Putting a legacy on your back is no small feat — just ask Brooklyn rapper Radamiz.
It was announced roughly a month ago that he would be joining New Orleans native Pell, Yung Fume, Isaiah Dreads and the iconic DJ Premier as the starting lineup of the relaunched and revamped Payday Records.
Initially launched in 1992 by Patrick Moxey — who at the time was managing Gang Starr — the legendary label served as the platform for some classic releases, such as the debut and sophomore records by Jeru the Damaja, Showbiz & AG’s debut, and arguably some of Premier’s most exceptional work.
Though never officially defunct, the label had been mostly inactive since 1998, until given a defibrillator earlier this year by Moxey and Premier.
“[Patrick] is a rich man in this industry … he’s at a rare place in his life, especially as an exec,” Radamiz explains to HipHopDX. “He’s in a place where it’s like ‘let’s make sure we put out art in this world.’”
As an indie artist, Radamiz had been sold many stories throughout the years, and explains that his official signing to the label was kind of an interview process — except the tables were turned.
Big tingz coming from #radamiz 🙏🏽 #Repost @radamiz ・・・ yo wassup y’all….i signed my first deal for the next album with @paydayrecords / @sonymusicglobal . been holding on to this news for months…but May 18th will set off the next chapter. grateful to EVERYONE involved to make this happen. Great music only… #SUMNER #BROOKLYN #MOGULCLUB #PAYDAYRECORDS #SONY
“My interview was just me interviewing him,” he says. “What’s your history? Why are you in Hip Hop? Why do you want to get back into Hip Hop? Why are you interested in me?”
Ultimately, what resonated most with Radamiz was the artistic freedom — and genuine love of his music — that Moxey offered.
“I didn’t get signed off what I released,” he says. “I got signed off of what I’m working on.”
Though the pressure to live up to the imprint’s iconic catalog looms, Radamiz doesn’t seem phased.
“I grew up on [them],” he says of Payday’s list of former artist. “But at the end of the day, I feel like I have the platform to create something new for the person who doesn’t know Payday … I feel like I have the opportunity to establish what that second wave of the label is.”
Not only is he helping craft the second wave, he’s also doing so as one of the sole East Coast representatives. “I’m the guy holding it down on some New York shit, for now,” he says.
His Big Apple aura is on front street on “V.I.M.,” his first official release on the label — produced by Harlem beatsmith V’Don.
Though nobody would blame him, and his music does bleed a classic NYC feel, Radamiz reiterates he’s in no way trying to recreate the ’90s aesthetic in his music. “I’m not trying to make 1991 Hip Hop songs, you know what I mean? I’m trying to make 2018 music,” he says.
“I know how to blend the lyricism and blended storytelling, but I’m still 25 — I’m aware of what’s going on in my generation,” he continues.
His upcoming LP has no set date, but it promises to take the 25-year-old, who’s been bubbling for some years now to the next level. The bottom line is longevity.
“It’s not about instant classics,” he says. “It’s not about instant platinum plaques … It’s not about immediate commercial success,” he states. “I don’t trust it.”