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  1. DC Artists can submit their projects for consideration for the Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards).  


  1. Outstanding - II D'Extreme (Hip Hop)
  2. How Sexy Can You Get (feat. Jas Funk) Rare Essence (R&B/GoGo)
  3. Devil Needs a Bodyguard - Nappy Riddem (Funk/Reggae)
  4. Live Your Life (feat. Kokayi) - Ardamus (Hip Hop/Trip Hop)
  5. I'm Not The One - Ardamus & C Royal (Hip Hop/Trip Hop)
  6. Quite Fresh (feat. Chaquis Maliq, RNL, and Fleetwood DeVille - Ardamus & C Royal(Hip Hop/Trip Hop)
  7. Fire Saved The Day - Drive TFC (Rock/Alt-Rock)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

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Hailing from Nashville, TN. to reside in Washington, DC to obtain an undergrad degree at Howard University, Ardamus was honing his skills as a rapper as well. Over the yrars of developing a style of his own from being a part of various open mic movements and battles, Ardamus soon earned a rep for being one the most premiere hip hop artists in the DM area. Known for being part of such groups as FAR EXP, Ingelside Collective, ARDAPLUS, The Lucky So And So’s, DropLockers, and the music-collective/label, Delegation Music, Ardamus has become a DC hip hop visionary and legend. Fresh off of delivering his Philin D. Blanks remix series, Ardamus now delivers his newest solo effort in an album series entitled “I Can’t Replace Me” divided into an EP (Before I Replace You) and a 2-part album (Part 1: Improve and Part 2: Develop) via Delegation Music. The project consists of production from Ardamus himself as well production from Kev Brown, Hezekiah, Oddisee, Vherbal of Anno Domini, Tom Delay, Slimkat78, Chase Moore, and many others. The album features appearances by labelmates RNL and Prowess as well as Open Mike Eagle, Kokayi, Seez Mics, Chee Malabar, Poem-cees, and a hosts of other guests.


Brian mentioned remembering a show where Ardamus comes up and freestyles at a Fellowcraft show.  Toward the end of the video, you can watch it here.

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Interview Transcript

Note: Transcription is not 100% accurate with artist names referred to.  Please reference video for actual pronunciation, and reference artists connected with Ardamus to find those who are referred to.

Brian:  Let's meet you. Introduce yourself personally. Who's Ardamus the person and then tell us about Ardamus the artist.

Ardamus:  Ardamus the person is very complicated. Yeah, me as a person, I'm very laid back, chill. I try to help out as many people as I can and [crosstalk 00:00:23].

Brian:  When did you get up to DC? You said you came up to DC from Tennessee, right?

Ardamus:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm from the South, from Nashville, Tennessee. I was born and raised there and I decided to move here for college. Just had a lot of energy to get out. Down South at the time I felt like I couldn't, so I came to DC just for a challenge, man. I loved it here and decided to stay.

Brian:  Where did Ardamus the artist, the musician, the rapper, where did he come from? When did that happen?

Ardamus: That happened actually when I was back in Nashville. When I was around eight, I actually wrote this ... I was in church and I wrote this battle rap for some reason. I can't remember what it was for. It was for a talent show thing and I wrote this rap for me and these other two kids. We were just battling. By then, I was introduced to a lot of the rap's greatest hits that were out, like Roxanne Shanté, UTFO, and Run DMC. From then, I think I want to say around when I was thirteen, I got serious about it because I would listen to Cypress Hill's first album. I got really into that. I got into Masta Ace's second album SlaughtaHouse, Ice Cube's Death Certificate. A lot of those albums kind of just started influencing me.

Brian:  It started as a rap battle in church and then it turned into, "I'm going to keep doing this" and then it never stopped?

Ardamus:  Yeah, pretty much. It kept me out of trouble, to be honest with you. Out of everything. That's funny. Out of everything that could keep you out of trouble, doing hip-hop. 

Brian:  Hip-hop and rap keeps you out of trouble. I dig it.

