Today we kicking it with Carlos Ferragamo an emcee, producer and songwriter from the Parkchester section of Bronx, New York. Initially Carlos began his music career as a part of local rap crew called the “Knights of Just-Us”, but due to creative differences he decided to go solo.
It was then that Carlos made the decision to attend the historically black university, Florida A&M University after hearing stories about aspiring artist falling victim to music industry pitfalls due to a lack of business acumen. While focusing on his studies at, Mr. Ferragamo continued to hone his skills as an MC as well as a producer.
Carlos has continued to put out quality music alongside his friend and business partner Archie “Siah” Morgan under their own imprint, Futuristic Music Group. He’s released mixtapes; such as Carlos is currently working with producers Focus, Ty Fyffe and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League on new material.
Featured Track: Life Lessons
HipHopLEAD: Let’s get right into this. For an upcoming artist having producers like Ty Fyffe, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Focus on your resume is a pretty big deal. Can you give us some insight on those records?
I would consider both records to be both classic as well as timeless. They appeal to all ages and demographic segments. They both host a few hidden gems and are easy to relate to. They are based 100% from my own real life experiences. When I went into writing those records it was easy.
It seemed like the words flowed from my mind and onto the pad effortlessly. It also helped that I was feeling both of those beats heavy, (laughs).
HipHopLEAD: A lot of groups just don’t work. Can you ever see yourself rejoining forces with your old group for a reunion album or track?
Carlos Ferragamo: Yes. I can definitely see myself doing a reunion album or track with my former group. There are a few requirements. We all have to be on the same page as to what we are trying to accomplish. Also, we must all put in 100% effort into creating what it is that we are trying to create (is: hook, verse, song, album, etc.)
HipHopLEAD: You came in second place to Donny Goines in The Source’s online rap battle. Lets keep it gully …do you feel like you should have won it?
Carlos Ferragamo: Actually Donnie competed in the first competition of The Source’s online rap battle. I competed in the second where I went against a GROUP called Black Phoenix in the final round. I never had to face Donnie. I believe what kept Donnie from winning was his emotions. He let a few things get to him that he could have swept under the rug but instead he lashed out verbally on many different platforms.
To keep it 100, that is what started to get his buzz rolling, (heavy laughs). Bad mouthing The Source magazine is what facilitated his buzz and it also helped me get recognition because after that all eyes were on the contest. I talked to Donnie. Me and him are cool. We talked a lot around the time of the contest via cell phone. As far as who won, you can read page 67 of The Source magazine. I am the sole winner and none other. Grab that October issue with Lloyd Banks on the cover if you beg to differ. It’s ya boy!
HipHopLEAD: College seems like it really molded you into the artist you are now. What do you think Carlos Ferragamo, the emcee, would be like if he didn’t go to college?
Carlos Ferragamo: I would not be as well rounded as an artist as I am now. I would not know how to put together songs that everyone could vibe to. In New York we tend to focus on the verses as the focal point of a record but in other places that is not the focal point. In some places for the listener it’s the hook, bridge or the beat that make a great song.
It could be a combination of all of the aforementioned elements. By going off to college I had the opportunity to analyze and understand each of the various elements associated with song writing. I would be in the dorm like man what I am writing is smashing these cats but depending on who was listening to me or who I was talking to (a New Yorker or a Floridian) I received a different opinion.
HipHopLEAD: What are your long term goals for hip hop?
Carlos Ferragamo: Simply to change the game.
HipHopLEAD: Would you rather be on an indie or a major label?
Carlos Ferragamo: I would rather be on a major label so that I could receive that marketing. I am not concerned with production or finding a HD Pro Tools studio because I have that already. My last CD was mixed and mastered on Pro Tools HD. What I lack is the monetary means to let masses know that I am here!!! What good is having a fire CD and no one has heard it or knows that it is available?
It is a waste and I believe that that a lot of new artist today feel the way that I do. I won’t even get started on distribution, lol. I majored in marketing while attending Florida A&M University. Thus, if I had the marketing dollars accessible to me that I need it’s on!!! Operation shutdown would be initiated and completed.
