By Jack Barnes
Getmybuzzup: Tell us a little about yourself?
Hyper Sniper: I’m an independent rap artist born and raised in Kansas City. My journey has been a precarious one, from drug abuse to being ostracized by the local rap scene in 2012. After spending a few years mentally in a dark place, the pen is back to hitting the pad. Smoking marijuana on a regular basis helps me manage anxiety plus helps fuel the creativity that allows me to craft music that is both skilled and raw. I offer a rugged, unapologetic alternative to radio/club hits. My music is not formulaic for commercial success nor manufactured for such purposes, I rap because it’s what I’ve always enjoyed and I think I’m fairly skilled at it.
Getmybuzzup: How long have you been in the music industry?
Hyper Sniper: I started recording music in the early 2000’s and had an unsigned run for many years, releasing albums and performing live. Starting in 2013 I took a break from the industry and art, focusing my attention on philosophical and theological study. After some time, the itch was too strong and in 2016 I returned to the game, reconnected with lifelong music partner KillJoy and signed with Fatty’s House Records. I consider myself a different, enhanced version of the artist I once was and have been referring to this era as Sniper v2.0 (Fatty’s House Edition).
Getmybuzzup: How did you get started in the first place?
Hyper Sniper: As a young teenager in 1999, I started writing rap lyrics while listening to music, trying to focus on the instrumental while creating my own words. I chose the name Hyper Sniper. What can I say? I was a teenager and it was 1999. In 2000 I had a cheap little computer microphone and recorded myself rapping with an instrumental playing in the background on Microsoft Sound Recorder, uploading these tracks to early sites like mp3.com and SoundClick. Connecting with other emcees online I found KillJoy, who was in a group at the time called Sinthetik. I sent a verse to them and we released a collab in 2001 called April Fool’s Day. Me and Kill still work together to this day, along with Fat D and the staff at Fatty’s House.
Getmybuzzup: How would you describe your sound?
Hyper Sniper: I’m somewhat of an odd duck, I guess. I like to use several different flow styles, often within the same verse, to really “take the beat for a walk” and create a polished presentation. If you could chop away little pieces of Ice Cube, WC, Brotha Lynch Hung, Busta Rhymes, Three 6 Mafia and Cage, then mix all those pieces with pure gasoline and cut it with self-loathing, that’s me. Technical yet dysfunctional. My music is not designed to be club anthems or radio hits.
Getmybuzzup: Who are your inspirations in the music industry?
Hyper Sniper: I find inspiration in the independent organizations that created empires. Back in the 90s there were labels like No Limit Records, Psychopathic Records, Cash Money, Rap-A-Lot. SPM did big things with Dope House, Three 6 has Hypnotize Minds and of course Strange Music became the definitive indie rap label. Those ambitious enterprises inspire me to seek success within the independent realm.
Getmybuzzup: What are you currently working on?
Hyper Sniper: The group I’m in called Forever Green Hustlers is working on a new album featuring me as a new member, titled Forever Green Family. I’ve been dropping verses and hooks for that project, really enjoying the group aspect of it. I’ve been dropping vocals for KillJoy’s new album Confidential and other label projects as well. Fat D and myself are collaborating on an album called F*ck Chances, which starts production this summer. For my solo debut on Fatty’s House, I’ve been piecing together what I feel is the ultimate representation of who and what I am now, both musically and as a human. The first two studio tracks are titled Cat Scan and Rabbit Hole, hitting internet platforms later this year.
Getmybuzzup: What is the concept behind your latest music video?
Hyper Sniper: The latest video I was in this year was Tony Frankz’s “Thinking Back” which was a retrospective look at bad times in the past and how they affect present day. We shot it in Hemet, California with Eyekon Fotography. We all dropped great 16’s.
Getmybuzzup: Any plans on touring to promote your latest project?
Hyper Sniper: The next tour for us is going to be for KillJoy’s album Confidential but Fat D and I are planning to promote and perform Fuck Chances as well. There will always be a tour for a project somewhere!
Getmybuzzup: What did you buy with your first check off music?
Hyper Sniper: Sadly, I remember getting my first iTunes check and spending it on drugs. At that time in my life I was heavy into pills of all kinds and I made a long string of terrible decisions. Remembering that story is helpful, reminding myself I’m not what I once was.
Getmybuzzup: What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?
Hyper Sniper: “It takes money to make money.” That old adage is completely true, make no mistake about it. Purchasing beats, artwork, studio time, directors, video graphics companies, marketing and countless other aspects of this business requires financial investment. Back when I was rapping before (Sniper v1.0) my business sense was very poor and the products we made were not marketed or promoted virtually at all, and little money was being put into the company. Since my return to the industry I have learned many methods to employ different types of marketing. The team I work with carries a perpetual work flow and is consistently involved in brand growth and expansion.
Getmybuzzup: Will you be collaborating with any other artists on this project or in the future?
Hyper Sniper: I have and will continue to collab with fellow artists in the independent circuit. In the near future I’m thinking of tracks with artists like Ouija Macc, Jarren Benton, Lil Wyte or even Mars. If a collab with Strange Music happens again I would love to see JL on a joint. As far as people wanting verses from me, I got bars for sale.