Ardamus:  Yeah. It got me into some other trouble, but it wasn't like that. It was good trouble, it was good trouble.

Brian:  In the songs, they always talk about how it seems to get you into trouble, so it's great to hear that it also kept you out of trouble. I like that, man.

Ardamus:  It's crazy.

Brian:  One of the fun questions I like to ask is what do you love and/or appreciate about the DC music scene?

Ardamus:  Oh, the DC music scene is actually always bubbling with a lot of talent. There's always people creating, always trying to make their maneuvers. Whether it's in a solo effort or a group effort, a lot of people just are driven here to do that. I think it gets slept on wholeheartedly because there are not a ton of commercial outlets. I think that feeds the hunger for a lot of people to want to do more.

Ardamus:  I think that's one of the main things I like about it. It made me focus on doing that myself along with other people within my circle or even outside of that.

Brian:  Was there somebody, was it one person or a few people in particular that kind of pushed you to keep going and record and more albums and this latest series?

Ardamus:  There were a lot of people. I actually got to shout out quite a few people. The homies [Poe MCs 00:03:19], actually. If you know about [Poe MCs 00:03:22], they were on Def Poetry Jam, two of the dopest brothers I had seen on the mic. They actually inspired me because they were just so different from a lot of people I had heard. I actually ended up doing some production for them later on on their last project that came out, but they inspired me. Asheru, who is part of Unspoken Heard. Shout out to Asheru and Blue Black. They was doing their thing. Amphibians, Infinite Loop.

Brian:  There's a lot of great ... It came from a group. It wasn't one person, it was a lot of people that have pulled you and pushed you along and helped you?

Ardamus: Yeah, I mean, Miscellaneous Flux. I could keep going.

Ardamus:  All of them influence me.

Brian:  Yeah. Tell me the story about the best show you've played. What was it? Where was it? 

Ardamus:  There are a lot of shows that have stuck out to me. I could say in particular one of the best shows, I actually got two. They're tied. They're both and Rock and Roll Hotel.

Ardamus:  One show was when I opened up with the homie DJ Metaphysical, shout outs to him actually, for this group called Das Racist. 

Ardamus:  For those who don't know who Das Racist is, it's D-A-S R-A-C-I-S-T. They are actually a three person group. They broke up now but they were very big a couple years ago and they have solo careers now. From what I remember they sold out the venue and that was the first time I got to play a sold out show.

Ardamus:  It was a crazy show.

Ardamus:  They sparked a lot of controversy too with a lot of the topics they covered with racism and everything.

Ardamus:  That was a dope show. Then actually Souls of Mischief, they were on their tour for the 93 'til Infinity celebration of just having that classic album out for years. Shout outs to my [farks-p 05:31] homies. We opened up for that show and it was an amazing show. Those are two of the most ...

Brian:  When you say amazing shows, is it because the fans are really into it or is it because you nailed the performance or all of the above? What makes it an amazing show?

Ardamus:  Just everything. The experience, the atmosphere, the people. I'm seeing people that I haven't seen in years up there.

Ardamus:  People who don't even come out to the shows that I do on the rag. They're coming out now, "Hey, didn't know you were doing a show." It's like, "I told you I was doing a show."

Brian:  "I told you I was going to be here." Wow, okay.

Ardamus:  I got to say, making new fans too. That's another thing that trips me out because for a while doing music I never thought about it. I was just like, "Yeah, I'm just going to do this. I'm going to put it out there, I'll just see what happens."

Ardamus:  I out here like I don't know what it is, it wasn't like I was tripping on just gaining new fans. I just thought, "Well, I'm going to put this as an ethereal, what I'm feeling, and put this on a beat and see what happens." People come to me like, "Hey man, what you did, that one song, da da da, it was good." I cherish that each time whether it's a group effort or a solo effort.

