By Ashley Kane:
As I sit in a semi-empty bar scratching my pen against my notebook, a click of heels ushers towards me. I look up to see a man with full beard, dark brown skin and a t-shirt that simply says ART. Oran Tailor, a hip hop artist from St. Louis, Missouri stands before me and greets me with a warm smile a welcoming presence. I sat down with Tailor to get his perspective on the message in his music, God, and the current state of hip hop.
Tailor, now 26 has been writing music since the age of 12 and recording since he was 15 years old. He began to describe how it wasn’t until 2011, when his music had a purpose. Tailor says “life triggered the music, I was dealing with day to day life”. When he didn’t think prayer worked, God opened his eyes. Tailor goes on to say, “Faith is important to me and the foundation of my mission, so you’ll hear it consistently in my music.” We also discussed the title of his newest release, Fxck Your Religion. He describes the meaning behind it: The music is original, raw and authentic. Tailor says it’s not just about spirituality it’s about going against tradition, against the grain; it’s about “intimacy and personal connections”.
We then delve into the current hip hop enterprise, and for several minutes we banter back and forth about “turn up” music. Tailor shakes his head in disapproval profusely stating that everyday is not a party for him. “I’m dealing with real life shit, I ain’t gotta turn up all the time”. Oran rattles off a list of influential artists like 2Pac, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and Wale who have inspired some of his music. Tailor says “music has to come from the heart, if it doesn’t come from the heart it’s not real”.
As Tailor steps off stage he’s greeted by applause and a stiff drink. If you’re looking for music that means something, music with substance, hip hop that makes you think, follow @OranTailor. He may just make you think a little harder. I leave you with another quote from Tailor as it describes him best. “I prefer relationship over religion and purpose over preference.”
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