The Trials + Tribulations of Breeze Has Never Stopped His Grind (Exclusive Interview)

flowsfordays is definitely a submission centric blog. When all of the emails are looked through, we post new music that we’ve enjoyed, or that we’ve researched. We received our first submission from underground Chicago artist Breeze in February, and it was an automatic write up. Since then he’s dropped a few tracks and videos, and each one is up on the site.

If Breeze didn’t put us on to his music – he still would have been on flowsfordays. His discography is flawless, and track record unfuckwithable.

He’s been buzzing in Chicago, but hasn’t gotten the spotlight he deserves. Our philosophy has always been to give the proper shine to dope artists who work their ass off to create amazing music. We had to interview the man, and learn more about his output. His story is touching, and perseverance admirable. The interview is below, and you can also peep his new visual is at the top of this text. Happy reading!

1. Hey Breeze, how are you?

I’m feeling quite legit on this Monday, how about you?

2. Give us a little introduction on you.

I’m Jared Pugh, most know me as “Breeze” or “Kid Breeze” (Because I’ll never really “grow up” haha)

3. In your Twitter bio you have a hashtag #QualityMusicForTheStreets. What does that mean to you?

#QualityMusicForTheStreets, plainly, is what me and my partner strive to provide for music fans across the universe. It stems from being really tired of the mediocrity, specifically in hip-hop, that is being promoted and accepted as a “change in the culture”, or “popcorn music” (as we like to describe it). We feel that while that type of music is most popular currently (for our own understood reasons) there is still a population that prefers quality music. So everything we provide, from our production compositions to my raps and visuals is nothing less than substantial work, as has been proven.

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4. When did you start your music career? Why did you decide to pursue a career in hip hop?

Well if were being real, I was in the youth choir when I was 4 lol but nah I didn’t SERIOUSLY decide to pursue a career in music until my senior yr. HS/ First year college. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to entertain in general, act, rap, comedy, anything that would gain stardom from just being myself and other people liking it. For a long while I really wanted to pursue comedy, even doing standup sets and hosting events in college, but my heart lied in rap music so around 18/19, I felt that I had lived enough to write some substantial raps and from there it was pretty much a constant pursuance.

5. What’s your story?

My story is that of a young cat from Chicago, coming up in both Bellwood/Maywood (Murdawoods or “The Woods”) and the west side of the city (Near West Side & Lawndale Neighborhoods), and the trials and tribulations that have allowed me to be the man I am today and make the music I make. Due to my well-cultured upbringing, I consider myself “Seasoned” with life experience ranging from urban dealings, to women, to being a college graduate (Southern Illinois University Carbondale – 2013). I truly know both sides of life, from a maintaining a character in a professional realm, to maintaining the brains of a street hustler. Those closest to me can vouch for the validity of such balance. Though I’ve made strides educationally, became a member of a fraternity, and a service to many communities, etc., I’ve also done things that I’m not so proud of, but things that were a necessity in helping push my craft forward due to my tenacity. I use my music to not only go into detail about these things sometimes, but also to overtly tell listeners that life is legit all about the choices you make! Now in the words of Matcy P ” That’s all you get until the movie” Haha!

6. Since you submitted your Trillmatic Freestyle video we’ve been posting all of your new releases. You always deliver. How do you feel about your music?

Again, I honestly feel like my music is a showcase of balance in the black male my age. I could have taken the route of many graduates before me but because I didn’t, I feel that someone needs to hear that story. There is someone that loves music so much that they’re willing to do anything to see success. I want people to hear my joints and think “Organic” “heart filled”. I describe the music as “current”, as most of my subject matter is about me and my people, and the content is mostly recent situations. I can give you gritty, raw, bang bang gang gang slang slang, but I can also give you insightful, educational and even marital advice (Idk about that one lol) through my music. I’m a true representation of the western hemisphere in this world we call Chicago.

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7. You tend to put out music accompanied by a visual. What is your theory on that? Who has helped you make these quality videos?

Often, I just feel so strongly about a song that it absolutely NEEDS a visual, and this is just my observation, but with the lowered attention span of audiences, I just saw fit to sometimes, release them together, pushing the actual song a little bit further. Now I can push the individual song and given people like it so much, they do not have to wait for a video. It’s just my personal theory, not saying it’s right or wrong, but I’m just figuring out how to get with the times and how to incorporate what I like into what the times like and how they like it. Currently, my partner and me get together all of my releases and drop them on our own platforms but that may change soon. Everything I do is legit trial and error, I will have an idea and literally won’t say nothing, just do it. If it works, it works, if not, back to the drawing board u know? That’s that tenacity.

