An Interview With Danny Diamonds

By: Seamus Fay

In all my time covering new music for Graduation Music, the artists that have always stuck with me most are those who never seem to compromise the quality of their music just to increase their output. These are the artists who seem to care most about their art, and naturally, by releasing only once in a while, they tend to make much more noise when a new song or project finally does come out. Such is the case with Massachusetts-based artist Danny Diamonds.

Diamonds has been on my radar for over a year now, and by staying true to himself in every sense of his artistry, it goes without saying that his stocks are rapidly rising. This budding talent has always been a Graduation Music favorite, so it only makes sense that we reached out to him for an interview. Read our conversation about Danny Diamonds’ beginnings, creative process, hair, and more below.

To start, where are you originally from? How did you start making music?

I grew up on the edge of Brookline/Allston, MA. One of my best friends in 5th grade started rapping and he got a lot of attention at school. I always thought I could do better than him, so that was kinda why I started writing music, to affirm myself.

What has been the proudest moment of your career as an artist as of yet?

Honestly, the completion of my song “The Fall” is up there as probably my proudest moment. I’ve never been so diligent with a song before, in writing or recording. Every lyric is such a clever bar (double, even triple meanings) and the background vocals are so dense and perfect. One of my favorite tracks that I’ve ever made for sure.

Who are three of your dream collaborations?

Medasin, Monte Booker, Snakehips.

Explain the creative process behind your latest EP, For The Record. How long has it been in the works and how did everything come together? What was your mindset while creating the project?

The theme of the EP was actually based around “Stuck” which was the first song I finished on the project maybe last December. The concept was to sort of make a collection of songs that were all about my romantic encounters with women, but from different chronological parts of the relationship. The writing of each song is in a different tone and describes a different situation but they are all based around that raw emotion that develops from investing a lot of time into someone whether it’s “I don’t give a fuck anymore” or “let’s figure this out”.

The project didn’t flow as cohesively as I had hoped so I decided to rename it as an EP. Now it’s more of a collection of what I’ve been working on as of late and really a statement about where I am as an artist + how much I’ve progressed in the past year. The theme is still somewhat there though.

We have to mention it — everyone loves the hair! It adds some individuality to your image. Who is an artist that you look up to in terms of the way they rock their own hair?

Thank you bro, I don’t really look up to anyone really for hairstyle. I’m honestly just feelin the long hair right now.

How and when did you and Chase Murphy meet? What made you decide to join forces and create Golden Boy Music Group?

I met Chase when I was a Sophomore in High School. We did a lil freestyle session at his crib the first time we chilled and he said he wanted to start recording my stuff at his place. We recorded a bunch of my old songs on his lil bedroom setup and became really close during that time.

One day I came to him with the idea for Golden Boy and he was invested immediately. I think GB really perfectly embodied what we both wanted to accomplish with our music overall, especially from the standpoint of being from Boston (a city not very well known for Hip-Hop). Our image plays into the branding really well too.

Lastly, what can fans expect from Danny Diamonds in the future? What can we expect from Golden Boy Music Group?

Now that the EP is out I want to really branch out with my music in terms of genre. Right now I’m focused on kinda pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I also want to get back to my electronic roots a little more — that was always my favorite type of instrumentation to write to.

Any fans of GBMG have a lot to look forward to! Chase has some really amazing music on the way and we’ve got a lot of shows planned in the upcoming months. Look out for that new Golden Boy merch and also a website that we’re hoping to launch before the year is out.

Connect with Danny Diamonds on:




Michael Christmas Is The Unlikely Role Model We All Needed: A Series Of Interviews

By: Seamus Fay

In today’s rapidly-moving, ever-changing world of music, the art of the full-length project is often left in the dust. Instead, taking precedence over albums, we see artists turn to the value of constant output, manifested through the lens of singles as they pile on top of one another until something sticks. Whether you’re a fan of this format or not, it’s refreshing to hear an artist that prefers to express their progression through long-form projects, and such is the case with Boston’s own, Michael Christmas, and his current discography of 3 stellar albums – or better yet, 3 intertwined instances of where change in life warrants a change in mindset and a declaration of self.

Beginning in the identity-searching days of his full-length debut, Is This Art?, the journey we’ve seen Christmas undergo throughout the past few years has been nothing short of inspirational. His status as the hilarious, everyday man that we can all resonate with has made for an abundance of timeless music in the past, and whether he’s finding his place in the world or recognizing the fame that he has garnered along the way (as seen in What A Weird Day), there’s no denying that this homegrown talent is a lovable character.

He’s the same, regular kid from Roxbury that we’ve grown to know and love along the way, and no matter where music takes him, Michael Christmas will always unapologetically be, Michael Christmas.

And thankfully so.

Upon the recent release of his latest LP, Role Model, listeners get the chance to see Michael Christmas in his most developed form to date. He has graduated into an artist that fans truly look up to, and trying to assume this role as an example for the rest of us brings forth a whirlwind of emotions, thoughts, and hilarious anecdotes, all of which are expressed on this album. It’s a family affair in every sense of the phrase, blessing us all with a relentlessly personal album that will go down in my book as one of the best projects of 2018, without a debate.

