With 97 stops pegged, the tour needs the best possible opening acts to capture the energy of the audience and keep the momentum going – a daunting task to some, but also a rite of passage. Strange Music caught up with some of the upcoming opening acts on the Hostile Takeover 2012 Tour, here is what they had to say.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – how long you’ve been in the game, your inspirations, and your aspirations.
Well, I’m your friendly neighborhood MC, Big Reeno, and I represent Fargo, North Dakota by way of Lagos Nigeria (Westside Africa). I started writing music when I was seven years old, but it was in 2008 that I made the decision that this is what I really want do for the rest of my life. That’s when I started really going hard at this – I got on my MySpace hustle, started and incorporated my own record label “Hustle Proof Records” and watched my first single ever “My Emotions” became the number one song on a Top 40 radio station here in North Dakota. I haven’t looked back since then.
People ask me all the time what inspires me and I can honestly say I have yet to narrow it down (laughs). I’m inspired by everything I see. I’m inspired by people’s success as well as their failures. I’m inspired by the fact that I’m alive and well. I’m inspired by the fact that God has blessed me and put me in a very unique space so early in my career. I’m inspired by good music of all genres. I’m inspired by my little, but very loyal fans who pay good money to come to my shows, buy my music, buy my merchandise, and take time out of their day to tweet or Facebook me and all that. Little stuff like that inspires the hell out of me. I’m really, really inspired by Tech N9ne and I’m not just saying that cause I’m on his website (laughs). What that brother has accomplished is truly amazing! His live shows are truly amazing! But I guess my greatest inspiration is my family and my true friends – they’ve had my back from day one when I was nobody and have always motivated me, so I gotta give shout-outs to BOC, Mel, Chas, Hooke, Diggs, Oneks, Chude, Felix, Deeny, Jade, Skreech and everyone who’s been riding with me from day one.
How does it feel to be part of a legendary, world-record setting hip-hop tour?
It feels amazing to be part of the Hostile Takeover Tour. I mean, I’m just a young, ambitious artist, representing Fargo, North Dakota (laughs). Who would have ever thought an artist from Fargo would be part of such an historic event? And like I said, I started out on this music journey in 2008, so I really haven’t been on the scene that long at all. This is the longest hip-hop tour in history and I am a part of it. It’s a great blessing man. I’m humbled by it. So a big ‘thank you’ to Tech & the entire Strange Music family for letting a little African brother, representing country-ass North Dakota, get a piece of this action.
How long have you been down with Strange Music?
I actually found out about Tech and Strange Music in 2006 when I moved to North Dakota. I think I had seen pictures and heard a little something-something about him before then, but I never really paid attention. I just knew at the back of my head that there was a weird, black, hip hop dude, running around with his face painted and shit (laughs). But when I moved to North Dakota, as soon as people heard I was a rapper, the first thing they’d ask me is “Do you know Tech N9ne?” So after being asked that question so many times, I finally gave in and decided to check out some of his songs and of course I was instantly blown away! Then, in 2009, I got the call to perform with Tech & Murs on the Sickology 101 tour. I remember doing that show, meeting Tech and thinking to myself “Damn, this brother is cool as hell” (laughs). And then he went on stage and killed it! I was like “Whoa!” I tell people all the time that performance changed my life as a performer. I learned so much from just watching him at that one show. So by the time I was going on tour with Flo Rida & Chingy later on that year, I could honestly say I was a seasoned performer (laughs), and it’s all thanks to Tech. But yeah, I’ve been down with Strange Music ever since that day.
What can the Technicians expect out of your show?
This is not the first, second, or third time I’m performing with Tech, so Technicians already know what the deal is. What they can expect of the shows I am on is energy, energy, energy! That’s what you can always expect at a Big Reeno show, and my fans know this. I’ve built my fan base so far off of touring and ripping every show I do so I don’t plan on stopping now. That’s what is so great about this tour line-up – everyone is a seasoned performer, from Tech to MGK to Krizz, ¡MAYDAY!, Prozak, Stevie Stone and myself, we all know what it means to rock a crowd. We all understand that people have paid good money to come see us, so we are going to give them their money’s worth. The Technicians can expect to be thoroughly entertained.
Anything you would like to say to the Technicians coming out to the show?
I’d like to say thanks for supporting good, independent hip-hop music, and for rocking with me. I appreciate y’all’s support. But when y’all come out to the show, hide your kids and hide your wife, ‘cause it’s gonna be one hell of a party! (laughs). Also, I’m working on a couple new projects that I’m going to release for free, so watch out for that. I’ll be dropping a lot of singles with videos to accompany them, so please watch out for them, share them with all your folks. Support, support, support!