Albemarle, North Carolina—population 15,680 and home of the very talented rap duo XClusive. XClusive isn’t new to the rap game as they’ve been mixing tapes and laying down tracks since 2002. Members have come and gone, but the love of rap, the talent, and the ability to deliver has remained the same.
I was recently told about XClusive by a close friend. He said, “They’re from Albemarle, North Carolina. They are definitely worth your time.” Now when I think of Albemarle, North Carolina, I think of Kellie Pickler, but I can definitely tell you, regardless of geography, the guys of XClusive do not disappoint.
As I listened to their songs on their Myspace page, it was hard to determine which one was my favorite. “Throw Yo’ Hood Up” featuring Jeff X is a great song in which they represent North Carolina and the South. “On My Mind” is a song I could listen to over and over again as it’s a song in appreciation of the beautiful women at the club and not so innocent things they would like to do with them. Then there’s “I’m So Fly” with the catchy chorus line of “white tee’s and my white sneaks”, which is another one I could put on repeat.
Another thing I appreciate about their songs is that there isn’t a lot of profanity, at least in the songs I heard. Now, I know sometimes it is necessary, but I’ve listened to too many “rap groups” who throw in swear words in every other line, and call it rap, its not. XClusive has great lyrics that can be fun and catchy, but that are also can be real and about the struggles that come along with life—The ultimate sign of a great rapper.
I was able to contact the guys from XClusive (Jim Xiong & Money Vang) to take the time to participate in an interview and connect them with you, our Hmoodle readers.
Ryan: I’m here with the rap group Xclusive based out of Albemarle, North Carolina. I want thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to participate in this interview with us.
XClusive: Anytime, we are happy you guys took interest in our group and to take the time out of your schedule to interview us.
Ryan: For those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you give our readers some background information about the group.
XClusive: We’re just ordinary guys that have a drive and passion for hip hop music. We also like to deliver our knowledge and our experiences in our songs that maybe someone can relate to. Since we are from the South, we always have a club banger floating around. So believe me when I say, we’ll bring the house down.
Ryan: I read in your bio that you’ve had some members come and gone, so is this going to be who XClusive is from now on or could we see new members?
XClusive: Yes it is true some members have come and gone, but due to very good personal reasons. As for new members of Xclusive, no there won’t be anymore, but we are working on turning Xclusive into more of a record label name for the fact that myself Jim Xiong and Money Vang will be working on our solo albums.
Ryan: So you guys aren’t necessarily a group, but you still work together on each other’s albums.
XClusive: Yeah though its solo albums, we still feature each other and still give each other feedback on what sounds good and what doesn’t. We’re still a group—we’re just working on solo albums at the moment.
Ryan: Had you guys always known each other or did rap bring you together?
XClusive: We have known each other since we were teenagers. We have all been good since then up until now. Hip hop music was something we first did for run, but we once we started picking up a good fan base, we took it to the next level and therefore, creating the group that is XClusive.
Ryan: At what age did you know that you all wanted pursue a career in rap.
XClusive: For all of us, it was when we were about sixteen. The “still driven” days I guess you can say. Don’t get me wrong. We are still very driven, but back then, it was more going “all out” trying to get it out there, now we’re trying to take a more professional approach.
Ryan: Nothing wrong with trying to be professional. There are so many great rappers out there, past and present, but which ones out there inspired you the most?
XClusive: Mainstream wise, Outkast, Nas, Krs-One, Jay-Z, T.I., of course 2-pac and Biggie, Eyedea, Common, and the list goes on.
Ryan: Where do your songs come from? What inspires to come up with your songs?
XClusive: Everyday life, struggles, anything and anything that can fuel our motivation.
Ryan: Which song(s) are you most proud of?
XClusive: “On My Mind”: is a fan favorite. Eb Sha(One Time): is the song that really made us who we are. That was the joint that had all the OG’s jumpin’ the first time we performed it at the New Year back in ’03. “X” which is a song from 2004 that people may have not even heard of, but was the first song we completed together as a group. “Throw Yo X up” was the song that had people crossing their arms to show love everytime they saw us. “Big Boiz” was the first official club banger we made.
Ryan: I know that I’ve read that you’re currently working on an album. Any time frame for a release date on that?
XClusive: There kind of is, but we prefer not to release it yet as we don’t want to make any empty promises to our fans.
Ryan: Besides the album, what more can our readers expect out of XClusive in the near future?
XClusive: Expect the unexpected. A lot of people are wondering why they haven’t heard much from us lately, but the fact of the matter is, we’re just waiting to drop a bomb on the music scene. Though we will be doing it as individual artistes, Xclusive is still here and will be back better than ever.
Ryan: I want thank you guys once again for being apart of Hmoodle. We wish you the best of luck with everything you do. Any last words for our readers?
XClusive: Thank you Ryan, and everyone at Hmoodle.com. Just want to let our readers know that if they would like to further hear our music or get to know us better come visit us at www.myspace.com/xclusiveiswhoa Again Thanks Hmoodle.com.
Thanks again to Jim Xiong & Money Vang of XClusive. I look forward to seeing more of them in the near future. If you are in the North Carolina area and they are performing, go show them love and head out to one of their shows. Hopefully they’ll be in the Midwest area soon, so I too, can see them live.
Be sure to check back with us here at Hmoodle with further updates about XClusive as to when their album(s) will be released, performance dates, and when they do drop their albums, we’ll be here with reviews. Be sure to check them out on Myspace and here at Hmoodle.com under their profile in our music section.
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