Uzi, Nigerian-American Rapper: "We Don't Live in Huts and Walk Around Naked"
Nigerian-American rapper Uzi was born and raised in South Florida. And all his life, he's had to answer questions about his family's country, culture, and customs.
But for the Miramar spitter, the underground sounds of Texas, Chicago, and the Pac Jam, are a clearer influence on his sound.
We caught up with Uzi to find out about his hustle, the slums of Lagos, and what to expect from his music.
What's the new song "Watchin' Waitin'" about?
I been putting in work and trying different ways to market and promote and hustle. It's more important to have a work ethic to really get out there.
How did you get started?
I been rapping since 2005'ish from freestyles I would do at lunch time in a circle. It wasn't till 2007 that I started going to open mics and I got into the underground scene in Miami and Broward. In 2010 I put out "Don't Stop, Get It Get It," and that reshaped my sound and took me to a different level to where a whole lot of DJs were looking my way.
Where are you from?
I'm born and raised here. My mother and father are both raised in Nigeria.
I been meeting a lot of Nigerians over the past year, is there a much of a community here in South Florida?
Yeah, there's a lot of Nigerians here. I never known there to be like one particular neighborhood, but we're all spread out. Nigeria is a huge country, we spread out like crazy. I have family on almost every continent.
What do your parents think about your rapping?
My parents, they don't really understand or get it , they think it's just horrible language, but they understand the passion I have for it and believe that I'm actually working toward a goal. Moreso they want me to do school opposed to music though.
What are you pushing now?
Right now I'm still getting the last promotion for "Watchin'." I took it to Daytona, Fort Pierce, Cocoa.
What do people ask you about being Nigerian?
The question I've got most since I was a kid is 'are there lions and elephants in your backyard? Do you live in huts? Does everybody walk around naked all the time?' And it's like, no, we're civilized, My grandfather has a house bigger than your whole block.