Norm Regular has been rhyming since adolescence. Putting a candy cane decorated pen to the paper at just the age of eight writing his first rap, he’s been at it ever since. Growing up it became second nature to him. He was battling everybody, going all over his school and the streets of Baltimore. Seeking out battles and taking them on with viciousness. It got to the point that he didn’t even have any food in his stomach, just rolled out of bed, barely stepping foot on to his high school and people would want him to battle.
He would do it every time. This ferocious drive was ignited in him, he was smoking whoever and gained mutual respect from those who had carried the torch prior. Norm is a superb writer, his free styling days give him an upper hand. In a time where battle rap is not dead but certainly less prominent. Rarely those that rhyme now have that type of daily experience spitting off the top of their head in a battle setting.
Allowing his thoughts and writing to come naturally. Straying away from senseless writing and making sure everything means something. Music is in a way therapy for him, as it is for others. “People write because nobody listens” is a saying he shared with me that I hadn’t heard before. It’s the truth, writing is a form of expression and not all of us have someone there to express to. Essentially it’s listening to ourselves and if what your writing doesn’t mean something then what’s the point.
There’s always a point behind Norm’s music. He won’t even write if one is not present. Everything comes naturally and is real. Painting pictures in his audiences head while also grasping concepts that relate. All in all tying his entire approach together in harmony.
We spoke below on his life in Baltimore and all things music:
Where are you from?
I’m from Baltimore, Maryland.
Have you stayed out there your whole life?
Born and raised, although I have a lot of family in New York and spent a lot of time there in my adolescent years.
What was it like growing up in Baltimore?
It was pretty fun as a kid, we did regular kid stuff. It got complicated as we got older though. Regular life on the east coast.
How would you define east coast life?
Fast paced, blunt, expensive.
When did music come into the picture?
I’ve been writing loose raps since I was 9. I started recording around 15. I pretty much was raised by music.
Who were the artists that influenced you to start?
Canibus specifically. His verse on L.L. Cool J’s “4,3,2,1” blew my mind. Him, Nas, and L Da HeadToucha really made me take my skill seriously.
What are some words you’d use to describe your style?
Rapid, aggressive, direct.
What’s your writing process like?
I only write when I’m going through something, or when I can’t get out of my own my head. I never like to force any music because I can always hear it in the finished product.
That’s good, it makes everything more natural and genuine. What are some of the most potent bars you got in your opinion?
Ahhh man that’s a mean question. Off hand this line from my song Blood Rap “Raping these drugs, I’m hating it no places for love.” Then on my Koba joint I start off saying “Lost my marbles and the bag that came wit it/ tried to kill my brother told my mother that Cain did it”.
Those are tough. What inspires you most to keep going?
The ability to still make good music. I left making music alone for a while just because I didn’t have the urge to do it anymore. I kept getting told not to waste my talent. The day I don’t have any inspiration to write will be the day I stop making music.
You definitely have a gift for it, the fact you just let it all come to you is going to take you farther too. Nothing’s forced. What’s the concept behind The Fifth Labratory?
I truly appreciate that bro! I’m a big anime head, and I love Fullmetal Alchemist. I knew I wanted to incorporate the show into my music because it ironically coincides with my life. So I hit My man FITH a.k.a Thank FITH like “yo, Ima get some beats from you.” Once I got the beats the back drop was already there. Every song title is a name of a Fullmetal Episode. The Fifth Laboratory is where all the essential shit happens on that show. Being the producers actually make the music it only made sense call it the FITH Laboratory since FITH is concocting these beats.
Do you try to keep a creative concept like that behind all your projects?
Definitely. My Class Of ‘99 project is somewhat conceptual, but my other joints I’m working on all are like that. I like to be able to visualize what I’m saying so I try to find a concept that fits what I’m speaking on.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m putting the finishing touches on my Class Of ‘99 project. I have some music with Grimm Doza dropping soon too. Other than that I’m playing tug of war with ideas for what I wanna do next. I can tell you for sure I’m working on a Ep called The Regular Show.
Do you plan on dropping both the EP and project this year?
Absolutely. Among some other things as well. Me and my brother Mak P are a group called The KORNER BOYZ. We’re working on our debut project as well.
Mak can spit too, I’m sure that will be hard when you get it all together. Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?
Indeed! I think that’s it man. I just wanna say thanks all around the board. Definitely to you and the readers alike. It’s definitely appreciated.