Updated: Sep 22, 2022
Bruce George has an entire movement about the fact that “Genius is Common,” and I agree. There are many folks MENSA would never consider, but are geniuses within their own rite. However, one trait that isn’t as common as being a genius is being great. Truly great.
I first ran into the insanely talented FLÜ G3NIUS at a concert of his in the heart of Youngstown. The night was abundant with a roster of talented artists, yet, when FLÜ took the stage? I was entirely blown away. An authentic lyrical genius was amongst us that night!
FLÜ G3NIUS is an ambitious, focused, and gifted Youngstown-based rapper whom I know very well will change the face of the future of rap. He is currently in his foundational stages, but, mark my words, he, and the other three members of his group, The Influence, will be the ones that put Y-Town back on the map for “steel bars.”
Now, anyone who has ever admired someone with talent knows talent alone is not enough—that’s why I consider this creator the whole artistic package. FLÜ is refreshingly kind and approachable. He cares about his supporters and his city. He appreciates the opportunities he is given and he goes hard for those he loves.
A diamond in the rough, FLÜ G3NIUS agreed to share genuine words with us, the readers, about his hopes, dreams, goals, and triumphs:
Who does the world see you as & what do you do as you?
“The world sees me as just that guy that raps—like, I'm just a regular dude that knows how to rap—that’s how they see me. But it’s like… I’m exceptional. Like, I'm exceptionally good. Imagine Michael Jackson; there are people that grew up with him—childhood friends—or imagine Drake—there are people that know him. So that's like me. This is the backstory for when I become famous and then people are like, ‘Oh yeah; I used to go to school with him—oh yeah, blah, blah, blah.’ Like, if my goal is to be the greatest, people are gonna end up doing that, you know?
So they just see me as a guy that raps, for now, until they see the future things I will come to bring. Then, I’ll be seen as more. But, as of now, I feel like the world just sees me as a nigga that raps.
And what do I do as me? What do I do as me is be me. Who's really being them nowadays? Being you is seen as lame in 2022, I feel like. But I want to bring [authenticity] back, you know? Or if it was ever here—I don't really know. But I do know that I just be me. I be me in the booth. That's why I say I can really rap. I talk about regular shit. If you listen to my music, I talk about shit that I go through, like with females. Or I talk about shit that I'm going through with the world while being black or whatever the case may be.
I just be me and I rap good. You could talk about the same shit that I talk about and can't rap, or you could talk about way more tragic shit—it doesn't matter what you talk about; if you can't rap, you can't rap. And I feel like that's what I do as me; I just be me and make my music.”
Who do you see yourself as & what would you like to be doing?
“I already see myself as the greatest, but I don't think I'm the best. I see myself as the greatest as far as I'm aware that I'm gonna get there, so I'm working up to it; I'm putting in the work to get there, but I don't think I'm the best, yet. I still think there are rappers better than me. Like, Drake's crazy—Kendrick’s crazy—Cole’s crazy—MF Doom, you know—rest in villainy. But people like that—Capital Steez—like there are people that are really fire. And it's like, if I don't think my music's harder than that, I still got work to do. Like, I have my Mount Rushmore of who I think the greatest artists are and I respect them. So for me to just be like, ‘Oh, my shit's better than them’? You know what I'm saying? Those are my standards of what I interpret music to be and how hard I think it is. And I like everything ‘cause I view art as an expression of somebody. My art form is rap. Anybody could be the best painter. Anybody could be the best 2D animator. Just go for that shit.
I see myself as the greatest. I’m just putting in work but I'm not the best yet. And what would I like to be doing? I'm doing what I’d like to be doing; Literally in this present moment, recording this interview—this is what I want to be doing. Like, this is the shit that Little-Me dreamed about. Like, ‘Damn, I literally am getting interviewed right now!’
That's crazy to me. I feel like, in my mind, I'm like: ‘I know I'm the greatest, but I'm not used to this type of shit.’ Like, I'm just a nigga rapping. For the longest time, I viewed myself as how other people viewed me—as just a nigga rapping. I feel like I've always been skilled since I started. If you go look at my earlier shit. But, yeah, I'm doing what I want to be doing. I like doing this. This is part of the journey—starts with this first interview—legendary.”
What is Present-You most proud of?
