What motivated you guys to create this style of music?
We both have solid music backgrounds and what you hear in our music is a reflection of our
influences. We vibe with artists like Pro Era, A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla, Nas etc. At the same time we
love our old school you know, artists like Sade, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder Earth, Wind, and Fire all that.
So we try to merge those two concepts into something we could make our own. We want our beats to
be soulful and also sample the greats that came before. At the end of the day, we just want to pay
homage to those that came before and keep that energy going.
How did you come up with your name Rap Innovators?
The name Rap Innovators was created by the homie Mark Smooth. He came up with it when he was
listening to A Tribe Called Quest song called “Motivators.”
How is the underground sound out in Atlanta?
Its kind of quiet overall. I mean you got Artists like Cyhi the Prince and Raury that are in the same lane,
but overall its not too much noise. That where we come in to create a Movement, and have people
vibing like they were when Outkast took over the game.
How are you guys dealing with this whole Covid-19 Corona Virus? Has this affected your music
career in any way?
We live in two different states, so we already had the challenge of making everything work without
being able to go meet up and get tracks/videos done. So, it hasn’t had too big on an effect on what we
are trying to do. At the same time you gotta understand, we recorded the whole EP in five days so we
already used to not being together, and still getting everything done. It actually gave us time to work on
more content. That’s why our fans can enjoy new music like our song “Memories” that just dropped last
week. We also have another track set to drop on May 18 th 2020.
What seperates you from other Hip Hop duos in the game today?
To be honest, we haven’t seen a lot of hip hop duos on the scene today besides Rae Sremmurd. I mean
in the past you had Outkast, Mobb Deep, Gang Starr, Run the Jewels, and groups like that, but not
today. What seperates us, is that we are the only artists in our lane. Not one rap duo that we know of
makes the type of music we do with real messages and content that connect with people on a depper
level than just club or radio hits. Like we always say, we here to spread peace, positivity, and good vibes.
Who are your biggest underground influences?
First off, a lot of our influences aren’t really underground anymore but here are a few anyway that we
really rock with. Andre 3000, Nas, Lauryn Hill, Pro Era, Boogie, Mark Smooth, Gang Starr, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, A Tribe Called Quest, De la Soul
You guys recently dropped a new album titled “Innovative Movement” across all streaming platforms!Please give us some background on that project!? Could you tell me the inspiration behind the project and artwork? That has to be one of the dopest covers we seen in 2020.
Innovative Movement is special. We like to look at it as our resume so our fans can know what type of
vibes to expect from us. The inspiration came from messages that we wanted to get across to the people, things that needed to be discussed. You see this in songs like “Good Die Young” where we talking about why so many young rappers were gone too soon. (Mac Miller, XXXTentacion, Juice Wrld, Nipsey Hussle) We did the same
thing on “Kings & Queens where we talked about how women should love and appreciate themselves
and not care about changing their bodies to fit another persons version of perfect. Too many times that
image is glorified, and it causes our women to become insecure and self-conscious.
As for the cover art that was done by Mark’s sister Briana Santi Rodriguez. If you look closely you’ll see
that New York os on the left and Atlanta is on the right. It represents both of our original birth places.
Mark Smooth was born in NY and I (Pro) was born in Atlanta.
How does social media play a role in pushing Rap Innovators music?
Social media plays a huge role. The only reason we created an IG page in the first place was to promote.
As a matter of fact, a lot of our exposure came from more people finding us on social media. It’s crazy
now we have fans in Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, and a few others. We never would have thought we
would reach that far.
What are a few different moves you guys are making for 2020 when it comes to your music
We plan to release two more singles in the near future and drop some collab EP’s with other artists that
are a part of The Movement this year. Both projects are already about halfway done.
Also, without giving too much away, we should have a song featured on a major rappers tape pretty
soon. Stay tuned for that.
Our most popular question….What is your definition of “Underground Hip Hop?
Our definition of Underground Hip Hop is music that connects more with the people. It’s not overplayed
and forced on you like the majority of mainstream music. But it allows you to expand your mind and
think about issues/current events that you might usually turn a blind eye to. Underground Hip Hop has
substance and content that touches people in a way no other music can.
Any Shout Outs?
We would just like to shout out everybody that been a part of The Movement up until this point. Our
boy Jon Chandler, our fellow Rap Innovator Kharilardi, and of course the engineer behind the scenes,
our boy Void. We appreciate yall showing love.
Peace from the Rap Innovatos.
Pro & Mark Smooth