Bronx rapper UKnowScott presents the Mike Lens-directed music video for “Betrayed”, his new single produced by HozayBeats. Earlier this year Scott released his debut album New York Driver (Soundcloud) which spawned visuals for the “Absent” single (Youtube). “In the so-called ‘streets’ and in business as well as life, I have been betrayed,” Scott says about the inspiration for his new single. “I’ve learned to believe in actions not words, and nothing really excites me. Despite these setbacks, I’m still here on my mission.”
How did you get your stage name?
I hope you got time for this one.. So since 6th or 7th grade I would greet people with their first and last name. I don’t know why.. like “yerrrrr my nigga John Dooooe!” So people reciprocated and naturally Justin Scott was shortened to Jay Scott. So originally my stage name was Jay Scott - how everyone knows me and calls me in real life to this day. Back in like 2011 when I got on twitter, my @ name was uknowjayscott. At the time I was bumpin Big Sean heavy, Finally Famous 3was and a few years prior he dropped uknowbigsean. (That’s where the “UKnow” came from). Apparently names starting with “Jay” are common as fuck on youtube and streaming platforms.. and I couldn’t use my full name (Justin Scott) because its Big K.R.I.T.’s full name (thanks nigga) so I moved to Allen Scott, which is my middle name.. and it didn’t have a ring to it. So to conclude this long ass story,: my boy Frankie texted me one day, I remember I was standing under the Gun Hill 2 train and he was like “yo, change your name to UKnowScott or something else, I’m not really fuckin wit ‘Allen’”. I said it to myself a few times, and it went along with how I’m viewed in reality.. and it fits for people that only know me via social media..so I started rocking with it and stuck.
What made you decide to become a rapper?
What made me decide to come an artist? I swear it wasn’t a choice.. I always loved rap. I’ve been playing around with it since I was like 7-8 .. with my cousin and my older brother. Then in middle school and high school I would just freestyle. I wasnt ass but I wasn’t anywhere near what I am now. So it’s really been along with me my whole life. It fit me because I was always good at English and expressing myself, I take pride in not being a short bus rapper. The older I get the more experiences I have and the more shit I can talk lol. Once you realize what it takes to succeed you gotta be crazy to keep trying. But word to me I’d rather spend my last investing in myself, my craft, and my dream, than being a slave til I’m 65. Nigga I’m not tryna work for 40 years and have another man tell me when I can take vacation, go on lunch, and get paid. I’m gonna bet on myself first before I give up. I’m tryna tell my story, talk my shit, and open doors for people like me, make a living off of something I actually love. I can’t do that from a cubicle bruh.
What’s the first rap song you ever heard? Describe the moment.
I can’t remember the first rap song I ever heard. But I can tell you my pops used to bump rakI’m“dont sweat the technique” mad ll cool j, mad big pun, krs 1 and other greats. That shit made me feel admiration and awe. Like how the fuck did rakI’mdo the patterns he was doing.. over 30 years ago. How big pun rhyming all these words on beat? How sway? Ive never been a hater, that shit was hard, and once I discovered nas’ “if I ruled the world” it was over. Rap catches a lot of flack or whatever but to be real its the best art form. Poetry is powerful, and its authentic, telling a story with dope flows and cadences, word play and punchlines, not everybody could do it.
How did “Betrayed” come together?
I wrote “Betrayed” pretty quickly. I got the idea from Glokknine’s “10 Percent”. He was just talking his shit and being real with it. I feel like I’m better than everyone, so I found the beat, and just talked my shit and was real with it. The track is fire - one cuz my flow, two cuz the bars are hard, 3 cuz I go back and forth from vulnerable to cocky. I’m not rhyming a bunch of random shit, everything I’m saying had meaning or is a double. Have me in for a video interview so I can do a bar for bar breakdown lol. My favorite bars from it are probably “niggas just tryna tweet, they aint tryna tweak, I still get streams in Brazil off of ‘Driver’s Seat’, iI’mm ready for whatever been that kind of week, yea I heard his lil song, whatever, it was kind of weak”.
What are your thoughts on the year in rap so far?
This year in rap has been weird as fuck but a lot of great records. Starting with mine - New York Driver - go cop that. Nipsey Hussle’s shit, Freddie Gibbs’ shit, all of Young Boy’s shit, Pusha T, Mozzy, G Herbo, Dave East.. a lot of fire came out. A lot of fuckery also, but that’s just a part of the game now. I swear I’ve never had the inclination to go on Instagram live and yell into my phone . These new niggas different. I did a little bit of what I wanted to do this year, but next year is mines. More singles and videos, by the end of next year i need to be opening up someone’s tour. I got 5 more years until I’m 30. If I’m not lit by then I must be ass . Remember my adlib: whenever you do some g shit just yell “SCOTT!”