Zheep, the Baltimore rapper previously known as Black Zheep DZ, is up to something. Following the premiere of "Hardball" back in December, the rapper returns with his spellbinding new appetizer, "Gorgeous."
Zheep has been bubbling for quite some time, but the rapper appears to be invoked by a new hunger that should see that status change soon. "I'm feeling like 'We gotta do this shit,'" he asserts to REVOLT. "Because if we ain't rapping, it's back to trapping it out. It's either one or the other."
Speaking on this newfound hunger as well as his plans for the remaining year, check out our chat with Zheep below.
How did music become your calling?
Honestly, I've always been involved with the music through my family. Since a kid, I was surrounded by it. My uncle had a studio in the back of our old house on Ramona Ave (Baltimore, MD). Since then, I took interest in it. As I grew up, I watched my bro-in-Law Tim Trees (who was famous in Baltimore for the original "Bank Rolls" track that the homie Tate Kobang remixed) create a legacy that inspired me. I used to freestyle battle at lunch and after school in middle and high school. Around then, I also got into the Baltimore club music scene and I started taking on dancing, which I was known for in the city. I took the same energy I put into dancing and used it for creating music. After I graduated high school from Lake Clifton (Heritage High at the time) in 2011, I didn't go to college, I went full throttle with rapping, started putting music out and haven't stopped since.
How has you story defined you
My story made my skin tougher in the world. I never took "no" for a answer. I always kept soaking in game, and I still am; doing what I'm doing, never stopped. Where I'm from, a lot of niggas don't even see outside of the city. I know a lot of dudes like that. That's why I'm tryna be the one to set a example and do something different in a way nobody has.
Being that you're an in depth lyricist, which artist, new or old, inspire you?
I don't really get inspired by certain artists. I'm more so inspired by the sound of music in general, from old to New. I will say though, I rock with PartyNextDoor's music a lot. I listen to a lot of soul music too, from the 1970s to '90s.
What was your thought process behind this new record?
For this record, I heard the beat and honestly just went in. I wrote bits and pieces just to remember it, but all in all I just was vibing to the beat, feeling a hunger, feeling like "we gotta do this shit" because if we ain't rapping, it's back to trapping it out. It's either one or the other. Notice that's why I said "ain't no way to make it then it's back to making sales".
You mentioned not really being inspired by artists. In your humble opinion, what does Zheep sound like?
It's like water. I say that because my sound is free form, but it always keeps in some kind of lyricism, no matter which way it flows. Sometimes it hits hard like a wave crashing from strong wind, whether it's the beat or my lyrics, and sometimes it's just this constant smooth flow with lyricism in it, which I like to call, a calm wave hitting the sea shore at night.
What impact do you hope to make with this new phase in your career?
A huge one. I plan on doing a lot more than just rapping. I'm talking about from fashion to movies, short films, or even an [original] series. I'm jumping back into fashion as we speak, that's what I would've went to college to pursue originally, but I had a different vision for how I wanted to get things done. Plus I ain't wanna deal with paying tuition, but hey look at me now. Everything is working out just right. [Laughs]