UNDERGROUND UPRISING "ARTIST OF THE WEEK": JOSEPH BILLS

We sat down with the latest Underground Uprising "Artist of the Week", Joseph Bills and asked him some questions to give some insight into his #MAXOUT mentality and music.


Where is Joseph Bills from?  What was it like growing up there?

"I’m from Arizona, born in Tucson and grew up in Scottsdale. It was a great childhood for sure lots of love and adventure although as years passed I realized I needed to get out of that bubble and experience more culture. Moved to to mesa then sunny slope and landed in north Phoenix. Consensus - people are people no matter where you go lol."


How long have you been making music?

"I’ve been making music since the age of 13, so close to 20 years. Seriously pursuing music as a career for about 8."


Top 5 artists who have influenced you?

"Juelz Santana, Em, Ludacris, TI, Tupac, Bow Wow. Sixth man award goes to Shad because he the same age as me, and when he was everywhere Mr. 106 I was in 7th grade like, if he can do it I can too shrug emoji. "


Have you always had a high energy level on stage?  What about in your personal life? 

"OH yes lol my energy level on stage is a direct correlation to my energy in LIFE! #MAXOUT isn’t what I do its who I am. The hyperactivity was once attempted to be lessened but soon realized it is a vital part of my success as a human. “Let that boy #maxout” they said."


Biggest challenge in your career so far?

"Biggest challenge so far is breaking the internet. I set goals year after year and through God’s grace I’m able to meet them whether winning challenges or acquiring feature or simply working hard enough until the price stated is the price paid. All I’m missing now is enough eye balls to carry me to the next level, enough people sharing and commenting and expanding the network until I can live solely on music."


What do you think of the current state of AZ Hip Hop?

"I love the current state of AZ hip hop, I believe there are 4 different artists charting on iTunes as we speak, shout out to Jaron Ikner for pointing this out to us. There are so many talented individuals who are solidifying their positions not just in AZ hip hop but hip hop in general. The ones just emerging as well are taking serious strides towards excellence and that is what I love most. The quality of everything from the sound to the visuals to the professionalism increases year after year."


Favorite project you’ve released?

"My favorite project has got to be Pas Due Bills Vol. 2 simply because it wouldn’t exist without the perfect storm of success. I had a few songs done around the time I won that Rick Ross concert and I told my fans, the #maxoutmob, that if I won I would drop a mixtape by the time I opened for the bawse… sure enough I had 2 weeks to get it all recorded and distributed and that was the funnest part. Getting to bring ideas to life RIGHT NOW instead of waiting and curating and re mixing and so on and so forth. I’m a spontaneous individual so when it’s all of the sudden go time I kick it into high gear. Plus I got my first taste of internet hate and that drove me to create on of the best songs of my career ‘Blah Blah’ so that was cool lol."


When was your first live performance?  What was that like for you?

"Oh man hahahaha oh man oh man… FIRST performance I was 16, down on mill with the homies and being underage I had to wait until I was up to enter the club. Well if you know J.O. The Axis (my former rap name) I KEEP a fifth of henny and a pint incase it’s empty. That night, hours waiting to go on, that fifth was emptied and when I reached the stage it was quite apparent. I held my mic to my mouth about 20% of the time, didn’t yuke on stage like an amateur but did everything else wrong for sure. It is the very reason I refuse to drink before I perform, because I KNOW somebody gonna get up there and forget their words or do it like a talent show and I need to ensure you understand I do this for real. In essence I show who really really, and who really not. (Video playing on my YouTube go check it out)."


Who would you like to work with in the future?

"I would love to work with tory lanes, wiz, train, uzi, they seem like some fun having suns of guns perfect for the #maxedout movement. And locally there’s some dope artists still to check off my list too."


What’s the next move for Joseph Bills?

"Next move is upward, up up and away all pun intended. I'm dropping a new video every month this year and what's dope is they've all been hittin 1k on YouTube which is dope for me cuz as I've stated me and the internet don't get along lol Grown is the #1 goal though, I know i got the “stuff” I just need more people to see it. So whenever a fan or follower or even some one showing slight intreats in my craft see’s or hears me they need to show it to a friend. Preferably someone who doesn’t already know me. I need to break into different markets and regions. When I was rapping in the streets of Colombia earlier this year I gained so many fans down there that if the world was open I’d be there now lol It’s a movement based on Mob mentality meaning when I go, we all GO! So tell a friend to tell a friend to #MAXOUT #MAXOUT #MAXOUT and tag ya boy yamean."


by: Steven Sandage

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