In celebration of the release of such a highly-anticipated project, we here at Graduation Music decided to ask a few of the main minds behind Role Model a little bit about what role they played in the project and what it means to them. With that being said, I introduce a series of interviews with Michael Christmas himself, Meltycanon, Muyi Fresco, Dom Leafy, Teddy Roxpin, and Thelonious Martin.

Read our brief interviews with each of these unique characters below.

Michael Christmas

How did the concept of Role Model dawn upon you? Was there a specific instance in which you had an aha! moment, or did the idea slowly come to fruition simply by working on new music?

It slowly came to me but it was more my analysis of the world and its changes. I realized I’d been rapping now for like 3-4 years and the whole world has changed like 2 times since I started. I remember talking to my sisters and my little cousins and getting their take on the world today and thinking damn shits so different from when I was that age. And I came to the conclusion that the world is an awful place right now, every day we learn that some of our heroes are actually pieces of shit. So it all kinda rounded out to me being this recluse awkward superhero that could guide the kids thru this shitty place and on a bigger scale, maybe in the real world, I could bring back a feeling we’ve needed for a while. Like we all just need to CHILL.

What was the most meaningful song to record on the album and why?

I think it’s “Growing Up”. I remember being really excited to rap on that beat, it gave me a nostalgic and safe feeling immediately. I couldn’t wait to talk about my dad and mention my cousin (Jermaine) I just kept thinking of how that song would make them feel. It’s a quick little record but it’s some of my favorite raps on there.

What is your definition of the term “role model”? What makes someone a role model?

For me, a role model is someone you can look at and emulate. See them do some shit and just know that’s what you supposed to do. Someone who teaches you how to carry yourself. I think I always obsess with the idea of a “positive role model” and how I can be one while still saying so much wild shit, being a dropout and shit like that. Kind of just feeling like you don’t have to be perfect to be a positive influence on someone.

Who are a few of the role models in your life and why?

Vegeta cuz he’s a good dad, good husband and a badass – not like Goku deadbeat ass.

You noted that the purpose of Role Model is to basically “teach the kids how I maneuver through the craziness we see every day”. Was there an album that you heard growing up that had a similar effect on you?

Earl’s first tape, Danny Brown – XXX and Dom Kennedy – From the Westside with Love II all made me a different person when I first heard them. Dom’s shit made me want to be so cool, made me want those vibes every day. To be on some smooth, cookout, family and friends only shit. Earl made me feel less weird for having so much angst about everything around me, he made it so instead of feeling ashamed of being weird, I used it to rebel. And Danny Brown made me want to be the best rapper out and made me realize I don’t care how long it takes. He was 30 when he did XXX.

When all is said and done, what do you want your legacy to be as a “role model” both artistically and as an individual?

I hope to be looked at as an uncle to the world. The way people look back at Bernie Mac or Cedric the Entertainer. Even like a Robert Deniro. I want to have done and said so much cool shit in my life and with my homies, that people that never met me are just CERTAIN we’d be friends lol. I come from a little place called Roxbury and I come from a crazy family. I want to spread that influence all over the world. Be something to look up to if you come from here too.

– – – – – –

Thelonious Martin

What part of the process of making this album were you involved in?

My role on the album is a producer. Christmas and I started working together around when “Michael Cera” came out. I heard it and immediately wanted to work with him!

In your eyes, what is the essence of this album and what does it mean to you?

I think it’s truly a coming of age tale. Michael is growing as an artist and with this project, I feel like he’s going to break peoples’ perception of him. It isn’t just about him being a funny rapper — Christmas is a really dope artist, flat out, and I think this will show everyone.

– – – – – –

Dom Leafy

What part of the process of making this album were you involved in?

Just making sure he was comfortable and had genuine vibes while in da studio. I got da skit at da end of “Honey Berry” and I’m in a short film for da album.

In your eyes, what is the essence of this album and what does it mean to you?

This is a Hometown record — you can play this album on Blue Hill or MLK Blvd and feel like Christmas is right there spitting 2 you.

– – – – – –


What part of the process of making this album were you involved in?

We had been following each other for a minute and he was wanting some tracks, but he didn’t really want to put things out unless he knew they sounded good. So, I slid him MP3s of tracks I had sitting around that he liked & from there it just went up, basically.

In your eyes, what is the essence of this album and what does it mean to you?

It’s almost a 90s-like innocence when you listen to some of the tracks. They are straightforward but still very catchy, in my opinion. I like the simple nature of it because my music isn’t all that complex either. It meshes together extremely well, I feel.

– – – – – –

Muyi Fre$co

What part of the process of making this album were you involved in and how did you and Christmas start working together?

