JB!! AKA Dirty Moses Interview By: Liam Sweeny

Written by on December 7, 2022

Photo By: Robert Cooper Jr.

There are over 170,000 words in the English language. And the human mouth can make close to 800 distinct sounds. It’s nothing that we think about, but as an

instrument, the mouth is more versatile than just about any other. And in the world of music, it is hip hop that plays the human voice as a slick, fast arpeggio.

JB!!, aka Dirty Moses, is an award-winning hip hop artist. His lyrics are expansive

and dripping off the microphone with meaning. Originally from Harlem, he’s been

playing in the Capital Region for years.

I sit down with Dirty Moses, and we discuss the power of the pulse.

RRX: All music tells a story, even instrumentals are painting pictures of old

Victorian houses and little silver gear sprockets revolving through the innards of a

pocket watch. But hip hop is where lyrics are central, forward. How do you use the music to push the lyrics in your work? Which comes first? 

JB: I like to create music or work with a producer whose music leaves space for me to become another instrument within the song. I love finding the pocket inside the beat and flowing as well as giving the listener an education on wordplay, similes and punchlines.

The process to creation though, varies depending on the vibe and feeling and message I want to convey. If I hear something that gives that creative spark then I am off and running, painting a musical landscape that relays the message intended. Sometimes I may freestyle to myself and say something witty and jot it down to use later. My phones have several notes that somehow build into song form at some point.

RRX: You won the 2020 and 2022 Eddie’s awards for Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the

Year. I won an Eddie in 2022 as well. It feels like a vindication of effort, but it also is a challenge to not rest on laurels. How do you take it to the next level as we go forward?

Also, if you didn’t win the 2023 Eddie, who would you wish to lose to in this area?

JB: Congratulations, Liam, on your Eddie. I also won the 2022 Listen Up award for Favorite Hip Hop artist and Favorite R&B/Soul/Funk act with Victory Soul Orchestra.

As for the next level or should I say, my next act, I intend on making music that translates to a wider audience pushing my creativity to new heights.

Presenting much more entertaining video treatments, more shows and touring. The plan is to be better than my last outing. My next project will do all of that.

As for who I wish to lose to, I don’t wish or plan on losing. Haha! If I do lose I wouldn’t mind it being to someone that is working just as hard if not harder than me.

My favorites right now include Ohzhe and B. Chaps. Albany Lou is working hard, I like what he is doing. Sime Gezus is still producing quality material to watch for. I also like Camtron 3000.

RRX: Hip Hop is a story of what’s real clothed in the wild fantastic. It’s like you can

say anything in rap as long as you’re saying something. This is true of all art, really;

maybe the definition between substance and style. Do you feel that there has to be some core thing being said, or can it all be just lyric and flow?

JB: I believe in balance. There can be braggadocious rap and conscious rap. There is a place for all of it. Moods change so, there are times I want to dance and party and club hop. 

Other moments call for contemplation. I enjoy listening to battle rap and don’t mind the super lyrical material. But, if I put on Pharoahe Monch, Busta Rhymes or Eminem, I want to hear how they ride the beat (flow).

As an artist and consumer I listen to see what has not been done or talked about and what pocket/lane I can fill without sounding like everyone else.

RRX: Sampling is one of the cooler aspects of hip hop. It’s just as much an

evolution of sound as a guitarist finding a riff that sounds like Zeppelin and going with it. We cling to things from the past that are familiar, and as a sample, hip hop challenges

us to reimagine it. I imagine every artist has favorite areas to sample from. How about


JB: I tend to sway towards the obscure and uncharted b-sides. Jazz, Funk, and Soul have all been conquered and re-imagined. If the vibe is right I will go in that direction.

But, when record shopping (digging in the crates), I look for the most impressive artwork first unless it’s an artist I am familiar with. 

A little tip for the crate diggers: most albums with a scantily clad woman on the cover are fire. Don’t be afraid to take risks and pick up someone you’ve never heard of. You may find some gems.

Remember, there is an art to sampling and making new what was old.

RRX: You feature a lot of other people in your work. I recently came across a story,

on Facebook, I’m sure, where someone brought up getting paid to feature. And it started this thing; should the offer to feature be considered musical collaboration, or should it be 1099 work? Where would you fall on this debate?

JB: This is a tough one. On the one hand, we as artists deserve to be paid for our work and most importantly our time. This is to be respected as our most precious commodity. Ask for what you are worth.

On the other hand, if I vibe with you and we already have a long-standing relationship, I doubt I would charge or expect to be charged. Same goes for when I produce music for others and vice versa. 

Money clouds things and can strain relationships. With that being said, remember, this is the music BUSINESS. If a collaborator wants to be paid for their work and time, pay them. If you don’t have the means, make that clear in the beginning so time is not wasted. I am huge on creating relationships. This goes a long way in business. no matter what type.

I love collaborating though. Hearing other artists take on a song idea can catapult a small b-side into a huge single. 

“We can achieve a lot by ourselves — we can create impressive and important things, even — but when we collaborate, what we can achieve is greatness” – Sydney Welch

RRX: You’re from Harlem, and came up to Albany. On the one hand, they’re

different. But we’ve been getting NYC transplants for centuries, so Albany couldn’t

exactly have been like Timbuctoo. We’re urban cousins. What does the Harlem part of you offer Albany, and what does the Albany part of you offer Harlem?

JB: I like this one…

The Harlem side offers a grittier perspective at a fast pace. Harlem gave me so many jewels growing up. It opened my palette to several cultures and a way of life most aren’t privy to. Harlem gave me the slick talk, the grind and hustle mentality. My wit, humor and charm is all Harlem. My grit is Harlem. My flashy looking lifestyle, player and pretty boy attitude is all Harlem. 

Now, Albany has slowed me down a bit to help me put everything I have ingested into perspective. Albany helped me realize my purpose and balance me out.

With Albany not being as congested one finds space and time to relax with your thoughts and grow. And, as you age, you should create space to do those things, no matter where you live. Carve out that time.

The Harlem grind and NYC life doesn’t necessarily give you the opportunity to do that. So I offer both cities a balance. You will hear all sides of me in my music. (Long winded, I know)

 RRX: Are you working on anything, what’s on the horizon?

The new project is completed and is titled Ultraterrestrial. I am looking to release two or three new music videos in the coming months to kick off the release. I may tour if I can find time and I will probably do a few album release parties throughout the North East Region. I am happy to see this artform shape television, cinema, clothing and pop culture as well as push boundaries and bring people together and get the respect it deserves. 40 years ago it was considered a fad. Now Hip Hop is everywhere and is the most consumed music worldwide (besides Taylor Swift haha).



@JBakaDirtyMoses on instagram

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