Face The Great is a 25 year old rap artist who was born in New York by full blooded Jamaican parents and mostly raised in Detroit city. He reached out to me and asked if I would exclusively release his new music video to ‘Streets Calling (Call Back)’. So, you know I had to get an interview with him too. We dived deep into his roots and touched on what’s next for him.
Hear him out! Music video is at the bottom of the page.
You did say you lived in Jamaica, right?
I was conceived in Jamaica, born in New York and then went right back. I came back to the states at 5 [years old]. My parents made sure I was born in America so I could have more opportunity. Ever since I turned 18 I’ve been back and forth.
What was living in Jamaica like? How is the culture there?
It reminds me of a lot of Detroit. Fly shit, hustle and finesse. Difference is Jamaica is tropical and Detroit weather changes every 2 hours. *Laughs* In Jamaica you have beautiful scenery and a lot of cool people but once you leave the resorts and hit the hood ain’t shit sweet unless you know somebody. My whole family lives in Jamaica. I have no family in Detroit just a lot of close friends. Going to Jamaica to me is like going to a family reunion. It’s always love and beautiful vibes.
But you were born in New York City, how has that influenced your life?
It makes you think fast because it’s a busy place with a gang of different people from different ethnic groups. So you have to be mindful and stay on your p’s and q’s. It also gives you a certain confidence that you can do anything you put your mind to. New York taught me how to be a successful entrepreneur. If it wasn’t for New York I wouldn’t be The Great Life God.
And you were largely raised in Detroit, so how has this city contributed to who you are as a person and as an artist?
My first time coming to Detroit I hated it, *laughs* but I learned to love it after I experienced police contact in New York. NY laws are crazy strict. Detroit is a city that gives you more opportunity to get your life right before they throw the book at you. It has also made me into a monster though. I had a lot of crazy experiences dealing with people in here. It showed me no matter how much it seem like someone got love for you, ain’t shit sweet. Can’t help but love Detroit though. I made my first 10k here. It’s a city of nonstop hustle. I can say it gave me persistence.
Yeah, I love this city. It’s unlike any other in the way that the creatives here get to sculpt their culture whereas other cities have already been paved.
So I bet your family is excited to have you have a Jamaican tour planned this December. Tell me more about that!
hey will be once I get there. It’s gonna be one of the greatest times in my life. First week is TV and radio interviews. 2nd week all streets shows. 3rd week is all studio time & the fourth week is all fun. If everything works how I want it to I’ll have a couple artists from Detroit there with me. It’ll be a great surprise for Jamaica and the city.
That sounds amazing! Seems like you’re doing it right. I know your dad, Derrick Irie, is a reggae legend. Did he help set this up for you?
He has a great influence on my music process and way I go about things. God bless they will let him out of prison by the time the tour starts so we can both headline it. I did it all my self though. When he was out he gave me great advice but as far as the business I do everything myself.
Oh man, that would be great to see y’all headline together. My prayers are with you. Is he the reason you got into music in the first place?
One part. The other reason was because I never liked any records on the radio as a child. I always thought I could do better. What made me take it serious was when a classmate of mine by the name of J. Hall bet me $100 I could drop a fire mix tape after he caught me writing rhymes instead doing class work. I recorded it in my living room and when I released it I made $2,000. I kept going ever since.
That’s hilarious and a good start! Were there any artists in particular you did like growing up?
Big Herk cause out of all the records my dad did with rappers, his was always the best. Other than that I didn’t like any artist until I got older.
Wow! And when you got older, who was it? Who stood out to you?
Jay Z. The way he puts music together is great and the way he does business is something to admire. He has crazy flows while telling stories about his life. He also doesn’t write music. Once I turned 18 I stop writing myself so I can say what I feel the beat is saying instead of forced words on a beat. I just listen to the beat and rap and whatever comes out, I keep it.
Clear indicator of a strong mind. So as of right now, do you have any favorite Detroit rap artists?
I got a couple.
Do tell! Who and why?
Cvnnon. He’s from the Great Life Gang camp. His flow is incredible and his choice of beats never fails to amaze me. Baby Face Ray has the smoothest flow in the city, he reminds me of old school New York artists. Rocain is lil bro savage and really lives what he rap about. My nigga Dame Dot keeps you in tuned with the streets and motivates you to go hard. Zag Team members Prada Leary and Supakain as well. Prada makes you wanna get high and get to the money. His performances always hype and his style is one I’ve seen copied by a lot of “hipster artists on the scene”. Supakain reminds you of the struggle and gives hope to those that have none. His shit inspirational. Another one is Young Herk, he got dumb bars that keeps yo mind thinking. Niko Phoenix is an amazing singer that gets the ladies in the mood to have fun. Jones Heraux & Ron Banks from Real Hustle music group. Last but not least, my bro Evan The Twerkgod. He been cold ever since we was young and in a group called Street Gradz. He gone be a legend.
I know some of those names but I’m going to have to look more into them. Thanks for sharing. I’m actually heading to Chicago with Evan on Saturday for a YesJulz 1AM Vibes banger. His music is something I really fuck with.
I also saw you have a few music videos that were shot by Jerry PHD, who is an up-and-coming videographer known for his work with DeJ Loaf, how did you come to work with him?
I’ve known Jerry since he was 15. Jerry was always focused and taking shit to the next level. He always got the job done. I knew he was gonna be great when I first met him. He also gone be a legend. Jerry could make a simple flower or bug look like the most amazing thing you ever seen in yo life. The kid is truly gifted.
Oh wow, you’ve known him for a while. He does incredible work. Actually, all your music videos are great quality. I also see the Great University logo on all your projects, what is that concept about?
Great University is my entertainment company and a way of life. The true reason for it will be a surprise for the world.
So is that all you can tell me? It a secret? *Laughs*
Alright, anything you want to say about the music video for ‘Streets Calling’?
The song displays how sometimes you have to put the street life on hold to focus on what you truly love in life.
Dope man, I like that a lot. Any last words?
Only God Can Kill Me. God bless.