Not too long ago, I reconnected with a prolific Hip Hop artist by the name of Joe Ayinde (Eye-Yin-Day). Formally a member of the underground rap group Rekon, based out of Long Island, Ayidne’s trials have since taken him far from the 6th borough. The kid with an enthusiastic sense of humor and a skillful pen is still there, but a man developing his sense of faith and family values occupies the same vessel. His latest project, Penny Fore My Thoughts, earned him a spot on Rapzilla’s 2018 Freshman Class. With the world in flux, his perspective on current events was refreshing…

 

The world is changing a lot. Have you seen any changes in your day to day as opposed to a year ago?

– Major changes? Nah, can’t say that I have. I live in Ohio, where most people are straight forward if you know what I mean (lol). In the surrounding areas, there has been an increase in underage suicide over the past year. Something I definitely plan on drawing attention to with my platform. There’s a looming hopelessness in the youth that needs to be broken. It’s just letting me know that my day to day moves have to be tactical and so effective that the following day is already in motion for my fam.

What about your fans? Listeners? Have their lives changed? Do you think it has affected their taste?

– I’m just now beginning to learn who my listeners are and connect with them on a level that allows me to get their feedback. Most of my listeners are people with real jobs, bills and kids. Since I’m in that same boat, I guess I can speak for them. At this point now, we have to be the change and not be tossed to and fro with everything that’s going on in the world around. We’re at the age now where we have to stand firm in our faith and personal confidence. We have a strategic positioning because we grew up in Hip Hop culture, so it’s easier for us to understand the generation under us, possibly help them make better decisions than we made as we developed as adults. I’d like to be the soundtrack for that change

What would you stay the state of music is right now? Do you think artists are deservingly compensated?

– In my opinion, music is in a great state…I guess I didn’t have to say “my opinion” since you are asking me, lol. Seriously though, music is in a great state. We now have the technology to put on our favorite artist on a streaming platform, and find similar artists with a similar vibe. The power is in the hands of the listener unlike 10+ years ago where we just had to listen to what main stream fed us through radio and tv. There’s no point for anybody to be fussing about so and so not being “real Hip Hop”. First thing we need to do is break rap music down into sub genres. That’ll eliminate a lot of the debates, but I digress. Music is cool because the people have the power to say what is dope. We’re just so used to being told what is dope. I don’t feel like the compensation is perfect in music, but if you’re only relying on music to be a sole source of income, you’re not thinking like an entrepreneur anyway. Multiple streams is the way to play it. Rappers dont typically age well, lol.

It seems like the country can’t go 2 months without a shooting in a primary school. How do you think the past 2 Presidents have handled this epidemic?

– They’ve handled it according to political correctness and whoever is cutting the checks. I can’t begin to act like I know the ins and outs and the solution. Should guns be harder to get? For sure. Checks and balances need to be in place. I definitely don’t believe guns should be taken from the hands of law abiding citizens and just given to government/state employees. I guess that would bring about the quote of, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I think I said that right. One thing I’m not seeing is an emphasis placed on parenting. It all starts at home. There’s an epidemic in communication between parents and children. We learn habits from the way we were raised and oftentimes don’t examine ourselves. I’m guilty of it too. My wife bought a parenting book, and my pride and ego almost stopped me from reading it. We have to prepare our children for real life yo. There are bullies in real life. There are racists and real life. There are people with differing opinions and views in real life. We can work toward a Utopia while keeping in mind that there is still the disease of sin in this world, so things won’t be perfect just yet.

Do you think that artists have an obligation to inflict social change?

I don’t believe there’s an obligation, per se, but if you’re an artist in the public eye, you know what you signed up for. You know people are going to be imitating you. You’re going to be like a mini Jesus in a lot of peoples lives lol. With that in mind, I believe artists have to make a responsible choice regarding the message they send out in their music, and how they live outside of the studio. Just don’t be surprised if a finger is pointed in your direction when something goes wrong. We try to hide under the guise of entertainment, but we know what we’re putting out. I just said that everything starts in the home with the parenting, but sometimes (very unfortunately), artists are the parents and gods of their listeners. “With great power comes..”.

Has the information age has made it easier for artists to display their music? Or harder to stand out from the pack?

– The gift and the curse, of course. It’s done both. Not only the information age, but just the advancement in technology period. Is that still considered the information age? Anyway, it’s so easy to head to a website like sweet water or musician’s friend and grab a recording starter package for a couple of hundred dollars, hit youtube for the how to videos and then get started. Now, everybody has access. Even the people who aren’t called to make music. It’s so easy to spend $20 for the year with distrokid to get your music on all streaming platforms…but now everybody can do it. It’ll just require more patience for the listener to weed through the wack music, and the artist will have to be more intentional, creative and consistent/diligent with getting their product out.

Which social media outlets do you think will be as impactful, if not more so in the future? Which do you think will disappear into obscurity.

– I can see Twitter remaining through the B.S. because its so to the second with updates. I hardly watch the news anymore because of Twitter. You can have so many different angles on one situation from Twitter, so it’s easier to see what is truth. I believe Facebook will stay around because for some reason, it make’s people feel empowered. Also, in regards to Facebook, we’ll always have nursing homes. Our parents/grandparents need to go somewhere to feel hip. I was never much of a Snapchat user, so I’d have to say that’s the one I see fading into obscurity quicker. I’m a dad now though, so I’m not hip to many of the outlets. I really only get on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

On and off the Internet, what do you think is the most important advice you would give to a young artist who is trying to grow their fan base?

– On the internet? Be you and be consistent. Off the internet? Be you and be consistent. It sounds easier said than done, but don’t compare yourself to the next person coming up. Just use their come up as fuel. Everybody has their own story to tell. The best brand you can market is yourself, so if you’re yourself on and off “camera”, navigating and maneuvering in these different circles will be seamless. People will know what to expect and you won’t have to change up to fit in. Also, learn how to communicate effectively

What projects are you looking forward to from other artists?

-Yeeeeeesh! I think I got a project from all of the artists that I wanted to. Besides a handful of the homies that’ll you’ll be seeing me collab with soon, I think I’m just waiting on the stuff I’m working on. I like to sit with albums for months like back in the day lol. Ooooh, three artists that I’m excited about hearing are John Givez, Foggieraw and Kaleb Mitchell. Now I feel obligated to name my homies lol, so every in FoolishxNews, everybody in G.R.I.P. Squad, Jehvon Clarke, my brother Kemizt, my boy GEDA…all of the Long Island artists that I rock with, Davis Absolute, Martyr Thompson…I know I forgot somebody man lol.

What can listeners expect from you in 2018?

– Multiple songs, multiple videos, a movie, possibly a couple of EPs and for your aunties to be playin my songs when they pull up to your family function. I’m featured on the Green Enk collaboration mixtape with LongIslandRap.com that’s dropping this month, too. Follow me on all social media (except Snapchat lol, I’m still on there though) for all of the updates! @JoeAyinde I appreciate y’all for speaking with me!