A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting an artist named eMeX (pronounced M-X) – one of Baltimore’s hidden gems. He delivers lyrics of dexterity using a unique backdrop of experiences as a canvas. eMeX’s refreshing cadence coupled with intricate wordplay paints vivid depictions of his pain as well as his triumphs – taking you on a mental journey with him through his vocals.
Being from Baltimore myself, I was able to witness his evolution in the city first hand. eMeX has shined bright in his collaborations with artists such as A$AP Ant, Slim K, K-Rucka, etc. contributing to the heavy circulation of his name in the urban and underground music scene. He hopes to expand his loyal fan-base with his EP release this Friday.
I locked in with eMeX to discuss his project “To Be Determined” and get a sense of what this body of work embodies. (by the way, I’ve heard the project and it’s enticing to say the least)
Get To Know eMeX
What does music mean to you?
To me, it means moments of life. I correlate certain music with different moments of my life. It gives me an open palette. If I were to compare music to art in general, it’s like art in my head where I paint different colors and different emotions.
At what moment did you know that this was your passion?
It started off with writing poetry and what not. I did my first poem in my grandmother’s eulogy and it got an overwhelming amount of support. People wanted to see more of the pieces I had and naturally I always had a love for music so I put the poetry to music. It was a natural progression. I was good at it and passionate about it so I was like “why not make it what I do in life?”
Talk a little about what it means to come from Baltimore and how that has affected you with your personal life and creative life.
Coming from Baltimore I was someone who didn’t have everything. I wasn’t extremely privileged, I’d say I had a rougher lower middle class life. Single parent home but my dad was always in my life. Coming from where I come from, I was able to see things and be exposed to a lot of different things. The big thing with my parents was making sure I had the best education. I definitely had the book smarts but of course the community I was surrounded by allowed for me to have street smarts also. Giving me different perspectives. I was able to have the best of both worlds and I would honestly want that for my kids. Having those skills and being able to maneuver both worlds was a great thing for me. I didn’t have to submerge myself in the street life completely but it’s definitely just stuff I understand from being in that community. So it’s always reflected in my music. It’s more so seeing the effects of it and knowing that there’s an underlying understanding and outlook coming from an underprivileged community.
Was there ever a time in your journey that you thought about quitting music? If so, what made you stick with it?
Um…I’ll be honest I would say yes and no. Yes, in the sense that I could make money doing other things. Going to Howard and getting an education in Entertainment Law. I could make money other ways but I really haven’t given myself the due diligence to do this music sh*t. I’ve always done it because it’s a passion of mine and it’s an outlet creatively so in that sense I never really felt like stopping because I never really felt like I started. I’m just now starting to take it seriously and it’s great because I like to do this.
What is the meaning behind your album title, “To Be Determined”?
It’s kind of a play on words because I actually didn’t have a clear cut name because it’s a first installment of 3 but the music is a reflection of my determination moving forward with the music now with more of a purpose and a goal behind it. I wanted to give people me and feel my music. There is a storyline that you hear with it, yea it’s talking about some of the life experiences that I’m going through but it’s more so outward looking.
What is your favorite track on your Album? Why?
‘Drop It’ as far as what I’m saying in it. I think a lot of people have times when they question their faith and this song is just very honest and transparent about what I’ve been through and what it means. People come up to me all the time asking why I said this and that and essentially that’s what I want to do…I want to give people think pieces. Yea, I want people to listen and have it resonate with them and feel it but I also want people to listen to it and be able to make it their own story.
Does that mean that’s the track that you enjoyed making the most?
Nah, the track I had the most fun making was…damn I don’t know that’s a tough one for sure. It was probably ‘Clear the Air’ or ‘Sleep on Me’.
Why should someone listen to this project?
Because it’ll give you the outlook of kinda having your own story put into musical form. Like anyone that can relate to having relationship problems can relate to this sh*t. Anyone that has come from any sort of a personal struggle. Anyone that went through sh*t using vices or whatever the case may be. It’s something you can relate to. This music is open and about being self aware and being able to take that and use it for positive purposes. So, you’ll hear a lot of the things that have been on my mind have caused me to drink but you’ll also realize that the things I’ve been going through have made me be able to create this body of work. It’s telling the story in my own words but it’s me speaking to you. The project is chronological but I also made it a play on Kendrick’s album where you can listen top to bottom or bottom to top. The first time playing it through you can play it back. It’s a very well thought out project and I think that anyone who can appreciate art can appreciate this project.
Choose a word that you would want to be described as when you’re not around?
If you had to pick a color to describe your emotions while creating this project, what color would it be?
Featured image captured by AJ Williams.