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Winner Of The 2012 National MC

When you hear the word Yahzilla, images of a giant dinosaur-like monster crushing skyscrapers and spitting fire may come to mind. You're partially right. Yahzilla isn't actually a monster but a New Jersey MC who does indeed spit fire.

It's that kind of heat that helped him win first place in the 2012 National MC Search. Organized by S&H Public Relations and sponsored by Hip-Hop Wired, Conspiracy Worldwide Radio, and KevinNottingham.com, this competition set out to find an original MC who represents what Rap music is truly about: lyricism and bangin' beats. Hundreds submitted their music, and judges Torae, Rapper Big Pooh, and filmmaker Kareem Fort had their hands full sorting through the good, the bad, and the ugly. But at the end of the day, Yahzilla took the crown.

In an industry saturated with mediocre rappers and played out themes, it's refreshing to hear an artist who actually respects the artform and prides himself on pushing the envelope. B-Boys and B-Girls, introducing Yahzilla.

HipHopWired: Let's start off with the obvious. How did you find out about the 2012 National MC Search and did you feel confident you'd win, considering the fact that the music you make is much more in the vein of traditional East Coast Hip Hop than what's hot nowadays?

Yahzilla: A member of my team who does a lot of promotion for my music goes on a lot of Hip-Hop blogs and visited Hip-Hop wired and seen the ad for the competition. He told me about it and we agreed it would be a good look, so I signed up. I feel confident about the music that I make, but wasn't sure if I'd win the competition because I've never really done something like this before so I can't say I knew I was going to win.

The average young rap fan doesn't want lyrical rap because they're not being exposed to it.

HHW: Plenty of aspiring rappers are probably reading this and thinking to themselves that given the chance, they'd have won the MC search. What do you think makes a good MC and do you think today's average young rap fan doesn't seem to find interest in more lyrical rap?

Y: I think a good MC is someone who can put words together better than the average person. Someone who is clever enough to say something in a way that makes the listener react, or listen closely “rewind that again, he said…” kinda thing. A good MC has an effortless flow, unique to him [or] her, they make it look easy and it feels good whether it's a downsouth bop or a Midwest style or other…it's genuine.

The average young rap fan doesn't want lyrical rap because they're not being exposed to it. They haven't been around it so if they hear it, they don't care. It's like playing Aretha Franklin to someone who only listens to Japanese Pop music all day long, they'll say turn that off. If the powers that be play lyrical rap, more of the masses will develop a taste for it. Until then, the only people who will be into it, are people who go look for it, like on the Internet. I found out about Kendrick Lamar because of the Internet blogs and friends emails about him, not because my local big market radio station played him, because they don't, and look how successful that guy is.

HHW: Let's talk about your music. Is there a recurring theme found throughout your lyrics or is it just about what ever comes to mind at the time of writing?

Y: There might be a few themes that show up while listening to my music. Like the whole monster/Godzilla/Yahzilla theme shows up in my music. I tend to use an English accent every once and a while in some songs for a few lines. And I know I tend to refer to my Somali heritage or my African American heritage. Just to give quick reminders of the origins of some of my thoughts. Ultimately I just create songs about thoughts that come to me when I feel inspired to make tracks.

Read the complete entry at Hip Hop Wired

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