soul! Big shouts to Bottom Line Musik.
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.