Another week, another brand new Q&A with one yet another one of Chicago’s most talented up and comers. This time around, I chopped it up with Ausar Bradley. Ausar caught my attention about a year ago when I listened to his debut project “Lazarus,” and I’ve been keeping up ever since. He’s really one of the most under rated new artists out, and he’s unique in the fact that he refuses to use profanity in his tracks, he keeps it all positive. Go ahead and learn some more about him below, and afterwards be sure to listen to his music here.


EM: Before we dive into the questions, give our readers that may not be familiar with you a brief introduction of yourself.

AB: So, my full name is Ausar Bradley. I’m from Chicago, but I’m currently attending the University of Illinois in pursuit of a degree in Chemistry. I’ve been officially making music for about a year now, and my only project to date is called Lazarus, however I’m also working on another project entitled “The 6 Page Letter” currently. I belong to a collective called A.I.M. which stands for Artistically Intelligent Minds that consists of myself, Josi Green, and Plainro. Our overall goal is to spread positivity and educate through the music we create all the while creating an enjoyable experience for the listener.

EM: Explain your relationship with Plainro & Josi Green. When did you all meet & when did you start A.I.M.?

AB: Josi and I meet through a campus organization named WORD which stands for “Writers Organizing Realistic Dialect.” WORD is a collective that helps students hone in on their artistic skills while allowing them an outlet for their artistry through a once a semester concert. During first semester concert prep, Josi heard this piece that I wrote and really rocked with it. Realizing I still had a lot of growth to do, he basically took me under his wing and mentored me from that point forward. Plainro was also a part of WORD, but he had graduated long before I started attending. However, he was Josi’s primary producer, so I would always hear his work. It didn’t take long before I KNEW I had to work with this man. And he believed in me and eventually became a mentor of mine as well. The rest is history. & AIM itself was actually started a little before we started making music together. It was a group I tried to form coming into college filled with in house artists of all disciplines. Sadly, this fell through due to time constraints and other factors, but the name stuck!

EM: What/who inspired you to become an emcee?

AB: A multitude of people honestly. The first person to have a large musical impact on me was my brother Nikolas. He was heavy into instrumentals, so we would always sit in the basement and just write to whatever we could find. Which in turn, helped me develop a love for rapping. As far as artists are concerned, my biggest musical influences/inspirations are Common, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Mos Def, etc. etc.

EM: Those are some of my favorites as well, especially Common & Kanye. While we are talking about influences, who is in your top five favorite rappers list of all time?

AB: THAT’S TOUGH….. Well, Common is my favorite rapper. So he gets a spot off top. Even though a lot of people don’t consider Lauryn Hill a rapper, I feel like i definitely have to throw her in the mix. Kendrick goes without saying. And I feel personally attacked by having to fill in those last 2 slots. So I refuse to do so. Lol

EM: First time we have had an artist refuse to finish their top five, but i respect it haha. Not to put you under more pressure or anything, but I’m going to have to ask what your top five favorite albums/mixtapes of all time are.

AB: Mixtapes: No Ceilings, Friday Night Lights, So Far Gone, Acid Rap, The Water[s] • Albums: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Like Water For Chocolate, The College Dropout, Malibu, Fearless

EM: All great projects. What is your favorite song of yours that you have created so far?

AB: Hmmmm…. Off impact, it’d have to be Excuses, but there are a couple of songs off my new project that I think are pretty cool too! I can hear myself progressing, and that’s such a beautiful thing.

EM:Excuses is my favorite as well, Street Clothes is a close second though. So who are some of the younger Chicago rappers/singers have you been rocking with?

AB: A lot of people actually! Since I’ve started making music I’ve come across a lot of really dope artists. But currently, I really rock with Femdot, Christian JaLon, the Zero Fatigue collective in general (sidenote: Jay 2’s new single goes ABSOLUTELY CRAZY), Isaiah G, etc. etc. Chicago is just such a melting pot of talent that it’s ridiculous.

EM: Some great names in that list,  if you had to pick a few bigger name Chicago artists that you would like to work with in the future, who would they be?

AB: Definitely Mick, Saba, Chance, Vic Mensa, and Noname. All of them are just incredibly raw. Lol

EM: What was the first piece of music that you ever purchased?

AB: It was either Finding Forever, The Blue Print 3 or The Cool. I’m not sure which one though. But knowing me it was probably Finding Forever

 EM: Amazing projects, Finding Forever was one of my first as well. So you’re from Chicago, how much has the city influenced you?

AB: A WHOLE LOT. What’s interesting is that I was able to see both sides of he spectrum growing up. My dad moved out to the burbs when I was 8, and when I was 10, my mother moved over near 75th and Stony Island. Which in turn created a HUGE contrast in living environments. It made me appreciate the beauty and culture that the city really has to offer, all the while causing me to question the socioeconomic status of the neighborhoods that we lived in by seeing it’s contrast from the way my father lived in the suburbs.

EM: I feel you, I had the same type of situation. So what can our readers expect from Ausar for the rest of 2016?

AB: PROGRESSION! That was the whole goal of this year, and it still is.I think I’ve done a great job of that thus far, but by the time December hits, I want to be leaps and bounds ahead of where I am now.

EM: Always a good plan. Last question, where do you see yourself in five years?

 AB: Thriving, fully engulfed in whatever career path God has chosen for me. Making positive changes to the world that I live in. And helping everyone else around progress in every way possible!