Get to know rapper Eighty8.
Miami based artist Eighty8 signed with Cash Money in 2020, but his musical journey began long before then. As a child Eighty8 was heavily inspired by his Jamaican and Haitian heritage and music. Growing up in Miami, also allowed Eighty8 to be exposed to a variety of cultures and music. At the age of 3 Eighty8 would spend hours watching VHS tapes of Michael Jackson while singing along. Eventually his interest in music grew and he began performing at talent shows and pep rallies before joining R&B group 4th & Ocean and signing to Warner Bros. Records. Following the group’s disbanding Eighty8 continued to pursue his passion for music and even went viral with his hit single “Pree.” In 2020 Eighty8 caught the attention of Cash Money Records and joined it’s roster.
Eighty8 fuses R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop and island music to create a truly new and innovative sound that transcends genres. He cites Tupac, Biggie, Chris Brown, Buju Banton and Jeezy as his biggest musical influences and has worked with artists like Usher and Betty Wright. Recently Eighty8 released new visuals for his single “HIT” as well as a visual mixtape teaser of what fans can expect from him in the near future. Find out more about Eighty8 by checking out our exclusive interview below.
The Knockturnal: When did you first start experimenting with music?
Eighty8: As far as I remember, because my mom always tells me the story, I was pretty young, but she says that I was kinda obsessed with Michael Jackson videos and sitting in front of the TV watching music videos. She knew I could sing by the age of 3. I was holding notes, you know when kids sing along to songs. She knew. I knew later on in middle school and that was when I was like I want to do this.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about your Haitian and Jamaican roots and how that influences your music?
Eighty8: My mom is Haitian and my dad is Jamaican. That mix alone is crazy. My mom was Haitian so I grew up with predominantly Haitian heritage. My mom always kept me in touch with my Jamaican roots, and being from MiamI it’s a big mixture of cultures down there. I was never too far away from stuff and I grew up with a mixture of music. It wasn’t one sort of sound, I was exposed to a lot of different kinds of music.
The Knockturnal: How old were you when you started taking music seriously as a career?
Eighty8: At first it was football, when I was 10 or 11 going into middle school and doing a couple of talent shows. It was just a hobby and I knew I was good at it. I always loved it but it wasn’t really something I wanted to do until I got to see Chris Brown and then this was something I could do. From there I linked up with some dude who was supposed to get me into the studio. He never got me in the studio but I never got the bug off me, so I kept bugging my mom until I found my way and I got into high school and it’s been a wrap since then.
The Knockturnal: How did it feel to be part of R&B group 4th & Ocean while you were a teenager?
Eighty8: It was dope because of all the experiences. Being in the studio long hours and doing what it takes to do a great song or a song that everyone likes, learning how to perform. Touring for the first time and meeting executives. It was really the hook, I was able to experience it for a bit and never turned back. Before I got in the group I was with one of my childhood friends and we were always working in the studio. It was always a mixture of R&B and rap when I got in the group. It was what was needed and I’m a team player and did what was needed at the time. Musically, growing up from North Miami, the west side, our music always had the influence of singing and a street type of vibe. It wasn’t really a pivot, it was really like a thing where I was holding myself back. I was just doing what we needed to do to get there.
The Knockturnal: What have been the biggest highlights of your career so far?
Eighty8: For one, signing to Cash Money. Two, getting with my team just because we were able to accomplish a lot independently and now we are able to take it to another level. Those are kind of the highlights from me, as far as what music is right now. There’s a couple things I want to put in there like my record called ‘girlfriend’ getting on the radio but I wanted to keep it big.
The Knockturnal: How did it feel to sign with Cash Money?
Eighty8: It was amazing to be real. It feels right, me and my team didn’t want to do anything that felt like it wasn’t going to go anywhere. It felt right and it feels good to be on the same label with the top 3 right now, Nicki, Drake, and Wayne. The most valuable thing that I’ve learned from signing the Cash Money team was to be very humble.
The Knockturnal: Can you tell us about “HIT?” What was it like making your Cash Money debut?
Eighty8: “HIT” is an introduction record, it just gave an introduction of who I am and what made me who I am and what my sound is and how I flow through stuff. There’s going to be a lot more of that and I’m about to have a lot of fun with it. That’s why I think “HIT” is a record that gives you a proper introduction into what I am.
The Knockturnal: Is this a preview of upcoming music? I remember some of these songs from your performance. Is Trilly Wonka out already right?
Eighty8: “Trilly Wonka” isnt released yet. All the records that you heard are going to be on the mixtape. We definitely wanted to make sure that once people were interested and engaged they would be interested in listening to more. There are going to be some more records but we haven’t really figured out a tracklist yet.
The Knockturnal: Can you tell us about what else you’re currently working on?
Eighty8: Before the new year we are dropping a tape. I gotta get to work and finalize the name. But right now I’m just making some music that would actually touch the world and make people feel something because a lot of stuff right now is regular and no disrespect to nobody. Just something to stand out. So that’s what I’m here doing you know cracking out my brand and my
team and right now we are just working on some new music. We got some freestyles coming out though. We are definitely here working.