Monday, March 25, 2013

HeadKrack: Exclusive Interview with The Rickey Smiley Morning Show Co-Host

"Since I was a kid I was always infatuated by performing, entertaining, and like putting on a show for people"
The Rickey Smiley Morning Show is undoubtedly one of the funniest broadcasts on the radio. Comedian, entertainer, and actor Rickey Smiley joins with his co-hosts Headkrack, Ebony Steele, and Gary with the Tea.
One of my favorite people on the show is HeadKrack. His jokes are timeless and his freestyles reminds me of old school Hip Hop. So I sought out to interview him and find out about HeadKrack the man, father, entertainer, and Hip Hop lover.
He was on his way to interview rapper J. Cole when he met me at Starbucks in Midtown Atlanta. We sat in the midst of what felt like a cyber café as everyone seemed to be preoccupied with their electronic devices. Yes they were preoccupied until the lyrical genius spat a captivating freestyle rap exclusively for Just Talk. I enjoyed listening as he spoke very freely, sharing his experiences in the entertainment business and his personal views on life.
Read the exclusive interview below:
On the meaning of HeadKrack: There’s a dice game called C-lo and whenever you roll 4, 5, or six they call that a head crack which means it’s an automatic win. And in life everything I’ve done up to this point seems like I’ve been so lucky. I keep hitting a head crack. I mean even with this radio thing- when Keynote and I first started we called ourselves the Bodega Brovas and we wanted to do an overnight show and they put us on 6-10 which is prime time. And that blossomed into us being number one- then that blossomed into a morning show which started out with one city and ended up being seventy- then that blossomed into a TV show and the music thing. I’m blessed to be able to travel the world with my best friend.
On what made you decide to go into the entertainment business: Since I was a kid I was always infatuated by performing, entertaining, and like putting on a show for people. I use to have the Thriller VHS tape and whenever my Mom’s friends would come over I knew the choreography from top to bottom and I would do it for them. That parlayed into doing school talent shows, which parlayed into me battling people and battling on the radio. Then getting together with different people and different groups and trying different music out.
"My love for music has always been there"
On how the opportunity for the Rickey Smiley Morning Show come about: The night show was doing well and Steve Harvey had just left the station. The Program Director in Dallas at 97.9 The Beat said, Yo Krack you’re a really organized guy and you’re really plugged into Pop culture. I’m going to take you from the night show, put you with this new guy Rickey Smiley, and we’re going to form a morning show.
On being on the # 1 morning show: You know it’s crazy because it really hasn’t quite set in to me that the morning show is what it is. And every now and again I’ll come across people who are big fans of the show and they tell me these amazing things. Like I was having such a bad day and when you all said this-So when I run into those people, I get it. But other than that it’s this thing in the back of my mind that I get up at 4 a.m. and go do. It’s weird because I do realize that I’m on the number one morning show but I don’t wake up and say, Yeah I’m on the number one morning show. It’s like it’s this thing I’ve been doing and I’ve been blessed to be able to do it as long as I’ve been doing it. You have people who tell have horrible stories about being bounced from station to station. Technically I’ve been at the same station for my entire career and on two back to back successful shows.
On how you discovered your love for music: My love for music has always been there. I’m originally from the Bronx, New York and when I grew up it was like right when Hip Hop was really starting to pop. It used to be this dirty little thing that radio stations would play after 10 o’clock or midnight, and to watch it grow to like this massive thing that drives a whole culture is amazing. So I felt connected to it from day one.
"The Bodega Brovas consists of Keynote, Travi, and me"
On how the Bodega Brovas came about: The Bodega Brovas consists of Keynote, Travi, and me. Keynote went to the high school not too far from me and I was the guy people were always telling him about that reminded them of him and telling me that I reminded them of him. Eventually we met each other and we just clicked. Keynote and I worked together every night for like five years so we were tight from that, plus we love Hip Hop. Then Travi was a part of another group too, so when he left his group he was like- I like what you doing and he wanted to just travel with me on the road and be my hype man. So when I got booked for a series of gigs in Europe- Keynote, Travi, and me had recorded a song but we couldn’t go all the way to Europe to do just one song. So I was like let’s go in the studio do a few of records, and a few records turned into like nine records, nine records turned into like twelve, and so on. Then we were like we have to call ourselves something and we decided on the Bodega Brovas.   