8. Your newest record is called Let Em Know which we proclaimed was “the best song you’ll hear all day.” Do you think that’s one of your strongest tracks?

Production wise? Most definitely; we’ve recently transformed over into a new software called “Studio One” and have added a few new hardware pieces to our production labs. So “let em know” is definitely a showcase of soul music at its finest, I kept the drums warm purposely to give it the more “vinyl-ish” aesthetic and the lush sounds we added on top just made it all the more “pimptastic”. As far as the rap, I’m never really surprised (as humble as I can be). I know once we get a flame beat together and I’m feeling the way I’m humming the cadence, I’m pretty much gone. That happened with this. I got the bouncy tempo I wanted to keep in my head, and wrote it like that, so I would say yea it’s definitely one of my stronger songs all in all.

9. You are 1/2 of the production duo Tha Shipmates. Who is the other member, why did you decide on that name, and when did you guys decide to link up?

“Tha Shipmates” consists my brother @MatcyP and I. We both met in college. I was younger and Matcy P had been producing for almost 10 years, so when I got to the campus in 2009, dude was pretty much “that guy” on the campus as far as beats were concerned. I would see him dropping compilation tapes with artists that were flame so I really just wanted to link with him, because I was just a young rapper that didn’t know anything about beats for real. I joined an organization P was a president of as a duty fulfilled join my fraternity (Alpha Phi Alpha). We soon found out we were both trying to join at the same time and ultimately ended up becoming line brothers or part of the same “Pledge class”. Over the next two years, he would hone my production skills so that I could make my own tracks and stop buying them, and in Nov 2013 I felt as If I was good enough at it to quit my job and pursue music full time, forming our then new duo, “Tha Shipmates” production team.

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10. Every EP and song you’ve put out is produced by Tha Shipmates. Why do you solely use your own production? Will that ever change?

Since I started taking rap seriously, there was only one person invested in actually giving me production, Matcy P. By learning these programs from bro, I developed a preference for the type of beats I like, and I know that he and I hit that sound on the head effortlessly. It’s also the quickest way to get things done, you’re not working on anyone else’s time or dime but your own so that certainly helps with the creative process. We strive to make Tha Shipmates as big of a name as possible, so isolating all of the production to just us helps solidify a trademark sound that everyone can recognize. I definitely work with other producers IF the track is flames, and me being a producer myself, I’m hard to please haha.

11. You’ve put out 2 projects in the last year that I’ve really enjoyed. Why did you decide to call them “2004: The Book” and “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” How did these come together?

2004, as plainly as put was legit just the era I was in at the tie I was creating that joint, the samples, the recollection of situations from adolescence, all the way down to the art design (Bailey Ellis) were products of the emotions. It followed a Facebook theme, being that FB started in 2004. Around 2004, (7th Grade) was also the time I realized I really wanted to pursue music. Kanye, Lupe, Rhymefest, and a slew of other artists from this era were big influences on my creation to this day, so after a while of composition, it felt right to give it the title 2004. The Book part of the title was a suggestion from Bailey, with a double play on the Facebook theme, and me telling a piece of my story. Are You Afraid Of The Dark came from a more grim space in me, and basically was a synopsis of one being fearful of taking the leap of faith and going out and chasing your passion, whatever it is. Of course it’s a double play on the 90’s nick show, but moreover, it details certain aspects about me that I couldn’t give you in an interview as organically. ( as in Mitch Richmond). This project packaging process was a bit smoother as it was only 6 songs.

12. How are you approaching 2017? 

Just as “glass half filled” as I approach any year. I know the work required for success and I’m willing to do it until that’s the result. I am creating more original music and releasing more visuals so I think if any aspect of this year’s approach is contrary to others, it’s definitely my tenacity. Never taking no for an answer.

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13. Do you feel others are starting to take notice of your output? Does that matter to you?

Most definitely! I have felt I didn’t receive certain recognition I’ve deserved before, just as anyone else has, so it’s always good to be recognized for your art. It was never one of those things that stopped me from working though, I’ve probably received more no’s than yes’s at this point but who’s to say that makes you a failure? I am humbled with every new listener I get and I only hope to grow expeditiously!

14. What’s coming next?

A new project! But that’s a TBA type thing. I love releasing bodies of work super randomly, every new one I add to the catalog is just a new page in the book for me, but you can also expect some real fly ass videos, new music obviously and I’m DEFINITELY working to do the “Henny And The Homies” showcase again!