Blackman: Talks About His Everyday

Blackman: Talks About His Everyday

Admired for his staunch rapping with Dam Native, one of Aotearoa’s most long-lived and revered hip hop crews, Blackman is now pursuing a solo career and returns to the national stage with a powerfully personal release. Blackman talked with NZM about his Everyday.

Reflecting on nearly three decades of experience in the music game Blackman’s outstanding, energetic new track tells his own truths about finding his way to a place where he now strives to be the best version of himself. Mixed, mastered and produced by Sydney-based Don Sahand, Blackman’s booming vocals are offset and enhanced by the addition of the equally forthright Athena.

Everyday‘s equally hard-hitting video premieres at 11:11am on 11/11 (2022) – so naturally enough NZM fired Blackman 11 not-so-everyday questions to answer.

Everyday comes out really swinging – among the chorus, “Everyday I pray I be the best” – how much truth is there in that lyric?

100% truth. I strive for greatness – every day. My version of greatness. In the past, I may not have always been this person, but I do my best – every day to be a better person. To my family, my people and mostly bring the best of myself. Every day I ask the universe to help me bring all of me and manifest greatness. I don’t half-step at anything, I am a perfectionist with detail. I don’t stop until it’s done properly. Everything I do, I give it my best.

What’s the most satisfying lyric in the track for you – and why?

“Everyday day I’m blessed” is the most satisfying line, but the most meaningful lyric to me is “dope on a rope, I’m never gonna quit it.” (Muhammad Ali invented this phrase for when he leaned on the roped to tire out his opponent and attacking in later rounds to win his fights.) “Hottest ticket in the hood, man I ain’t finished.” This comes from being in the hip hop game for a very long time and I ain’t done until I release some solo music. My hood’s been waiting for this (Arataki), and I’m ready!  

There are plenty more strong self-affirmations included in Everyday. Did you pen them all for yourself, or is it just rapper flow for the listener?

Every bar has real meaning for me. Every word, line, sentence and paragraph comes from my heart, my soul and lived experience. And a reminder of who I am and who want to be. Being authentic is everything. I wrote it all myself with flow. Music is my life, and my life is music, so my music reflects me.

The last single we heard from you was the Dam Native For Life track and video, released on Regal Records about a year ago. How did that go?

Amazing, given there was no money or marketing behind it. The track was my 6th choice of song, in terms of 1 – 10, but it went straight on Spotify and Youtube. So in saying that, it represents me and I’m very happy with it.


Everyday is coming out via Mirage Entertainment. Why the label change?

Time moves on. Shit happens and things change, and here I am. End of story. 

How many years have you been an active part of Dam Native?

Since 1994. Do the math.

Don Sahand has definitely engineered up a storm for you. Was it that Timbaland Beatclub clip that turned you on to him?

I got introduced to Don by an artist named Pharaoh Swami, through Regal, to mix and master one of my tracks, and through this time I found him to be the easiest, most genuine, talented people I’m proud to call one of my good mates. It surprised me when three months later I heard one of Mr Sick’s tracks and I asked – who’s made this beat? Don – he’s the man. The rest is history.

Athena gets a fair chunk of the song’s run time – with a drip that makes her sound every bit as badass as any of your lyrics. What did you ask her for?

We had met before through Regal Records. I had the track completed. I gave it to Don and we agreed needed a female vocalist. She wrote her 16 herself and came with the heat. 

The track’s structure is awesome – is that how you wrote it in your head, or part of Sahand’s mix engineering genius?

Thanks, that’s exactly how I structured it in my head, and with Don engineering, his beats around the song structure worked well.

Who did you get to make the video for Everyday and why did you choose them?

My video was directed by Lleyton Watts and filmed and edited by Ocean Oriya from 24K Media. A very young and talented duo that possesses the edge and integrity I was looking for. I wanted my video to be like a movie but still current in visual and knew straight these were the boys to bring it to reality for me and I wasn’t disappointed.

Is there any one part of the video that really makes you smile?

I helped Lleyton and co. direct my video as I had all the places and locations in my head months before the shoot. I also gave Ocean my ideas and vision and sat with him during the editing process. I’m a creative with everything I do, so there isn’t just one part that stands out to me – it’ll have to be the whole video that makes me smile and I believe all of it nails the song’s meaning.

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