(Blythe, CA) Top Floor Music Group's own, Xavier, started the recording process for his new project "Bringing Back The Elephant" over two years ago. Xavier is a first generation Nigerian in America whose parents are from Lagos. Born in New Mexico, he moved to Cali at the age of 7. Xavier lived in a small town called Blythe, which has a population of 12,000 people, until he was 18. After he graduated, he relocated to enroll at Grossmont Community college before transferring to San Diego State University (where he met Derek Pope). 4 years later,I he dropped a record called "Orange Soda," creating a buzz behind his former alias, X.O.
The record garnered support around the college campus, which led to a couple sold out shows at local clubs. Now, Xavier resides in Los Angeles, California.
The title of his new project plays on the theme of his African roots. Xavier envisioned his team (Top Floor Music Group) as a pack of lions, and in order to feed them, he has to provide food. They also need substance, therefore, by killing the "Elephant" and bringing it back, he can feed them for a lifetime. Hence, that is his mission in life, to feed his family, so the album title was parallel to this idea. Xavier's music is more of a "backpack" variety--because he may lack traditional singles. But, as a whole, he feels that this project is a solid offering of his musical capacities.
HypeFresh had the opportunity to pick his brain about early beginnings, his lastest project and much more! Read below.
Tell me a little about your background and when music began to play a role in your life
I’ve always been a small town kid. I grew up in Blythe, California. Have you ever heard of it? It’s all good if you haven’t lol.. you’re in the majority. Blythe is located in southern California, out by Coachella.. out in the middle of nowhere. I’m the youngest of five children. My siblings are way older than me. You might call me an “accidental miracle,” as my parents would phrase it. My older brother who is seven years older than me put me on Biggie, Pac, Pun, E-40, Aaliyah, Missy, Lox, 112, SWV.. basically everything that was hot in the 90’s when I was like 6 years old. Most kids my age were playing with legos, but I was tryna remember the outro to “Hit Em Up”. My album cover for Bringing Back The Elephant was actually a picture of me dressed as “Bishop” from Juice lol.
How did you link up with your team, Top Floor Music Group?
I linked up with Derek Pope my freshmen year at San Diego State University in the dorms through a mutual friend. Somehow, I ended up in his dorm room and he was making beats and we just hit it off instantly. Pope already had a relationship with Farid (founder/creative director/ Pope’s manager) from high school and it all just gelled together, you know what I mean? The three of us just all had the same vision and we have been building it up from the ground ever since.
What is it like moving with a team of people while chasing your goals? Rather than running your own solo show.
We have like a checks and balances system within our squad. We keep it 10000000 with each other about everything. ESPECIALLY when it comes to the content, we try to make sure that we don’t put out any whack shit, you know? Before I linked up with them, I didn’t really have a group of people to bounce my ideas off of, so I definitely prefer working with my brothers. We have a healthy competition to outdo each other, which causes us to put out the best work possible.
So you've recently released a project, "Bringing Back The Elephant". Talk about the inspiration and significance of this project
Yea.. Bringing Back The Elephant actually arose from a conversation I had with one of my OG’s and my best friend during the beginning of 2014. My close circle of friends always looked at each other like a tribe. Imagine the world being a big safari with limited resources. We all TRYNA eat. So we on the hunt, right?? A pig might last a week, some wild birds might last a couple of hours, but if we go out and slay an elephant and bring it back we will be GOOD for a VERY long time. So the album is just about me tryna feed my people, you feel me? During the recording process of the project, the person who originally inspired it passed away. I wanted to give up on the project, but I know I would have been letting him down if I didn’t complete the mission. So, I did it for him and it means more to me than anything else in this world to be honest.
Who are some of the people you worked with on this body of work?
I worked with a ton of people on the project man. So many talented producers blessed me with vibes to shape the landscape of the album. Cairo Mayeson provided the album’s intro and outro which kind of set the helped bring the project full circle. I was lucky enough to have the Chicago Legend “GLC” narrate the intro and tell my story with his signature voice. He dropped some ism’s for your boy lol. Just to work with someone who had such a huge impact on Kanye’s debut album, College Dropout, was a dream come true. My Boy Derek Pope showcased his versatility on my tape with several different sounds that were essential to the core of the album. He helped me build the foundation of the tape. Him and GLC were the only features on the tape. I also had my two boys from Oregon, Stewart Villain and Calvin Valentine come through with some wavy shit for me to snap on. Beat Boy, the young prodigy from LA is on there, YP from the Bay is on there.. It’s just a beautiful thing how it all came together.
How has the album been received since its debut?
The music has been received very well. I was honestly surprised that the people liked it so much. I was a little nervous due to the fact that it’s not your typical rap album in 2016. There aren’t really any top 40 type tracks on there.. or your “traditional singles” on there.. just a bunch of stories about a kid from a small town. So that was really dope to me. The numbers are climbing every week, and I’m able to pay my rent, bills, etc, solely off rap so I have zero complaints, you feel me?
What are some of the things you're currently working on?
I am putting together some merchandise for BBTE.. some rare pieces that will add to the ambience of the album. I have some more videos coming as well. I got another project coming before the year is up, too. Working every day man. There’s no days off at Top Floor, even when we reach the summit, we’re always looking for new ways to take our craft to the next level.
Anything more for the people?
Pourfive.com is where you can find all my work. I appreciate every single fan that I have. Without them, I would still be working at a fucking desk job. Your support has allowed me to make a career out of what I love to do. I never thought in a million years a kid from a town of 15,000 would be where I am at today. Bless.