I was an executive producer for the album and I’m also Christmas’ DJ, so I usually serve as one of the first ears that hears most of his stuff. As for meeting one another, Boston’s creative scene is pretty small so we have always kind of known each other, but we weren’t tight. Around 2 and a half years ago, things for my brother and I were starting to take shape and Christmas needed a new DJ at the same time. We had done a random event together years back before either of us were as good as we are now, so the dots connected way later on. It was a timing thing – as we started making waves, he needed a new DJ and reached out. Natural progression.

In your eyes, what is the essence of this album and what does it mean to you?

The album is pretty much just Christmas unapologetically being himself and showing everyone that he’s a normal guy, too. With this album, he’s coming to terms with the role he not only has to play for his fans, but also for his friends and his younger sisters.. He’s figuring out whether he’s a good role model or a piece of shit, and by the end of the album, he leaves it up to the listener to be the final judge.

The album is important to me, personally, because I’ve seen him go through his entire progression. Additionally, he hasn’t dropped a project in more than 2 years – that seems even longer nowadays, as this year it seems like every other day a new project drops. Even with a dedicated fan base, going 2 years without a project is forever. His time is overdue, and Role Model is going to help shine a light on what Christmas and the city of Boston have going on.

– – – – – –

Teddy Roxpin

What part of the process of making this album were you involved in and how did you and Christmas start working together?

I’m a producer on the album. I linked with Christmas through the homie Tim Larew. We were all coming up in the Boston hip-hop scene at the same time. We’ve been working together since “Is This Art?” when we did “Broke & Young”. He came through my Allston apartment and we cooked that one up together. Goodwin was there too. We worked like that a few times in person, but the majority of the joints we’ve done have been sending stuff back and forth through email.

And that’s the same with Role Model for us, all email. He would reach out every so often to me and some other producers for beats in a group text, and I would try to send some over every time. We have like a dozen unreleased joints together, and they’re all dope. His work ethic is crazy. I can’t even tell you how many joints this dude has recorded since his last album. Now he’s narrowed it down to the best 15. I’m excited.

What was your favorite part about working on the album?

Probably my favorite part about working on any Christmas project is that it’s just fun. He’s such a talented dude with so much personality and humor in his music. There are a lot of rappers I’ve worked with that don’t have fun with it. Christmas makes this shit fun. He puts so much life into his music.

An Interview With Big Leano

By: Seamus Fay

Needless of an introduction, Big Leano is a staple in Boston’s music community – an esteemed act who, whenever he pleases, can shut down a given show with the simple opening notes of the anthemic offering,  “Lean For Sale“. His futuristic trap sound, highly quotable lyricism, and to-the-point, charming personality mark just a few of the reasons that listeners seem to flock to Leano so faithfully, and in this way, it only makes sense why he has grown exponentially through the authenticity and impeccable storytelling of his first two mixtapes, Tales From The Mud and Packula.

That being said, there’s no denying the power of Leano’s monstrous presence on every track he graces with a verse and every stage he sets foot on. The Boston native is a special case of importance and widespread influence in his home city, and we here at Graduation Music had to make sure we had an interview with such a venerable act.

Read our conversation with Big Leano below as we speak about Packula, his favorite movie, inspiration, fashion, tour, and much more.

Where are you originally from? What role did music play in your upbringing?

I’m from Boston. Music was always an outlet for me so it only made sense that I’d start rocking with it later on.

How and when did you start rapping?

It’s been something I always played around with, but I didn’t start posting music and taking it seriously until I started peeping the reactions at all the functions.

How would you describe your sound to someone who isn’t familiar with your music?

If astronauts were trapping this is what they’d listen to.

What inspired the name of the project Packula?

Drinking Hitech.

What is your personal favorite song on Packula and why?

“Miyagi” for sure. It was the best intro.


What’s your favorite song to perform and why?

“Lean For Sale”… that energy is consistently crazy no matter how old the song gets.

What’s on the official Big Leano tour rider?

Backwoods and some sandwich meat.

Explain how it felt selling out the House of Blues with Stizz, especially considering that you both came up in Boston together.

I mean we always knew we’d do something great. Good to see things finally panning out.

Do you have a hero? If so, who is it and why?

Not necessarily – I take my lessons from anywhere I can get them so I don’t value one man more than the next.

Lyrically, you touch on fashion and style quite a bit. What are some of your favorite brands/designers and who inspires you style-wise?

I like it if it looks hot. I don’t favor any brand other than others really. They all have their moments of glory depending on the season.

In regards to artwork, both of your two mixtapes have been on another level. How was the Packula artwork created and how did you come up with the concept for it?

I had a lot of creative direction come from my bruv Derrick Houston (Champloo). He had some great concepts and we sat down and executed them with the homie Mike Janey behind the camera.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Nbs… Fifth Element lowkey. I might’ve watched it a million times and it never gets old.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring three things with you. What would those three things be?

Backwoods, Gelato, and Biscotti.

What was being on the One Night Only tour like? What is one story from the tour that you can share with our readers?

It was like a fun ass adult summer camp… nothing but jokes and Hennessy.

At this point in your career, what’s your biggest accomplishment?