“Everything. Honestly. I'm really proud of everything that I've done. But Present-Me. Like me today? Like September 1st, 2022, 2:25 PM? What am I most proud of? Dropping that project and of me never stopping and going as hard as I did. I feel like it's finally starting to pay off slowly but surely. Like, I planted mad seeds. If I didn't talk to certain people or build certain relationships over these years, I wouldn't have been able to be in the doors and the rooms that I can get into now. And I'm just meeting more people through that. So I’m just proud of me not stopping and me taking this music shit 100% serious from the start. I didn't just fuck around with it for years; as long as I've been rapping, I've been taking it serious. I’m giving this shit my all and I have been.”
What is your vision for change and how motivated are you to do as such?
“My vision for change is just everybody being happier. Heaven on earth is a mindset and there’s a way to get there through information that’s not really known to a lot of us. I feel like, if we [were taught] a lot of different information, it'd be a lot easier to have things. Like not having to worry about bills—not having to worry about inflation or eating—or whatever the case is. Like it's not expensive—you just don't have enough money. You know? And I feel like it's that way for everybody. I want a world where black people know how to make money and black people know how to manage their emotions. I want us to all just be better as people. But… I know why we're like this, you know what I'm saying? Like, I can't blame us for the reason we like this. I mean it’s systemic. But my goal is to get us back on track—or not even get us back on track single-handedly, but to play a part. Even if just through my music. I talk about regular, everyday shit that I go through. And my mindset is like, “Damn I was really feeling this, this day—this is how I'm feeling now.” And then I drop another project and you can hear the progression. Since I drop my music in chronological order, it's always a progression. So you're keeping up with the story. Like Mind of a G3NIUS I was just one project. If I drop some other shit, it's its own shit—but Mind of a G3NIUS II is gonna be directly connected to Mind of a G3NIUS I. You're gonna be able to listen to both projects back to back and you're gonna be able to tell. It's just like watching a TV show; like, you know that the next season is gonna be fire, but—you know—different TV shows are different projects.
And how motivated am I to do as such? Like I said, I am and I been giving this my all. There’s nothing I won't do [that won’t compromise my integrity]. I'm really just working to get to it day by day. I'm practicing being mindful—just being in the present moment. I'm just working—getting to it. If I want to become the greatest, I have a lot of work to do. I can't afford to not be putting in work; I don't have that time. But, yeah, I'm giving this all. I’m motivated. This is everything I got.”
What has been your most negative experience in your field and how did you overcome that?
“The most negative experience I've had was niggas not really fucking with my music. Not like, ‘Not fucking with it’ as far as like it’s ass, but not fucking with it as far as, like, when I first started, I was dropping hella shit—like I said, since I first started, I took this shit 100%. I’m only rapping. I get to the crib, I’m spitting bars—I’m on the bus—I’m writing bars—I’m in school—I’m writing heat. Like… that's all I'm doing. Since 15—I’m 20 now, you know what I'm saying. Past five years that’s all I've been doing. So, when I'm putting all this effort into something and cats are not really banging with it? Like, ‘Damn, I'm not really getting no views,’ or ‘I'm not really getting no plays on my shit’—that’s a negative. Up until recently, I've been trying to figure it out. It doesn't bother me as much now, but, before, overall, I feel like that's the worst thing you can experience. It makes a lot of people want to quit. I have had the, ‘What if I quit?’ thought; like, ‘Damn, if I quit, who's gonna save the rap game?’ I had that mindset, but, as far as, ‘What if I quit?’ like actually just stopped rapping on some real meaningful shit? Nah, I don't think I got it in me. So, if I'm putting everything I got into this and cats aren't able to hear it or cats aren't even like [reacting]. It's the translation from me making music to getting it to people's ears. In all reality, the only thing I want to do is get people to listen to my music.
‘Cause I feel like you'll always like at least one song from every project—you might not like everything, but I want to have something everybody likes, and I feel like my music does that. But, yeah, not getting the recognition you deserve is a negative—and I won't even say ‘deserve’ ‘cause you don't ‘deserve’ shit. I guess you get what you earn. I ain't gonna lie. ‘Cause I've been putting in the work that I've been putting in and now I've been given so many fantastic, life-changing opportunities. You know what I'm saying? Just off of me doing that repetition every day. So I won't say recognition you ‘deserve,’ but, when you're the only one listening to your music, it gets rough sometimes. When you give anything your all, and it's like art, that’s something people gotta hear. That’s what I’m trying to do. I don't just have, like, a little poetry book and I'm just writing in it, keeping it to myself, not ever trying to like sell it—I’m trying to be the best. People have to hear my music. So, for me personally, giving it my all and no one hearing my shit? That’s the worst. Like I'm paying to rap *laughs* You know? I wanna do free shows. I wanna do everything. I just want people to come out.”
