If you haven’t heard of Slaine, odds are you will become acquainted with his talent in the near future. Hailing from Boston, Slaine has endured a story similar to many artists and survived by being true to himself. Starting from nothing; living on the streets, and perfecting his craft in warehouse studios – he grew from nothing to a highly recognized East Coast rapper and hip hop artist, and now has over a dozen acting credits under his belt after being recognized and sought after by Ben Affleck for the hit movie Gone, Baby, Gone.
Slaine is in your face, but doesn’t preach – he tells the hard story of truth, developing his own beats in the studio. He built his street cred by finding any stage he could to tell his story. Some of his earlier work was steeped in drugs and alcohol; he successfully shook that mountain off of his back and went on to refine his act, developing a strong following. He kept focus on his music and message amidst the noise of fans, industry, and society. His long-time collaboration with hip hop supergroup La Coka Nostra dealt him an even better hand and brought his talent to the forefront of hip hop. Keeping grounded in the music is difficult for any artist, but just wading through Slaine’s lyrics and personal interviews, you can sense that he carries intelligence and a sense of humility about staying the course and not worrying what others think about his art and inspiration. Slaine’s latest collaboration with Termanology resulting in the Anti-Hero release smacks you right in the face at right angles with a collection of tracks that goes deep with every colour of emotion.
While acting is a dream for a lot of people, it was something not immediately on Slaine’s radar when he got the call from Ben Affleck. Affleck had just read a local Boston article on Slaine, and felt he would be a good fit for a role in his feature film Gone, Baby, Gone. That was a door opening that the hip hop artist was able to work and turn into other opportunities in small roles that fit his personality and demeanor. Scoring roles in Gone, Baby, Gone, The Town, and indie film Dead Draw released last year, Slaine is quickly building that side of his career and gaining valuable experience alongside of some very well-known A-list actors.
Artists can be either an open slate or totally closed off when trying to look deep into where their motivation and art comes from. Here are a few quotes from Slaine that give us a feel for who he is as a person and why he has achieved so much over time:
On Why Now is the Time:
“The old days are gone and they aint coming back. Obsessing about the future is useless. The time is now. Don’t forget it. The time is always now.”
“I’m proud of what I’ve been a part of and how far I’ve come in my life but I believe my best work is in front of me and my future is bright. So today I wake up early and work hard to be better than I was yesterday. I’m grateful for today.”
“And it all goes by in the blink of an eye.”
On Being Real:
“People will tell you exactly who they are and how they feel about you with their actions. Listen. If you go painting every red flag white, just remember when you get burned, it’s a product of your poor choices. Tonight the quote comes to mind, ‘Just because you are a character doesn’t mean you have character.’ Choose wisely who you keep in your life. Note to self.”
“14 years in and I still get that adrenaline rush all day before performing. It’s twice as much for a show at home.”
“Man, when I was a kid I always thought 40 was old. Today I hit that number and my perspective has changed quite a bit. I’ve learned more from my failures than my success but I’ve had a good enough dose of them both to gain some wisdom and hopefully a little humility too. I’m grateful on the day I turn 40 to have so many people who show me love on a consistent basis. I have a great circle of friends and family, a career I love, I’m a father to an amazing kid and I’m healthier and in better shape than I’ve been in my adult life. I’ve been sober for more than 3 1/2 years and because of that I’m able to help some other people too. As a friend of mine often says, I’m doing pretty good for a dead guy. Thank you for all the birthday messages. I appreciate you all.”
“Accidentally stumbled on some old stuff that never got finished or came out from the last couple months of my drinking and drug use. Cringeworthy. The crazy thing is that I was under the delusion that I needed booze and drugs to be creative or that it somehow made me better. That was one of the worst lies I ever told myself because it kept me out there an extra ten years. Thank God I came out the other side. If you’re struggling with the same delusion, just know that your creativity and abilities have nothing to do with getting drunk or high. If anything you’re skills are being impaired the same way your driving or anything else is. That’s been my experience anyway.”
“I linked up with my friends The Street Dogs in the studio this week and did a new joint with them for their record. Sounds dope.”
Slaine – Lyrics from Anti-Hero:
Cracks in the basement, dawg I been that involved
Pull me out the rubble and the ashes when the attic falls
Before I learned how to walk, first I had to crawl
Forced down to crawl and I was bleedin’ like a battered dog
Back against the wall, my gaze is full o’ rage
My ways are unpredictable like when a bullet strays
Divide my math, you can’t by zero
Can’t buy time, you’re left with the anti-hero