Name: Perry “Perrion” Rodriguez
Peep his mixtapes: www.perryeats.com
From collabing with artists like A$AP Ferg to opening for Mr. Pretty Flacko himself, the 22-year-old Harlem native Perry “Perrion” Rodriguez is taking the music scene by storm. In this week’s Family Swank, the New York City native waxes on his skate crew, the need for more versatility in hip hop, and how he vows to change the game: one mixtape at a time.
Perry Rodriguez: Thank you, it’s been picking up pretty well. I get a lot of feedback as well as new fans, so that’s always a plus. Hopefully, after these next videos drop, it will start picking up even more.
MA: How that has being a Harlemite shaped your style. Isn’t Harlem really different than it was when our parents were growing up?
PR: Definitely. Back then it was a lot more run down and there were a lot more people wrecking havoc in the area. But one thing Harlem has always been known for is heavy drug trafficking and grittiness, [although] it’s a lot more gentrified now and chill in some parts. But I guess this is where I get my street mentality. However, I’ll always continue to be myself and stand out.
MA: What inspired you to start making music?
PR: I’ve always been inspired by music and it has always been with me for as long as I could remember. When my brother started to write, I pretty much looked up to him, so I started to do the same as well.
MA: Describe your sound in three words?
PR: Different, honest, eclectic.
MA: One day, I will collab with …
MA: Music is about breaking the mold and taking risks. How do you do that as an artist?
PR: I just always say how I feel. I’m not afraid to just be myself. And most important, I won’t ever box myself in because I am versatile and can adapt to anything as far as beats and concepts go.
PR: Those are good comparisons; I guess you can say that. And big ups to the homie Monch.
MA: It seems that everyone is claiming to be the next greatest rapper alive. What do you bring to the table that puts you in contention?
PR: I mean it is what it is—I don’t think I’m the greatest—and there are definitely other rappers out there that deserve the spotlight as well. I just do what I do and make sure I do it the best that I can.
MA: I’m changing the game by …
PR: Bringing a new face with something to offer.
MA: What’s the one thing that grinds your gears about the industry?
PR: I don’t really care too much about how the industry does things because I do things my way [as of now]. I guess I would have to be more involved in the actual industry to know that. As far as I know, I’m still an up-and-coming rapper. Some of them could sell a couple dreams and seem convincing I guess. But it’s up to the artist to convince them they’re the next “big thing” anyway.
MA: Five things people don’t know about Perrion?
PR: Five things is a lot [laughs]: let me see; I can’t do switch or nollie flips; my favorite drummer was Travis Barker—he was a huge idol of mine back in the day; I bought a lot of my own vinyl from the Virgin Megastore that used to be in Times Square; I have a skate crew called Mira CoNYo and we’ve dropped a few videos but I slacked on getting more clips together; and I’m totally approachable and not a stuck up asshole.
MA: Favorite quote or motto?
PR: “Stay positive each day, live life with no regrets, and be appreciative of the life you have, because you only have one.” That’s my motto.