Wednesday, April 14, 2010


(Interview originally conducted May 2006)

If you haven't seen the video below
yet, watch it first, before reading this interview.

Back in the late 80's Denny Blaze had a dream to get his big record contract as the "average homeboy", just a rural middle-class guy rapping about life from his perspective, nothing more, nothing less. His dream still continues on today.

What year were these videos [ Average Homeboy , Blazin' Hazen ] made in? Who filmed and edited them? (On a personal note, I enjoy the quite literal visual accompaniment to the lyrics.)

What's up Average Homeboys? Denny Blaze here. Thanks for reading up on me!

First, I will say... I have been working on smoothing out my rapping. Average Homeboy was written in the late 80s when I was a teenager. I wrote produced, and edited the famous demo video, ha ha... including those silly graphics behind me. The little help that I did have... my dad and brother shot a couple of scenes... but for the most part, I even ran camera for myself.

Ah, cool. So your parents were supportive of your dream? Did they think you would actively pursue a career in music entertainment?

My parents have always encouraged me to believe that anything is possible. For sure, my parents believe in me.

What record labels and/or producers did you send these videos too? What was the response?

I sent that particular video to... MTV, Capitol Records, and Warner Bros. Records.
What makes me remember that version is... I recorded an introduction to the demo. Obviously, it was one of the first projects that I sent out. Of course, I got letters back passing on my music, and since then I have received plenty of other pass letters. I've saved every one of them. They've always been my motivation to get better. Glad to say, that I've kept working on music, and now I have over 70 songs produced. You can check out material

Can you revel some titles of these new jams? Maybe explain some of the topics you're tackling on them?

Top Secret on the new songs... I may as well write a few more songs for other artists, ha ha. Though, I am very sure that some of my many other old songs are out there. So, don't be surprised if a few more DEMOS pop up!

The new CD "Blazin". So hot, you can't relax.

Where does Denny Blaze draw his inspiration from? I get a sense it's more from life experience than other musical artists. I am wrong?

For starters, those pass letters from record companies make me want to succeed to prove myself. When somebody says I can't do something, well... I believe that anything is possible.

I've always liked to be a leader... never went along with the crowd or gave into peer pressure. Just wanted to express my point of view in music since I like to jam hot beats.

You speak of smoothin' out your rapping, but part of your appeal is the wildly off-beat delivery of your rhymes. Thoughts?

Looking back so many years... yes, my rapping was really rough. Just to tell you... Average Homeboy was recorded straight into a cassette player from a mic and a keyboard. I didn't have multi tracks or digital editing back then. It was a one-shot take.

Anyway, I can laugh at the old performance, and be thankful that I'm much more SMOOTH now ha ha
Maybe I should mess up the beat on purpose????? Na, I'm working to be the BEST!

Fair enough, I'm sure it will still be hot.

Thanks for the confidence... I'll deliver some blazin jams!

What has the response been from the hip-hop community?

I respect where others come from, and hopefully they can respect... where I come from. Rap falls under the Urban department at major record labels. Yes, my stuff is rap, but it's not urban for sure. So, that has been my biggest hurdle in pitching things to record companies.

Now, through the internet, it's the people who can decide if something is entertaining or not, and that's how my music got so big... just average homeboys sending it to their friends.

People either love it or hate it, (Average Homeboy) Either way... I'm getting a huge amount of response.

Just fighing for his equal rights

I respect that you are being true in your raps of your own upbringing as an average homeboy. Do you think that an artist like Vanilla Ice is really from the hard streets, or do you think he's really just an average homeboy like ourselves?

I can't speak for anybody else because I don't know where they've been. Though, it's not fair for Vanilla Ice to be picked on because of his skin color. If a white guy wants to rap... why can't he rap without a fuss?
People say that there should be equal rights... well, it should ring true for all.

It says on your website you've performed in numerous radio and television shows? Which ones?

I've been in local television all of my life. So, all of the shows that I have been on... were broadcast in Northeast Ohio. I was 8 years old for the first talent show that I won... where I did a Johnny Carson monologue. I've been on local talk shows, hosted a few shows and appeared in tv commercials. Back near the Average Homeboy demo days... I made a rap jingle for the Pepsi Cola Company in Canton, Ohio and performed in an HBO commercial for Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio. Anyway, I've done a ton of local stuff. I'm still looking to do stuff
worldwide and finally my stuff is getting there.

One of my favorite stories so far is... I got a letter from a fan in Australia who told me... everybody in his school was talking about the Average Homeboy. Also, somebody played the track over the school PA system.

Do you have any interest in writing jingles? What kind of products would you like to represent if so?

Yes, I'd like to do more commercial work... I'd prefer a company to approach me! It's nice to be wanted.

But what kinds of companies would you want to approach you? What kind of items/products would you want to represent? Fruit Loops?

Yes, I like Froot Loops. By the way, they spell the Fruit part with two OOs, (Froot Loops.)
Still... I don't want to point out anybody in particular.
I'm open to listen to any offers as long as it's a fun Ad, and the company believes in me!

Do you perform live?

Yes, it's a blast, and I'm hoping to do a tour.

You are very in-shape. What is your workout routine?

I work out almost everyday... probably 6 days a week. Most people despise working out...I get upset if I have to miss the gym! Working out makes me feel good. Just like everything else I do... I give 110 percent. I lift weights and do cardio... kick boxing is my favorite.

If you could collaborate with any one person, who would it be?

I've got the hottest idea for a collab with Snoop... if I ever get the chance. Though, I honestly prefer to go SOLO!

How are the ladies treatin' The Blaze these days?

Me and my Average Homeboys,
well, we like it when...
the ladies make some noise

Thank you to all of my Average Homeboys & Girls!
You guys have been making me smile daily,
and I hope I can return the favor.

Keep it hot!

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