Urban Vault caught up with Hollywood, Florida based emcee Hex One, to ask him some questions about his music, inspirations, and collaborations
Hex One was born in Barranquilla, Colombia on April 7th, 1989. He spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Queens, New York after he and his family moved there when he was 6 years old. Influenced early on by the Colombian culture of improvised rhyming called ‘trovas’ and later on being exposed to New York’s Hip Hop landscape, Hex soon began writing his own rhymes at age 12. Later, after relocating once more to South Florida, he met high school friend and fellow MC Tek-nition. They would rhyme together every day during lunch period, gather huge crowds and battle other MC’s. It was all just for fun and the love of the craft. After high-school Hex was unable to work or attend university due to his status as an illegal immigrant in the U.S. He instead went to school for Audio engineering in Arizona and later on settled in Los Angeles for an internship. Discouraged by the lack of opportunity in the field of audio, and facing serious problems with his immigration status, he decided to return to South Florida, rejoin Tek-nition and try the music thing for real. Hex and Tek went on to release 4 full lengths albums and 2 EP’s and garner some relative notoriety in the underground. Hex also released 2 solo projects during that time and has worked with other artists such as Reks, Planet Asia, Reef The Lost Cauze, Fashawn and more. Focusing for the moment on his solo career, his official debut album ‘Words Worth a Thousand Pictures’ is set for a October release.
What is your name?
Where are you from?
I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, raised in Queens, New York, and currently live in South Florida.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music for over 10 years and started releasing albums in 2011.
How many songs /albums have you released to date?
2 EP’s and 4 full-length albums with my group Epidemic (Consisting of Hex One and Tek-nition)
-Illin Spree 2011
-Monochrome Skies 2010
-Somethin' For Tha Listeners 2013
-4 Dimensions on a Paper 2016
-Write to Remain Violent 2013
-The Soulution 2014
2 collaboration projects with BBZ Darney and 5th Element respectively
-String Theory 2014
My debut solo album ‘Words Worth a Thousand Pictures’ is coming out on the 13th Oct 2017.
Can you tell us about your new album, the background, and inspirations behind it?
The concept behind the new album ‘Words Worth a Thousand Pictures’ was just my life as an upcoming rapper and all the disappointments that come with realizing that sometimes talent doesn’t really matter. Just the pain that comes with that realization and how one’s measure of talent has no connection to one’s measure of success nowadays. I’m inspired by the thought of the music fan that stumbles onto my music and discovers something unknown to them that completely blows him/her away. The same feeling I get when I listen to a song I really love or discover an amazing new artist, I want to make people feel the same about my music. That is my biggest inspiration
Who have you collaborated with so far in your Career?
Reks, Reef the Lost Cauze, Fashawn, Planet Asia, Skyzoo and a couple others.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I would love to work with Oddisee, probably do a whole album with Melanin 9 from the UK, Elzhi, DJ Premier. That’s about it for now.
How have you ended up in the music industry?
I did it for fun at first, then after not being able to go to school or work due to immigration status problems here in the U.S., I decided to take music as a full-time thing.
What do you think of the music industry in 2017?
It’s amazing how you have at your disposal all the tools to release your own music on your own terms. Of course, there are many more artists with those same resources competing for attention as well so it becomes harder to stand out. Sometimes all the noise can drown you out as an artist. But it’s a trade-off. I believe if you persist long enough and make quality music, you will get your due shine.
What have you got planned for 2018?
I’m planning a European tour in February and a small US west coast run possibly in March. I'm also going to be working on new music and hopefully get enough material together to drop another album later in the year.
What’s your favorite track at the moment?
I really love ‘Black Dove’ by Da Grassroots. Not a new track, just something I’ve really been bumping a lot lately.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
I exercise, read books, play video games, kick it with family/friends, just regular guy things. And of course, everything that comes extra to making music like shipping merch orders, handling the business side of things etc.
Facebook or Twitter?
I’m a Facebook guy, though I don’t post much on social media in general.
Thank you for your time and may you carry on making dope, fresh music….
Hex One ‘Words Worth A Thousand Pictures‘ will be released on the 13th of October through Mic Theory Records in digital, streaming, CD, 12″ limited vinyl and cassette formats.