Earlier this week, we brought the premiere of Memphis emcee, June’s, latest video: “Big Pimpin.” If that was your introduction to his music and style, you may have come away thinking that he was flashy, balling rapper, who was a return to the glorious jiggy or bling bling era of rap. However, you would be sorely mistaken.

Not only does his music demonstrate an acute awareness of the world around him, but also his attempt to shape it in a positive way. His debut mixtape, EVOL, illustrated his understanding of his hometown and hip hop. Coupled with his unique style, it becomes obvious that he is an artist to keep an eye on.

We were able to catch up with young musician and pick his brain about his music. He shared some of his secret plans for the future, his recording process, and his collaborations. It is an interesting read for all those artist attempting to make it to the top. Check it out below.

Tell me a little about yourself?

My name is June, I’m a music artist. A visionary, I talk to the world, with my music.

So your first project, EVOL, was dope and I enjoyed it a lot. It was entirely produced by Teddy Walton. Are you going to be working with him again in the future? Are you guys like a duo?

Yes, Yes, Teddy is with me forever. He will always be a part of my music, so is my guy Bryson.

Could you explain the title EVOL? What does it represent and mean?

Well you know that was my first mixtape. I was going through a whole thing in life, as for as like really wanting to go into music, but knowing that I would have to focus and go through a lot to do it. So, it was like, “why do you have to be in pain for something you love so much?” That was the whole concept behind it.

The music on it was made out of pure love, when I go into the studio it’s pure. I don’t go up in there trying to be like somebody. I just go up in there and say what I want to say, and do it how I feel; not listening to “you got to make this punch-line like this” or “you go to do that like that”. I just go in there and flow. That’s my first love.

With something that you love so much, you got all these boundaries and they are like evil.

And you say it’s more like a flow?

Yeah, it’s a flow. I don’t rap, I flow.

So it’s more natural?

Yeah, you get it.

I was going to say, because Evol on tracks like “City Love” there is a Memphis vibe, but there is more than that. It’s like a collage?

Yep yep.

So all of those things educate those who hear your music?

Yeah, in a way, it educates people on the daily life. It describes getting up and about hustling really, trying to make a way. Pimping, like I have to get out there and get it. So when I made “Big Pimpin’” it was more like, “What are people trying to do every day?” They are trying to get it. I make my music about the moment, I live in the moment.

“Big Pimpin’” is removed from the laid back sounds of your earlier work, are you trying to incorporate a livelier sound?

Again, I’m a mood guy. I go by whatever is going on. If I’m in a hype mood, you will get a hype song. If I’m in a girl mood, you will probably get a girl song. If I got a lot of things on my mind, you will get that relaxed songs. It’s all about the mood man. I’m human bro, so you know switch up my things and I have different feelings. It’s all about the mood and that’s all I can tell you.

Are you in the studio for the next project? Is it already done?

Yes, Teddy and me are in the studio. We have it done, but you know being an artist, you always trying to be a perfectionist doing what you love. You are like “I like this” at the last moment, “take this one off, put this new one on there.”

The EP is called Living Color, and we are dropping the intro for it around March 15th.

So when is the full project dropping?

A spring release, April or May.

How did you feel about the reaction that EVOL has gotten?

Yeah, the reaction is doing well. It’s almost like I knew that it would do that. It was going to be a slow take. Again you are at the starting ground, if you think you are just going to go up in there and take over. That’s not how this industry works, so I knew it was going to be a steady pace. As far as the mixtape goes, I think it’s hot. Everyone should listen to it.

A003_C028_0104MWHow about in your hometown?

Yeah, they see what I was talking about. They thought it was bullsh**ing, but now they see I’m for real.

Were you really a part of OVO?

Those were just all rumors. I was never signed to OVO, never said I was signed to OVO. Shout out to OVO, I enjoy the camp. You know Drake is someone I admire. People look at the Drake and June thing and assume. I never said I was signed to OVO.

So you are still unsigned?

Yep, I’m just rocking and hustling. No record label, no major. I’m just out here working.

Where are you trying to take your sound now?

I’m going to explore, I’m going to always changeup. I don’t want to stay on one thing for too long, that’s not human. To reach the whole world, you have to change. You have to teach yourself to be open-minded, like “I’m going to try this song”. Being open-minded helps you be happy, in my opinion.

Jimi (@Nativejimi)