We had the good fortune of connecting with Rob The Hippie and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rob, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It’s always something I found myself resonating with. An irrefutable need to express myself, let alone, have it provide for living. I think art no matter what medium, whether it be music, drawing, dancing, cooking, acting, writing, are all such important fields that should be celebrated at all times. I’ve always wanted to do what’s made me happy at the end of the day. Growing up, I felt like in day-to-day interactions, I would stifle myself (still to this day), but whenever I choose to write a song or paint a piece, it’s like, there’s no way I can be held back, it’s a source of freedom for me. I’ve always had an affinity towards the arts and artists, the bravado it takes to put yourself out there and bare your soul to the world, and I don’t think there’s much that comes close to that feeling of euphoria from knowing you’ve put it all out there and that you have the power to not only create the world you want to live in, but change and influence someone else’s. It’s life, it’s beauty, it’s the occupation that can and will never die, and continues to shape the world, and by sharing my experiences, having it be recieved in a positive light that’s appreciated truly makes me happy. This planet needs proud, black artists, especially in this climate. The ability to uplift another in ways I don’t even see half the time is awe-inspiring enough. I hear my brother quoting Ghandi at times “Be the change you want to see”, and that’s why I take pride in being an artist, a creative, an expressionist, whatever title.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
To be honest, all of it (which I’m sure most creatives can relate) is an accumulation of my experiences and spheres of influences that guide me as an individual. The thing that set my craft and I from the next individual, is that I am not like anyone else. Though, we all have similarities, the way that I’ve absorbed, and seen the world around me expresses itself in a way that no one else can do, because, as simple as it sounds, I am not you, and you are not me. That’s the beautiful thing about empathy and being able to, if only for a moment, put yourself in someone else’s position, and understanding what makes them special in their own right. I’m excited to be alive, and proud to be able to bring myself to the world, especially through albums. Music, art, lives forever.

From writing songs with my big brother when we were growing up, my time in school and coming across other like minded people who wanted to purely write and be themselves. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy in my opinion, so to call it so, would be a huge misrepresentation. I remember writing songs in the summer of 2013 and ’14, and that following summer going to the military, and wondering how could I possibly keep some piece of myself, amongst the depression, insomnia, anxiety, self-shame, and fear trying to debilitate me. There was something that guided me, this realization of wanting to live my dream so righteously, that nothing can and will stop me. Not the system, not the government, not racists, not a heirachal structure telling me who I am and what I can and can’t do. To be able to travel the world, connect with so many different people from different walks of life and see the injustice and global oppression so many people face has maintained that fire in my heart to keep the press up even harder. If you stop, then everything stops. Constant learning, reflecting, not finding solace in one specific state, having to adapt and steadily find my sense of self, and be myself at any costs. I had to make the time in a world that told me I didn’t have the time. I’m still learning. Still growing. To be able to create, do shows, record, go as hard as I possibly can, my way, is something I’m extremely grateful for. I want the world to know I’m nothing without the people in it, and I refuse to be put out by anything or anyone. Even when you feel like it, you’re not alone. Don’t let anyone tell you how to make lemonade, with the your fucking lemons. The world is yours.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Man, I’m a big hermit nowadays, but I really dig The Color Factory. As far as food goes, it depends on what you in the mood for. I’m not much of a foodie as some of my contemporary’s. There’s this crazy spot called Soul Food Vegan, I wish I knew of more bars to go to, I personally enjoy Avant Garden, it’s just a clutch nice spot, with a nice outside ambience, they play jazz occasionally, I like it. So, if you guys know anymore places, send them my way!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
In all honesty, everyone I’ve come in contact with in my life has influenced me from the slightest to the largest ways. I’ve been surrounded by so many supportive people that have helped uplift me for as long as I can remember. If you know you know! My family from my granny to my brothers, sisters, cousins, mother, pops, aunties, Station33 (@Station33.online), especially everyone at Double A Records, Andy Ashley, Colt Cassidy, Lord Fish Face, November Sol, JJ, Vain Ace, Bob Gnarly, not only peers, but brothers and mentors who have completely changed the way I receive and even idealize music and creation itself, all of my art teachers, my boy Dalton, over at United States Vintage Service for his radical positivity, all of the artists from Houston to across the map I’ve grown to know, all the powerful women in my life, Miles Payne for this opportunity, like that’s my dawg. Otis! Ah, so much! Alexis Fowler, one of the most creative minds on this earth! Everyone over at Lovett, Ke’ron (@TheCasualGuru), Jerriee (@TrixPlates), Ananda! Also, there’s this incredibly insightful piece of literature called “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” by Dr. Joy Degruy, a great read for anyone looking to dive more deep into the prevalent effects of systemic rasicm, chattel slavery being a fundamental building block of our capitalist society today, it’s ties in our corrupt judicial and police system, Jim Crow, mass incarceration and the many struggles we face today as an extremely marginalized group of people. These seeds of knowledge can not be overlooked if we plan to come together, unite, to make a better world for the future, one where the powers that be no longer idly lay by as victims of ignorance. A great book if you ask me. Ah, literally everybody.

Website: station33.online



Facebook: Facebook.com/RobTheHippie

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPEA4p_xoJeSA6YIoy8tgHw

Image Credits
DAUNTE BRIGHT @donii4soty ANDY ASHLEY @andysilkeyes NOT OK PHOTOS @notokphotos DESTINY ALIYA @destinyaliya

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