Rapper Brenton Brown Talks Musical Love Affairs and Free Downloads

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Brenton Brown knows how to hustle.

Having come back to his native Miami after graduating from

the University of Florida, he doesn't let the haters throw him off his quest to

be the next big rapper. Signed with new management, he just made a video for

his song, "Lemme Know," with Ghostwridah, and it's gotten a lot of blog love.

We talked with him about the struggles of being almost

famous as he gets ready to release his debut LP, The Brenton Brown Affair, and

we're letting you snag a couple free downloads.

Crossfade: How have things been since you got back to Miami?

Brown: I linked up with new management now. I'm working with New World Music Group and they've been a great help. One of the main things I always said was, if I had a certain amount of money I'd be able to do everything I wanted. Now I can go to management and say, " We want to do this video." Or, "We want to get some studio time." And it doesn't come directly out of my pocket, which gets really daunting after a while.

You've been working on your album the Brenton Brown Affair for a long time. But it's coming out soon?

I don't want to rush it, though. But I really want to release it in March. Right now, we're doing the last features and putting the finishing touches on a lot of things. Making sure that whenever people listen, it's 100 percent the best quality, best sounding music that they've heard in a while.

It's not just like a half-assed mixtape. We've put a lot of work into it. I've seen a lot of artists put out a lot of half-assed mixtapes. I want to be sure people know that I have a story to tell.

It's called the Brenton Brown Affair because it's supposed to be your introduction to the world.

Yeah. That and the fact that it's my affair with different styles, different genres, different sounds, different everything. I'm a hip-hop artist. But I'm having an affair with different types of music.

So what are some things we'll learn about Brenton Brown from the album?

One of the main things I've been trying to do is talk more and give people more insight into what I'm doing -- life after college, life in college, the things that I've learned from the things that I've went through. People didn't really believe that I'm doing this thing. And everybody kind of thought it was a joke. But now that things are starting to take off, y'know. It's a cliché story. But it's so true.

You worked with fellow Miami MC Ghostwridah on the track "Lemme Know," and you guys made a video. How was it working with him? And what inspired the scenes in the clip? 

Working with Ghostridah was really cool. I got to see how comfortable he was in front of the camera, kind of emulate that and take notes really. And that was pretty cool.

In terms of what I was trying to get people to see from the video ... I was trying to get them to realize that the whole idea is that I'm working smart . There's a certain hustle that people have that I look at as kind of archaic. You can't just be a rapper nowadays. You have to be a rapper, a songwriter, a businessman, a marketer. You need to know how to get yourself out there, and that's the whole idea behind the song. I'm going to work smarter and harder.

Tell me about the other song we're giving away. What is "Paradise" all about?

That was 100 percent my current position. I wrote that song right after college. The ["Paradise" by Coldplay] came out and I was listening to it, and said, "I could kind of piggyback on what Coldplay is talking about. But no, I'm gonna flip it and make it about me."

So "Paradise" was definitely just the right springboard for me to get that message out there. Just talking about how I see everybody dropping multi-mix tapes, like they've got eight mixtapes coming out in a year with two or three songs that you might like. It's like music diarrhea. "Paradise" is just about me wanting to make sure that what I'm doing is quality because in the long run I want to make sure everyone remembers that project.

So how are you going to know if you've made it? Or will you ever know? 

This is where that Kobe commercial comes in. Like, success at success at success. There's never really a point where you say, "Damn, I'm better than everybody else," until you're better than everybody else. Like Jay-Z looked up one day and was probably like, "Oh, wow. OK, everbody's following my footsteps."

I think I'll acknowledge that I've made it when I don't need to acknowledge it anymore, as weird as that sounds ... And I don't need to do it with anything wack.

Download: Brenton Brown's "Lemme Know" and "Paradise"

Brenton Brown. Wednesday, February 29. Ricochet Lounge, 3250 NE First Ave., Miami. Call 305-673-3873 or visit ricochetlounge.com

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

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