Miami rapper/songwriter Eskeerdo has taken what it means to be from the South, and redefined it. A region known mainly for it’s dance-happy, party-fueled anthems is littered with individual, standout talent like Eskeerdo, who just recently released a self-titled short-player, The Eskeerdo EP–which you can listen to below. Last month, we chatted with Eskeerdo while he took part in his first-ever SxSW festival in Austin, and he gave us some pretty interesting insight as to how he plans on transitioning from behind-the-scenes songwriting hero, to full-blown artist.
I ran into an interview you did on The 305 and they said that you co wrote G.O.O.D. Music’s clique and Rihanna’s “No Love Allowed” in 2012 whats that about?
I started off as a songwriter. I met No I.D. working out of his studio and I was in one of Big Sean’s sessions, I did a lot of work with him earlier on. That’s the homie I’m just happy i was able to contribute to the record [“Clique”]. As far as “No Love Allowed,” that happened when me and Elijah Blake went in the [studio], wrote that record, and ten minutes later Jay Brown came in and said yea this is Rihanna’s record. It was the fastest record I’ve ever seen placed, the whole process took 25 minutes. I also co-wrote “Not For Long” by B.o.B. and Trey Songz. Intially i got started as a songwriter in the business. I got credits all over. Coming to the forefront as an artist is what I’ve been focusing on for the last couple months, putting this body of work together. Im really excited that it’s out there now for the world to hear.
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You’ve written some big records, but now that your focusing on your artistry what would you say is the biggest difficult, or difference rather, in writing hit records for other people and writing for yourself?
Its almost like, as a songwriter you have to program your brain to think like someone else. That was the hardest thing to me because I’m a perfectionist. I’m a heavy thinker, so I over think a lot of my sh*t. That was my hardest battle. Agreeing to tell my story and come from the heart and tell it as you would tell it in normal conversation. Thats basically the only challenge I ran into but it was more of a mental adjustment as far as thinking this doesn’t have to go to radio so it doesn’t have to fit a certain format or formula. This is culture. This is me expressing who I am where I’m from and what I’m about. It doesn’t really matter, there is no formula there at all, i can create an all-new formula. It’s just me being Eskeerdo and telling that story.
Who is that, Who is Eskeerdo? What is the message that you’re aiming to portray, whats your mission statement?
Eskeerdo is a Cuban-American, born and raised in the Miami area of Florida. I speak for the generation of kids thats unspoken for. There are no more Big Puns, I feel like that Latino voice is missing in urban music. Im that urban voice in the Latino community. Everybody wants to be a dope boy, I’m just basically telling the story of the sons of the dope boys. It’s not necessarily dope music but were the sons of Scarface. I’ve seen my whole family die from this sh*t. I don’t need to be out here talking that stuff, it’s really just telling the story of who I am being Hispanic in Hip-Hop, those circumstances, and saying we’re from the same neighborhood you can do this too. Filling that void that Pun and Joe once had.
I want you to elaborate on that point that you made when you said “We’re the sons of the dope boys.” This year on the mainstream level, there has been a lot of music released that’s inspired or based on the experiences that these artists have had as kids. Can you elaborate on just how much that plays a role when you take a pen to write a song for yourself?
Its just the honesty behind it. I relate to Cole a lot and I relate to Kendrick a lot because its just honest music. Not to say these rappers aren’t really out there doing what they do, or their past isn’t real. Even in my music I talk about a lot of things that have happened in my families’ past, but those are trials that I’ve lived through and I’ve grown from and seen. That’s where I separate myself. I know that I’m honest from my heart. If it’s not coming from an honest place, or my soul, I can’t talk about because I can’t wear that on my sleeve walking these streets knowing my face is dirty ’cause I’m out here lying.
What’s the Miami Hip-Hop scene like now? A few years ago there was a resurgence with Rick Ross, Flo-rida, and Brisco, but now on the mainstream level it kinda begins and ends with Ross, at least according to radio and the mainstream. What would you say the scene is like down there, and is there room for a new star from the 305.
Theres so much talent in Miami from the musicians, to painters, to the writers. Most people are unaware of the talent because they’re not really in the city where these kids are coming up. I think there’s no better time than now to come out. There needs to a new fresh face and fresh sound to rep for the city. Trick raised all of us. I grew up to Trick [Daddy]. That music is one of the eras that I miss the most about music in general. Growing to that had me wild. You hear a little bit of Trick it in my music because that was piece of me. I was raised on that. That reminds me of Miami. There’s no better time than now and I feel the most comfortable being that guy to bring it back home where it belongs.
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Have you ever gotten advice from No ID?
Deon is my guy, I fuck with No I.D. He actually produced a record on my EP called “Manolo” with The Infamous. Infamous actually executive-produced the entire project. That’s like my brother, and like my right hand. Without him there is no Eskeerdo. No I.D. played a big role in us with our sound as far as the honesty. He’s culture. That’s what you get with Deon, he’s done amazing things in his career, which is why he’s been around for 30-plus years. He basically told me not to be eager. Don’t be an eager artist out here to f*ck s*it up. Do things properly, and be honest with yourself, and feel your story. Infamous and myself are both Cuban and have similar stories as far as upbringing. We knew what we wanted to say because it was our life. That was the biggest advice Deon gave us was f*ck being eager, time is not gonna stop but the stars will align and s*it will line up properly in due time. Everyday i battle with that so I keep it in mind. All I can control is the music I can put out, and that’s what i focus on.
You can follow Eskeerdo on Twitter and Instagram at @Eskeerdo