It’s a little after 2 p.m. in the newly expanding Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. Prince George County rapper Black Fortune is sprawled across a love seat with his managers GB and Mike Q sitting adjacent to him on a love seat. Clad in all black, his shiny white gold grill, gleaming diamond chains, and overflowing dreads provide a look that is propelled by flare; a characteristic the rapper exudes in abundance.
Black Fortune has experienced a long and enduring journey throughout his budding music career and is currently enjoying the success of his 2018 project “OsshRock“ that produced viral hits like the title track “OsshWop” and “Katrina.” The DMV Daily had the opportunity to speak with the rapper on a number of topics including his recent rise in the ranks, his early beginnings in the DMV music scene, and his motivation behind switching up his sound.
What is the music scene like in PG County, what was going on when you were on the come-up?
Black Fortune: It really wasn’t too many PG County rappers — well I’m sure it was, but it wasn’t too many popping PG County rappers. It was probably like me and like, Big Flock and the Thrax people. That’s all I knew from PG County. But now its a lot of different PG County rappers, like a lot of popping PG County rappers too, like way more than it used to be. I been doing this since like 2014 or like 2012, you now, since back then, so you know, I done seen a lot of people come up from back then from PG County.
How did you find your way into music coming out of PG County.
Black Fortune: It was a long journey, you know. Like, a lot of trials and tribulations. My sound changed up a lot, like I started off rapping, then I started singing and doing R&B music and then I started back rapping again, you know. So it was like a big change because, I was singing at first in the DMV, but the DMV don’t really like, hear that shit — they kind of like have closed ears to the singing stuff because it’s not too many R&B singers out here so people ain’t really listening to that. And when I started rapping and being more relatable to what everybody and speaking on what people are doing and what I’m really doing, people started gravitating to my sound and what I was talking about more — because I feel Like it was more me, that’s really who I was, I’m more of a rapper than a singer.
Since we are already on the topic of your transition from creating R&B music to focusing on your rap career, I want to talk about your last two projects in particular. In 2017 you released Temporary Love, a definitively R&B project, and followed up in 2018 with OsshRock, which is obviously rooted in Hip Hop/Rap — tell me about the motivating factors for you making that switch to strictly rapping in such a short amount of time.
Black Fortune: Really, when I was doing R&B music, I was making it from other people’s perspective — I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love females and all that type of stuff but I was like singing and like real mushy and that’s not really who I am as a person, you know. So, I was just doing it to see how it hit, you know what I’m saying, thinking, this could be some mainstream shit. Like, with R&B music, maybe I can reach a different crowd, but it didn’t really do what I wanted it to do so I just went back to what I knew, I went back to my actual roots.
Was there a specific moment during that time frame where something happened or something motivated you to decide it was pretty much going to be Rap music from here on out?
Black Fortune: Yeah, I broke up with my girlfriend. I had a girlfriend at the time, when I was making a lot of R&B music, and we had got into something, I broke up with her, and I literally went to the studio the same night I broke up with her and made “OsshWop” — and that was the song that blew my shit up.
OsshRock is a major milestone for you in your solo Rap career and I kind of just wanted to pick your brain for a second ad get your definition of OsshRock, what it means to you and what you hope people will take from it?
Black Fortune: The title OsshRock is basically like — I’m the OsshGod, you know like the creator, the Alpha Omega, I’m the Ossh Mayne and I’m a Rockstar too, you know what I’m saying. So I’m a Rockstar, I’m the OsshGod and this is OsshRock, you know, it comes together. It’s like me saying, without having to say it, that I’m a Rockstar, I make Rock Music, I make hard music, I make Rap music, I make Hip Hop music, I do all this, and I just OsshRock. And, then my shit crank, like how we say, like if a song crank, like if it’s hard, then that joint rockin’ and so if I feel like that song rock, it’s OsshRock, like my shit rock you feel me.
How did you link up with producers Treetime and Maxx who produced, “OsshWop” and “Katrina” respectively?
