I was able to catch up with the multi-talented and prolific emcee John Robinson aka Lil Sci of Scienz of Life. In this brief Q&A he drops some gems for independent artists regarding artistic authenticity, longevity and life philosophies and also shares memories from the early days of his career.
Achickwitbeatz: Who is John Robinson?
John Robinson: Peace this is John Robinson Aka Lil Sci from Scienz of Life Crew. Hip Hop Emcee/Visionary originally from the Bronx, NY and also raised in Far Rock Queens and Central NJ. Music for me has been a living dream, I have been able to travel the world both with my group S.O.L. in the late 90's early 2000's and solo through out the last decade. My start began in NYC with a well known Radio Personality/DJ/ B Boy entrepreneur Bobbito Garcia with my group Scienz of Life releasing our Debut vinyl on his Fondle'em Records Imprint. Also my appearance on the Lyricist Lounge Album Vol. 1 was huge for me in my humble beginnings! I give thanks for it all, Word Life.
Music is Forever! Music is a gift that is not meant for everyone to create, it is a very spiritual thing. With every rhyme I am teaching myself something as I tell stories to audiences listening to my music. I do this for now but really for later. Don't get me wrong I definitely want to be as relevant as possible while I am here now but I also want my music and accomplishments to out live me and inspire Family and people that I will never get to meet in this lifetime.
Achickwitbeatz: When did you first discover that you needed music to be a part your life?
John Robinson: Wow when I think about this question I just thought of like 7 - 10 scenarios that could be the answer but I will give you this one because I thought about it first. I was in the 5th Grade and one of my classmates Jamal Thomas brought in his parents for show and tell who had an Ashford & Simpson style R&B group and they showed us video footage of them performing in various European cities and it blew my mind! Later that same school year Jamal taught me how to approach writing rhymes and count bars and we performed at the School talent show and it never ever left after that moment!!!!
Oh! and the song was called "C.R.A.C.K."
it went: "Building Blocks of Crack is a product of probation, you do crack cause you lack education!" Lol haha! More of that soon!
Achickwitbeatz: What is the most valuable thing you've learned since you became an artist?
John Robinson: To do your passion because you love it and don't let money or industry dictate or influence the picture you paint musically. Do Art and stay genuine and original! Also that the true secret to success is the Knowledge and Wisdom you gain from the experience of your Journey and most of ALL being HAPPY :-)
Achickwitbeatz: What would you say is the best thing about being an independent artist?
John Robinson: The Best thing if you are smart is that you eventually own the rights to your catalog and this can allow your family to live from and continue on your legacy and truly keep the dream alive. For me personally I would say it is great to be completely free from the creative confinement of the commercial mainstream industry. I make music that I truly love and feel great about sharing it with the rest of the world. Not every artist gets to feel this way! especially nowadays.
Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 skills/attributes that would put an artist at the top of your list?
John Robinson: 1. GREAT Live Show
2. Substance and Integrity (Lyrically and musicianship)
4. Great Story Teller
Achickwitbeatz: Conversely, what are 5 attributes that would put an artist at the very bottom of your list?
John Robinson: 1. Weak Stage Show
2. Weak Subject Matter
3. One Dimensional
4. Weak Production
5. No Knowledge of the foundation of the culture
Achickwitbeatz: What advice do you have to offer those seeking longevity in their music careers?
John Robinson: Stay focused and embrace your journey, don't compare your path to other people's travels. Think timeless and Never give Up!
Achickwitbeatz: How can people stay current with what you have in the works?
John Robinson: I encourage people to check out my website and I am on social media heavy:
Peace and give thanks for the interview. Music is Life!
"Next Levels" Featuring Lil'Sci, Id 4 Winds And Stahhr