Meet Signed Truly, a talented rapper and music producer hailing from the vibrant Southside of Chicago. As an independent artist and producer, Signed Truly has carved a distinct path in the industry. Heading his own label, Dope Music Hub, he curates a space for innovative and captivating musical creations. With a relentless drive for artistic excellence, Signed Truly continues to make waves, leaving an indelible mark on the music scene. Prepare to immerse yourself in this captivating interview with this dynamic artist and producer.
Let's just jump right into things. Tell us who are your top 3 favorite rappers?
My top 3 rappers are Tupac, Jada Kiss and Biggie. Lil Wayne gets an honorable mention. I wish I had more room to fit all of them in there.
How did you get started as a rapper?
Just from the love of music. I got a real passion for music. My uncle used to come in from work because he used to work overnight. When he got off work, he didn't want to hear any noise. What he would do is, whatever kids were up in the house, he’d make you go into the room. I didn't mind going into the room because he had a boom box back in the day and he used to turn the boom box on. I used to listen to Keith Sweat and MC Breed.
I used to listen to everything and that's how I really got started. I listened to just all types of music. It's even like that today. I don't listen to one specific genre of music. One day you might hear me listening to rap. One day you might hear me listening to rock and roll. You never know what I’ll be listening too.
“Music videos are now obsolete. They are basically like newspapers now.”
That's really interesting. How does that influence your style of rap?
I'm unpredictable. You never know what you might hear from me.
You know that we think you are a Disrupter in the rap game. Do you agree with that observation and title?
Yeah, I agree. I definitely agree. I don't just rap. I make beats too. I've taught myself how to do that within a two-year span.
When the pandemic hit, what was that like for you? How did that affect the way you conduct your music production sessions?
It actually helped me because it gave me more time to sit down. Before then, I was a truck driver. I drove 18-wheelers so I was on the road most of the time. So, I was able to take a lot more time off and be at home and actually get back to perfecting my career. Because for a long time, I had stopped so it really helped me out.
We do have a lot of listeners and readers who may be new to music production and rapping. Do you have any suggestions or tips for how they can make their home or their room into a studio?
I mean it's not really hard. I actually learned from watching a guy on YouTube. I watched him put his home studio together and I kind of started going off of that. I have friends that have home studios as well so I kind of learned from them as well. I'm still learning. As long as you can get you some decent monitors and a decent microphone, you could really set up a home studio. with about a $500 dollar budget.
What's the best advice you've ever been given in regards to your music career?
Keep going. It's not going to be easy because I mean, you got to think about it, now the game is so saturated because of social media. People getting on from social media and all this stuff now. It's not like it was back when I was growing up where you would have to go stand out in front of a show and wait for artists to come out and try to get your 15 seconds to rap in front of them and trying to catch their attention.
Now, you don’t have to do nothing because you could record from home and post it and hope that you go viral. I was just watching this interview with another artist and he was saying how music videos are now obsolete. They are basically like newspapers now. Nobody really pays attention to them because you can post a 10 second TikTok and go viral and get your song heard. People want things that will catch their attention. They got short attention spans now.
Do you think that it’s worth to either stay independent or try to be signed to a label?
It's kind of a double-edged sword because you have a lot of people that think, “oh yeah, I need this bigger label to get more production” but once again the internet has changed things so much now. I could put all my own stuff out as long as I got my ASCAP, my BMI and all the rest of my stuff set up, I could get paid. 9 times out of 10, you’re not going to get their attention unless you build a buzz on social media and everything. They’re not going to sign you and help you build that buzz. They want you to already come pre-packaged so they don't have to do nothing to you.
Someone offered my nephew a distribution deal. They told him “We could give you $50,000 but that's all that we’re going to do. You going to have to pay for all your promotion and everything out of $50,000.” So, like what work are these labels really going to put in to backing you? They not going to really back you the way they supposed to back you. I can go do all the footwork. If you a real hustler, you can do all the footwork on your own. Why have a middle man?
Has it always been a smooth road for you and if not, what are some struggles that you faced along the way?
Man, it's a constant struggle. I mean from constantly getting into trouble growing up where I grew up. Trying to stay out of jail and stuff like that is a constant struggle so it ain't been easy and it ain't getting no easier. It ain't for the weak. I’ll put it like that. You better be prepared to take some punches and be prepared to throw some, that's for sure.
What's next for you? Do you have any definitive plans? What can we expect from you?
I'm working on a couple things. It ain't set in stone yet. I'm trying to get some podcast stuff going. My nephew has a podcast show. He just recently got endorsed by Shazam so I'm trying to get in on that with my nephew. I'm just going with the flow right now. I got a single out. It's called “Betrayal” featuring my boy “Gotti”. It’s on all platforms right now. I got a couple more releases. I just ain't figured out when I'm going to drop it yet. I just be recording stuff and holding on to it sometimes.
Where can people find you?
I'm on Apple Music, and Spotify. It's all under “Signed Truly”. If anybody want any beats, I'm on Beat Stars under “Signed Truly”. You could look me up anywhere. Signed Truly on YouTube. I’m everywhere. You never know where I might pop up at.