This is Brad Cruise.
Brad, tell us more about how you first got into music.
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, but I started rappin' in metro Baltimore during the beginning of the “Golden Era” of hip hop.
I used to jump in freestyle cyphers as a freshman in high school.
I developed my flow and started writing a lot.
My older brother, Gabriel, used to quiz me on the elements of hip hop to make sure I understood the culture.
I fell in love with the culture and started studying Nas, Biggie, De La Soul, A tribe Called Quest, and OutKast.
One day, I got recruited by another emcee who went to the same school.
He already had a band in place and he needed another emcee so I filled the void.
We became a pretty damn successful act called “ThUndercats".
The name was a play on "The Underdogs" and the "ThUndercats" cartoon.
We became one of the hottest outfits in the city performing at clubs, college campuses, VFWS, and venues in Baltimore.
We were like a conscience Mobb-Deep/Styles or Beyond.
We made our own beats using turntables, samplers and drum machine alongside a keyboard interface.
We had DJs.
We also rapped over drum and bass music. We love jungle music. It was crazy.
We did a lot of sold out shows where we even had different break dancing crews battle and the winner would get money.
We did shows with some great local and nationally recognized bands.
Sometimes, we would split the bill with punk rock bands.
Most of our friends were in punk outfits.
I joined the Army, my fellow emcee started up a group called Sex Cult, and our DJ formed Spank Rock, so we split.
I think it was my fault, I wanted to learn other forms of music.
I always had an open heart, mind and ear with music so, eventually I branched off and started tinkering with different styles.
I learned how to play guitar, produce, and sing rock n roll.
I then started a pop-garage rock band called, “The Yanks”, we put out a great record.
Then, I went solo and that’s how Brad Cruise was born.
I basically decided to take my experience and use it to try to connect with as many listeners as possible.
Before I discovered hip hop, I was traditional Puerto Rican music, rock and roll and John Denver (she loved John Denver).
I grew up listening to oldies like Michael and Madonna as well so it was a pretty big bag of influences.
Basically in a nutshell, I’m a rapper who can play guitar and sing like your favorite rockstar.
Back in the day, artists of color used to play instruments and dance on stage while singing.
I’m trying to bring that back.
I think we’ve gotten lazy and I’m trying to progress the game.
What would you say separates your sound/style from other artists?
I would say that genre fluidity is the X factor for Brad Cruise.
We would start shows off doing a hip hop or pop set and then, I’d pick up a guitar and my drummer would come on stage and we’d burn through some high octane punk songs I had written.
I have a CD on all major streaming platform that is a homage to music that I grew up with from the 60’s,70’s,80’s and 90's.
That was easy to do and it was recorded rather quickly and with great success.
Facebook called it the “best home produced music in America”.
I'm working with a 16 year old producer from Colorado named Levi and King Wizard from Ghostcraft (LA), on a futuristic garage-trap record with semi conscience lyrics to present to the world.
I had to immerse myself in contemporary rap to figure out how to rap again.
While I was doing my rock and roll stuff, I quit listening to rap for the most part.
I missed out on a lot of stuff so I had to tap back into that vein in order for me to get back in the swing of things.
It wasn’t easy at all, but I think I figured it out with a little help from my “friends”.
I’ll just say Atlanta and Silicon Valley helped out quite a bit.
They silently pushed and inspired me to keep on living and helped me find a purpose in life.
I’m going to write a book on it one day.
I would also like to note that during the time of me making this record I was homeless 85.3% of the time, and I purposefully made these records on a shoestring budget and with rudimentary recording techniques to show the next man/kid that you don’t need a 1,000,000 dollar set up to record a quality record.
Where there is a will there is a way and I’m trying to encourage people to be as flexible and self reliant as possible.
In this day and age, self reliance and DIY is the key to survival.
If you got access to a studio and engineers and all that then please use those resources, but if you don’t then there still is multiple work arounds when it comes to making a proper piece of music.
What has been some of your favorite projects/tracks you've got to work on?
I aim for all killer no filler.
All the songs on these projects have intrinsic value so I put the same amount of love and efforts into each and everyone of them.
I can probably tell you the ones I don’t like over the ones I actually do like.
I’m making each and every one of these songs for U$A and especially for my children, so when they get older they will be able to have a better perspective on where I have been spiritually, mentally and physically.
Do you have anything new or upcoming we can expect to see from you?
I have this hip hop record coming called, "Cruis’n Antartica".
I'm going to offer my “indie rock” record U$A and Cruis’n Antartica packaged together for free as a double album called Cruis’n U$A.
I’ve been patiently waiting to bring out the hip hop portion to the masses in order to fulfill my vision as being the first rapper to successfully crossover or vice versa.
My music is like the USA itself, it’s a melting pot of influences and cultures.
That’s I wave the U$A flag.
All I’m doing is promoting goodwill, solidarity, and human and environmental causes/awareness.
Cruis’n U$A and Cruis’n is going to be a series.
I’m also in a band with my good friend, Jeremiah Raisen, who’s a mega-talented producer based in LA.
He has worked with Charlie XCX and a ton of pop stars.
That shit is going to be genre fluid next level fo sho.
I’m also going to work on a song or maybe a group of songs where people can submit lyrics about a certain topic, and I’m gonna turn it into a song where 100 % of the proceeds go to whatever charity we vote for.
I know there are gonna be some people who read this and think that’s a good idea that might have a bigger platform than me.
I hope they (you) get inspired to do something like this before me!
It’s all about the people not us and I’m not greedy AT ALL.
GOD always provides.
I’m good lol.
In terms of specific music projects, I really can’t disclose that information because corporate and non corporate espionage is rampant in the game I’m in.
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