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Hip hop artist Critic is out here making moves. The Ohio native/Arizona-based rapper is fresh off of his latest release, D.O.P.E, which is a project that highlights the type of artist Critic has emerged into. Signed to Na$ty RecordZ, having opened up for Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Flip, and Kid Cudi, and awarded Best “White Rapper” Of the Year by 2015 Arizona Hoodie Awards, Critic is the new artist that should be on your radar.

I interviewed Critic about his latest release, his artistry, accomplishments and what we can expect from him for the rest of 2016. Check out the interview below!

Tell us about yourself and your music.

Critic: I started writing lyrics when I was nine years old, it was like an escape for me. After my guidance counselor found my notebook and read some of them, he suggested that I should start recording them—so I did. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I released my first song when I was 15 (which was horrible) but it got on the radio and it was a surreal experience.

How would you describe your sound?

Critic: Well, kind of like a trap sound but with actual lyrics. I like the energy in trap style beats, but I like to actually speak on real subjects.

Talk about the experience making your song/mixtape.

Critic: Man, it was a long process. I probably trashed 3 rough copies before I felt confident enough in the project to release it. I wanted it to be the best it could. It’s definitely been a fun ride full of ups and downs.

What are you currently working on? Any new projects? Shows?

Critic: Right now I’m working on the first mixtape of a series that I’ll be releasing, and I’m actually really excited about it because I’m going to be trying out some different styles and sounds. As far as shows I’m actually about to perform in Vegas for the first time this week and then I have two shows in Ohio next month. I haven’t really been booking to many lately because I’ve been busy with features and hosting some local shows for new artists.

What has been your biggest highlight in your music career this far?

Critic: I’d probably say theirs two highlights that are pretty equal to me. The first being the collaboration I did with Caskey of Cash Money Records, and the second one is watching my first ever music video climb up over 20K plays. For me that’s a pretty dope accomplishment.

Name your ideal collaboration: mainstream or independent artist(s)

Critic: I actually have like a collaborative goal, and that’s to have myself, MGK, Caskey and Rittz all on one track. Those are a few of my favorite artists and I think if the four of us were on the same song it would be epic.

Name something random that people do not know about you.

Critic: I love older music, like 50’s and 60’s Era music. I can put the TV on one of those Internet radio stations from those eras and just vibe out for hours.

What’s one thing you have learned or discovered while being in the indie music scene/industry?

Critic: Nobody is your friend, and you’re going to lose almost everyone you care about while trying to build yourself up. BUT, it’s ok. Because if you grind hard enough and chase that dream like it’s the only thing you know, then it will all be worth it in the end. But I also learned that those people who we lose along the way, really weren’t with you from the rip. Otherwise they would stay by you and support you instead of falling back just because you’re busy or motivated.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Critic: A series of mixtapes that are going to be insane, and a whole new level of live performances. I have some ideas that I’m sitting on that are going to make my shows some of the dopest around. Plus, the features I have planned are going to be game changers. And not because of the artists that I’ll be working with clout, but because lyrically, and energy wise, the tracks will be amazing.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Critic: Always, ALWAYS follow your gut. And if you have a dream, stick to it! Don’t ever be afraid of failure, failure is only a learning opportunity. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I’m just not starting to break out, so never get discouraged. I took two years off, and it sickens me to know where I could be by now if I didn’t. So always follow your passion and your dream. And when people tell you that you can’t, use that as the fire to prove them wrong.

Website: http://artistecard.com/Critic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Critic.nastyrecordz/

Check out Critic’s D.O.P.E project on Google Play and iTunes.