Wednesday, April 10, 2024
HomeEntertainment(HEAT EXCLUSIVE) Al Basics, trifecta of talent (Part 1)

(HEAT EXCLUSIVE) Al Basics, trifecta of talent (Part 1)

Though we come across a great deal of epic talent, it is not often we come across talent of the magnitude of that possessed by Al Basics.

Hailing from Queens, New York and now currently residing in Tucson, Arizona, Al Basics is bringing something new and fresh to the hip hop game – something that we have yet to see duplicated.

One listen and you’ll be hooked. An educated emcee and poet, Al Basics shows us how to hustle, all the while making it look cool.

He possesses the trifecta of talent – intelligence, hustle and originality. We know you’ll be seeing a whole lot more of him in the near future, so we are honored to have caught up with him in the early stages of what promises to be a long and fruitful career.

Here’s our conversation with Al Basics:

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: We understand you grew up in New York – tell us about that.

AL BASICS: I was born and raised in Queens, New York. I spent most of my life between two neighborhoods, Woodside and Jackson Heights. Both of my parents are Colombian and so I juggled being an Urban ghetto kid with being a proud Colombian. I had the typical New Yorker life, breaking into city parks at night, hopping the train turnstile, sneaking into clubs before I was legal, partying and late nights. I got to experience interactions with many cultures. Jackson Heights is known to be one of the most diverse neighborhoods with almost 30 languages spoken. As much as I loved it, I moved to Tucson, Arizona to finish up college and I’ve been here ever since.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: How much of an influence did your area have on your art?

AL BASICS: New York City was a huge influence in causing me to stumble into the realm of Hip-Hop. Everywhere I turned the influence was there. I was a kid during the Golden Era of Hip-Hop, and although I couldn’t grasp some of the themes or content, I did embrace things like rhythm, cadence, passion, etc. I remember scrambling through dressers trying to find an empty tape to record my favorite song that was playing on the radio, I remember getting cd’s and reading along to the lyrics, I remember doing a music video with my school friends to KRS-One’s “5 Boroughs”. I had to spit Prodigy’s verse. Now, I’m in Tucson, Arizona, and the Hip-Hop scene here is alive and well. I’m blessed enough to be an outsider welcomed in by the locals. There’s a lot of talent here and so much going on, that in any instant the whole city is going to blow, and I’m just lucky enough to be here for that.  The scenery is completely different from New York. I traded concrete jungles for over-lapping mountain ranges, subway rides for horizon drives, and both have influenced my poetry dearly.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: You’re definitely multi-talented. Tell our readers what all you do.

AL BASICS: Well thank you for that. Besides making music, I’m ALWAYS writing. I’m currently working on two books I hope to get published as soon as I’m done with them. I’m also a Poet and I take into the spoken word realm of things. I have a spoken word project available for $1 here ( I also do motivational speaking, mostly for high school students, where I discuss the importance of setting up a road and just try to get our youth motivated to be someone important in the future.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: How much of an influence did your Latino background have on your music?

AL BASICS: My parents don’t speak much English so all the music they listened to was in Spanish. Varying from Salsa, Boleros, Tangos, Cumbia, and Vallenatos, I learned to appreciate the power of words and passion. I grew up in a predominantly Dominican neighborhood where Bachata y Merengue was played all year long and that has also influenced me in a way. I don’t incorporate as much Spanish lyrics in my music as I’d like to, but I’m looking to change that very soon.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Growing up, who were your musical influences?

AL BASICS: My three biggest influences were Biggie Smalls, Hector Lavoe, and Kurt Cobain – three completely different genres of music but each one spoke to me in a way I appreciated and learned from. When asked nowadays what my music sounds like I say a mixture of Barry White, Kurt Cobain, and Lupe Fiasco. You’re going to have to press play on some tracks to see what I’m talking about. Besides that big influences of mine are Joy Division, Wu-Tang, Nas, 2Pac, Lupe Fiasco, Sage Francis, Eyedea, Slug, Aesop Rock, illogic, Muse, Radiohead, Nirvana, Joe Budden, Eminem, Cage, I mean the list can go on forever. Music has been my life since day one.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Make sure to check out Part 2 of our exclusive with Al Basics, which can be accessed here:

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.


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