Focus the Truth dropped one of the best albums of 2020 earlier this year – ‘Immortal’ and we reached out to have a chat with the Queens emcee. King Focus has been around the game for some time now, but in 2020 he’s really stepped it up and we are seeing not only a brilliant new album, but some very iconic videos that are really poignant during these times.

If this is your first interaction with Focus the Truth please enjoy. One of the hardest working, most honest emcees in the game who is always on that grind, but always finds time to engage with fans and fellow artists. He’s a real one. Peep the latest video for ‘Survivor’s Guilt’ from the Immortal album below and then get stuck into our exclusive interview.

Talk to me about the journey your albums have taken you on. You started with mixtapes, kind of blew up with Q85 and now you have really gone to another level on Immortal.

Each project is really just a testament to where I’m at in life. They usually are just time capsules about the period of my life I’m in. For example Q85 was just me moving back to Queens from London and getting re-acclimated with my neighborhood and reconnecting with a sound, style, and feel of hip hop that I’m used to. It just happened to connect with people in a real organic way. I learn a lot every time I release projects and Immortal is just the end result of all the experience and lessons I’ve gained from the past projects with some sprinkles on top. I’m learning things from this Immortal project that I will definitely take to the next project.

You seem to put out a number of videos (more than most artists), are these a key way on engaging with people?

Definitely. I feel videos give a new life to the music and also help bring attention back to the projects. Especially now when new music comes out everyday and people’s attention spans are shorter. It’s almost like people need visuals nowadays. I figure the more dope videos I make, then it’s like more reminders to go back and play the project that the video comes from. Sometimes the video makes people like a song more or makes people who never listened initially want to go back and listen to the project. Overall I think its a great marketing tool. On top of that I just really like shooting vids.

You have some great features on Immortal, particularly Tony Yayo and Styles P. Are there any other artists you’d love to work with and what do you look for when suggesting a feature?

There are plenty of rappers I want to work with but I’d rather not mention them all so when I do work with them it can be a surprise, but one I will definitely say is Nas. In regards to how I pick features, it really is a case by case basis. For example I got the feature with Styles because he is one of my favorite rappers ever, so that was really a check on my bucket list. The Tony Yayo feature kind of fell in my lap because we have a mutual friend and he has a lineage in Queens hip hop and I felt I could get something dope from him and I did. As long as there is a respect for your craft most likely I will work with you.

Are there any producers you’d love to work with in the future that will continue the ‘Queens’ sound that is iconic in your music?

I want to work with the legends like Large Professor, Premier, Alchemist, Havoc of course along with the other heavy hitters but my one wild card would be Pierre Bourne. I’m interested in working with him. I feel like on paper it may not look like a match but he is from Queens and I think we could do something really dope and different. 

Obviously Nas, Prodigy etc were a big influence for you growing up, anyone else who was big in shaping the emcee you are now?

I would say Biggie, Jadakiss, Styles P, Kanye West, and Curren$y, 

If you were to form a ‘supergroup’ with a couple of other artists, who would you pick?

Good question but I would have to say Myself, Vo, and my brother Ayo da Don.

Immortal is one of the albums of the year, what other projects have you really enjoyed listening to this year?

Thank you for saying that. I love hearing people enjoying the project. I feel like there have been some dope projects but some off of my head i can mention are: Freddie Gibbs – Alfredo, Jay Electronica – A Written Testimony, Ka – Descendants of Cain, Conway – Lulu, Westside Gunn – Pray for Paris.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I have intentions of shooting a video for the rest of the songs on Immortal this year and I’ll also be back again with new music this year. Maybe a whole project or an EP. At worst another single but as for right now, I’m just rolling off of the Immortal energy. 

How can people stay connected with Focus The Truth?

Through my social media for the most part. I post all of my content on Instagram,  Facebook,  and Twitter so I shouldn’t be hard to find. 
Everything is @focusthetruth or you can check out my website www.focusthetruth.com

LIKE and FOLLOW us at Raw Side Hip Hop on Facebook or get at us on Twitter to keep the REAL hip hop discussion going!

About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!