HoodxBuddha, formerly known as Prop, is a Richmond-raised, Los Angeles-based artist. She is the total package when it comes to a rapper. Her prior album, Vintage Luggage, provides a silky flow over beats resemblant to neo-soul and jazz melodies. She gained national recognition from Revolt TV in late 2020 thanks to her single Cash Rules. Ever since she moved from the commonwealth state to the golden state, she has evolved in her creative direction by forming the label Mind After Midnight. When she stopped by TheMSQShop in Richmond, Virginia, I had the time to interview her and learn more about what she gives to her supporters.
Jay: What inspires you today to make music?
HB: Really it’s the expression of the art. I love how I can take any situation, good or bad, and make it a moment in history by turning it into a song. Music has always been a form of therapy for me so I think the freedom to fully express myself is what keeps me going.
Jay: What were some lessons you learned from Richmond’s music scene? How did you apply those lessons during your time out in Los Angeles?
HB: The first rule I learned is there are NO friends in this industry. Business is business and strictly financial. Because a lot of us know each other personally, professional lines or expectations can be blurred. Just because you vibe with an artist does not mean they are going to have a level of loyalty for you that you would expect from your day ones. Your friends aren’t your fans, they’re your friends.
I applied that in LA by just thinking smarter in business. I really think my time in ATL working under Joy Young exposed me to how the game really functions in the background. As a mentor, she taught me how important it is to provide value to those you wish to work with. So, in LA I don’t start conversations about how I think someone can push my agenda forward. I offer them something of value and in return, I receive something of value. It’s really about nurturing relationships at the end of the day.
Jay: What are your thoughts on TheMSQShop and what they’re doing for the general indie music scene?
HB: I think TheMSQShop is what’s needed in the indie game right now. As the industry evolved, things like artist development became less important to major labels. Entertainment has become an industry that is more focused on who is popular versus cultivating real talent. I feel like TheMSQShop brings that back. We aren’t going to count you out if you don’t have a certain number of likes, our job is to provide you content and exposure so more people are attracted to your art.
"As the industry evolved, things like artist development became less important to major labels. Entertainment has become an industry that is more focused on who is popular versus cultivating real talent. I feel like TheMSQShop brings that back. We aren’t going to count you out if you don’t have a certain number of likes, our job is to provide you content and exposure so more people are attracted to your art." - HoodxBuddha
Jay: Your most recent project Vintage Luggage is almost a year old. Did the project hit all the goals you wanted it to? Whether it’s numbers, the message, impact, whatever it may be, did you feel like it did any of that to your expectations?
HB: I would say yes and no. I learned a lot during the process of releasing Vintage Luggage. Personally, I thought Mulholland Drive Vibes was going to be the single everyone gravitated to. While it did great on Youtube (currently over 25k views), it was Cash Rules that grabbed the attention of local radio and Revolt. If anything, it gave me additional perspective. We tend to “chase the single” when in actuality the people are going to choose what it is they need and want. I’m still happy with the outcome of the project. It gave me more views than I have ever received so I can’t be mad at that.
Jay: With yourself making it onto Revolt last year, what other platforms would you like to see yourself on?
HB: I have some podcast goals that I would like to achieve. I would love to do the wing challenge on Hot Ones and of course, Drink Champs. Internationally, I would love to do a performance with COLOURS x STUDIOS. They’ve shown me love in the past so it’s really just a matter of time before it happens.
Jay: Let’s talk about your creative label influenced by psychedelics, Mind After Midnight. Who is involved in it and what services do you offer with that label?
HB: Mind After Midnight is something I have conceptualized over the past year. For me, ownership is very important. I am involved in many projects and have done a lot to help other people push their vision forward but I wanted something that was mine, just me & my vision.
I started working with a psychedelic company over a year ago and that really transitioned me into a full-blown psychonaut. After doing therapy of my own by psilocybin & ketamine treatments, I had a desire to offer more to the world. I have always looked at music as a gift from God and Mind After Midnight is my chance to honor that. Yes, I will still make that ratchet Richmond music from time to time, but the purpose of my gift is to touch people’s lives and give them something they can connect to.
My first artist, Kaay Taurus, is a phenomenal musician. I mean, this girl can take any song and amplify it to the next level. I genuinely believe she has a grammy in her, it’s just a matter of which song it will be. Our first big project will be a mediation & sound healing project that I hope to see on some meditative apps in 2022. The psychedelic industry is being built every day so it’s important that my people are involved in it now.
To sum it, we are really just a collection of creatives that put genuine intention into our art form. We are aiming to raise the vibration of the collective consciousness. It just so happens that psychedelics helped us figure this out.
Jay: In an Instagram post, you had a caption from some words you said in 2018. And I quote, “𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘱𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦. 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘶𝘴𝘩 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘥𝘳𝘶𝘨. 𝘚𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘵 𝘶𝘱. 𝘎𝘦𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘧𝘹𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘣𝘦𝘴.” The post further dove into how you grew to become a mental health advocate and became more vocal about the benefits of cannabis. Where did the quote come from?
HB: That quote came from my soul man! I, like many creatives, tend to go through rounds of anxiety and depression. In 2018 I was really trying to figure out my PURPOSE. Like yes, I rap -- but then what? Okay, people dance -- but then what? It was me doing creative visualization and really defining who I am. That is why I reduced my name from Ms. Proper to Prop and then eventually decided to go with ‘hoodxbuddha’, a name my wife gave me around the same time. I know I am having this 3D human experience because I am here to serve the underserved. So that quote was me defining it.
Jay: If you and Prop from 2018 were having some lunch with each other, what would y’all talk about?
HB: I would probably tell Prop to stop worrying so much. You’re going to figure it out. The money is coming. Trust the process. I have played a supportive role to others for so long so I would encourage 2018 Prop to put herself first. Don’t go through so much hurt and turmoil to figure out you are who matters most in your existence. I would reassure the 2018 Prop and tell her to be more confident. You ARE a creative genius. The world needs YOU. I would also tell 2018 Prop to buy crypto sooner than later because man I missed out on a little bag.
Jay: It’s wild to really think that just over a decade ago how weed was taboo. Now in 2021, we have eighteen states that legalized weed and several more that decriminalized it while not being fully legal. As a weed advocate like yourself, what were some common stigmas that you face while talking to people?
HB: Mostly that people think I’m just a pothead or that I don’t care because I’m stoned. There’s a misconception that cannabis use can cause laziness, and in some people, it can, but it has really been a tool for me and allowed me to stop taking anxiety medication. It also opens up doors to creativity. The average person, especially in LA, gets it but some of the super-religious folks or elders don’t seem to quite understand. And that’s okay. I’m not here to say it’s for everyone, just respect that it’s for me.
Jay: Who are some of your favorite indie artists?
HB: Right now I would say Peter $un, Fly Anakin, Guapdad 4000 & Brent Faiyaz. Video-wise, Chris Scholar is a motherfucking beast!
HoodxBuddha can be found on all social media @hoodxbuddha . To get more information on her Mind After Midnight label, click HERE.
Written by: Jay Guevara. @justinhisprime on all social media.