I mean just being able to feed myself off of words that come out of my mouth is big enough for me.

Lastly, what can fans expect from Big Leano in 2018?

Visuals and more music.

Connect with Big Leano on:





Augmented Reality Is Here To Take Over: An Interview With Fermatta Digital

By: Seamus Fay

Simply put, augmented reality, or AR, is a clear glimpse into what the future of marketing and visuals in the music world are on their way to becoming. This mind-bending technology has graced its way into our lives in ways that we may not even have realized so far, and even in the Massachusetts music scene, we experienced a taste of the AR world with the following animation of Caliph and Jefe Replay’s anthemic offering, “The Mood”.

With this rapidly-growing field of technology on the rise right now, we spoke to the good people over at Fermatta Digital about how the Caliph animation came together, the role of AR in the music world, and the future/potential of such impressive new ways of packaging music.

Read our conversation below.

What role will AR play in the music industry in the future?

Augmented Reality blurs the lines between physical and digital worlds, providing a transformative, new medium for creatives to express themselves. From a music industry standpoint, we at Fermatta see a tremendous opportunity for musicians and labels to harness the power of AR to create innovative experiences to between artist and fan. This can come in many forms such as immersive lenses to bring a music video or album “to life”, applications that enhance live shows, merchandise, album covers, show posters,  and experiences. AR can be a disruptive force in marketing and branding, especially as companies such as Snapchat lower the barrier to creation and deployment. One of the most exciting parts of this is that we are in early stages of AR and it’s up to creatives of where they want to take it.

An interesting hypothesis we have is that AR will strengthen the emotional bonds between fans and artists, which then turns into digital engagement and financial support. It’s well known in the music industry that live shows are still the best form of marketing – this is largely because of the undeniable emotional connection that fans develop with artists once they’ve seen them perform live. Being in the same room and seeing the artist as human beings turn fans into avid supporters and drives their online habits such as streams, sales, and engagement on social media. AR can play a similar role, but at scale – allowing the artist to be “with” fans anywhere, at any time. For example, placing an avatar of the artist in a fan’s environment to sing, dance, or talk, or creating a portal that allows fans to enter a new environment with the artist. The more time spent “together” between fan and artist, the stronger the bond.

Where has the impact of AR been seen in the music industry already?

AR is slowly emerging with early adopters within the music industry. In the context of Snap lenses, we recently launched an immersive portal on Snapchat for Powers Pleasant, Joey Bada$$ and A$AP Ferg to promote their latest single: “Pull Up”, bringing the JMP-directed video to life in AR (shout-out to JMP who is also from Boston). We have seen this spread very organically with fans on social uploading videos of them using and interacting with the portal wherever they are. You can check that out here.

We are also seeing new ARSnap face lenses to support new singles. Post Malone released one in support of his new album (here), LSD (Labrinth, Sia, Diplo) released one in support of their new single (here), and The Chainsmokers released avatar based lens (here). A$AP Rocky released an AR component in his mobile application “Yammy Vision” in promotion of his new album Testing (here). Finally, Eminem released an AR application that allows his fans to experience his live shows differently (here).

How did this collaboration with Caliph come together?

Caliph: Music has always been a means of communication beyond any language that can reach people with little to no limits and technology has a very similar reach in many ways. I being an immigrant, DACA recipient and an artist feel like it’s my responsibility to use these means of communication to bring people together, change the narrative and stigmas put on our communities and teach people to love themselves. The mood is an example of that for me. It has always been my goal with that song to improve and lighten the listener’s mood no matter what they are going through. In activism, it is important to know when to back down from constantly fighting to focus on helping those you are fighting for cope with their issues. Whether it’s a break from reality with an enigmatic and euphoric song or even an AR lens that takes you to the beach no matter where you are. In this case, the goal was to achieve both and it turned out to be really cool. It also allowed me, someone who can’t leave the country, to virtually travel beyond my legal means and that was very dope. I was just dancing in the Dominican Republic. & Dubai the other day. That’s amazing. I’m excited about the future and what we will bring to the table as we continue to push beyond limits with the advancements of technology and our music.

Fermatta: Augmented Reality is still a new, somewhat foreign concept for the mainstream consumer. We were really interested in working with an artist that was forward thinking and saw the potential implications of AR even if the infrastructure is not fully materialized. Also, on a basic level, we wanted to partner with someone who made dope, meaningful music, because, at the end of the day, all of this is somewhat meaningless if the music isn’t there. Caliph checked all the boxes with the added bonus of being from the Boston area. “The Mood” is super catchy, and the perfect summer song. Beyond just the music though we were inspired by Caliph’s involvement in the community and politically, empowering marginalized and immigrant communities. We really thought it was a natural fit, and we are inspired to help Caliph spread his mission far and wide, so stay tuned for some more projects in the intersection of technology, music, and activism.

What does the process of creating something like this look like?