HipHopLEAD: Counting yourself name me 4 other strong artists from the Bronx that can bring New York hip hop back to the throne.
Carlos Ferragamo: Honestly I can’t name four from the Bronx but I could give you four from NYC. Carlos Ferragamo (me), VADO (he is from Harlem, signed to Diplomats Records), Young Hash (he is down with Cory Guns, BX all day), Nicki Minaj (we went to High School together; Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art & Performing Arts, she is from Queens and is signed to Young Money).
HipHopLEAD: What events in your life made you want to pick up the mic and get busy?
Carlos Ferragamo: Seeing Nas’ “The World is Your” video. Hearing LL Cool J “Around The Way Girl” and my homie Mike from my neighborhood, Parkchester.
HipHopLEAD: Your mixtape “Hip Hop Music” is a well put together mixtape. Are we going to see any albums coming soon?
Carlos Ferragamo: Yes sir!!! My new CD entitled Jabs will be ready the start of 2011. It is complete in terms of recording and artwork. We just have to send it off for mixing and mastering. Also, the prequel to the Hip Hop Music mixtape will be available very soon. If you guys want to help me push that we can put it together. It is FIRE!!!! I have another album that I am working on but the release date is TBA or to be announced. Stay tuned.
HipHopLEAD: Other than being an emcee what do you do in your spare time?
Carlos Ferragamo: Trade stocks and bonds. I travel. Make beats. Go to the gun range. Attend NRA member meetings. I mentor. Strategic plan and conduct analysis for various businesses. Spend time with the ladies. Read good literature. Smoke out at local hookah bars. Hit the gym. Play basketball. I serve as both a counselor and consultant. The list goes on. I try to stay occupied at all times.
Even when I am about to sleep I’m like damn, what could I be doing to get another dollar or become successful. I even help sell disability insurance to people who are as well as who are going to be in the NFL. Can’t say their names though due to legal paper work (laughs).
HipHopLEAD: Are we going to hear Carlos Ferragamo going in a song for the ladies?
Carlos Ferragamo: I actually have a lot of songs out for the ladies. People say that those types of songs are what I excel at, lol. The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League record “Baby I’m Back” can be classified as a ladies record. Also, “Hey Girl 2” and “Let The Lames Go” off the Hip Hop Music mixtape focus on the ladies but can be vouched for by the fellas. I have more but I try not to clutter my compositions with too many similar records. Another stand alone record that you can find on the net that hits the women but the men can rock out to is entitled “She Loved Me”. It is produced by my homie Nefarious! of the Soul Dojo.
HipHopLEAD: A lot of people say your flow and voice stand out. It’s a much needed combination to make it in hip hop…. you have a quick flow… a new york born and bred flow ..do you think people from Texas or Alabama will be able to levitate towards it?
Carlos Ferragamo: Yeah!!! I believe so. In fact QB Da Problem, the producer who made the beat for 50 Cent’s “Strong Enough” and Lloyd Banks’ “See Me Bright” reached out to me and sent me some beats. He is featured on two of the Hip Hop Music mixtape’s tracks (“Thanks” and “Killing Myself”). He is from Corpus Christi, Texas. My flow changes depending on what type of beat I am rocking to so there is no telling how I am going to approach a track, but I do believe the south as well as the west will embrace my music.
HipHopLEAD: Thanks for chopping it up with us homie … where can people download your mixtape and check you on the web!? Give us some shouts outs and links.
Shout out to all the people who showed me love. Parkchester, Florida A&M University aka FAMU, School Boyz Ent., Ty Fyffe, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, QB Da Problem & Nascent, Alex Chaney, Marvin McNeil, FMG, The Advocate, Clippers Barber Shop, Studio 360, Doe Boy Kellz, Total Kaos, AZ, Gillie Da Kid, Ike from Mister Sports in the Bronx, Crown Fried Chicken, the NRA, my homie Shin P and Smith and Wesson (the gun manufactures).