SOLILOQUIES FROM THE SOUTH is an informal interview series that seeks to provide up-and-coming artists a forum to tell their personal history and speak to their own purpose and motivations as a creator.

an act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, especially by a character in a play

With so many aspiring rappers and producers in the game, it can be damn near impossible to be heard above the din of voices spitting bars into the void. But Fred E.T. is an artist with a vision and a plan. The young phenom out of Henry County didn’t start creating music until college, but once he developed a taste for the art form, he started pursuing his career with ravenous hunger. A tireless student of hip-hop, Fred E.T. approaches his craft from a multitude of angles, leaving no stone unturned. His style, such that it is, is easy to trace — a hypnotic blend of dirty ATL funk and West Coast jazz fusion coupled with an acrobatic flow. But knowing where something comes doesn’t always mean you can tell where it’s headed, and this cat’s debut LP, God Got a Funny Way of Showin’ It!, is chock full of surprises and bold risk-taking. Not surprisingly, his end goal is worldwide conquest — an immeasurably lofty target to be sure, but if you’re going put yourself into the game why not shoot to win?

For his soliloquy, Fred E.T. goes deep into his backstory, revealing the memories and influences that have carried him this far. He also discusses his present work, and most importantly, his future vision. Together the three combine to paint a portrait of an artist who understands his history and is prepared to transform the knowledge he’s acquired into something confident and unique.

Alright a little — maybe a lot — about me, and imma just stream of consciousness the part about where I’m from and my influences. Alright so, it’s a couple places I consider where I grew up really: Wisconsin and currently McDonough (Henry County waddup!). Wisconsin is where I spent most of grade school at, Portage, a smaller town south of Madison, so I was a bit late to a lot of things, compared to the speed of things down here. I didn’t arrive to Georgia until 10th grade.

The funny thing about me is that I didn’t start rappin’ until I got to college. Other than that, it was nothin’ but basketball, football, and school. I consider myself being in a bit of a culture shock ’cause I ain’t know too many black kids back in Wisconsin, you literally could count them on one hand. So basketball helped me first get accommodated with my peers a bit faster than anything else. I’m still adjusting to stuff, one thing that always stuck though, was music, of course.

I ain’t have the usual Wayne, Jay Z, Kanye upbringing off the bat. During my time in Wisconsin, it was a lot of backpack and Midwest stuff (The Cool Kids, Cudi, Pac Div, Lupe). So when I got down here, I don’t know why but I had a lot of old school hip-hop hits on my iPod Nano along with my other music, until I switched up quick with the newer music. One of the greatest things I love ’til this day that happened to me was during summer of 2010, I was playing football for the school and after summer workouts I wanna say, my homie DeJuan had put me onto Wiz Khalifa’s Kush & Orange Juice. THAT. TAPE. THERE. changed EVERYTHING. That’s when the mixtape circuit was boomin’ (shouts to DatPiff and the iTunes library). What’s also funny was I had a homie back in Wisconsin, Evan, that tried to put me onto Wiz but he ain’t play the songs that would lure me in enough to go look him up. I had this happen again down here in Georgia during AAU when The Warm Up was out. Homie played me some J Cole tracks, but they didn’t catch my ear like that either, so fast forward back to the year of the Kush & OJ tape, THAT led to HELLA downloads, one of them towards the end of the year being Friday Night Lights, Cole’s greatest project ever in my opinion. That was how I got onto Cole. I was on Blu, Asher Roth, Wale and them ’cause I kept up with the XXL freshman classes, too. My homie Mac also did that with Kendrick, BUT it was through a feature with Curt@!n$ and I ain’t bite. It’s funny too, I remember having XV’s Zero Heroes tape that had Kenny on there, but it didn’t stick. [I’m] not saying it was bad, it just didn’t make me go after HIS music like that.

So to bring basketball back into the equation, after I got done with a week-long hoop camp down by Emory, one of the homies there hit me on Facebook, and sent a link like “Bruh. listen to this.” It was “Hol’ Up” by Kendrick. AYO! One listen and right after I got the whole Section.80 asap. This would carry into my senior year in high school. Got on the rest of TDE, found out about MF DOOM, Jay Elect, a ton of people. But yea, I guess I can get to talking about how I got into rap now (lmao). So freshman year at Clayton State, I met the homies Cam who helped me start writing, and Xavier. Through them I met Shaq who put me on to not only music but like a lot more knowledge of things in regards to yourself, i.e. Spirit Science, and of course hip-hop, and he had this talk of starting a pure hip-hop movement, and I wanted to be a part and make things happen. So from there, I just took it seriously.

Fred E.T.

So it’s this book I downloaded on my iPod Touch (yea, had to upgrade) and the ebook was called How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC. Now, mind you, I had a glimpse of natural talent when I wrote some raps with Cam, I just studied the history and mechanics to get me right and keep improving. The weird thing with this is, EVERY video on YouTube I would watch at the time, somebody would post a comment talking about that book, it was the same copied and paste comment — at the top, too. To me it was like a sign, so I went, got it, read it front to back, sharpened the sword, and I’m glad I did when it kept popping up in the comments, because ’til this day since I downloaded it, I have not seen that comment [again].

But yea that’s my background and a bit of my upbringing. It’s certain artists that I listen to a lot, shoutout to Y’ALL, you guys hit two of the many influences of mine on the nail with Kenny and ‘Kast in the first write-up. I put a ton of work and thought in my approach to music and how to move it. How to present myself for example — changing my name from [one] that was a derivative of one of my favorite artists to just using my name, but still stylized. It can’t get any more original than Fred E.T. ’cause it’s really just my initials.

So fast forward finally to now. I have my first project out, God Got a Funny Way of Showin’ It!, which dropped last Friday. I’ve been carefully crafting this and a number of projects. I’m glad it took this long, not GLAD glad, but enough because even though I’m still rough around the edges, I coulda dropped a year or so back and REALLY been rough. I learned a lot though — life and music, how to make music, and how to move it as well. I’m just trying to make a name for myself, become a stamp on hip-hop for all the great reasons. I wanna start with Henry County, then Atlanta, the rest of the States, and branch out overseas. So I’m just working damn near every day to make sure I can achieve that goal I set out. Nothing is out of reach, but you gotta be savvy about it, too.

Henry County got a bunch of sounds and so does ATL contrary to what stigma it gets because of what the rest of the world sees and hears. Like, Gambino AND Migos are simultaneously poppin’ right now! So as far as where I fit, I don’t care because I know I’ll always have an audience, based on the different influences that I mold my style from. I’m just try to get better every day in any way I can, man, and soak up as much as Atlanta has to offer. Everything is about what you go looking for and I’m just now starting to scratch surfaces.

Things I look to change? Keep going out, way more performances now that my project’s out. To me, my style needs tweaking and an upgrade, just gotta switch and add gears to my arsenal. As for the future, without putting time stamps on anything: more performing, more marketing and promo work, and work on two upcoming projects — one EP and another full length down the line, that’s all I’ll say. These are projects I been had in mind and had a bit of progress on, so for those reading and know how long I took to drop music, I been starting and putting some projects off that I felt wasn’t ready just yet due to the content I wanted to present. I’m in the process of taking Henry County and Atlanta by storm, so my name will come back up for bigger and better things, God willing. Word to my bro Aaronic. It’s time, and I just need to be the best, period.

More Info
Facebook: @Fred42ET
Instagram: @fred_et_
SoundCloud: @fred_et
Twitter: @Fred_ET_