Music often serves as a gateway to escapism from the cold truth of reality. However, music can also serve as a platform for reality, a way to get an important message across for the world to embrace. This stands as true for 28-year-old rapper Glendino. Born in Virginia and raised in Atlanta, Glendino, born Glendon Riddick, embodies the gift of storytelling with an arsenal of wordplay and a “rapid-fire cadence”.
Glendino recently released his latest EP, “Equanimity“, a 5-track EP deemed as an “introduction” to more music planned for a 2018 release. Exclusively produced by Mr. Pia Classics, Equanimity showcases the realistic narrative of Glendino’s life and dreams. I recently sat down with the Atlanta rapper to talk about musical influences, when he discovered music as a life purpose and how did Outkast inspire “ATLPsychoFunkadelicGroove“.
MA: So, tell me a little about your latest EP, Equanimity? Who produced it? What inspired it?
Glendino: ‘Equanimity’ was executively produced by Mr. Pia Classics and is only a small fraction of the work we’ve done together. We’ve been alongside each other since 2011 after he saw me freestyling at Apache Cafe. Equanimity is an introduction leading up to two more releases this year. We’re incubating some amazing work that no one has heard yet. Equanimity is nowhere near my true capabilities, not even close. The remainder of 2018 is equivalent to snowflakes leading to an avalanche that is 2019. Stay tuned.
MA: Who were your musical influences growing up?
Glendino: Lupe Fiasco made me want to pick up the pen, embrace my intellect and stay up-to-date on the latest fashion trends at the time. Kanye West got me through High School and also gave me the confidence to be a “College Dropout”. His approach was admirable and his background was poetic, like mine. Andre 3000’s wordplay is astounding and everyone has had the pleasure of meeting him, except for me. Outkast inspired “ATLPsychoFunkadelicGroove” and was the first group I remember enjoying as an 8-year-old living in Highland Park.
MA: What hip-hop albums did you grow up listening to?
Glendino: Honestly, I listened to [a lot] mixtapes more than albums. Scouring blogs [sites] for the latest heat, downloading music from LimeWire and keeping my ears to the streets. [That’s] what made my music palette what it is. Dedication [Lil Wayne] is among my favorite series in regards to mixtapes. Pharrell pairing up with DJ Drama, 3 Stacks and his mixtape too. I’m doing a Gangsta Grillz of affirmation talk, ya dig.
MA: What was the first song that you wrote and what was it about?
Glendino: The first song I wrote was for a poetry slam in High School. The song was about resilience if I remember correctly.
MA: What is your writing process?
Glendino: My writing process varies. At times I feel the need to write on paper, other times on my phone, [I] even punch-in one line at a time when necessary.
MA: When did you know that music is something that you wanted to do?
Glendino: I knew music was something I wanted to do when I was first heard, not just listened to. Listening is half skill & half love language, but being heard is more intimate. I’m a natural born communicator, so it makes sense for me. I’m a soothing yet powerful voice that cuts through a beat. Symbolic Immortality, if you will.
MA: Who would be a dream collaboration for you, and why?
Glendino: My dream collaboration can’t be confined to just one song or album. I’m inspired by way too many who have come before me. I’d draft Ryan Leslie for an international chart-topping single, The Dream for an EP catering to the ladies, Pharrell for an autobiographical album and a collaborative project with everyone I came up with on my journey. That’s the type of work I want to do. My brain has always exceeded my budget. I’m an empathic idealist, what do you expect? *laughs*
MA: How do you feel about music scene today?
Glendino: There’s something for everyone, but we are in dire need of compartmentalization. Making quality music is the goal, but sorting everything out is beneficial for us all. Ageism, nepotism & attention-seeking are probably the top 3 hurdles we need to overcome, there’s been is some progress with streaming & access. I’m hopeful for live instrumentation & jazz influence to take the wheel when trap [music] eventually implodes, but also ask yourself, can you really deny a Spinz 808 & innocuous melody?
MA: What do you want the readers to know about you?
Glendino: I’m open to working with whoever appreciates what I do. I look forward to exploring new territory within my city and making a name for myself. I can go only go up from here as Atlanta’s best-kept secret.
MA: What advice would you give to a young musician that wants to get into the game?
Glendino: Don’t let anyone discourage you, focus on your plan and understand what is required to remain inspired. Stay humble, but know your value. Grassroot your way through your city, but get some paper too. It’s important that you know the business, but even more important that you’re authentic. Study the greats & become one. Love yourself more than any criticism you receive. Never give up.
MA: What plans do you have for 2018, musically?
Glendino: My plans for 2018 includes networking, building relationships, recording as much as I can and sticking to my craft by getting better. I’m interested in monetary gain and staying in my lane. I have plenty of features & opportunities to manifest, so I’ll be busy for sure.