Delivering lyrics that depict life struggles, choices, and the drive to excel is just a way of life for a local hip-hop artist named Julian Harrell, also known as Abstract That Rapper. The lyricist has made it his mission to keep his music real, as it gives off a J Cole vibe with a side of Kendrick Lamar attitude. Get a feel for Abstract’s unique hip-hop style anywhere from Cory’s Grilled Cheese and the Royal American to the Music Farm and the Purple Buffalo. Find out more about all the big music plans he has in store, and thank his Grandma in advance for the Sassafras Tea pro hangover tip.

Who is your greatest musical inspiration?
Kendrick Lamar
WuTang Clan
Burl Ives
Tribe Called Quest (specifically The Low End Theory)
Kurt Cobain
Chance The Rapper
Donald Glover
Joyner Lucas
James Brown
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon
Eryka Badu
J Dilla
Kanye West
Parliament Funkadelic’s Maggotbrain album
The soundtrack to Hercules

What inspires you to keep making music?
My struggles, other people’s struggle
Events and activities I attend
My family
My friends
My current experience as a college student
My need to create
My need to not be complacent
My need to pave my own
Others people’s life choices

Any big goals for this year?
More released recorded mastered material online
Developing/Curating more online content for myself as for others
Booking more shows outside of Charleston
Releasing at least one-two songs/video a month
Performing for this year’s Cooper River Bridge Run and preparation to perform for SoFar Sounds Charleston!
And continuing to work for Cody Dixon’s nonprofit Soul Power Productions and giving back to my local artists and students perusing the arts!

Favorite place to hang out on a Friday night?
It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m content with just being at my friends house making music, chilling, and planning for the future.

What album do you never get tired of?
Currently the album that Im bumping religiously is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. album. I also expect to have that new Black Panther soundtrack on repeat as well!

Best way calm your nerves before a big show?
Drink hot tea, rehearse my raps until I start feeling crazy for talking to myself for to long. Grab a brew/shot with the homies. Maybe walking around the block a few times. It all depends on how prepared I feel honestly.

Dream artist to collaborate with?
Benjamin Starr, Khari Lucas (Contour), Mardy Says, Emperor Timeline, Q Mic Antics, SR Phresh, Jharrel Jerome, Johnny Jr., Sunrhe, and Eryka Badu.

Go-to hangover cure?
Sassafras tea (old southern herb) it’s also good for when you have a flu/cold! Shoutout to grandma for putting me onto that.

If you could perform at any venue, where would it be?
Madison Square Garden, and that huge pitted amphitheater in Colorado.

All-time favorite gig to date?
Honestly all my past performances have been fun. But if I had to choose it probably would be a tie between CofC’s 1770 Records Den show at Music Farm show or opening night for The New Music Confab also at the Music Farm!

Any upcoming shows or projects that you are excited about?

Cory’s Grilled Cheese- February 23rd- Hip Hop Sessions #2

Columbia- March 4th- Whitehall (Real South Records)

SoFar Sounds- March 25th

Cooper River Bridge Run- April 7th

Cory’s Grilled Cheese- 4/20 Music Showcase

That’s all for now. I’m still planning out the rest of my April and the rest of the year so there is still room for a lot more plans.

But I am working on a project that I can’t speak much about currently but I can say that it encompasses the beautiful perspectives I come into contact with on the daily basis. Around the end of the year is when it is projected to be released.

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