When you think about Minnesota, fire Hip-Hop is probably the last thing you think about. Until now.
While we here at RockDafuqOut get about 40-50 submissions a day, only a fraction of those are Hip-Hop. Out of that small percentage, only a handful of artists stick out from the crowd, getting us hyped and simultaneously securing our support. Aaron Aye is one of the few… and he’s 2 for 2 with us.
We only recently featured his track, “Since ‘96”, and it didn’t take too long for him to hit us with another banger. While he is only 21, “no savage”, Aaron Aye is dropping gems with a fluency and bravado usually found in seasoned vets. Beyond his catchy melodies, Aaron sheds his soul on each track, giving listeners a glimpse into his life, his city, and where he stands on hot topics from politics, to police brutality and sexual harassment.
His new release, “I Know”, not only showcases his lyricism, vocal abilities and punchlines, but also gives you a look at the person behind the bars. Spitting consciously with a new wave vibe and realism usually not often found in Hip-Hop, this is the second time around Aaron has left me absolutely impressed.
In true RockDafuqOut fashion… the second time on the site means we have to have a chat. Check out the tune below and keep scrolling for a quick Q&A.
RDFO: How has your upbringing in MN influenced your sound?
AA: In every way possible. For so long I️ had never left the state of Minnesota so it was all I️ knew. I️ think just growing up being an only child to a single mother forced me to be creative and use my imagination from a young age. I️ didn’t find out about my half siblings until I️ was 20. Minneapolis is the canvas of my story so I️ make a lot of references to the places I grew up hanging out at. I️ also feel like it’s a place that’s very overlooked these days when it comes to music so that really made me want to create a sound that could break through the curse and make it out of the city.
RDFO: Who are some other artists from your area that you think are up next?
AA: Hmm there’s a few. I’d definitely have to say Lucien Parker is one of them. That’s been my bro since the 8th grade & he’s so talented. vlush is another one who’s just incredible. He’s in Chicago right now but we’ve been friends since high school and I️ think he will go super far. KAS is super dope. His music is such a vibe and it puts you in a zone. It’s funny cause we all grew up around each other and went to the same schools and shit.
RDFO: I feel Hip Hop is so saturated. How do you make yourself stand out from the rest?
AA: I️ agree but honestly Hip Hop is only one element of who I️ am as an artist. I️ think when people hear me sing they say i’m a singer and if they hear me rap they say i’m a rapper but really i’m just an artist and i️ tell my story through whatever style will get the point across. So in a way I️ guess you never know what to expect from me and that’s how I️ plan to stand out from the rest.
RDFO: If you could collaborate with one producer who would it be?
AA: I️ feel like i’m already working with my favorite producers which are JB & Corron (Culture Shock). But If I️ had to choose one outside of the team it’d probably be Kanye.
RDFO: What is the writing process like for you? Do you write first or work off the beat?
AA: It all depends on the song. I’ve had plenty of times where i’ve heard the beat first and got inspired to write but sometimes I️ start with just a melody idea or even one line of a lyric and then I️ embellish on that and the beat will come later. Lately i’ve been writing outdoors a lot. I️ get more inspired when i’m around nature rather than just being in a room with a ceiling.
RDFO: This is the second single we’ve featured from you. What do you have in the pipeline?
AA: My album! It’s called “Orphan” and I’m super excited about it. It’s like a letter to my adolescents and I️ talk about what it means to be an orphan from my point of view. I️ hope it inspires people to believe in themselves no matter what their story is.