Young Emerging Duluth Rapper Sam Wall

Paul Whyte

At the Reader we like to get to help promote and generally pay attention to what local musicians and artists are up to in the scene. When we heard of local rapper Sam Wall and his project Medicate, we sat down and gave his tracks on a listen and were impressed by his smooth style and some of the subjects and references he brings out in his rap. Wall will be performing at Grandma’s Sports Garden this Friday, November 30 with a variety of other hip-hop performers
The soft spoken Wall, who will be turning 17 next month, started the Medicate project just a year ago. “I came up with the idea to figure out what I liked about music. I felt that we can medicate our minds with music. As I pursued and went with it, it started making me happy,” said Wall on the creation of Medicate.
Everyone who gets into music has a background of why they do what they do. “I was hanging out with some friends when I was 12 and I started rhyming,” said Wall. Wall credits everything from Dr. Seuss to the Wu-Tang Clan and older Detroit and Harlem based rap for his influences and some of his style. “I started writing poetry in sixth grade. I had this hardcore period of time when I was 13 where I felt that the government was against us,” said Wall on some of his early work that developed into what he’s doing today. With his current material there are still a good amount of social and political statements. It seemed unusual to see someone too young to even vote already taking such a keen note of his immediate and worldwide surroundings. Wall asserted that he raps to open people’s minds and is not about the money but rather continuing to come out with deeper and more meaningful lyrics, “I just want to make music that is a good thing. There’s a message to it.” Wall mentioned that there is a lot of “dead hip-hop” coming out. According to Wall, artists like the tongue-in-cheek raps of Riff Raff and others are “polluting the global consciousness and at the same time we all are,” stated Wall on certain acts.
Wall had some views beyond his years about hip-hop and music in general as well as people’s reactions to it. “People need to be more open minded with hip-hop music changing the mainstream to something that comfortably works for everybody even the people that are really into underground,” said Wall. “Music and meditation go hand and hand, it’s all metaphysical, and it’s very important for brain development and emotional development. I feel the same way towards meditation; people need to clear their minds and understand what they are truly interested in when it comes to their musical intentions of others,” Wall added.
As far as stage time on performing live on stage goes, Wall is very new to the scene. While he has played a few garage shows and another show at Legacy Glassworks, Wall admits, “this is my first big show with my name on the set list.” Wall was added on to the show after meeting Tommy Jacobson and Jake from T&J Productions, the Duluth based agency putting on the show on Friday. “They liked my music and had a lot of different criticism on where to take it,” said Wall. “Yeah I’m a little nervous, you have to feel all those different emotions,” added Wall.
It’s not uncommon for hip-hop artists to collaborate with different beat-smiths and other rappers. Wall mentioned that a lot of his current 14 songs were developed with the help of “a 17 year-old kid named Marvin from Florida,” that Wall has never met in person, but has worked back and forth with over the internet. Thus far Wall has released a mix-tape titled “Duluth and Hills.” He is looking to work with a former producer of Duluth based Good Knight as well as members such a Crimson of Strictly Hammers who wall has already collaborated with. Reaching out to artists and producers from the Twin Cities and representing the Duluth music scene are among some of his top priorities. As long as Wall keeps up his good attitude and ambition to think outside of the box, it seems like he will go places with his talent and music.
Medicate will be performing a short set of his tight rhymes at Grandma’s Sports Garden this weekend along with KOSHA DILLZ, DJ Delgado, Ant Jonez, NonFiction & Danecdote, The Tez, Nate Millyunz, Stak Major and and BET’s 106 & Park DJ Kid Fresh. The show starts at 10 p.m., has a $5 cover and is 21+.


Paul Whyte

A South Shore native and University of Wisconsin-Superior journalism graduate. Lifelong musician, and former open mic host. Passionate about the music scene and politics.

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