With a newly-released project titled New York City: The Album, Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave has discussed the music coming out of his city on numerous occasions in the past few months, and during a recent interview with Hip Hop Since 1987, the New York City emcee revealed that he’s an artist who’s closing the generational gap that existed following acts like Fabolous and Jay Z.
In addition to speaking on the generational gap, Troy Ave went on to refer to himself as “the new generation” and stated that he’s not in the music business for the money.
“It’s been like a generational gap,” he said. “This is coming from publications like Pitchfork saying you have Big, Jay Z, Fabolous, and now Troy Ave is the new generation. You know what I mean? So, it feel good. I mean, this is what’s supposed to happen. All this is supposed to happen. Everything that I’m getting was earned. Nothing was handed to me and I’m cool with that. I’m cool with earning. I ain’t scared of no hard work. I ain’t scared of getting out there spending my own money, spending my own time. You know what I mean? Sometimes I be selling my own music in the hood…If you ain’t got five dollars to buy it, nigga take it for a dollar. Cause I ain’t doing it for the money. I’m just putting this shit to the hood. I just do that to fuck around.”
On New York City: The Album, Troy recruited a handful of noted New York City-based artists including Raekwon and Tony Yayo. While speaking on the features included on the album, he informed those watching that he’s never in need of a feature, but wanted to recruit artists who made sense for the project rather than those who might have been popular at the time.
“What I wanted to do, I wanted to take the classic…But my whole thing is I don’t be liking how niggas be trying to sound like they from the old school on some corny shit,” Troy said. “You know what I’m saying? So, I take the classic feel and I just improve upon it. So, I improve upon the classic feel. Nah, I just had to say ‘This is what New York shit supposed to sound like.’ It’s new niggas that come out and they ain’t doing what I think is dope for the type of music that I’m putting out. So, I’m like why get a feature from a new nigga. Like let’s be clear, I don’t need a feature from nobody. All my records I got my in-house producers. I do my own hooks, everything. My records is gon’ be 100 either way. But I feel like I can make it hotter or this person [will] sound great on this record…I do features with niggas who either I’m a fan of theirs or I admired their style at one time. Or they inspire me. If I get an opportunity to do a record with them and it makes sense like they gon’ sound good on this record, I’mma do it.”
As an artist who started his career selling mixtapes on the streets of New York City, Troy Ave discussed selling music “hand-to-hand” during an interview with Conspiracy World Wide Radio last year. While speaking with the show’s host, the rapper referred to himself as a “legend” due to his ability to connect with fans and push his music in the streets.
“I’m the first one over there in New York to sell my music hand-to-hand and all that out the truck,” he said. “You know what I mean? I been doing that…I’m a legend out here for doing that…I’m the first artist that’s not signed from Brooklyn to get bootlegged like back when they had all the bootlegs. The bootleg CDS [were] heavy. I’m the first one to get bootlegged. So, that’s a big deal.”