What is the best part about doing what you do that the average person may be envious of?
“Actively trying to be the best version of me. Like… I understand that nobody's perfect, but, like, actively trying to be better? I'm trying to read every day. That don't mean I read every day, but that's something I'm working towards. I want to write every day or I want to do ‘this’ or whatever you're like, ‘I want to do every day to get better’? I'm doing that to get to where I want to be every day.
‘Cause I feel like a lot of people don't really have that motivation. Like I told you on the last one, there's nothing I won't do to get to where I want to be. I feel like people have dreams and stuff that they want to do and they either pretty much make excuses or, like I said, they just don't know or have the right information or—there’s a lot of reasons why they don't go after it. But yeah. But I feel like people can see that and be envious; they’re still in the same place they were three years ago… and I'm not.
I started rapping five years ago. We started the group and started rapping when we got to high school—freshman year. I just started writing stuff and then we would spit ‘em—then I started putting out music sophomore year.
I think the envious thing [also] comes in because we are super fire. ‘Cause, when other people be like, ‘Oh, I want to rap and I want to do stuff like this,’ and I don't really have clout or shit like that, but I make good music. And, when people hear, they're like, ‘Oh, I got I'm this and that’—but I'm like, ‘Bro, I know you heard my song and I know you was like, ‘Damn, this guy's actually good.’’”
How much work would you say you put into your profession and process?
“Every day I'm working on something—like looking up things about marketing—or how to get my music out there. Some days I'll post mad music—like three posts—or just start posting snippets of stuff that we're dropping or just, like, stuff from the vault. Whether it's me writing a verse or whether it's me freestyling—listening to some beats or whatever it is—I do something every day. Like, I know I have to rap every day. It might not be the same thing; I like to switch it up to not make it boring; it’s a passion I like doing. I feel like I can do pretty much anything. I like expanding my sound. I like trying stuff.”
If you would’ve never started down this journey, where do you think you’d be today?
“I'll probably be getting to the bag. I ain't gonna lie. ‘Cause I do day trading and stuff like that. So I would just be spending more time doing that. But, yeah, I’d still be getting to the bag. My goal in life is really to be the greatest of all time. But, if I couldn't do that? Just having a family—like a strong family unit with hella kids. I just want to get a little village or something.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
“It was something my uncle had said to me. It was before the project—before the show. I didn't have any clothes [merch]—I was just wearing regular shit. I was just like… I really want to do this rap shit. So, I started talking to my uncle and he's done it all. He was making clothes. He had his own store in a mall. He also had another store off Meridian—that’s just what he does. He draws—he does all this type of stuff and I hadn’t talked to him in a while and we had started talking again. I showed him my music and he was like, ‘Oh, yo, this shit's crazy.’
Mind you, I never really had any male role models in my life. I didn't have my father or any uncles. Like, he's my uncle but I didn't talk to him for a grip. So, when he told me he was a fan of my music…? And it was crazy because I never really considered people ‘fans.’ Then just, like, his perspective on it created a paradigm shift [within me]. ’Cause I'm like, okay, well, like I'm his *motions to Alph4* biggest fan. Like I love these cats’ music [The Influence], and I feel like people be afraid to say that type of stuff. So, when he said that to me, I feel like that was the biggest shift.
I want that to be like a good term though because it has a negative connotation—like, ‘Oh, you're a fan,’ like a ‘groupie.’ But, no—I’m a ‘fan’ like a supporter. I'm a proud fan; my bro's hard. I love listening to his music.”
What would you say to someone whose fear prevents them from starting the journey to their wildest dreams?
