Introducing Six Reasons: Rapper Talks Meaning Behind Name, Standing Out Among Hip-Hop’s Robots
It seems as though Six Reasons has burst onto the scene in a rapid fire move, all beginning with DJ Skee-hosted mixtape, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. It spawned his latest single, "Raindance" featuring Too Short, which has been getting radio love out west. His come up has caught many by surprise. But after one conversation with rapper, you'll quickly learn that his rise to ranks did not come overnight. Instead, it is the conclusion of many calculated moves and strategies based upon the moral axis of who Six Reasons represents as a person.
In this exclusive chat with BallerStatus.com, the Watts-bred rapper talks about everything from where is name is derived from to meeting the likes of Too Short and 50 Cent who gave him priceless advice early on, and why his music offers more than hip-hop's "mechanical, robot like sound."
Read on to get familiar with the man they call Six Reasons.
BallerStatus.com: You probably get this a lot, but where does the "Six Reasons" moniker come from? What does it mean to you?
Six Reasons: My name derives from a couple of things. God created man on the sixth day, so six is the number of man. My name basically represents the moral axis, because the world sits on an axis which turns at 360 degrees. My name represents the moral axis of man. What makes man turn? What makes man do the things that men do? There are six basic reasons: money, power, respect, fame, fear and love. Those are the six basic reasons that lead man to do the things that we do. My name just represents man in all of his glory and destruction.
BallerStatus.com: That's deep. Do you think those six reasons fit every man? Or does a greater power pick men who will be affected by those six morals?
Six Reasons: Nah, that's for every man. All men are created equally through soul and emotion; emotion is universal. We all have the same emotions. Nobody possesses one emotion that another person doesn't.
BallerStatus.com: That's a well delivered explanation. It's evident you've spent a lot of time thinking about that. Coming from Watts, California, you experienced all of those emotions. Tell us about Watts and what you're upbringing was like.
Six Reasons: I don't really like to glorify the things that I've done to make sure that I was living OK. Watts is a very small community; within a four or five mile radius, you have four different housing projects crammed into one city. Yes, it's horrible, but everybody from Watts is proud to say that they're from Watts because we learn how to bear fruit from air and soil. You have to be tough to grow up in Watts. There's an animal mentality; if you're from Watts and don't have an animal mentality, Watts will eat you alive.
It's also full of good and proud people. I'm proud to say that I'm from Watts, as horrible as it could be at times. Watts stands for "We Are Taught To Survive."
BallerStatus.com: In Watts, you experienced an upbringing which included a crack addicted mother with no father figure around. How did you deal with that?
Six Reasons: Music was my therapy. I believe that everybody in that situation needs something to believe in to get through it. It's like quicksand out here, if you don't believe in something. It takes a negative and a positive to create power. You need to take some of the negative things that happen in your life as emotion to power your strengths, so you can do something positive. I took all of that negativity and sparked it to power my movement and my direction to do something better.
If you tell somebody your dream and they don't laugh at you, you're not dreaming big enough. Most of the time, when you come from the situation that I come from, they believe you can't be anything better than what's right in front of you. If you tell them you're gonna' do something different, they will ridicule you and laugh at you. You may abandon your dreams and your hope, but that wasn't the case with me. That's why my movement is powered by doing better and being better. My story represents not quitting. There's a champion's element to it. It's not about how many times you got knocked down, it's about how many times you get up. It's not where you're at, it's about the obstacles you had to hurdle to get where you are. That's what my movement represents.
BallerStatus.com: That's a very positive way to carry yourself. Now that we know who Six Reasons is and what he represents, let's get into the content side of things. You're new single "Raindance" features the legendary Too Short.
Six Reasons: I met Too Short maybe ten years ago. At the time, I wasn't at a place in my career where doing a song with him made sense. I remained in contact with Short because I idolized him growing up, so of course when I first met him, I wanted to cut a record with him and just be around him. But, I knew I still had dues to pay and a big mountain to climb. I kept a relationship with Too Short to where when I would finally reach a place in my career to where it would be beneficial to make a song with him. I kept that possibility alive and that's what happened with "Raindance". The rest is history.
BallerStatus.com: For those who don't know, you've also received a positive endorsement from 50 Cent. Tell us about your experience in dealing with 50.
Six Reasons: Coming up in the era and the generation that I'm from, 50 Cent was a f***ing huge phenomenon when he first came out. Anybody who was grinding as hard I was musically, eventually you're going to run into someone who is a somebody, whether it's chance, coincidence or just being at the right place at the right time. I was somewhere between the age of 19-22 when I actually got to meet him [50 Cent] and having the opportunity to have some dialogue with him. I was wondering what to do and all I did was ask him some general questions. I'm that type of person; I don't want to hold my hand out, I rather have my ears open and learn something. We had a conversation and he said some things that really changed the course of my career. He really gave me some guidance at that time, so I'm very respectful and appreciative of that -- that he even took the time out to do that for me. I remember watching him perform at the House of Blues (Hollywood) and just looking at him like "Damn, I can't wait until I perform here". About three years after that, I performed at the House of Blues for the first time. That's when I knew I was on my way.
That goes into what I believe that everything and everyone has that right moment. Just be patient and eventually, you'll have your opportunity. All I wanted was some advice and guidance and that was more valuable than anything he [50 Cent] could have done, as for featuring me on a song goes. Just give me some advice and I'll learn how to go get it myself.
BallerStatus.com: All those things you learned from 50 Cent and Too Short, you applied to the release of your Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 mixtape with DJ Skee. What's the inspiration behind the Monopoly title?
Six Reasons: I needed people to really understand who I am and what this means to me. I needed a title that was universal and I feel like everybody has played Monopoly. We all know that when you role the dice and you land on the piece on the board that says "Chance", you pick up a chance card and it may say "Free Parking" or it may say "Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to jail." The title represents people like me, who are playing this game of life. In the game [Monopoly], Boardwalk is the most expensive property and everyone just wants to make it past Boardwalk and collect there $200. Then, you have the people like me who don't wanna skip past Boardwalk, we wanna own that motherf***er. Sometimes you need to take a chance and when you take a chance, sometimes you're gonna hear "Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to jail." But the fear of not taking a chance overpowers my fear of hearing "Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to jail." It was that real to me. I wanted people to understand that if this sh** doesn't work out for me, I may be hearing the judge saying those exact words, [Go directly to jail]. It's that real for me.
BallerStatus.com: Wow, that's a fantastic answer. In closing, for anyone who may be reading this that hasn't checked out the mixtape, why should they?
Six Reasons: I feel like when I turn on the radio, it's one long ass song. Everything sounds the same. Music is not supposed to be like that. The game is oversaturated with this mechanical, robot like sound. When you pick up a Six Reasons CD, you'll hear something that is unfamiliar to the new generation and long lost to the old generation, which is emotion and passion. That sh** is lost in music today. Anybody born after 1985, I call that the post-2Pac era. If you were born in 1985, by the time you were old enough to buy a CD on your own, 2Pac and Biggie were dead and a lot of the artists that possessed that kind of passion and authenticity had ventured on and did something else. I'm not trying to be funny, but all this generation knows is Soulja Boy, because that's where they come from. My music possesses something a lot of this newer music doesn't possess and that is passion and authenticity. That happens where you're moved emotionally from what you're hearing.
Some songs you hear on the radio aren't supposed to possess that passion, it's just about partying and bullsh**, and I get that too. You have to have balance and I feel like right now, there aren't many artists who bring that can kind of balance and artistry that gets you going emotionally. That's what Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 brings to the table.