HHW: Your first project was called concrete rose and your upcoming project is called “Soul of A Rose.”A lot of your projects have the flower in it? Is there any particular meaning or symbolism in that?
Manolo: Yes, Well when you think about a rose and just the duality of it. This is something you give on valentine’s day to a loved one, and it’s also the same thing you give to someone when their dead. So it’s just to play on both aspects of life. And like my music, it’s geared to both aspects of life. It’s all about the why answer, for example I don’t condone drug selling but I don’t condone starving either.
HHW: How long have you been rapping for?
Manolo: Um, not that long. This is really my second full year.
HHW: So it’s fair to say that your very new to this?
Manolo: Don’t get me wrong I had my time of just listening to music. I was always very critical of music and my older brother always rapped. It was always around me, but I wasn’t interested in making the music up until recently.
HHW: Talk to me about your first time rapping since this is something new for you. What did it feel like rapping?
Manolo: (Laughs) Well, it felt good you know. My first show I had, I think I performed a majority of it with my eyes closed (Laughs). It was very, very frightening to be in front of everybody. Just explaining your talents and realizing that the moment that you come out publically and do something that you are open for critique and criticism.
HHW: When did you realize you had something special, and you had a real talent?
Manolo: Well the very first song that I wrote was actually stolen. Somebody stole it and I just heard it on the radio. I was like damn. Me and this person are friends now, but the person who did the record was unaware the record was for me. The person that writes for them, they stole it. That was the very first record I ever wrote, so I said maybe I do know what I’m doing. I still questioned myself, but when I wrote “All about the money,” and I got a chance to hear it on the radio and people saying this record was crazy that’s when I knew.
Valerie HHW: What was your childhood like and growing up?
Manolo: Well, I come from single parent home. My childhood was very cool, but there wasn’t any balance in it though. My father was a dope head and died of AIDS and my mother was a masters Degree holder. When you’re young and your mother is at school and work you basically have to raise yourself. That put me outside a lot and allowed me to get into a lot of other stupid shit that I maybe shouldn’t have gotten into, or maybe it was just things I had to go through. So my childhood was pretty much like that, I was in the streets doing that type of thing and I would come home and listen to my mother who’s very educated tell me not to do those types of things. I don’t look back at it as a bad thing, I look back at it and learn from it. It made me who I am today, I can’t say I would want anyone to go through it, but it was need for me.
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