Brian:  Shout out to the fans who do that, too. Us as artists, I can't say we've talked about it before on the show but it's truly appreciated whether it's a comment on a video or you reach out on Facebook or you see us after the show, come up and shake Ardamus' hand and say, "Dude, I really loved that one thing you did." Hearing that stuff is such a cool thing. Thank you to you fans who do that. Thank you guys so much for doing that.

Ardamus:  Yes.

Brian:  Ardamus, what's the future look like for you? Where you headed?

Ardamus:  Okay, shout outs to my man Arnelle and Edward As Is, we just dropped out project droplockers. Beat Breaking Volume 1. For more information check it out at our website Droplockers

Ardamus:  We're actually doing a show with Henri Osborne and Rob Sonic, Upgrade and Kid Raphael, Vigilantics, I hope I got his name right, and DJ Zone. They're on a tour right now, we're going to be doing a show with them on October 14th at Velvet Lounge.

Ardamus:  Some of y'all in the indy hip-hop game, if you'll all know about Henri Osborne, you already know he's on his tour for his Duo album along with Rob Sonic. He's down with the Rhymesayers Crew. He's down with the Rhymesayers Crew, he's in Hail Mary Mallon with Aesop Rock. Check that out. October 15th I am dropping the last series of my Can't Replace Me album series, After I Replace You. I dropped a teaser single "Almost There" produced by the Homie Hezekiah who's worked with The Roots and Mohamed Dia. That's going to come out October 15th.  In December, actually, this is how much stuff I'm doing I guess I can say. I'm putting out a Freecember project with this label called Fake Four. Fake Four is out of Connecticut if you know about [chess-kee 09:06], Ronald, shout outs to him. He runs the label. I've been good friends with him for a while and he's creating a buzz. I'm actually going to be working on that for the next two months.

Brian:  Wow, so there's a lot of exciting things coming forward for Ardamus. No brakes, all gas. We're hitting the gas on this thing, keep it going.

Ardamus:  There's more stuff, I don't want to take up to much time.

Brian:  Wow, I appreciate it. I want to get to the tracks you brought.

Ardamus:  Yes, yes, exactly.

Brian:  Also, I got two last things that I want to ask.

Ardamus:  Go.

Brian:  One is, if you have a piece of advice that you would offer musicians what would that be?

Ardamus:  Not everybody is an A & R. Always consider this. Trust people ...

Brian:  When you say A & R, what's A & R?

Ardamus:  Artists and what is it? Artists and representation? I can't remember what it is. I just remember that it's A & R, people try to mold artists all the time.

Brian:  Oh, I see.

Ardamus:  You know what I'm saying? Yeah, right.

Ardamus:  I always forget, it's been so long since I've heard that term. I just think about this to my old days. Basically trust yourself as an artist but always know that what you say can have its rewards or it can have its consequences, but the thing is you take the risk, you take the risk. You got to stand up for what you say.

Brian:  Oh, yes. Don't let other people dictate what you're doing? Be you and at by the same token follow through on what you do and stand up for what you did.

Ardamus:  Yeah, take advice as constructive.

Ardamus:  That's kind of what I mean.

Brian:  Okay.

Ardamus:  I think that's the most important thing for any artist. Anything that's good that can build you up you take that, if it builds it down don't even bother with it.

Brian:  Yeah, okay. Last one. Special message you have for the fans, talk to them. 

Ardamus:  Shoot. Just be ready for more to come. That's all I could say. I wish I could say more but there's a lot of collaborations that are coming up aside just from the stuff that I'm doing. Just be ready for that. That's all I can say. Yeah.

Brian:  Just lots of love. He's got lots of love. Man, I'm looking forward to these things. Next up, what this next track you've got for us, it looks like "I'm Not the One."

Ardamus:  Yeah.

Brian:  Run this one through real quick.

Ardamus:  Actually this is a song off a project called The Glass is Half Full album that I did with my homeboy Scottie Royal, used to be known as C Royal, shout outs to him. The single is called "I'm Not the One" featuring Andrew Bucket. Let's just get into it. 

Brian:  Video, you guys rock. Ardamus. Yeah. Thanks guys.

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