The actions of hip-hop artist and philanthropist HighTyde are influenced by his surroundings. Driven to make his immediate community, the country, and the culture of hip-hop a better place, the Battle Creek, MI native works tirelessly in attempt to positively impact them all. He does this through his music and through his annual charity event Project Cypher which raises money to benefit a special needs child and their family. Project Cypher IV is May 20 at Shakespeare’s Lower Level in Kalamazoo, MI.
LiquidAE.com spoke extensively with HighTyde. This is the 2nd part of our 2-part interview. Enjoy!
LiquidAE.com: If you were President what would be your first order of business, and why?
HighTyde: Well, I’d have to say it would be a tie between implementing universal health care and changing the way politics are handled. First, too many Americans are suffering from lack of medical coverage whether it be lack of benefits or having to pay increasingly high out-of-pocket expenses. Secondly, I would like to see politics become a true democracy where the people actually have a say. I think it would drastically change the way politicians approach their decisions.
LiquidAE.com: I feel like there’s still a great number of things that makes America great, but it hasn’t been particularly as beautiful. What ugliness in our country has affected you the most?
HighTyde: Simply put: ignorance. I was always raised on the belief that there are three things you never debated about – money, religion, and politics, yet I still see people resorting to violence over disagreements on those topics. I still see people un-friending people on social media based on their political viewpoints. We still have the media presenting biased viewpoints to the American public instead of allowing people to make their own free-will choices.
LiquidAE.com: Have you ever felt afraid for your life being American?
HighTyde: Sure, even those that can’t admit they are…. are still scared at times. As I looked at the presidential candidates, as I listened to the debates on television, I still considered myself “Undecided” for the first time in years. That was a scary thought. To think there are two candidates with opposing views and motivations, and I can’t relate to either one is frightening. Knowing the way that life, going forward, is being put into the hands of someone that I can’t even decide is fit to run our country. I truly hope that people stand up and voice their opinions because it just feels like a complete mockery of the electoral process.
LiquidAE.com: Tell us how the Constitution works in your favor as an artist.
HighTyde: I think the biggest part that favors an artist, from music to art, will always be the first amendment prohibiting any law from impeding the free exercise of religion and speech. If you’re an artist of any sort, whether you’re producing real life or fantasy, you have the God-given right as an American to express your art freely and naturally. To censor our freedom of speech, would be to put us all in a box and limiting creativity and individualism.
LiquidAE.com: Explain the symbolism behind the color changes from ‘NewTyded States of America’ to ‘NewTyded States of America 2’?
HighTyde: When the first album came out I was in a good place. People around me seemed to be in a good place. Two years later, things started to change. The world started becoming a more negative place. Terrorists, ISIS, corrupt politicians, increasing levels of violence in our local cities. I just felt the tonal shift of the people around me and felt it was important that I touch more on that mindset by offsetting the colors to an almost Gothic America color scheme to set the tone.
LiquidAE.com: I dig your references to The Punisher. Give me a very hip-hop answer to this: What does he symbolize?
HighTyde: A badass like me, yo!
LiquidAE.com: What’s it feel like to express your character, what you stand for, in your music?
It just feels complete, for better lack of term. One of the, if not the biggest reasons I left the [Warner Bros] label I was signed to, was simply due to the fact that I felt like I was being stripped of everything that made music so therapeutic in the first place. It really ties in with the first amendment freedom of speech, where when you feel like you’re starting to be limited by what you can say, or how you say it, you’re not truly being creative anymore. And that’s one of the biggest joys of being an independent artist is the trial and error you go through of setting your own precedent.
LiquidAE.com: As an artist how can and do you turn widespread ugliness into beauty?
HighTyde: By expressing what is beautiful to you and by making it relatable. The worst thing someone as an artist can do is not be relatable because then no one cares about your opinion on anything. |
CREDITS Written by Mr. Joe Walker Photos – HighTyde Ryan Evans – as HighTyde Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee Editor – Mr. Joe Walker Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker Site Editor – Doug Sims Webmaster – Doug Sims Twitter – @LiquidAEMag Instagram – @liquidmagazine
Thank you for visiting LiquidAE.com! Liquid Magazine is the entertainment of art.
“From Grand Rapids to the world.”