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Interview with Travis West (Dictator), October 13, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:37 - Early musical influences

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Partial Transcript: When was it when you first realized that you wanted to become a rapper and you was interested in music?

Segment Synopsis: Travis "Dictator" West describes listening to artists like the Jackson 5, Destiny's Child, and Athens rapper Ishues, going to a local music store, and making music with a boom box and microphone set as a young boy.

Keywords: Bogart, Georgia; childhood; family; parents

00:08:35 - Hip-hop hot spots in Athens

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Partial Transcript: And what was going on basically around Athens as far as local music?

Segment Synopsis: Dictator describes listening to hip-hop and R&B music in clubs and bars as a teenager. He also tells the story of his first rap performance, which took place during a talent show at Club Underground and did not go according to plan.

Keywords: Blues Club; The Spot; Underground; Unpredictable

00:16:03 - Home and professional recording

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Partial Transcript: So let's get to when you start finally recording.

Segment Synopsis: Dictator recalls splicing beats and recording audio tracks using his boom box and a friend's computer throughout his teenage years. As an adult, he discusses collaborating with producers Moody and Jimmy Howard as well as rapper Groan on more professional tracks. West also discusses his deal with GA Pro and his continuing allegiance to Groan and his hometown.

Keywords: GA pro; home recording; mixing; producing

00:27:11 - Stonehenge neighborhood / Local artists

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Partial Transcript: How would you say Stonehenge- did that influence your music any?

Segment Synopsis: Dictator describes his experience and perception of Stonehenge, an Athens neighborhood known for drugs and violent crime. He also mentions local artists who he worked with at GA Pro, as well as up-and-coming rappers who he considers exceptionally talented.

Keywords: Big Body; GA Pro; Yung'N Restless

00:38:08 - Buddha album

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Partial Transcript: I know you have the mixtape Buddha coming out this Halloween, October 31, 2016. What number of CD will this be for you?

Segment Synopsis: Dictator discusses the new style he plans to showcase through his upcoming Buddha project. He explains that he chose the name "Buddha" for his fifth album because he feels wiser due to his age and hardships related to his mother's health.

Keywords: album; mother; sickle cell

00:44:50 - Athens rap potential

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Partial Transcript: Athens, Georgia, as a hip-hop mecca, or as a town where several artists can pop off and make careers off their rap career, do you feel like this city has that type of potential?

Segment Synopsis: Dictator explains his view that Athens hip-hop artists can work together to improve their music output and create a stronger black community.

Keywords: Athens Hip Hop Awards; collaboration; performances; revitalization