Black Fortune: I recorded that myself (“Katrina”) but I linked up with Treetime and Maxx after I stole both of their beats on YouTube basically. So I stole they beats on YouTube and then I followed them on Instagram, because I wanted to do it the right way, so I started hitting them up and they heard the music I made from their beats and they didn’t get mad, they actually liked it. So we just locked in. I like took both of them under my wing. I’ve never actually met them — Treetime is from Ohio or South Carolina, something like that, and Maxx is like a 14-year-old kid from Sweden. They just two young white boys, but they hard, you know what I’m saying.
You are very creative, and with that said I just wanted to know how you were able to come up with a song like “Keith Sweat” by referencing R&B legend Keith Sweat’s classic song “Nobody.”
Black Fortune: I’m young butI’m an old head forreal. I listen to all the old music like the Keith Sweat and Marvin Gaye and Teddy Pendergrass — I like listening to old music. But, I honestly don’t really know (laughs). I was freestyling and that just came out.
I saw that the Redskins recently played “OsshWop” during one of their timeouts during a live game broadcast. What did that feel like, coming from the DMV area?
Black Fortune: Nah, that shit felt crazy, because I’m a Redskins fan, I always support the hometeam — I’m a Patriots fan but I’ll always support the hometeam. I remember I woke up that morning and my phone was just going off, and I don’t really watch football though, I don’t really watch sports like that — but my cousin from Florida was like, “Yeah I’m watching the Redskins and Cowboys game and I hear your song playing,” and I’m like, “What!?” And I get up and my shit just going crazy, everybody texting me. That shit feels great though, you know what I’m saying because my father a big Redskins fan and I know he seen that shit, so it made me feel like I’m at least doing something right in my community. And I come from Landover, where they play at the FedEx Field and I used to live right across the street from the field.
Since you mentioned your father, I saw you recently did the “So Brooklyn” Challenge and one line from your freestyle stood out to me was when you said, “Me and my daddy best friends that shit bitter and sweet.” After hearing your story I wanted to use that bar as a segway to talk about your father’s influence on your music/art and life choices. Do you think to have the relationship you had with your father made it easier to follow in his creative footsteps?
Black Fortune: Don’t get me wrong, at a certain point in my life my father was, like a dad, it wasn’t like no friendly relationship, you know, it was like, I’m the father and you the son. But once I got a little older, like 14 or 115 he became like a brother, I look at my father like a brother. And I think it did make it easier because he kind of taught me the streets, you know — taught me how to maneuver in the streets, taught me how to peep fake shit in the streets, he kind of taught me, we done did shit in the streets together. He was like, “I know you gone do what you gone do,” because at that time, I was already fighting like 26 counts of armed robbery, so he knew what type of time I was on, so he was just like I’m going to at least teach you how to move, show you who to move around with an all that.
Obviously you beating your criminal cases was a major milestone, but looking back was there any point in time where you really thought like, I’m greater than this?
Black Fortune: Oh yeah, my whole life though. I ain’t never just want to be a street nigga or just be out doing the shit did — everything I ever did, I did because I had to. Like, to support my family, if robbing people or home invasions or selling weed, selling drugs, whatever, whatever I had to do I did it because I had to, you know what I’m saying. I always had it in my mind like, I’m going to do this until I don’t have to do this anymore. I always wanted to be great, be a musician or an artist — I do murals, so before I knew I was a rapper I was an artist. So I always wanted to be rich and always wanted to be wealthy and be somebody, but I just had to do what I had to do for the time being.
What do you think is next for you now that you have this type of platform?
Black Fortune: I don’t really think I’m going to have a big, big breaking point, I feel like I’m here for steady progression, you know. I got tapes and stuff dropping that’s going to make shit go crazy that’s going to go up — I got a tour coming, I got shows, new music, new features I’m dropping, new music, new singles I’m dropping, my whole project is dropping in January. So I got shit like that, that’s going to make shit boom but it’s all slow steps you know what I’m saying. They say slow and steady wins the race, so I’m not rushing to just blow up in one day, because I feel like if I slowly do this and keep climbing to the top slowly, I’ll have longevity in the game.