Brook­lyn artist City The Great shares some inside scoop on his new single “Day One”, his upcom­ing album ‘The Word­smith’, his role as CEO with Cer­ti­fied Nation Enter­tain­ment, and more. Check out the full inter­view below and listen to “Day One.”

Listen to “Day One” from the forth­com­ing ‘The Word­smith’ Album

MJ: Before we jump into “Day One” let every­one know who you are and where you’re from.

City the Great: Thanks for hav­ing me. I am City the Great from East NY, Brook­lyn.

MJ: You’re an artist under Hip Hop legend Spe­cial Ed. How did that come to fruition? Are there any chal­lenges regard­ing age and mind­set? Or is this a step towards bridging the gen­er­a­tion­al gap in Hip Hop?

City the Great: Actu­ally, my home­boy is Ed’s 1st cous­in and he told me for the longest that he would con­nect us. Of course, at the time I did­n’t believe he was Ed’s cous­in. One day he came to the stu­dio with me and took the song I wrote and recor­ded that day and said he was going to play it for Ed while at Funk­mas­ter Flex’s birth­day bash at BB Kings in Man­hat­tan. Long story short he did and gave me Ed’s number…he wanted to speak with me, and the rest is his­tory. There are really no chal­lenges in age and mind­set in work­ing with Ed. He’s been a great ment­or and I have learned a lot about the game from him. He stays up to date on the busi­ness and the cul­ture. He also has great faith in my grind and cre­ations. I would say without a doubt, we are in the works of bridging the gen­er­a­tion­al gap in Hip Hop.

MJ: Let’s get to “Day One” which is taken from your upcom­ing album ‘The Word­smith.’ The track has a cine­mat­ic anthem vibe with a hook catchy enough for the clubs and streets. It’s evid­ent you have a knack for draw­ing audi­ences in. Talk about “Day One” from the motiv­a­tion behind it to your expect­a­tion of the track.

City The Great: The story about the cre­ation of this one is an inter­est­ing one…I was sit­ting on this beat for a while by Molly The Kid. I was con­ver­sat­ing with my Cer­ti­fied Nation Enter­tain­ment com­rade Itson­ly­write just talk­ing about all the people that we worked with and knew through­out this jour­ney that were kind of in and out. We laughed about how funny it is that when things wer­en’t going upward, they split or did­n’t sup­port, and now that we are mov­ing, they all want to claim they’re day ones. That sparked my mind on express­ing that on wax. I think what really made the song pop was my engin­eer King Bash jump­ing in and har­mon­iz­ing on the hook. My expect­a­tion for Day One is to appeal to all audi­ences giv­ing them that com­mer­cial feel yet true to the cul­tur­al vibe.

MJ: What can you tell us about your upcom­ing album and what can listen­ers anti­cip­ate from it?

City The Great: People are going to get a roller­coast­er ride. I have been work­ing on this pro­ject for the past 2 years piece by piece to ensure I cap­ture the best feel in my testi­mony of being a word­smith. This pro­ject will be very bal­anced with the right num­ber of fea­tures and it’s going to dis­play some­thing for every­one that will be nos­tal­gic.

MJ: Besides hav­ing the back­ing, sup­port, and geni­us of Spe­cial Ed, what is your sig­na­ture move, if you will, that dif­fer­en­ti­ates you from oth­er artists in the industry?

City The Great: I think what dif­fer­en­ti­ates me and oth­er artists in the industry is the soul that I pour into my craft which iden­ti­fies my true being…A per­son being them­self is the per­fect form of ori­gin­al­ity. There’s a cer­tain energy I give listen­ers and audi­ences and I have my own sound where you know it’s me and that ele­ment is nev­er lost no mat­ter what type of song it is that I am on. Not only that but I keep that ele­ment alive with ver­sat­il­ity, you just nev­er know which angle I am going to come on a track but you will always know it’s me.

MJ: Aside from the new album release prep, what oth­er endeavors are you work­ing on?

City The Great: I am cur­rently work­ing on grow­ing my com­pany Cer­ti­fied Nation Enter­tain­ment, edu­cat­ing, and assist­ing artists with their careers. I’m also work­ing on mul­tiple col­lab­or­at­ive pro­jects includ­ing a mix­tape com­ing soon with my DJ, DJ Bad Tha Prob­lem (pro­ceed­ing the album release). I am work­ing on a Cer­ti­fied Nation Enter­tain­ment col­lab pro­ject with the team of artists Jae Law aka Hindrix, Pengame Clas­sic, Chambs Taylor, Jac­qui Grace, and of course Itson­ly­write. There’s also a col­lab­or­at­ive pro­ject with Chambs Taylor titled ‘CD’ (Col­lat­er­al Dam­age). You can catch free­style videos I will be releas­ing weekly as well as work­ing with my man­age­ment team Sam­antha Leav­ell of Cer­ti­fied Nation and legendary Kool Rock Ski on an event, For The Cul­ture By The Cul­ture. I can’t leave out 2022’s Annu­al Hip Hop & R&B Cookout in East BK…The list goes on and on.

MJ: Wrap­ping up, let every­one know how they can con­nect with you.

City The Great: Thank you I can be found on any plat­form as City the Great but one of the easi­est ways to link with me all in one place is on my web­site

Con­nect with City The Great





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MJ Savino

MJ Savino

MJ is Hip Hop Blog­ger, Pub­li­cist, Book­ing Agent, Act­iv­ist, but fan first and fore­most. “Hip Hop saved my life, it is only right I give back to the cul­ture”!

About MJ Savino

MJ Savino
MJ is Hip Hop Blogger, Publicist, Booking Agent, Activist, but fan first and foremost. "Hip Hop saved my life, it is only right I give back to the culture"!