Problem is one of the many rappers that we don’t hear about in magazines, or see on BET, or hear on the local radio station. He’s one of the many, the many rappers who get major deals but never blow up. They either sit on shelves until people forget all about them or find themselves struggling to release a single that is buzz-worthy enough to get them a release date for their albums. Luckily for LA rapper Problem, his first run wasn’t his last. Thanks to a strong perseverance and a will to not give up on his dream, Problem finds himself with a second chance at a long-time dream, and this experience seems to working out much better. With a new home and a refocused energy, Problem is one of the rare examples of a hip-hop artist making a buzz for himself the second time around.
What is Diamond Lane Music Group?
Diamond Lane Music Group is more than a label. It’s not even a really a label, it’s more of a movement. We’re really pushing that line about the glitz and the glamour and how California really is. The fast cars, pretty ladies, the palm trees, the good things. We’re really focusing on the positive and really about getting in that fast lane and living that life with no brakes and no stops. That’s the route we’re pushing musically, mentally, and physically.
What’s it like to be able to create a buzz in your career for a second time?
The fact that I have been around for a while, a lot of people don’t know that I’ve been riding and really taking a stab at this before and to really, truth be told, fall off and to really disappear for a couple of years. To be able to resurface means more to me than anything, the fact that my squad and my family kept me focused and kept me positive that I could get back to this point and beyond the point that I was before. When I had my deal with Universal I thought it was great, but to learn about this business that way you know what and when and why. Now that I know that and I’m seeing the same faces and different reactions from people, I know what it is, so it makes it easier to handle. I in no way feel like my buzz is high. I feel like I’m right at the bottom. When I’m in the studio, I don’t want to see anything but this music.
What was it like to go through that experience with your first deal and realize that a major deal doesn’t guarantee stardom?
That’s the saying. You’ve got to go through a bad deal to know what a good situation is. I’m not going to say I had a bad deal, but my situation just wasn’t the best because I got caught not knowing, and that right there, that lack of knowledge, will kill you, and it’s nobody’s fault but yours. I talk to artists who want to get a record a lot, and I just tell them to know your worth and know what you’re getting into. Your time is not yours any more, so make sure when you do that deal it’s worth it and you have all the certain amenities and things are straight, because when you’re back at rock bottom it’s crazy, and you get to see who’s who.
How do you feel about your current work?
I’m just excited I got this project, “Welcome to Mollywood.” This is going to full-fledged turn up. The streets are going to love it, the clubs are going to love it, and hopefully the ladies are going to love it. It’s a party, man, and I’m having fun. I’m talking about anything I want to talk about, from the nasty to me and my intoxications, in my raps, but it just feels bright musically yet aggressive at the same time.
Michael Mahon attended Clark Atlanta University, where he majored in journalism. He is a regular contributor to SoJones.com and has written for several other online and print publications, including Ballerstatus.com, Allhiphop.com, Creative Loafing Atlanta, and INsite Atlanta. Aside from writing, he is also a huge sports fan and film buff.