Getmybuzzup: Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Hyper Sniper: The appeal of my music mostly relies on my delivery and lyrics, though I always utilize production that suits best what I’m creating. The producers I work with vary and there isn’t really a consistent sound for Hyper Sniper type beats. When people listen to me, it’s mostly because of what I say and how I’m saying it.
Getmybuzzup: What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)
Hyper Sniper: Product awareness and marketing. I still need to figure out how to make this disease available for every single person on the planet to get infected.
Getmybuzzup: What’s your all-time favorite song?
Hyper Sniper: I know this answer will seem totally cliché and corny, but I really cannot think of any one song that strikes me more than Lose Yourself by Eminem. As someone who makes rap music, that has been my anthem since I first heard it. Honestly though, it’s unfair to ask me to pick one song out of thousands I love!
Getmybuzzup: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Hyper Sniper: In the realm of independent hip-hop, no one in my realm has accomplished more than Tech N9ne. I remember when he was a Kansas City secret, before the creation of Strange Music and all the accolades they have gathered as they continue to be an undeniable force. Tech is not only very talented and skilled but also has accomplished what most will never experience.
Getmybuzzup: Who have been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?
Hyper Sniper: One of my favorite experiences was being with Skatterman and Snug Brim in the studio back when I made my last studio album. They were super chill and easy to work with, no bullshit attached the verses were fire.
Getmybuzzup: How do you feel about the current state of music?
Hyper Sniper: The music industry has become increasingly overwhelming to keep track of with so many artists. I really feel like every day that passes that are just a few more rappers than the day before, all trying to get a mixtape out and dominate SoundCloud, chase that millionaire dream. There’s an oversaturation that is making a million “buzzes” become a noise. A few gems can be found from legit artists here and there, though you will have to wade through getting there.
Getmybuzzup: What is your main goal as far as music?
Hyper Sniper: My main goal really is to seek catharsis through putting my thoughts in a digital space, as it can be very therapeutic to get things off your chest in a song. Rapping is the only art form I was ever interested in, and I like to showcase my skill and capabilities.
Getmybuzzup: Who Would you say your music relates to the most?
Hyper Sniper: My music will mostly relate with people who enjoy rap music that is separate from pop/radio rap. People who are against drugs will not enjoy my music, nor those who prefer grandiose flexing with anthems about Ferraris and Gucci accessories. I make music that could be classified as “hardcore rap” but it’s not gangsta rap. If you prefer lyrics and delivery over swag then you might like me, if not that’s cool too and this music simply isn’t for you.
Getmybuzzup: What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)
Hyper Sniper: One thing that separates an artist like myself from probably 90% of the rap community is my inability to flex constantly with a “look what I have” mentality, from money to women and so on. My appeal is in the lyrics and delivery, not visual appearance or swag.
Getmybuzzup: When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
Hyper Sniper: For true relaxation I really require being by myself with a bag of weed. When not working on things music-related, I like to study subjects like psychology, philosophy and theology. I know studying doesn’t sound like fun to a lot of people, but it’s fun to me.
Getmybuzzup: If you could work with any producer who would it be?
Hyper Sniper: Honestly, I would very much love to rock an El-P original beat. The guy has a style that is unlike everyone else in the game, kind of in his own genre of production. I think it would be something really special.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
Hyper Sniper: The biggest highlight was returning with v2.0 after taking a break for so long. All the accomplishments I gathered in my first run are memories I partially separate myself from. I acknowledge the past life I had and the highlights that came with it but at the same time my focus is on this new version I’m running now. Since the reboot I made the cover and a feature article in the indie magazine The Underground Fix, so that was dope.
Getmybuzzup: What artist music are you currently a fan of?
Hyper Sniper: For a few years I’ve been loving Run the Jewels. Within the last year I’ve been really bumping Ghostemane and Pouya. Still have my list of favorites like Brotha Lynch Hung and E-40 that keep making new music that’s still high quality.
Getmybuzzup: When performing live what are some of the things you do to get the crowd involved?
Hyper Sniper: When I perform live I am very animated through my facial expressions and gestures. I feed off their reactions and give them a personal experience. In my former life as Hyper Sniper, we would always get the crowd to flip me off and chant “Fuck Sniper” over and over. I’ve yet to perform since returning to the game but we have a few festivals to knock out this year so it’s going down!
Getmybuzzup: When performing and the crowd is singing along how does that energy make you feel?
Hyper Sniper: There is no drug I’ve ever experienced that can simulate the feeling you get from seeing people in the audience say the words to your song as you are performing it. It’s the highest form of validation for a live musical performer, in my opinion. Seeing the crowd enjoy your performance is one thing, but seeing they know your song is a whole different enchilada.
Getmybuzzup: What can we expect from you in the future?
Hyper Sniper: Lots of bars! Group projects, collab albums and solo projects are all being worked on currently. We have been doing a few music videos a year but are looking to increase the frequency dramatically. I’ll be performing at some festivals this year in Montana and California, then touring at the end of the year and early next year to promote KillJoy’s new solo project. Follow us on social media to keep up!
Getmybuzzup: Anything else you wanna add?
Hyper Sniper: Thanks for having me for a few questions. Much love!
Getmybuzzup: Where can the fans check out for your music?
Hyper Sniper: Follow me on Instagram @thesearehumanhands and follow Fatty’s House Records on Facebook and Youtube with /FattysHouseRecords. Thanks for checking us out!
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