For a Snap portal lens like this, our process is pretty straight-forward. It typically starts with an open-ended brainstorm session where we all get together and bounce around ideas; if the goal is to enhance a music video or song, there is typically more structure given there is an environment or scene to pull from creatively. From there we see what is technically feasible given constraints (such as Snap file size limit), and build iteratively. Throughout the process, we have active, open dialogue with the artist and their team in order to ensure that we are bringing their vision to life.

Embrace the future and connect with Fermatta Digital on:



An Interview With RAMS

By: Seamus Fay

To make music and to be a creative, in general, is to make a promise of dedication; dedication to constantly improving one’s line of work and dedication to never compromise artistic vision. Few artists within the Boston music community exemplify this trait as well as RAMS. Whether it be writing songs, making clothes, or directing visuals, he always seems to have his hand on projects that work towards the end goal of improving as an artist, and in this way, it only follows that RAMS has grown into one of the most polished, sophisticated artistic minds in the area.

He’s been a noteworthy figure in Boston dating all the way back to the very roots of the current scene, and we here at Graduation Music had the opportunity to talk to the Dorchester native about a variety of topics pertaining to his hometown, JMP, “Diablo”, NSFW, Cam’ron, and much more. Read our conversation below.

Where are you originally from?

I’m from Boston – Dorchester. Columbia Road, to be specific. My family is from New Orleans and I used to live down there when I was super young for a short period.

What was your childhood like and where did music first come into the picture?

My childhood was pretty similar to anyone who grew up in the hood with a single mother, I think. I just always remember my mother constantly feeding me knowledge and creating such a great home environment – sometimes it didn’t feel like we were fucked up and I’m super grateful for that. Music has always been around me because of her as well, since forever.

What artists were you influenced by as a kid and why?

I would say I was influenced a lot by artists like Sade, Erykah Badu, Luther Vandross, etc. That stuff pretty much came from my mother, but one day my sister had given me all her old CDs so I started to really get into Tupac, 112, Nas & artists like that. I also went to a school with a lot of Hispanics so I was super into reggaeton too.

How did Diablo come together and what does that project mean to you? How about ‘Fear & Loathing’?

DIABLO came together pretty organically. I like to put out conceptual projects rather than singles all the time. That project means a lot to me. Everything I make is like a child of mine.

Fear & Loathing holds a special place in my heart because I feel like that was sorta the blueprint of my overall sound. [It] showed myself and others that you can make more out-of-the-box stuff. People from all over tell me how much they love that project. I love inspiring people in any way I can.

What did it mean to you seeing the Diablo Racing Club shirt in Vogue?

Shout Out to my brother Rah. It was dope! It was just some street style shit but it was still dope to me. Like damn, we did that, lol!

What is your creative process when writing treatments or making music?

Well, first things first, I have to be in my zone. I don’t have an exact process, believe it or not. My mind is just super random so things usually pop up randomly then I just make sure to get it out. Sometimes its hard to force myself to create if the right energy isn’t there.

Lately, we have seen you doing a lot of work with JMP. When did you first meet him and how has your working relationship evolved and come together?

I met JMP in like 2012. That’s my brother so I wouldn’t say we really have a working relationship. It’s definitely more of a friendship first. I appreciate him a lot for giving me the opportunity to showcase my creativity in other fields. I look up to all my friends. They all inspire me more than they know.

How did the Cam’Ron opportunity come about? How did it feel seeing your name on a music video from such a cultural icon?

Well, actually that was kinda random. I had just written like 3 Playboi Carti videos at the time (they didn’t get made) and told one of my close friends, Pat. Pat was working at the label that Killa is on, and was like “Oh shit Rams, I didn’t know you were writing videos! Wanna write one for Cam?” And of course, I said fuck yea. That’s the first video that I did that came out and it was Cam’ron. That’s so crazy to me. 

Me and Cam had a long convo on set and he basically said that he fucked with me and what I’m tryna do. After hearing that, it was lit. I made sure to put a lot of people from Boston in it too, just cause. So yea, shout out Cam, Pat, & Cinematic Records.

Why did you relocate from Boston to New York? How do the two cities compare?

Cause I needed a change. I was doing the same things over and over again. Kind of felt trapped. And it’s so easy to have done everything in Boston. Sometimes you need new land to conquer, and they are just two very different cities. The comparisons would take all day. Love both cities but Boston will always be home. 4L.

Being around when Boston’s “new” music scene was first forming, what are your thoughts on the way it has grown and the success of artists like Cousin Stizz and Michael Christmas, for example?

We were the cool, new, young faces so it gave the city a brand new energy. We still need a lot of help in the city. Years of hidden racism and venues not wanting anything to do with hip-hop acts have really hurt the music scene for young black kids that are trying to get into music and that needs to change. I hate it. We have a long way to go.

With that being said, there are a lot of kids doing dope shit and taking things into their own hands, and I love seeing that. Stizz and Xmas popping off is great cause now the doors open. More importantly, they are able to provide more for their families and where we come from – that’s what matters the most.

What can fans expect from you and the NSFW family in 2018?

