Before MTV takes the big show to the Barclays Center on Sunday, August 25, we hit the streets of Brooklyn to soak up some culture from the borough's emerging hip-hop talent. Every day, beginning Monday (August 19), we'll spotlight a brand-new artist for our Brooklyn Hip-Hop Week.
Troy Ave reigns from the Crown Heights section of BK and has made a name for himself with his street-driven and witty raps. His Bricks in my Backpack trilogy of tapes have been critically acclaimed and helped him get respect from veteran MCs like Fabolous and Pusha T. Later this year, he plans to drop New York City: The Album, an ode to the Big Apple, with a special emphasis on BK.
"The borough of Brooklyn is unique," he said. "I've been a lot of places and to me; it's the best place on earth."
Where I'm From
"Crown Heights is just like a mixed neighborhood, you got Jewish people and you got black people and they're both ghetto. The Jewish people ghetto, the black people ghetto and they all fuse into the same neighborhood."
The Brooklyn Influencers
"My influences from Brooklyn would have to be Biggie of course, he was the first rapper that I could identify with... and then Jay Z came through, he had Streets is Watching and that was just like crazy... and then Fab just came through — he was the young Brooklyn cat. So I identify with them three for different reasons."
The Brookln MC Is...
"If you're from Brooklyn, you gotta have street credibility off top. You gotta be fly, you gotta look like what other people wanna look like — who they aspire to be. You gotta be lyrical, but at the same time, you can't be corny with it."
"To have the VMAs in Brooklyn, I think that's amazing. It shows how far we've come as a borough in the city. That was unimaginable a few years ago... I think that's dope, Brooklyn is coming up!"
Check MTV News and RapFix.MTV.Com all this week to hear from your favorite Brooklyn artists, all leading up to the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on August 25.
VMA 2013: Brooklyn Hip-Hop Week Map