On what Bodega means: Bodega’s are multi-purpose stores that sell everything from sandwiches to cigarettes to toilet paper. And musically Bodega Brovas are the same way. We’re fun. We’re conscious. We’re ignorant. We party. We kick a message. We have records that will make you want to cry. We have records that will make you want to get on the treadmill and run until it gets dark.
On The Bodega Brovas tour: The last one we got to go to Germany, Ireland, the UK, and the Netherlands. It was awesome. It was just like a fun energetic tour. Our shows are like a mixture of a live Hip Hop show and almost stand up. And overseas they’re really excited about Hip Hop like its new and they come out and support. Including countries where English is not their first language. In Germany we were like three shows in before we realized- They don’t know what we’re saying. But when we throw the records on you can’t tell.
On your greatest accomplishment to date: My kiddos. I have a thirteen year old who is mild mannered, respectful, and sharp. I’ve had custody of him since he was very young, so it’s just been pretty much me and him against the world. I’m proud to have not raised a statistic. And then I also have a newborn.
On your future plans: I want to do more television. Dish Nation is really popping, and me and my man Keynote from Bodega have a few ideas for TV shows that we’re about to pitch out. I really want to be more involved in the world of television. Radio is such a one dimensional media that you have to imagine what we’re doing- I want to show you what we’re doing. I want to tell the stories from people who grew up in our era. So more television, more radio, and hopefully more music. I’ve been in radio for twelve years now and I’m really ready to take it to that next level.
 "I tripped coming out of a cardboard limo- it was just so whack"
On your most embarrassing moment: There’s quite a few but I was on this talk show called the Richard Bey show. This was like 1995 and they were doing a show on prom date disasters. I met this girl and she was the new girl in school and she was already pregnant when I met her. We even got to the point where I had named the baby. We went to the prom together and we split up but we said we would meet back up. And she was in a hotel room with this dude that I actually looked up to. So I brought her on the show as like my big pay back but the way they edited the show made me look even worst. I tripped coming out of a cardboard limo- it was just so whack. I’m so glad that the Richard Bey show got cancelled. I’m so glad that if you do a Google search you can’t find it. There’s one tape and it’s at my grandmother’s house in the safe and you’ll never see it.
"Everything in my life happened for a reason"
On if you had a chance to do it all over what would you change: I wouldn’t change anything. Even the mistakes in my life have worked out. Like my parents were ruggedly cheap and they wanted to save money so they put me in school a year early. All my friends were like a year older than me. I really think that helped shape my sense of humor, it made me more responsible, and made me interested in older things. So I think everything in my life happened for a reason.
On your marital status: I’m in a relationship
On your future plans for marriage: I’m married to this game.
On what type of woman do you like: I like all types of women. I don’t really have a type. I don’t discriminate.
On what you want your legacy to be: I want my legacy to be that HeadKrack was the dude that came in and he had fun, he inspired people, and he didn’t care about what people thought. At the end he did it his own way. It’s okay to be like- I don’t like what they’re doing and I want to do something else. That’s what creates individuals. Like when everybody else was like out in the field Ben Franklin was out inventing stuff. That’s want I want to do. I want to push the envelope and do different things. Rather it’s from a music stand point or a film stand point. Even with the envelopes of radio. I want see more free thinkers in radio. I want to see the play lists expand more and celebrate more aspects of Hip Hop. And from a music stand point I want to make records that matter now, matter later, and twenty or thirty years from now.  
I enjoyed talking to HeadKrack as he shared his life experiences and future aspirations. He is a real stand up Dude- I officially stamp him a part of the Just Talk family.

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