The King of Everything Else sits down for a candid interview with HotNewHipHop.
It's not uncommon in this day and age for rappers to refer to themselves as the "king" of their respective city. What is uncommon, however, is a rapper saying they're the "king" at being not particularly good at anything at all. Slaine is an uncommon rapper.
Fresh off of the release of his brand new LP, The King Of Everything Else, the emcee behind the reader-acclaimed "Bobby Be Real" took some time out of his busy schedule--which consists of both recording music and acting in major motion pictures--to talk to HNHH about his career, music, and personal life. Consider this your wake up call to one of the dopest independent emcees in the game.
Slaine was born in Boston. He has an accent and a look that makes him the ideal casting for the "likable thug," a character he's had the opportunity to play now in several major motion pictures including Ben Affeck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, and its even more popular successor, The Town.
"Ben was my mentor," said Slaine of his initial casting. "He saw something in me that no one else did."
When Slaine was first cast in Gone Baby Gone, he had no previous experience in front of the camera. He attended film school briefly in his formative years, but was ultimately kicked out after getting into a fight with a university doorman who caused his friend some trouble over the months they had been attending. He loved movies but never thought about being in one. Ben Affleck changed all of that when he read about Slaine regrouping with La Coka Nostra in the Boston Herald and fought with the producers of the film to give him the role. Now, Slaine wants to continue expanding his resume as an actor.
"I want to try out some different roles," said Slaine of his acting resume. "Right now I'm getting cast as kind of the likable thug. I want to try being more than that."
By the time Slaine was cast in Gone Baby Gone, he had already overcome some enormous obstacles in his life. He was in the middle of a divorce and struggling to make a living with a variety of odd jobs. Rapping was his passion, but rapping didn't pay the bills--at least not yet.
When he was eight, Slaine discovered hip-hop in the form of a Beastie Boys record. The sound enticed him to delve further into the genre. By the time he moved to New York in the early 90s, he was deep into the likes of House of Pain and Cypress Hill.
"I think the moment I felt like I made it was when I got in the studio with B-Real, Sick Jacken, ILL BILL, Everlast, Danny Boy and Lethal," Slaine recalls. "It was happening around the same time I got cast in 'Gone Baby Gone.' These were guys who I grew up listening to. To be in the studio with them was unbelievable."
B-Real was only one of the many top-notch guests to find their way onto Slaine's debut solo project A World With No Skies, an album that Slaine now recalls as being one of the tougher moments in his career.
"My last album got shelved because of issues with sample clearances. We were about to put the project out but had to stop the whole thing last minute. That's why I don't use samples anymore. I had to remake an album that was a vision executed perfectly. It was soul crushing at the time."
The King Of Everything else features all original instrumentals, a feature which Slaine ultimately preferred despite being a fan of sample-driven hip-hop. "When someone records a sample, you get what they give you," Slaine said. "When I was working on this album, I could work with producers to create an original sound. It let me grow as an artist."
At this point in his career, Slaine is content to say he's "made it" -- he is making a living off doing what he loves -- but he strives for more. "You're always going to want to do more and be better," he said. His words apply to both his life and music. Slaine is proudly six months sober and performing across the world. Best of all, he gets to do it all while building a meaningful relationship with his son. Consider The King Of Everything Else a stepping stone in a career that's sure to continue growing over the years. Slaine may say he's "not the king of anything in particular at all," but things are looking up.
Check out The King Of Everything Else today.