Wammy Winner Uptown XO supports D.C. with culture over corporate mentality

Uptown XO travels the path less journeyed. His nontraditional approach emphasizes decentralization and deconstruction of the spoonfed status quo. Repping Washington D.C. in conjunction with Ealu, this man extends himself in multiple influential circles.

His message is simple: Culture > Corporate. Just the right individual to kick questions to, so we hit him with FNN’s best – The Wordsmith. Here is how it went.

Fresh News Now: Will you take us through your creative process and how your music sparks intrigue?

Uptown: Really, the beat talks to me. I may get a melody and put words to melody. I just make sure those words are informative got some substance with it. Stuff that sticks and that people tend to go back to.

FNN: On a song with DJ J Hart you mentioned that we are all our own saviors. Could you elaborate upon that?

Uptown: We are all our own saviors in the sense of an ‘A’ student prepares for the test that they know is coming. They saved themselves from failure. The people that fail lack foresight of the preparation for tests that’s coming. There are things that people ignore over time without recognizing the weight of it.

Uptown poses in front of mural depicting DC legend Cool Disco Dan

FNN: What elements and experiences throughout your life have sharpened your pen the most ?

Uptown: Both my parents were musicians. Being around them while they were in college and having them moreso as friends led to me being around that crowd more than my own age group. That made me advance early and led me to knowing about things before a lot of other kids. 

Uptown XO looks to revitalize D.C.’s chocolate city with go-go genre

FNN: What is your trajectory looking like within the throws of the Washington D.C. underground hip-hop scene?

Uptown: I have a lot of things coming out for the culture. My brand is about preserving the actual culture of the city. I use my art to preserve things that are going down in appreciation. Until Don’t Mute D.C. it was like a downward fall for us. I want to keep raising the genre, my brand within the Washington D.C. brand.

Paint won’t cover up the blood in the streets , it’s kinda bitter sweet…look?!!! They gave us a street ! But the paint won’t cover up the blood in the streets, or stop cops from killing us ,on camera so we can see…
Black lives matter wow?? they gave it some attention..they killed a thousand “n*ggaz”and it took some yellow paint to forget it…??
#NAACP to #BLM owned people that don’t look like us and we don’t look like them! (via Uptown XO Facebook)

FNN: So you are fully invested in the underground scene – you want to make sure you get a return on your investment and that people down the line can also benefit?

Uptown: Definitely. Not only benefit from the history but from the culture over corporate mentality which counters the corporation. The corporations are pushing people to be impulsive rather than strategic. While the kids are young and impressionable, the culture is being chosen for them before they can actually have the knowledge to choose something for themselves.

Don’t Mute D.C. movement raised the area’s stock

FNN: Were you nominated for a Wammy?

Uptown: Yes I was and I won Album of the Year for Culture over Corporate Volume 1 produced by Drew Dave. 

FNN: How does being a connoisseur help you tap into the mystique of the underground?

Uptown: It all starts with wanting to know something first. When Nike SBs and Supreme first came out it was underground. If a person possessed that, they would want to be the first to introduce it to their peer group. If you had it, you were looked at as the connect to the underground to get new things.

Culture > Corporate

FNN: How might you differentiate between interpretation and intention when it comes to delivering music?

Uptown: If it gets people talking and the questions get to me then I can correct any misinterpretations and showcase my true intentions. A lot of people get metaphors misconstrued because they take the saying literally. 

FNN: How do you implement the OneForce United mentality into your everyday processes?

Uptown: Everything I have in my closet is from someone I actually know. That way, I’m not unconsciously empowering oppressors or feeding a corporation while people in my community are sinking. Let’s put some of that energy into ourselves, our communities.

“How can we extract GoGo from one form and alchemize it to something else?”

Uptown XO

FNN: What are the GoGo Olympics?

Uptown: Yes that is another brand extension. Right now we have a couple designs. 

FNN: If there were an actual GoGo Olympics what would that look like?

Uptown: It would look like Verzuz x Battle of the Bands. It is going to set up to be a venue where we will pull all the best bands in the city out for an event. It’s going to be annual and as of right now it is just an idea.


Clearly, this man strives for greatness with a deeper purpose. His thoughtful responses and intrinsic ways of thinking truly shifts paradigms. With contemplation, revelation and consideration this man has begun to displace barriers for his people. We thoroughly enjoyed having him share insights with our publication.

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