Blueprint gears up to release his upcoming album Respect the Architect, coming April 22. HipHopDX spoke with him about the video for "Silver Lining" and here's what he had to say about it and the emotional process for making music.
HipHopDX: You expressed a lot of emotions and memories in "Silver Lining." What is the rawest emotion/memory portrayed in the song to you?
Blueprint: I guess if I had to choose it would be the year that my sister passed away and my father got sick, just as I was getting my music career off the ground. That was a tough year. The weirdest part is that I had never really spoke about most of those memories prior to writing "Silver Lining," but the emotion of the music brought them all back. Once I was reminded about all the little obstacles that I had to overcome just to get to this point, it made me realize there were a lot of times when I would've been perfectly justified if I had chosen to quit. I'm glad I stuck with it.
HipHopDX: What schools did you receive letters from to play basketball?
Blueprint: Most of the letters I was getting back then were from Division 2 and 3 schools in Ohio like Denison University, Capital University, and Kent State.
HipHopDX: You said "Artists got to understand, it's easy when you paint with black." What defines the "black" that you paint in your recordings?
Blueprint: To me, painting with black is what I do when I feel my worst. We all go through bad times, so it makes perfect sense that we would end up using our art as a forum to blow off steam. The problem is that sometimes we can take it too far. Sometimes we get so caught up in venting about our own problems that we forget that people don't typically tune into us for that. The truth is that most music fans listen to our music as a way to temporarily escape their problems, not to be dumped on with more problems. It doesn't mean we can't address real problems, or that we need to dumb down our message. It just means we have to be conscious of that. Once I recognized that and admitted it, the way I was looking at my own music completely changed. It made me really understand the true power of music.
HipHopDX: Do you feel like Respect the Architect fits in with today's Hip Hop?
Blueprint: I didn't necessarily make it to fit in, but I believe it fits in well. There's a brightness to the music that I think is needed; an energy and really free feeling to it that people have responded really strongly to. Musically, I feel extremely proud about the production, and the excitement I've gotten from my younger fans has been really great so far.