How did you come by your stage name?
We came up with the name “4 Wheel City” during a studio session a few years after we met in 1999. Tap Waterz was doing a freestyle to Jayz and Camrons “I’m From New York City,” and instead of saying New York City he said 4 Wheel City and it fit everything we were trying to do when we started our mission to inspire people to never give up and make a difference through our music.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
Our Love for what we do comes from our love for music individually first before we met each other. Rick Fire as producer and DJ and Tap Waterz as a rap artist. After we met each other we immediately started making songs together just for the love of it as we were getting to know each other as friends. Once we developed a sound as 4 Wheel City and saw the great response from the streets and our target audience we knew it was time to go hard and take what we were doing serious and to the next level.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Our sense of style mainly comes from hip hop and our struggle and community in the Bronx. We try to keep our sound hip hop when we do songs about subjects like inaccessibility and gun violence to keep the authenticity of the music itself. That way people can hear the creativity and appreciate our talent as well as the music. The best and most praised rap artist or musicians, in general, are the ones who can do both at a very high level, blend creativity, and content with the musical sound itself.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
Our 2 most recent projects are our latest album “Quarantine Music Vol 1” and our feature in the new AppleTV docuseries “DEAR”. ‘
“Quarantine Music Vol 1” reflects everything that’s been happening since the economic shutdown and quarantine started. “It’s inspired by the effects coronavirus has had on the world. Music has the power to change the world. We hope the music helps people deal and heal in these uncertain times. Popular Bronx rap star, Fred the Godson, who died from coronavirus is featured on one of the songs. Fans Can Listen to it here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/4wheelcity/quarantine-music-vol-1.
DEAR is a 10-episode Apple docuseries that can now be watched from start to finish. It Features stars like Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Spike Lee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Yara Shahidi, Aly Raisman, Misty Copeland, and even Big Bird. Highlighting people their work has impacted reaching out to the stars with a letter sharing their experiences.
Tap Waterz is one of the letter writers reading a letter to Stevie Wonder sharing his story directly. He lets Wonder and the audience know in a very moving way what Wonder’s work as a blind artist means to him and how it helped him realize that anything was truly possible after his injury left him in a wheelchair.
This set the foundation of what would become 4 Wheel City, an acclaimed group that advocates for people with disabilities while also educating about important community issues like gun violence. Watch the trailer here: https://twitter.com/AppleTV/status/1273480832292843521?s=09
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
Some of our greatest challenges would have to be dealing with the lack of accessibility and also having to prove ourselves in two worlds that don’t normally support or approve of our type of music/culture or circumstances/disabilities. Being two young black men in wheelchairs coming from the streets of the Bronx doing hip hop music the odds are automatically stacked against us.
The establishment in the disability community doesn’t normally highlight or showcase young black men where we come from doing hip hop. The hip hop community doesn’t normally highlight or showcase artists with disabilities. When you think about that, it’s remarkable that we have been able to accomplish what we have thus far in both worlds, and being able to break so many barriers despite those odds being stacked against us.
We think our greatest quality aside from our talents as a producer & artist definitely has to be the fact we are dedicated to the craft and truly love what we do.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
Yes, we do think we are the best at what WE DO. Mainly because its really no one else out there doing what we are doing. We created our own lane and market. That speaks for itself.
What are your plans for the near future?
We are looking to lend and enhance our voice to the Black Lives Matter movement. Especially for the Black Disabled lives. That’s another set of issues to deal with but its a genuine cause for us because we’ve always represented our blackness in our music and also how we present ourselves. We have never sold out or compromised our blackness to get where we are.
We intend to hopefully get some bills passed in congress. Also use the platform we were giving with AppleTV “Dear” project to attack injustice as well, extra motivated by the fact one of the other letter writers to Stevie Wonder is Bryan Stevenson, the lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative and also the movie “Mercy” starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B Jordan is about.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
All the fans and people who have supported us through the years and truly believe in us and what we are doing!
How can fans find you?
What suggestions do you have for other artist like yourself?
Never ever give up, believe in yourself, don’t make excuses, work hard, show up and always remember Black and Disabled Lives Matter!
TO HAVE YOUR STORY, BRAND OR PRODUCTS FEATURED ON MUZIQUE MAGAZINE, PLEASE SUBMIT DIRECTLY HERE.