There’s a sad dynamic that goes on among families, neighborhoods, communities and hometowns. That of course is…in those environments, the people may not appreciate whats in front of them because well….it’s what’s in front of them. I get it. It’s hard to imagine little Joey from down the street becoming the President of your City Bank. It’s hard to imagine Sheila from down the block becoming the Governor of your State. What ends up happening is that the person on the rise is consistently overlooked, until one day, their hometown sees them in the limelight shining ever so brightly. This is a story known oh too well by Youngstown OH native Rufus Moore known to the world as Rufus Blaq. (Personally I think Rufus is a dope name anyway since one of my favorite 70’s bands also carries that name)
In the video interview Rufus goes on to tell the story of his history in regards to how he made it in the game through hip hop’s iconic girl act Salt N Pepa to his encounters with Super Producer Chad Elliot (now shown on BET’s Moguls) to the decline and rebirth of his music career. And then the camera shuts off. He’s still dropping jewels but we don’t get the signs that Kei Marie’s eyes are getting wider and the look on here face tells the story. We didn’t get those jewels on camera. Whether it was a malfunction or not (we won’t blame anything or anybody lol) As we always say…God don’t make no mistakes.
So in this blog I will attempt to recapture that which was lost, and what he was trying to say to give you a true picture of Rufus Blaq.
UW: Rufus correct me if I’m wrong but you seem like a spiritually guided guy. How did you survive in an industry full of darkness?
RB: In the 90’s I didn’t do so well. There were times that I was full of myself. I battled alcohol and drugs for a few years. There were women that I was in relationships with that I didn’t totally respect. Just living that typical Hip Hop Rock Star life. So no, it wasn’t really who I was, but in the industry you can get caught up real quick. Underneath all that tho, I was still a good guy.
UW: Now that you’re coming back on the scene in a different way, do you still feel the need to live or engulf the entire Hip Hop lifestyle.
RB: LOL let me tell you something. It’s so crazy but, when I was out in LA and we did the release party for the Whitney Houston movie, it was just great to see grown people having grown fun. We didn’t feel the need to do anything extra. We just had a good time. We’re all at a time in our life were we’ve been there and done that. It was great to see Angela Bassett do the Tina dance for us. But you know what was so dope Layne, a Turn-Up song came on and she just Turnt Up with it, and then we all just Turnt Up without breaking stride haha. After that we just dipped. Nothing extra, nothing more. I think when you get to this point your not chasing…you’re celebrating. Celebrating that you made it with what you’ve been through and that there is a lot of living to do that’s ahead of you.
UW: There is a saying, when someone has made it out of a hometown “You can’t ever go back home” ..part of that reason is that people don’t love you the same or it doesn’t feel the same whether it’s jealousy or you’re just in a different space. Is that the case for you?
RB: On the outside, Youngstown is a crazy city and for a time all people knew was the bad out of YO. I’ve seen a lot of death in that city. But what they also don’t get is there are beautiful families there as well. They don’t see the close knit community where everyone knows everyone. They don’t see the number of productive people that made it out of YO that went on to have notable careers. So for the most part, yes, when I go back home, I receive a lot of love. But that small percentage that doesn’t love you is very significant and can’t be overlooked as well. That small percentage can get you hurt or killed. For some, they feel like you have no right to make it, so they plot and plan to put venom on your name or even take what you have. That’s the part that’s really sad man, because I would do anything to help someone.
UW: These days I see you in the studio a lot helping young acts develop their craft. How did you not fall in the bitter veteran category and continue to move forward?
RB: Layne, this business is all about relationships and how you maintained those relationships. I think my easy going demeanor helps a lot with this. Why would I distance myself from the youth when they are the future? See we have to remember, we were once those guys. Yes! We often wanna glamorize the past, but where do you think they learned the turn up from? While we were the ones popping bottles with the women shaking in the video with Uncle Luke, the kids were paying attention. The problem with music today is not the content but the balance of perspective. Hip Hop today only shows one perspective which doesn’t give today’s listener a well balanced diet of the culture. You can’t eat twinkies and soda everyday and expect to be healthy. You’ll eventually what? Die…which is where Hip Hop may be headed. I’m here to steer the ship the best way I can.
UW: After it’s all said and done, what impact do you want to leave in Hip Hop?
RB: I lost, I won, I lost again, and won again, but I never lost my trust in God. God is involved in everything I do. Layne, I haven’t even begun to show the world what I’m capable of. There are stories untold that I still have to get out. Big up to my brother Doug E Fresh, I remember being broke on the road and him putting $1000.00 dollars in my hand and telling me to be encouraged. The music business is not for the faint of heart. You’re gonna get your heart broke a lot. Bless my sister Faith Evans. We’ve been there for each other so many times. Laughed, Cried, whatever. It helps to have people like that to have your back. I just want my legacy to reflect the goodness in my soul.
It’s a crazy time out here. Racism is at all time high than we’ve seen in decades. I’m just here to spread as much love as I can while I’m here. I just want y’all to be proud of me and to say if I did it….I did it 2 Def!
As we’ve seen many appearances from Rufus, from doing a percentage of the score to the Whitney movie to making his appearance on VH1 with his mentors Salt N Pepa. Rufus is not going anywhere soon. He is stamped and approved by Hip Hop….but also by the place he carries wherever he goes on his back ….OHIO.
Thanks for taking time to talk to Uptown Weekly RB
Please see Link below to watch live video.