VALIDATED: Where are you from and what's the story behind your rap name?

INNOCENT?: I’m from East New York, Brooklyn, The name Innocent?, came about when I first started getting into trouble. The older cats around “my way” (block) would tell me I was too smart to be in the streets and that I looked innocent so I stuck with Innocent and added the question mark. Innocent?. You kind of had to figure out if I was innocent or NOT.  


VALIDATED: Growing up, what kind of music was played in your household?

INNOCENT?: My moms always listened to Disco/Dance type music as well as R & B music. My grandfather listened to a lot of Jazz, Blues, & R&B, so I had “soul” in my blood since I was


VALIDATED: Tell us about your neighborhood growing up and how it influenced you?

INNOCENT?: My neighborhood was pretty rough growing up. Being in a single parent home, and being the oldest child, I matured a lot faster than normal. Drugs were the “thing” of my era, from being sold or used. Guns & drugs were sold like loose cigarettes are today. Even though my neighborhood wasn’t one of the greatest places in the world, we still kept a tight-knit community. The OGs looked after the young cats so there was a major level of respect returned. Not like today. This is what made me into the man I am today.


VALIDATED: Name the hip-hop artists that have influenced your flow?

INNOCENT?: To be honest, there’s way too many to name so to keep it a buck, I’d say most of the hip-hop artists from like 1984 to the mid 90’s, had an impact on my flow. I got a little something from all of them.


VALIDATED: What can fans expect from your latest project?

INNOCENT?: Fans can expect that old school feel. That make your head nod type of music. That lyricism that we can vibe to yet learn from. I make music according to what was “sewed into my cloth”. I want fans to have a vision when they listen to me and somehow relate to my music. My last released project, Escape 2 Alcatraz, is straight boom-bap. I have to say thanks to Alcatraz Ed, who produced the entire album. The beats on this project helped me express some of my inner thoughts, my memories, and my emotions. I’m currently about to drop a collaboration project with Nutso from Queens, NY, which we haven’t titled yet. This project is fully produced by Stan Da Man from Brooklyn, NY. An announcement on date and title will be made soon.


VALIDATED: What's your earliest memory of hip-hop, the culture?

INNOCENT?: One of my earliest memories of hip-hop was when I first heard The Jungle Brothers album. I was blown away by their beats, their rap style/flow and the way they dressed. They had a jazz type sound, mixed with boom-bap and they killed it with a touch of house.


VALIDATED: Name your top 5 most slept on Brooklyn rappers.

INNOCENT?: Innocent?, Sauce Money, Rampage, Rockness Monsta, & Joel Ortiz. That’s just to name a few off the top of the dome.


VALIDATED: With the recent passing of hip hop greats like Sean Price and Prodigy what are your thoughts on their impact on the culture with albums like "The Infamous" and "Nocturnal"?

INNOCENT?: RIP to them both. The Infamous album had a little more of an effect on me at the time it dropped. I believe it dropped before Nocturnal did, so I was already zoned out to Mobb Deep. Prodigy kept you on your toes while grinding in these streets. Nocturnal was on that street ish as well but had a different kind of vibe. Sean P let you know exactly what it was. He expressed how he felt about things whether you liked it or not. Sean P & Prodigy both had an impact on the culture in their own ways. I think the world of hip-hop can relate to both of these dope emcees. I had the honor and privilege of meeting both of them but had more of a relationship, personally & musically with Sean Price.


VALIDATED: Can you recall the moment you fell in love with hip-hop and what inspired you to pursue it professionally?

INNOCENT?: I fell in love with hip-hop when I started relating to it on a personal level. If there was a song that pertained to what I was going through, It was added to my collection. Once I realized that my life’s experiences could be expressed on dope beats and I can get compensated for them, it was a wrap. That’s when I decided to take it seriously.


VALIDATED: How difficult is it creating your own lane while trying to stay true to you and your brand of hip-hip?

INNOCENT?: Not difficult at all. I’ve created my own lane and I stay in it. Nobody can be me, or know what I’ve been through better than me, therefore, it’s easier to remain true to myself and my brand, because the music wouldn’t feel or sound right if I didn’t.


VALIDATED: Tell us about other ventures you're currently working on.

INNOCENT?: I’m currently working on a series called Whip Tips, where I get random tips from everyday people, to your favorite celebrities pertaining to the “Whip” (car/ motor vehicle). I’m currently sponsored by Trillmatic Premium Goods, a new street wear brand created to connect the South with the East. Trillmatic is not only a brand it’s a hip-hop movement. Their products range from clothing to a variety of unique accessories. I‘m also about to release a new album with Nutso, produced by Stan Da Man, which will have a few of your favorite hip hop artists. I’ve been working on quite a few projects, from a project with the Late Great Sean Price, to a project with Tek of Smif N Wessun, to a couple of solo projects and singles.


VALIDATED: Where can the fans support you and your music online and social media?

INNOCENT?: Social media: Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Soundcloud: Innocentflow13
YouTube channels: itsthemrecordings AND Innobeats
Facebook: Innocente Flow
ITunes- Innocent? Love It Or Hate It (Double Album)

Troy Hendrickson