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Rapping With Zaire

Jul. 31, 2012
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Jamal Quezaire, aka Zaire, recently appeared on MTV's “RapFix Live”—the first Milwaukee artist to do so. He was immediately co-signed by DJ Khaled of Cash Money Records.

What's new in the rap world?

[In his best Tony Montana voice] Me, that's who! Also, technology. And not just for making music, either—getting music heard, too. You can reach anybody in the world now. Another new thing is not having a formula to "make it." Artists can be themselves. Before, you had to be hard, or a thug or whatever.

Why do they call it “the game,” when nobody plays?

Music is an industry, and a very profitable one. You have to have strategies and calculate moves—like a chess game. Have you heard the term "life is a game to be played"? Kinda like that.

How was the MTV show?

Great! A career boost—got the attention of a lot of industry people, and also upcoming artists wanting beats. Felt good getting the stamp of approval of somebody like DJ Khaled, and personally confirmed a lot of things. I can do this, and I know that now. When you're pursuing something and it gets hard, you may second-guess yourself, or get depressed. This reignited me. It also let people know I can do it, too—doubters, haters, nonbelievers and whatnot. Sometimes those closest to you are the worst.

How did you get there?

Built a strong fan base through the Internet, and the buzz garnered enough attention from the right people.

What of Cash Money Records?

I've been sending music to Gudda Gudda and Short Dawg. Here's hoping my beats make one of their upcoming releases.

Any sign of Lil Wayne?

Not yet, but hopefully. He's definitely one of my favorites.

What is difficult or challenging about Milwaukee's music scene?

To be honest, I don't know. I never tried to win over the local scene. I always felt like the world is bigger than one city.

What about the upside?

Milwaukee is very diverse—all types of people, different crowds. I don't think hip-hop artists here use this to their advantage enough.

How would you describe your lyrical style?

Diverse/versatile. I can rap in any direction, do whatever: lyrical, straight to the point, or emotional. Or I can have fun. I'm just myself. Some artists are just one way all the time. How many times can you rap about the club? Getting money? Being hard? Boring as hell. I can't be boxed in. Being an eclectic person, I'm into all kinds of music, art—everything. Listening, you'll hear different genres of music, different flows and rap styles. My music reflects my personality and what I'm into at the time.

Where can people hear you?

I'm everywhere: youtube.com/zairetv, reverbnation.com/Zaire, soundcloud.com/zairemuzik, Twitter (@zairemuzik) and facebook.com/zairemuzik.


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