Everything. We are just gonna start hitting people over the head with great art. Keeping it raw, real, and genuine. I have visuals and videos I’ve directed coming out soon, too. I’m dropping an EP called CHOKE very soon. Then the next album, Fear & Loathing 2.

Connect with RAMS on:





An Interview With Mizzie Cash

By: Seamus Fay

Staking claim to a spot in Boston’s rapidly-growing music community is no simple feat right now, and yet, by way of genuine hard work, a knack for crafting hits, and of course, an abundance of raw talent, Mizzie Cash has done so in an effortless manner. As one of the youngest talents coming out of the area, age seems to be ineffective in intimidating or limiting his ability – just one of the many factors that set him apart from the crowd without ever doing so in an ingenuine way.

Adding to this, Cash’s honest accounts of life and relentless professions of hustling are nothing to walk right over, as every verse is built on the foundation of uncompromised honesty. His flows and infectious choices of production only help out this cause, and deservedly so, Mizzie Cash might just be the next big name out of Boston for all of these reasons and more.

That being said, we here at Graduation Music had to get him on the site for an interview on Mizzie’s upbringing, Boston, his age, life goals, and much more. Read the conversation below.

Which part of Boston are you originally from and what was your childhood like?

[I’m from] Mattapan. My childhood was different, my mother raised me with help of my grandparents who lived in Milton.

How has growing up in Boston influenced your music, especially with the city’s current status as having a lesser known rap community?

I listen to a lot of Boston artists, currently. The streets have a culture, just no industry. My uncles rapped, my cousins, and etc, so Boston rap always been a thing to me.

I feel like we have our own sound, own lingo, and more. If you’re listening to the real artists, you’re gonna realize easily.

At what age did you become interested in music, and how / when did you start making music yourself?

8 to 9 years old. I started recording music very young, making my own studio with my lil cousin but it didn’t last too long. I always wrote music, though.

I just started making music in a serious mode ever since my bros got locked up, so about 2 years.

Your style seems to hold a heavy focus on the real-life situations that you face as well as the desire to get out of some of those situations and make it out of Boston. How do you go about turning your real life events into songs? What is the creative process like?

I try to make music for me and my friends, originally. Most of my raps are just memories or what I’m going through, but I make sure I don’t go too deep because I’m going through shit right now I can’t talk about & I probably won’t rap about until years later.

Who do you look up to as an artist?

I don’t look up to anyone, I’m only influenced by 2Pac, though, if that makes sense.

Currently, you’re one of the youngest artists coming out of the area in rap. How old are you and do you feel that your age affects your music at all?

I feel like Mass needs the youth – we gonna really speak what’s going on out here. Every other city got that youngin to speak for the youth.

What is your favorite movie?

Life, Blue Hill Ave, and Menace II Society.

DJ Nick has premiered a few of your releases. How did you originally link up with him and when did you two start working together?

That was through my manager Scoobz, shout out to him for that.

What are three of your life goals?

  1. Make it in rap
  2. Use rap to have a voice in the world
  3. Change the world

Lastly, what can fans expect from Mizzie Cash in the near future?

Expect for me to go harder because honestly, I didn’t even start yet.

Connect with Mizzie Cash on:




Vintage Lee Joins NBA 2KTV For A New Interview

By: Seamus Fay

Last summer was home to a number of huge wins for Boston, two of which took place on the soundtrack of the brand new NBA 2K game, where Vintage Lee’s “Hennythings Possible” and Cousin Stizz’s “Living Like Khaled” made the cut. Today, following this legendary placement, Vintage Lee joins 2KTV for a brand new interview alongside the host, Rachel A. DeMita.

During their conversation, the two speak on Boston, Kyrie Irving, Lee’s favorite Celtics player of all time, her origins as an artist, and much, much more. For any fans of either Lee herself or Boston sports as a whole, this is a must-watch, so be sure to click play at the link below and get ready for new Vintage Lee music on the way later this year!

An Interview With Twayne The Kidd

By: Seamus Fay

You may know him from one of his famed KIDD.FM exclusives, you may know him from one of his two placements on Big Leano’s latest project, Packula, or you may just know him from his widely-respected stature within Boston’s budding community of talent. Regardless of how you heard the name Twayne The Kidd, however, there’s no denying that he’s getting ready to take things to the next level in 2018. Between a relentless balance of work ethic and natural talent, the opportunities are sure to present themselves in a short matter of time, and deservedly so.

We here at Graduation Music have been keeping track of Twayne The Kidd for almost a year now, and considering the abundance of potential that he holds, it only made sense for us to get him on the site for an interview. That being said, we spoke to him recently about topics ranging from his upbringing to making a movie soundtrack, and everything in between.

You can read the interview below.

Where did grow up? What was your childhood like?

I grew up in New London, a small town in Southeastern Connecticut. I lived there until 7th grade then I transferred schools to live with my dad in Groton.

When did you first connect with music and what artists inspired you early on?

