Taking off from the southside of Richmond, Virginia—a city notorious for its controversial memorials to confederate soldiers and its habitually high rate of poverty and murder—Moochieee (pronounced “Moo-Chee”), is an emerging young rapper who draws a lot of his inspiration from everyday life in the “Dirty South.”
Moochieee raps about how had to adapt to life in the city in order to get ahead. And when his family fell on hard times, he stepped up and did what he had to do to provide for them. While he admits not all of his choices were always for the best, these decisions were what ultimately set him on his current journey through the music industry.
Although he never wanted to be in the spotlight, Moochieee created a cult following just by rapping for friends and peers. With the help of his longtime friend and manager, Ghost, the two created their own independent label, D.O.A. Entertainment, and thanks to the breakout success of his single, “Noriega,” was signed to a distribution deal with Empire.
Salute Magazine recently caught up with Moochieee to discuss “Straight Up,” the latest single off his upcoming project, 4World, which will be hosted by Atlanta’s own DJ AONE.
SALUTE: How did you first get your start as a rapper?
Pretty much… I did time [in prison] and because I was doing time – I was doing a good bit of time – I was just writing music. And as I was writing the music and singing my song people throughout the whole facility were singing my song and they were listening. Know what I mean? In the middle of the night wake me up just singing my song.
SALUTE: How old were you when you started to rap?
22… I am only 23 now. It has been one whole year, going on two years. I always knew how to do it, I just didn’t always care to do it that much, but once you go through hard times you just turn out with a better heart.
SALUTE: Tell me more about how your first single, “Noriega,” came together.
There’s truth behind it. Where I am from you never leave the house without a gun. A semi of any type. That’s why I am like ”never leave without a semi.” It’s pretty much everyday life being from Richmond. You gotta to be from there… live it to understand.
SALUTE: Would you say everyday life in Richmond plays a role in your music?
Yeah. It plays a big role. It plays a huge role. I believe somebody gotta put it to ‘em. They’re going to respect me.
SALUTE: Who are a couple of artists you would want to collaborate within the industry?
In the industry right now, I’ve collabed with a good few that I really wanted to. It’s not really a big area of people I want to collaborate with. I mean everybody in the industry wants at least one song with Drake. I mean I can go for that. Of course, everybody wants to go with Drake.
SALUTE: I also got a chance to check out your upcoming single, “Straight Up” and it’s a real banger. Just wanted to know how you feel about it and what you hope people take away from listening?
People are going to get their own interpretation from each and every song… as long as I still leave them happy. I did put not only my time and effort into it, I got stuff way better now. That was a good minute ago I made “Straight Up” and I am happy that it’s hitting the goal it’s reaching now. 100K or doing the hell whatever they thought it would be in less than a month.
But everybody has their own message behind it. My message is pretty much, if you listen to every lyric it’s just right there… just “Straight Up.”
SALUTE: Is it harder for a young artist starting out? Do you feel that age plays a role in the industry?
I don’t think the age has anything to do with it. It’s the skills and the business behind it. It’s what you say and what you do. But there’s a lot of people here doing it from 15-to-38. A lot of people that are still underage.
SALUTE: Tell me more about how you landed a distribution deal with Empire.
I had someone come to me with distribution and it all sounded good so I started working for Empire. It’s actually going pretty good… things are going swell if you ask me. I’ve been with Empire since May, so a couple of months, and I’ve been sending an assload of units to Empire. We got 14,000 units since June 2017 and we hadn’t dropped anything at all. Just a couple projects here and there. That’s okay. I’m always shooting for better. As soon as we get to 100,000 units I’ll be a very very happy guy.
SALUTE: So, what’s next for Moochieee?
I got New York Fashion Week next month (September 7-8th) and then the album, which is not dropping anytime soon, is going to be titled 4World and is going to be hosted by DJ AONE.
SALUTE: What about plans for a tour?
We’re looking into one in November. If everything goes right then, yeah, we’ll definitely do that. In God’s graces, it will happen.
WATCH: “STRAIGHT UP” – MOOCHIEEE