We turn the spotlight to Black Scorpion South artist & one half of Da Real Souf movement's Ejay Dirtyfinganailz.
"I started by listenin' to booty shake rap & started rappin' in the late 80's and early 90's after
hearin 8Ball & MJG. I used to record on cassettes we called peanut butter & jelly tapes 'cause of the way it was put together".
His sound & style can be described as "Southern rap with soul, it has a purpose". Even though Ejay is from Macon, Ga he leans towards the east coast and New York style being a "More into the message, a sign of the times rapper" making his style of writing a storytelling form of the art.
Coming up in the game Ejay ran into such obstacles where local labels wanted to beef with him & he was always in MC battles.
Alongside 8Ball & MJG his influences include "Outkast, UGK kept it real, southern pioneers. I respected that".
The Internet has helped propel Ejay's game to another level. "Took 10 fans sayin' I'm the man to 100 & 1000's sayin I'm dope. I was reachin' certain parts of Macon & Atl, now I'm reachin' out west. Doin' a song with Witchdoctor of the Dungeon Family helped tremendous. I used to slang CD's out the trunk, now I got people catching my videos that I wouldn't have thought heard the songs. It brought the game to me. People search for me rather than me search for people". You can find his music on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play & Rhapsody.
On Dat Piff you can find the free mixtapes Hustlin' Vol. I & II and Still Hustlin' with his Hilltop crew. When it comes to the CD or mp3, he is listening to the likes of T.I., Big Krit, Wiz Khalifa and Jay-Z.
Being an independent artist in the south, he feels "The south is behind the times. The south is at war, trap music and the pseudo dope boys. The real trap is not being promoted. The best of the south is not comin' out. A nigga ain't walkin' down the street in leopard stretch pants in Macon, that stuff is for the movies. They need to put on more make-up. They makin' passification music. Everybody got money, everybody get drunk. That's why I respect T.I. for bein' real".
On goals and reaching new heights, Ejay doesn't care about a major label deal. "I'd much rather have 100,000 people buy my album than havin' a major label tell me what to say. Bein' their puppet".
If it ever came down to being a top exec in the music game he would "change the regularity of artists out there. Puttin' guys in rotation that's different from what you hear. These guys stole the old basslines and ran wit' the rap style".
If he wasn't rapping he would be an author writing more than just rap. “You got to thank God for an education to a certain degree. I would love for Tyler Perry to come ask me to write a screen play".
When attending an Ejay Dirtyfinganailz show you can expect him to get loose. “I like for people to have fun. I get on stage & act a fool". He also played the drums for 4 years, “can read music as far as drums go, can play a lil' bit on the keyboards".
On the subject of originality, he feels like "originality is dead or they tryin' to kill it. If they do find someone original they try o mak'em conform. I feel they are afraid of the angry black man. Got'em talkin' calm, cool, more sweet".
Next up for Ejay is the Ejay/ROAE project, the Ejay Drtyfinganailz Story, along with music from Da Real Souf with fellow southerner Ty Durden and The Most Overdue project on the Black Scorpion South imprint.