Well good afternoon. Now that finals are over, I’ve been scouring the globe looking for cool things to bring to you. Little did I know that it was sitting next to me in class the whole time. Kendall Taylor, better known by his rap name PreCise, has been rapping since an early age and immediately stepped on to the Howard University scene with one goal in mind-to make good music and deliver it to the people. Finally, on September 21, 2011, he released his first mixtape, “A Dream Deferred”. This 19 track masterpiece contained the right combination of deep lyrics, soulful beats, and the perfect balance of social consciousness and old fashioned fun. When he first told me about the mixtape, I was busy in the middle of my football season and I honestly wrote him off as another college “rapper” simply trying to rap to get the attention. However, after hearing his first single and sitting down and listening to the mixtape, I was sincerely impressed. I have yet to hear an artist that has the same style as PreCise. PreCise has a style completely his own that brings a sense of earnestness and genuineness to a highly commercialized hip-hop scene. While there are a solid amount of single worthy tracks, you can listen to every track and genuinely enjoy it without skipping. You can tell from listening to it that it was a labor of love and that there were no corners cut on quality. Feel free to download the mixtape here:
I was also able to sit down and interview PreCise to gain a better insight into how his artistic mind works and how he started out:
When did you realize you could rap?
PreCise-Um, the first time I realized I could rap I was nine years old. I used to listen to Nas and Jay-Z and I used to write poetry. But there’s a difference between writing and rapping it. I remember there was a Nas song playing, “The World is Yours” and I was rapping along to it and it didn’t sound too bad. My friends brought up a good point asking why don’t I just rap something I write and practice my poems. That’s when I realized I could actually rap.
What artists musically inspire you?
PreCise-Nas and Jay-Z, and Common off the top of my head. As I got older I got into Andre 3000 and around the time I became a freshman in high school was when Kanye had a big influence. Recently, Kendrick Lamar has been a great lyrical influence.
How would you best describe your style?
PreCise-I would think that my rapping style is kind of like a volcano to me. Because its always flowing in regards to what I write. Its always bubbling waiting to burst and it really surprises people, just like a volcano when it erupts to the top. You never appreciate the natural beauty until it erupts. I’m a laid back guy until I do music, then people ask, “Where did that come from?” it’s a contrast of personality and music. It flows smoothly. I’ve never heard anyone say I sound like, “so and so”. I feel like people hear me and don’t label me. They simply try to find out who I am and what my rapping is about.
A Dream Deferred was an ambitious project, with the volume of tracks on par with a studio album. What made you choose that route?
PreCise-Well, the thing is, my favorite hip-hop album is Kanye West’s Late Registration. It had 21 tracks and really showcased his talent and his love for the project. It’s true that most mixtapes and EP’s are short, but I felt like I had procrastinated on releasing content, especially because I felt like I had spent so much time under the radar. So, I didn’t want to leave anything out. Most artists make EP’s for the record labels because many people don’t have the musical maturity or the patience to listen to that many tracks, and I feel that’s synonymous with an artist chasing a pop single instead of making music that they love that people can relate to. If someone would rather listen to an EP over a long project, then so be it. I feel like I owe music to the people I relate to and not the A&R’s because I don’t aspire towards the money. I’d rather make a soulful project, because people would appreciate it. It’s a more patient route, like a marathon. You can make good music regardless of the length. I’m more worried about the content of the music than the length. I just focus on making the people happy and making myself happy. Too many external factors make you over think it.
What motivates you?
PreCise-What motivates me most is seeing people do great things before me that were unexpected. It lets me know that there are no limits on life and that life is what you make it. It sounds cliché, but its true. My favorite motivational story is Kobe Bryant. He’s always been my favorite athlete because my cousin used to play with him overseas and he came in under the radar, in fact, he was traded and had low stock. But, his perseverance and hard work eventually caused him to be looked upon as the best in the league. It’s one of the most patient careers in sports history. He earned what he worked for. Often times, people will say I’m better than other artists and wonder why I don’t get mad about not receiving recognition. Again I see it like a marathon and I’m more motivated by longevity where I can survive for a long time and I’d rather sacrifice initial success because I’d rather last. I want someone to look at my progression and be inspired.
Where do you feel the direction of hip-hop is going?
PreCise-I feel like it’s not going down or going up. About 2 years ago I felt it was on the decline due to the content listeners allowed. But I believe that with music, there are people that come to save the music at the right time, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, etc. Artists are starting to have content again and are making it cool to be lyrical like in the past. Artists with certain commercial styles who are currently successful wouldn’t have been having that same success back in the day and it makes you wonder what became accepted between then and now. It’s not the artist’s fault. It’s the listeners. If you don’t accept it, and stop buying it, they won’t make subpar music. I feel hip-hop is at a standstill currently. The responsibility is split between the artists and the listeners as to what they’ll accept in regards to quality, because ultimately the artist is going to make what the listeners want to hear.
What can we expect from PreCise in the future?
PreCise-People can expect me to give 100% effort. That’s all I can promise- effort and love. I can’t promise getting signed or a certain number of albums. I’ll continue to make relatable music that people can say came from my soul. There is a mixtape coming soon; coming very soon within the next year or so, I have no idea. I just know that whomever I’m working with, they’ll share my love of music and give 100% effort and not half do anything. If that means patience and a slower release of tracks, then so be it. I want to put 100% into whatever I make. You can always expect 100% from me as an artist if nothing else. Whatever I’m doing, it’s going to be known that I put my all into it.