“Just knowing who you are. I mean, we could do anything. Nothing is impossible. You got a million lifetimes. That’s why I push the ‘being yourself’ thing. Like becoming the best possible version of yourself. A lot of confidence comes from working on yourself. Like, you know when you gotta do some stuff like, ‘Damn, I probably should work out today.’ But, if you're doing the shit that you need to do, you feel good about yourself. I feel like the agenda of [a lot of what] that they put out there is just to get you comfortable, and keep you sleep to things. Like, no—some people just aren't healthy. It's not about the aesthetics. It's about you inside.
When being true to yourself, you don’t have that fear. ‘Cause, even with posting on social media, I was never really out there like that. I always thought I was like a fugly kid, so I didn't like being on camera and stuff like that. I never knew how to smile until I had to force myself to start smiling. I wasn't in a good headspace and smiling helped.”
YHSAV is an acronym for Young, Happy, Standing, & Verified—which of these four principles do you resonate with the most and why?
“Young… because I’m learning from 19Keys. He’s a spiritual leader in the movement and he has this philosophy called New Age. So, when you go from 29 to 30, you're not old—you are new, you know what I'm saying? That's also why I have the philosophy of like… I wouldn't take nothing back—I have no regrets. …Because you learn from everything. So, when I get to this next age, I'm new; I have all this stuff that I just learned to become a better me. My mindset is really focused on making the best of everything; you play with the cards you dealt. You can make good of it. Your perspective is your reality. If you see things as negative and that’s how you live your life, that's all you're gonna see. You know what I'm saying? Like manifestation; ‘I know I can do this and that's why it's gonna happen to me.’
And this is just part of it. Like, if I wasn't saying that this is what I'm gonna do for so long, I would've never been sitting in front of you right now. All of that matters. All of this matters. Every little thing you do matters in the grand scheme of things. People don't realize that you doing something 10 minutes today is better than not doing it at all. You just gotta put in that time and you can do it.”
Is there anything you’d like to let the readers know?
“Be yourself. Sounds generic, but that’s the biggest thing that I feel like has helped me. I’ve always done different things, but I feel like growing up, in my mind, I thought it was lame—because back in the day it was lame. Like… liking anime is a trend now, but before that shit was lame. Or playing Pokèmon—that’s my favorite game of all time. I love that shit. But it’s like these are all ‘lame’ things. And, with how I come off, people would never guess. Like how I be saying, ‘I’m just a nigga;’ I walk around like every other nigga with dreams. I’m just a nigga to everyone else. Until you get to know me. People will tell me, “Oh you’re so cool to hang around—you’re so chill.” You just got to get to know me.
I just continue to try to be myself, because that’s what’s going to matter in the end. People who try hard to be good at rapping… aren’t good at rapping—versus going through the process of being ass. Like, where I’m at now? This isn’t where I was when I first started. And that’s why I say: Anything in the next five years is just pre-log, because it takes 10,000 hours to master something. That’s like 10 years—you know, depending on how you do it.
I’ve done a lot of rapping. That’s why I say five years from now [is when the real work begins]. That’s also why I’m on semen retention. I want to put every bit of energy I have into the next five years. I get that I may be good but I see myself as training still. Five years from now I wouldn't be surprised if I got on XXL or I got a Grammy. But, to me, that’d only be the beginning, because you gotta think—you know how many awards Micheal Jackson got? Me, in the grand scheme of things whatever [greatness] I achieve in these next five years is gonna be nothing compared to where I want to be at. 2027? Imma be a completely different person.”
Exceptional. So we’ve established that “Genius is Common”—100%, but the potential of true greatness observed in this interview? More on the scarce side. There were many of FLÜ’s ideologies I found that I gelled with and I’m positive many others will as well—that is another menu item on his buffet of imminent prominence.
You can catch FLÜ G3NIUS and The Influence’s next performance at High Tolerance Ent. event in Columbus, OH on the 26th of September, featuring Cash Kidd, R-Dee, and others.
Also, please do check out FLÜ’s socials and streaming for more exclusive content:
FLÜ G3NIUS’ music is fun, lyrically sound, and certainly embodies the youthful energy he claims. Simply be sure to keep your eyes on the sky, because he is a star to watch.
Here's one of FLÜ's latest songs "Stick to the Plan" on The Mind of a G3NIUS:
See the full photo shoot for this Elloparley here.
Enjoyed this Elloparley? Want to be interviewed next? Know someone just as talented who is rising to the top of their industry in the Youngstown area? Contact me HERE and let’s set something up! The future is now.