I have always been a creative since I was 8 years old. I had an IBM Thinkpad from my grandma and I used to record my raps through Windows Sound Recorder. I was heavily influenced by The Low End Theory album from ATCQ, it was all that I would listen to on my PSP. I started making more raps in 8th grade and started releasing music under the name “Amusers.” I found Fruity Loops Studio 9 on YouTube one day and I downloaded a demo and tried it out. I learned how to sample and it was a wrap after that! I’ve been using FL Studio ever since.

Top 3 producers of all time?

Kanye West, Pharrell, CardoGotWings.

Where do you look to for inspiration when making beats?

I try to play video games from my childhood like SSX 3 or Sonic Heroes to feel nostalgia. I do this to capture that feeling people are familiar with, but I try to add a modern touch to it. Primarily the reason why I use the Capcom jingle in most of my beats.

If you could go back and create your own soundtrack for one movie, what movie would it be and why?

Above The Rim! I feel like a Twayne The Kidd soundtrack would sound crazy on it because I would make a killer theme song for Bishop.

What is your DAW of choice and why?

FL Studio 12. The step sequencer is easy and quick to get my ideas down.

When/how did you meet Big Leano and how did your two placements on Packula come together?

3A.M. I tagged Tee-WaTT on one of my beats I posted on Twitter. He followed me and then hit me up about working with Big Leano. He gave me his email and then I just sent some beats back and forth. Leano replied back to me each time and then eventually gave me his number. I sent him the beat for “Two” and “Talk Show” over the summer and he hit me back with the records right away.

What is your proudest accomplishment in music so far and why?

Getting linked up with my manager Maine. I’m happy to finally have representation and others who believe in me. I’ve been laughed at and doubted for making music since I started, so I’m happy everyone can see my vision.

Lastly, what can fans expect from Twayne The Kidd in 2018?

Collab project with Big Leano, more KIDD.FM exclusives, and major placements soon!

Connect with Twayne The Kidd on:





An Interview With Stripes III

By: Seamus Fay

I vividly remember my first interaction with the name Stripes III. It was directly after the release of his debut EP, Baby Flame, and once hearing such a cohesive, artful approach to music, I quickly realized this was an artist that I simply had to keep an eye on. And now, just over 7 months removed from this first impression, Stripes has done nothing but work to fulfill the potential shown so early in his career, making his whole city proud and beginning his inevitable rise to the top.

Aside from this, as you may have heard, Pusha T recently stumbled upon Stripes’ music and contacted him via social media. Following up throughout the past few weeks, the Boston native has been in talks with the likes of Pusha himself, Steven Victor, and more, in hopes of reaching a deal in the very near future. Considering these recent events as well as the ample supply of talent that this rising star holds, Graduation Music figured there would be no better time to connect with Stripes to figure out how his career in music came together.

That being said, enjoy our interview with Stipes III below!

Where are you originally from and what was your childhood like?

I’m originally from Sandusky, Ohio. We ain’t got shit but an amusement park and water slides, lol.

Growing up, what artists were you listening to that inspired you to make music yourself?

From a baby until like 6, I only resonated with Michael Jackson forreal. That basically transitioned into R&B until about the age of 10, then once I heard Lil Wayne I left Earth.

Where does the name “Stripes III” come from?

The name “Stripes III” comes from my second home: Boston, MA – Grove Hall, to be exact. But you know like the “3 for the stripes” throwback Boston slang, I guess it’s an Adidas thing.

Lyrically, you tend to translate your life experiences into verses. How has living in Boston influenced your music?

Thanks, and Boston basically made me learn how to rap like “yo yo uh check it” lol – boom bap shit. I believe that’s essential to the culture, but more than anything I’m influenced by my niggas. I love my brothers.

Describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before.

I pretty much sound like I’m on fire in the booth, like literally. I be in there blowing n shit, lol… super saucy, super slutty at times, but it also makes you feel something. I’m always open to growth, though. Gotta stay fresh, ya dig.

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Describe the process of making your Baby Flame EP. How did that project come about?

The whole Baby Flame EP was like 5-track click bait, lol. Super fun, pink vibes showcasing my range of talent n shit. But it’s offline now, I’ll be putting those songs back out soon.

In the past, you have released two remixes of songs from Frank Ocean’s Blonde. What does that album mean to you and how does it inspire you?

It’s crazy because I lowkey remixed all the tracks on Blonde in 2 days just so I could have a real first listen, like in detail. Shit’s so beautiful.

What Boston artists inspire you?

Lowkey the artists that inspire me from Boston are Teamarrr, OG DOMO, cWave$, Boogie Da God, Chi, Alejandro Blanco, Bully, Maka, Tony Bodega, Pistola, Bouve (Booty Bae), and so many more. Can’t even get into all the wild producers and videographers, but those are just some of my favorite musicians off top. BIA’s my all time favorite, though, lol. Grammy family, respect it! <333

What are your top three dream collaborations?

Dylan, Dylan, Dylan.

Lastly, what can fans expect from Stripes III in the rest of 2018?

