GT Mayne of Radio One’s Houston station 97.9 The Box is known for tearing the party down with his impressive Djing skills. You may know him as your local radio host but he is much more. GT has been rapping long before radio and plans on being one of Houston’s biggest acts! I spoke to the budding rapper who divulged his plans to make it in the industry, his unique sound and if he prefers to rap or DJ.
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GT Mayne’s Recent single “Hold Of Me” has over 50,000 views on Youtube, so stay tuned to see what GT Mayne has to say:
Describe where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing in the last five years:
The past five years I’ve been doing radio and DJing. I DJ all the hot parties in the area. I’ve DJed All Star Weekend and the Superbowl. About two years ago, I put out a song called, “H.O.U.S.T.O.N.” which is about the evolution of music in Houston. That did really well out in the streets that kind of opened the doors for me. I don’t want people to think of me as another DJ trying to rap. I was rapping before I became a DJ.
When did you start DJing?
I started DJing professionally because I can do it and decided I needed to make some money off of it. The right people heard me DJing and the next thing I know, I’m spinning in the club and right after that, I started my VJ thing. I had to moonwalk back to the artist side of things.
There’s sort of a Houston movement in the music scene. Destiny’s Child and Bun B are hometown heroes, there hasn’t been any newcomers out of there. How do you plan to build your brand?
Number one, by having my own sound. I’m not on the typical Houston sound. I’m bringing forth the sub-culture of my city called New Houston. They embraced me and I embrace them. I had a song, “Stars Are Out,” and it’s me and five up and coming MCs from the Houston area on this new Renaissance of hip-hop. That’s the whole movement that’s about to surface.
Do you find yourself drawing inspiration from DJ Screw being that he was a big part of Houston’s music landscape? Do you use some of his DJing techniques?
I knew DJ Screw. It’s kind of weird because right before he passed we ran into each other at the club. We knew each other for years, but not personally. What happened was I did an episode of “Rap City” and shouted him out. He saw me a couple weeks later and said, “I appreciate the love. Thanks for the shout out. We should do something together.” We exchanged numbers and a week later, he passed. His style of DJing is not something I do, per-se. He definitely was an inspiration. He took a bunch of unknown MCs out of here and created a genre of music. You have to respect that!
Describe your sound because I listened to your song, “Hold Of Me,” and your voice doesn’t match the way you look and I didn’t expect that.
[laughs] I made it for the ladies. I used to get caught up in the stigma of being a battle rapper. I needed to learn how to make songs. I figured it was time for me to branch out and prove I could make songs and not just battle rap. When I heard the track, I said it would be great to get Z-Ro on the song. I knew his style would match the song perfectly because he raps and sings. It worked out and everything came out perfect.
Do you find it hard for your fans to accept you as an artist and a DJ?
Yes, it is very hard for fans to accept that. People who don’t know your history or don’t know that you’ve been rapping before you were a VJ instantly go, “Oh, he’s rapping now?!” I was doing that first, which is cool. I enjoy that challenge. The thing is, don’t pigeonhole me. I feel like hip-hop has never been an industry to pigeonhole someone. Hip-hop is a culture based on rapping, b-boying, and graffiti. So if I can do more than one, I’m going to do it.
Do you like rapping or radio better?
Rapping. [laughs] I love radio, but if I got a call today telling me I was going on a rap tour, I’m out of here.
Your beard. I know a lot of guys have these Freeway beards. Is that a Houston thing?
Well, for me it’s a spiritual thing like it is for Freeway. I wear my beard because of Islam. We spoke about that before. When people see me the first thing they ask is if I’m from Philly because of the beard. But Philly has one of the biggest black Islamic populations around the country. I always have to explain that. The beard isn’t a fashion statement
What is your personal favorite rap line from another artist?
I’m a big Biggie fan so it would have to be one of his, I’m just trying to figure out exactly which one. It would probably be one of his more simple lines, “I’m not only the client, I’m the player president.” I love it because it’s one of those lines I wish I thought of.