It’s A New Era for Lyricists and Pressure 225 is Willing, Ready, and Able to Represent
Hot 97 has long been a home for East Coast hip-hop so it comes as no surprise when one of the greatest battle rappers of all time hosts a freestyle competition. As a master lyricist himself, Lux created Top Shelf freestyle with the one simple aim: Continue to highlight hip hop culture for the lyricists. We sat down with one of the finalists of the competition, Pressure 225, to discuss his experience and what we can expect in the future.
AJ: So first of all, Congratulations! What has this experience been like for you?
P: It definitely was a roller coaster to be honest. We didn’t know what to expect walking in, I think everyone just signed up with the hopes of getting on the platform. And as I moved up through the ranks to the final episode it got a bit crazy cause again they don’t tell you anything about the bonus parts in the show. You just have to come prepared.
AJ: How did you start?
P: I’ve been really taking it seriously the last couple years, but it’s something I’ve been doing since middle school, high school. Freestyle rap, at the lunch table, battling, it was something you had to do at that time in the Bronx so yes practically my whole life.
AJ: Who has influenced you?
P: On a Battle perspective, [though] I don’t consider myself an active battle rapper at all but that’s the angle the show was, cause you know Loaded Lux is the host and to me he’s definitely been an influence. Musically it’s very New York, Jay-Z, JadaKiss, Fab, very New York driven.
AJ: When you battle, do you think about your opponent? Or are you just in the moment?
P: [It’s] Something I hadn’t done since high school,but it was very much about the opponent, looking at what they’re wearing, what they came with,something you may have heard about them and somehow put it creatively. In the show when they said we have to battle each other, the first thing I said was man why’d they make us do this, but if I gotta go let’s go.
AJ: Do you find people underestimate you?
P: I think like first impressions, yea I get that underestimate feel. I feel underestimated in a way. But uptown in the Bronx I’m pretty known there. There has always been a local respect as far as what I do. But now on a bigger scale it’s moving forward for sure, people are starting to take it more serious.
Making minimum wage, better wage war.
AJ: Do you see your music as a platform to speak and draw attention to certain realities in the world or is it more an outlet to express yourself ? Or both?
P: I think it’s definitely just about experience. I try to go and say what’s on my mind but in a way I want to make whoever’s listening is paying attention to the point, know it’s a lot deeper than just a line I’m throwing out there. I loved that line by the way! That line right there is something deep, even that whole setup I’m talking to someone who is driven, you know if you don’t own a company it ain’t yours. So now that I’m growing up and maturing I’m looking at things in a business aspect and putting that in music.
AJ: De-Lux Round: Everything Healthy. What did that mean to you? Where was your head when you heard that was the topic?
P: It feels like everything was lined up for a reason. Even me going up there, I know that that’s Loaded Lux’s whole brand, everything healthy. And again we didn’t know, the deluxe round was the round where you don’t know anything. But I recently went through a huge change in my life this past year where I had to switch my diet, get into a workout routine and bring that healthy aspect and I had actually been rapping about this for a while so when the deluxe round came up I was like wait I have something here.
AJ: Going through your social media there was a post that stuck out to me. It very simply said “I’m here for a purpose.” Speak on that. What does that mean to you and for us as an audience?
P: Yea I’m definitely here for a purpose in the hip hop world, it’s not something that just came to me and something I’m not just playing around with. I know there’s something there, I don’t know what it is yet because the story is still unfolding, but I know the purpose is for me to tell my experience and put the message out there, work hard, grind on it, somethings going to pay off. It doesn’t have to be financially, it doesn’t have to be monetarily. There is just something there, something that I love to do and I think my purpose is to just relay my message, where I’m from the story and how this came about. There’s a lot more to it than even what was on the show. I’m trying to make sure all of that comes forward soon.
AJ: Where can we find you?
P: IG- @Pressure225
Twitter- @Pressure 225
Last album called Jesus is available on Spotify and Apple Music.