Back in March we spoke to Shaheed and DJ Supreme about their music and what they’ve been up to. Prolific artists and men on a mission, they are always on the go, repping their hometown of Birmingham Alabama, and helping to ensure young people from their city get a good start in life.
We caught up with them again to find out what they’ve been up to.
You’re certainly among the most prolific artists we’ve written about on here! What is it that keeps you inspired?
Shaheed: Experiencing life – the good and bad – and serving the people and the community and then hope, growth, and more opportunities keep me inspired because I believe and feel that if we keep going, the sky is just the beginning.
DJ SUPREME: Thank you so much! The work we do in the community keeps us motivated and inspired.
How do you fit music in with all the other stuff you do?
Shaheed: By understanding what we do is a service and by being flexible to do the work and the mission that help us and others be our best selves. Sincerity and commitment also play a role.
DJ SUPREME: As far as how we fit music in with all the other stuff we do, it takes a lot of careful scheduling, LOL!
You’re above all else proud ambassadors for Birmingham Alabama. What are the 5 greatest things about your hometown, for anyone who was interested in visiting, or moving there?
Shaheed: History, growth, art, community, and not being fast paced.
DJ SUPREME: 1.) The food
2.) The history
3.) The people
4.) The art
5.) The potential for greatness
You dropped your new album, ‘The Art Of Throwing Darts’ last month. How’s that been received? Do you have plans for the next one?
Shaheed: The album has been received very well and we are so thankful for that. It has already been listed as one of the best albums to come out this year by
www.hiphopgoldenage.com. Currently, we are already working on a new album that’s almost finished.
DJ SUPREME: So far ,the response to the new album has been great. We’ve been included on several Best of 2023 lists. “Something To Ride To” is charting on the Billboard Hot 100 Clean Songs chart as we speak. We already have plans for our next release. You will have to wait and see what we have in store.
We’ve just written about two of your new singles, ‘Jazz Men’, and ‘Something To Ride To’. Both tracks are essentially promoting others – in the case of Jazz Men you’re bigging up Eric Essix, and with ‘Something To Ride To’ you introduce us to Lauren Strain. Do you feel this is part of your mission, to not just big up your City, but also to raise the profile of other local artists?
Shaheed: Yes. The legendary Eric Essix, who is an international jazz artist, is a jazz legend, so for him to even play on the song and be a part of it was something huge for us because it’s his first hip-hop collaboration and he is a legend from our city. With Lauren Strain on “Something to Ride To”, she is just a natural. The first time I saw her perform on stage, I knew I had to work with her because of her style. She is a very talented artist and I hope she gets all of the credit she deserves.
DJ SUPREME: It was a privilege for us to work with Eric and Lauren. Eric is a legend in the jazz world, and we feel honored to be his first hip-hop collaboration. The hip-hop world deserves to know who Eric Essix is. Lauren is a great vocalist with something different to bring to the table. She’s not your typical artist. Her vibe is extraordinary and I love having her on this album.
Who ultimately inspires you in life? What is your motivation?
Shaheed: My way of life, which is Islam, inspires me and my teachers who have taught me to be better and balanced. My motivation is to become a better person first and then a better artist. This life is only temporary so I’m of the mind set to do meaningful work and to leave a legacy for the next generation to pick up and carry on in a positive way.
DJ SUPREME: We run a non-profit called Knowledge, Rhythm, and Understanding (K.R.U.), where we teach youth and adults the fundamentals of hip-hop culture. We teach the history of hip-hop as well as the elements (emceeing, deejaying, breakdance, and graffiti) along with creative writing, public speaking, and beat-making. Watching the youth become enamored and enlightened by what they learn is so very inspiring to us.
What’s next for you? What can fans expect?
Shaheed: What’s next is more music and continuing the work we do with our foundation for the youth called Knowledge, Rhythm, and Understanding. Fans and supporters can expect touring next and more good educational initiatives.
DJ SUPREME: Our next project is practically done. We’ve just gotta record one or two more songs. Outside of that, we’re gonna concentrate on touring to promote the “Darts” album and focus on K.R.U. You can get more info and donate at KRUHipHop.com.