Hip-hop is in an interesting state in Detroit. A legend in Eminem is priming his return, veterans like Big Sean are meeting criticism and praise at the same time, while newcomers like Kash Doll and Tee Grizzley are bursting through the door and taking hold of the spotlight. Sharing the grind of the hometown is Moses, known to some as Moses The God, who welcomes the grind of her hometown while observing the scene to pinpoint the direction for her next move.
Moses is fresh off the release of her new album, With or Without You, a building block to her prior efforts and a cohesive release that bridges her music, visuals and creative output with the entrepreneurial spirit of being an independent artist. On a recent visit to Chicago, Moses talks career lessons, her foray into acting, working with her go-to producer and more.
How did you get your name?
I put it in a rap one time, a long long time ago and I called myself Michigan Moses. I thought it was real lame and felt like this other female rapper Detroit Che. I felt by having Michigan it was very limiting for myself and what I was trying to do so I dropped it and it was just Moses. I dropped my first album, Red Letters, and everybody thought it was so cold. They so used to here Detroit shit, all the Doughboyz, gang shit but everybody told me I was cold. They started to call me Moses the God so I ran with that name. I got all the scrutiny and criticism so I dropped the God and keeping it real short, simple and clean.
What would you call the Detroit sound right now? I spoke with Rell Ca$h recently and he from Milwaukee but tells me a lot of what is done there spills to this area.
Really? I have been to Milwaukee, seen a couple people, worked in a couple studios. Nah.
Well, he was seeing how when Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out” popped that was kind of the blueprint. Would you call that the Detroit sound?
Yeah, that’s what Detroit been about before he went to jail. But that’s really everywhere, not even just Milwaukee. You can hear that sound. I love Detroit and that we have something we can grasp on but it’s not for me.
How did Detroit growing up and now impact what you wanted to do?
It helped me become a hustler and go-getter. We can go anywhere and come out on top, period. I know people in Yale, Harvard, MIT, in Cali doing big things, but we those cool people you want to be like.
How does that landscape change how you approach your music?
It’s definitely harder but I have a lot of strong relationships with DJs, Coalition DJs, those are the ones who break the records. It’s hard for me because I don’t have them in the club, strip club, tip-a-bitch bangers. They will tell me they really fuck with my song but it’s only so much they can do for me. There is always a limit there and a threshold I have to overcome. It’s always a struggle for me because I have a different vibe of the music and I’m a female that talks about females. I’m really throwing myself out there every time but I’m doing what I want to do. This is what I love to do.
When did you start taking music seriously?
About three years ago. I had this talent so I wanted to see how it goes. When my first EP went out I got a lot of love for it and I didn’t expect that. It was time.
What is your creative process when you going into a record, song, album, anything?
Now me and my producer just go to the lab and create. I don’t hop on any already made tracks. I’ll record something on my phone and go into the studio and create around it. It’s whatever I’m going through at the time. It’s sometimes futuristic sometimes and creeps me out because it will apply to today and I made it three years ago.
You dropped your first project then you had your EPs, and led up to The Commandments Vol. 1. What changes have you seen as you are going along?
As far as The Commandments Vol. 1 I was working with this one guy, quote on quote manager or whatever. That was my Detroit mixtape but it fit my life at the time. But now, I just linked with a new producer. I’m Drake and he 40. I get to really do the music I wanted to do from jump. All I’m missing is a band and I’ll be on my Syd-Internet flow. I’ve seen a lot, I’m learning, from like Kash Doll mistakes, everybody learning from her. How can you just undeniably get fucked in the ass like that?
What other lessons have you learned so far?
I haven’t really set back and said, ‘Moses, what have you learned.’ But preparation is a motherfucker. I prepare more things instead of diving headfirst in now. I’m writing things down more and setting goals before I was just running with it. Now there is no turning back so I move smarter. Education goes a long way.
Have you heard Moses’ new album “With Or Without You” click that link in my bio 🤘🏽 Search: “Moses With or Without You” on #iTunes #AppleMusic #Tidal #Spotify #GooglePlay #Amazon #Shazam and many more outlets! Hard copies are also available ❤️ #NoBadReviews #YoungGOAT #WithOrWithoutYouTheAlbum www.mosesthegod.com
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Would you consider signing a deal?
I’m good for whatever makes sense.
How has it been running a mini-company of an artist and being the artist too?
It’s been going. I definitely have a team. It can grow a little bit more but it’s not a lot of weight on me. I don’t deal well with stress. I got my PR, a graphics guy, Jesus my right hand and my booking manager, Mike. I’m still teaching them because they aren’t familiar with entertainment to the lengths that I have been through. But its easier to teach them then have to deal with it all myself. The most aggravating question in the world is ‘What’s your budget?’ It’s so negative and positive at the same time. But mainly positive. I have a real life job. I have a mortgage, car note, student loans, credit card bills. I’m trying to do a lot of things. I wish I had a twin so whatever has to be done gets done.
Back to your producer, do you prefer to work with just one?
I’m always open. I let him do whatever. He did 80% of the album. Who else going to do some shit like this and believe me like he is? Give me this free studio time. We have been in good studios, basements, at this point I’m taking you with me. I’m always open if somebody has some dope shit but this a give and take. Maestro looks after me I look after him. We have a synergy, he knows my voice, tone, and range. What effects are needed – he ain’t gotta worry about me. I ain’t gotta worry about him.
Shifting gears, you did some acting. Did you plan that for yourself?
I never auditioned. I got a call. They sent me some scripts and I showed up to complete these parts.
If you had to pick a role for yourself or replace someone.
[laughs] If I could do Ray Charles I would. That was a dog ass movie though, I’m just going to leave it at that. But I’ll do a player roll. I’m tired of killing niggas on screen. Some comedies. Maybe like a Hitch movie, a good black classic.