Watch Charlotte Hip Hop Featuring Well$
While I was doing a concert review in Charlotte, North Carolina late spring, I saw Well$ perform for the first time and realized I needed to get an interview with him. Most rappers are very quiet with their personal lives or embellish their life stories with inaccurate tales of hardship.
It’s quite clear in today’s hip hop fact checking is the only way to weed out the authentic, struggling, and the smoke and mirrors rapper. As I did some research on Well$ I asked some peers of mine if they have heard of his music, what his work ethic is like and most importantly how he is as a person. Upon further review I noticed on his mixtape “MTSYD: The Revenge Of The African Booty Scratcher” he included a BaKongo mask, worked with CyHi The Prynce and had his grandmother in his “Savoir-Fare” visual which made him more intriguing to me.
Why would a rapper display a BaKongo mask as his cover art? Why did he give his mixtape such a name? I found out that he was of Congolese descent. Proud people of a country known for its agriculture, political wars, and great leaders such as Patrice Émery Lumumba — it all made sense to me.
I had the opportunity to see him perform again for The Hip Hop Family Reunion at the Neighborhood Theater. As I was blending in the crowd, I was reviewing how Well$ was as a person. I noticed that he supported all the acts that performed before him, greeted people with sincerity and felt comfortable being on his own. Well$ doesn’t try to be someone he is not, but is the quintessence of what hip hop should look like. He talks about the ignorance of people believing Africa is a country instead of a continent, wanting to help people through his music and other struggles that he has endured in his life throughout his records.
As I interviewed him we discussed his record “‘98 Juvie”, his work ethic formula, why he placed a “$” in his name, music influences and what he has coming up for 2015.
(This segment was produced and interviewed by Shiyana Bellamy, edited by Nadia O’Bryan, camera by Carter Short)