When did you get started creating music and how did it come about?
I’ve written poems my whole life and rap has been a big part of it, so I mixed my two loves into one. That happened sophomore year of high school, although I didn’t record my first song until after I graduated and that’s when I realized I needed a stage name. My brother Launie passed away when I was 6 yrs old to cancer, so as a tribute to him I named myself Riplon. Riplon stands for R.I.P Launie but instead of Laun I put Lon. I dedicate every song to him.
Since you’ve been rapping, how do you think the Tampa music scene has changed?
I think it’s progression has been quick and beautiful to watch. I’m from Brooklyn, NY and I never felt connected to the city until I met the hip hop scene here and I felt at home. And when I came to this realization is when I dropped my last project called At Home EP. But I’m blessed to be apart of it honestly.
How long has your new project “SKY” been in the making? Can you give us any details about it? Features, producers?
I’ve been working on SKY officially for a year and a half, but I’ve had the idea for about 3 years. As for details, this is my very first actual album. I pride myself on being extremely versatile, combining styles that you wouldn’t think could go together and transitioning them smoothly. I switch flows, sounds, and the theme on almost every track. The title “SKY” is for challenging those who say “SKY is the limit” because it isn’t. You are your limit. I use my personal stories, trials and tribulations to focus on the path I took to realize this; from fighting depression, ridicule, and anger, to love, blessings, family, and acceptance. Although you have tracks like SKY on the album, every track tells a story if listened to a little closely. Listen deeper to not only the flow and beat, but to the lyrics. I have features such as Macibision’s Richie Guapo and the lead vocalist of Samurai Shotgun, Prince Golden. Beats produced by the likes of Mike Mass, Jahrah from The Nobodies, and many others contributing as well. Plenty of production versatility within the album for sure.
You mentioned that the progress you’ve made thus far has been without a team or manager.. Do you think it has been more difficult taking this route? What are the pros and cons?
Not as many pros as there are cons. It is much more difficult and I made the choice to do this because there aren’t many I can trust with my future. So, I trusted just myself. It’s definitely harder but it pays off because I know it was all me that did this and I have full creative control of my craft. But the cons are that it’s much more work to be the artist, manager, advertiser, sponsor, and performer all while working 40 hours a week to pay for it all. Needless to say, I’m up late nights putting my dream together. It’s not that I don’t want the help, just haven’t found the help I could trust or would need to make it out of the local scene.
Besides a new album, what else can we expect from you in the future? Any upcoming events?
Well, besides the album, I am always dropping new freestyles to beats such as “30 Hours”, Kodak Black’s “No Flocking”, “Chi Raq”. I got one written for Rich Chigga “Dat Stick” as well, ready to drop soon. But besides that, I’ll be taking a trip to California to push my music out there and talk to some important people. Expect plenty of other albums as well; way too many thoughts and ideas that I’ll be damned if I don’t put them into effect when the time comes. I don’t have any shows lined up just yet, but I plan on doing plenty of performances after the album drops, hopefully reaching farther than just Tampa. I’m just trying to make it to where I know I need to be. Everyone has been local at one time, but I feel it’s my time to venture on to further things. Really make something of myself, I’m hoping this album should do it for me.