A full-fledged fire, lol. But forreal, I don’t exactly know at the moment. I’m just going with the flow, trusting my journey and where it leads me. Recently been in connection with Pusha T, too. He has shown nothing but love, man, kinda taking me under the wing in a way and introducing me to a lot of his people. You know, setting me up for the win, lol.

Connect with Stripes III on:

Spotify Releases Vintage Lee “FLOW Freestyle”

By: Seamus Fay

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Spotify has been putting together a series of FLOW freestyles from some of our favorite female artists. On that list, of course, is none other than the Roxbury pimp herself, Vintage Lee. In the video posted by the Spotify Twitter below, Lee jumps in for a quick freestyle, making sure to communicate her unmistakable charisma and seamless flows, bar after bar. You can watch it below.

In other news, Vintage Lee was also just featured on Fact Mag with a new interview discussing her musical origins, Boston origins, aspirations for the future, personality, some gems about branding herself, and much more. Show some love to the rising star by reading the article here.

“When people bump my music, I want them to think of just getting your bag. Or if you’re in your feelings, hop out your feelings, go get it, feel motivated.”


TuneIn Interviews Michael Christmas

By: Seamus Fay

As fans await his forthcoming album, Michael Christmas has been diligently working, even heading out to LA last week to record some music as well as do an interview with the esteemed TuneIn podcast. Over just a half an hour and some change, Christmas and the interviewer are able to cover a number of topics including his childhood, wrestling, touring with Logic and Mac Miller, who we can expect on his new album, Lollapalooza, and more.

All in all, it captures the vibrant personality of this rising star while offering listeners a number of hilarious anecdotes and gems along the way. Be sure to listen to Michael Christmas’s latest interview below and tell him congratulations for hitting a million views on the “Not The Only One” video!

An Interview With REEF

By: Seamus Fay

Tagged by his ever-important slogan, “Music is Energy”, REEF is a Boston-based DJ for Cousin Stizz and producer known for enthusiastic performances and an unrivaled ear in curating mixes for any mood. In my own experiences, his infectious personality yields memorable shows night in and night out, and considering the positive mindset that this young talent brings to the city, he’s destined to continue on the path towards great things in the near future.

We here at Graduation Music had the opportunity to speak to REEF about his come-up in the DJ world, touring, and more. Check out our interview with him below.

To start off, where are you originally from?

I am from Boston, MA, born and raised.

Who were you listening to at a young age?

I was listening to a lot of great music as a youth such as Michael Jackson, The Temptations, The Stylistics, James Brown, Jagged Edge, The Isley Brothers, Avant, Chris Brown, Sam Cooke, T.I., Kanye, 50 Cent, etc. The list goes on but those are just a few.

If you had to listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Hmmm, that’s a hard question right there. I would have to go with Michael Jackson’s The Ultimate Collection because I always looked up to Michael Jackson. He loved everybody, was a true humanitarian, and made some of the most impactful music to this day.

At what point did you know that you wanted to become a DJ? How did you go about actually learning how to DJ?

You know what’s crazy? What really got me into DJing was playing DJ Hero when I was in middle school, but I didn’t start actually DJing until after high school.

I self-teach myself everything. I get inspired, then I focus.

How did you first meet Stizz?

It was around the Dojo days when we all use to hang out in the city when we wanted to get out of the hood to cleanse for a bit. I was just the cool youngin’ lol.

How did you become his DJ?

We were all chilling on Newbury – me, Stizz, Rah, Christmas, OG, etc. Christmas brought up the fact that it would be dope if I became Stizz’s DJ because at the time he didn’t have a fully committed DJ. So, I stacked up, got some equipment, and naturally, it went from there.

Name three food places in Boston that everyone needs to try.

Shittttt. There’s way more than that, but I would say Tasty Burger (Fenway Only), Silver Slipper (Roxbury), and Simco’s (Mattapan). There are many more, but those are my favorites.

Explain what “Music Is Energy” means to you.

Music Is Energy is a way of life. It’s a way we connect our energies within whether you’re playing a sport, running, dancing, singing, driving, relaxing, etc. Music gets us through so many obstacles in life and it’s all because of the artist’s and producer’s energy that they put into that track, just to sum it up a bit.


What is your favorite city to visit on tour and why?

LA because I love cruising, listening to great music, and looking at nice houses that I will someday acquire. It’s inspiring and cleansing.

What is one story from the One Night Only Tour that you want to share with our readers?

Lol, too many long, hilarious stories.

What did Stizz’s sold-out show at the House of Blues mean to you?

The HOBs show meant that this isn’t the final curtain call; we all have so far to go and it’s only the beginning.

Was there a specific moment that made you realize how monumental that show was for Boston?

When Stizz’s dad came on stage and felt all that energy when the crowd screamed in joy. Amazing.

What can fans expect from REEF in 2018?

Music and visuals from REEF. I’m not going to say – instead, I’ll just do it.

Lastly, any advice for aspiring DJs and/or producers?


Thank you to REEF for the interview and thank you for always providing the city with such positive energy. Boston appreciates you. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for the rest of 2018.

Follow REEF on: