Sunday, October 05, 2008

Interview: Ray Sr.

We recently got a chance to sit down with Ray Sr. who just put out his debut album, 5 In 5 Out. Read on to find out how the penitentiary shaped his life and his music.

AHHS: Can you give your fans a quick bio of yourself?

Ray Sr.: At age 18, I was sentenced to five years in prison. At age 23 when I got out of prison, I started recording some of the rhymes I wrote in the penitentiary. I started getting serious about music so I moved to Austin and went to school for it. Now in 2008 I’m on top of my game and I just released my debut album 5 In 5 Out.

AHHS: Which is your latest CD? and how do you think it differs from your previous works?

Ray Sr.: This is my first official album but the songs on the album are different from songs I’ve made in the past because I mixed it in a professional studio and had it professionally mastered by Glenn Schick Mastering…those are the same people that master other pros like Ludacris, Akon, etc. Because I invested a lot of time and money into this album, I have high expectations for this project.

AHHS: What gives you inspiration and how does that transpire into your music?

Ray Sr.: I’m inspired by real life struggles and that’s what keeps me grindin’ em out. This album is a reflection of my life and real life situations that everyone can relate to…I’m really just expressing my range of emotions that I might feel on any given day. Some days I might be sad than a muthafucka – other days I might be like “fuck the world” – other days I might feel like rockin’ in the club – and other times I might feel socially conscious - and all of that is me…5 In 5 Out.

AHHS: Which artists inspire you the most? and why?

Ray Sr.: Tupac Shakur because he was the realest cat I ever heard. He spittin’ about real life situations and rappin’ about a lot of the same problems that I was going through at that time in my life. He made you feel like he was making that song just for you.

AHHS: What has kept you from moving to cities with larger markets? especially since it's only been recently that Houston has blown up.

Ray Sr.: I feel like Austin is a hidden gem and the market isn’t over saturated yet, which means there’s plenty of room for everyone to grow.

AHHS: How do you see the scene locally? and where do you see it going?

Ray Sr.: Right now, I don’t think the Austin Hip Hop scene is what it could be. But I don’t think the artists are to blame…it’s the major radio stations and clubs that aren’t backing the local artists the way they should be. You’ll catch twenty indie rock shows every night of the week in any part of town – but you only catch a hip hop show ever so often. But at the same time, I think Austin hip hop fans are partially to blame too because they don’t go out and pack the venues to support the local artists in the same way rock fans do.

AHHS: Can you give us 3 of your most favorite local artists?

Ray Sr.: I think Zeale 32, Dubb Sicks, and a lot of the Shawn Dell artists are doing their thing right now.

AHHS: What is the best piece of advice that someone in the industry has given you?

Ray Sr.: One of my teachers told me that if you act like a pro, people will treat you like a pro. Meaning, you’re going to have to spend some money to get that pro sound…whether it’s beats, mixing, mastering, whatever.

AHHS: And a more light-hearted question: Have you seen a correlation between your level of success and quality of hoes?

Ray Sr.: No…but my baby mama thinks I’m sexier.

AHHS: Any parting words?

Ray Sr.: Check out my website – – to get free ringtones, wallpapers, and music downloads. You can get the album, 5 In 5 Out, online at It’s also available at Waterloo Records, Music Mania, and Sundance Records in San Marcos. Visit my myspace and add me as a friend, leave a comment, and don’t forget to check out my blog at

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