Connecting with Community: Interview With Rapper Internal Rhyme

Interviewed by Steven Ikegwu

Jeremy Goldsmith, better known as Internal Rhyme (IR), is a 23-year-old creative from Philadelphia, PA. A rapper for 12 years, Internal is best known for his charming wittiness, confident delivery, and, of course, incomparable rhyme schemes. His strong vocabulary and complex subject matter are no coincidence because they stem directly from his years of formal education and community involvement. IR is a scholar and a mensch, to say the least.

Some of the biggest influencers of IR’s music include Elzhi, Nas, Eminem, Tupac, and Big L. Originally categorized as a “boom bap” rapper, Internal has managed to develop his sound to include modern day melodies & futuristic beats while still maintaining his notable lyricism. He’s performed hundreds of times during his 12 year hip-hop career and is often remembered for his vibrant stage presence. Internal has no plans to stop rhyming. He looks forward to recording music until the day he dies.

Interested to know more about this artist? Learn more about Internal Rhyme through some questions we asked him below.

How have your connections in Philly helped you progress?

I’m lucky to be really well connected throughout Philly. For one, I have a relationship with a few different studios around the city, which allows me to pick and choose what sound I’m aiming for. I’ve also been able to develop familiarity with most of the venues in the area, since I’ve pretty much played at them all at this point, minus a select few. I like establishing direct relationships with venue management because it opens the door for me to control future events I perform at. Aside from these few examples, I also link with fellow rappers, singers, photographers, graphic artists, and videographers all the time. Philly has so many geniuses, and I believe in pushing good work forward.

 

 Describe how you network and the best ways for doing so

In my opinion, the best way to network is by being present – whether that means at music events, on social media, in photos, or ideally, all of the above. I’ve learned that people recognize you a lot quicker than you think they do, and a lot quicker than they’ll usually admit. But showing up is only the first part – you also have to interact with people. Make an effort to talk to other creative individuals, either on the internet or at actually events. Tell them with pride who you are and what you do, and ask about what they do (and actually listen!)

 

How do you incorporate other types of art into your work?

I certainly consider myself a jack of all trades. Over the past five months, I’ve been honing in on some newly-learned skills, including photography, motion graphics, and fashion design. It’s all about branding yourself these days. The more you can do, the more valuable you are.

 

How does networking in your own community compare to networking outside of it?

Honestly, I just love the community in Philly. A lot of people talk down on the vibe in our city and say that it’s completely unsupportive. While I’ve definitely come across my fair share of hating ass mf’s within a 10 mile radius, I just think the talent in this city is unmatchable. Also, there are some really, really good people, like good hearted people in this area. And sometimes you have to go to smaller events to find them… they’re often hidden at open mics, poetry slams, acoustic music nights… but they exists, and those folks are powerful.

 

How do you continue your music career after college?

At first, it’s a hard adjustment, I can’t lie. Being in college, especially at Rutgers, was so beneficial to my music. By my senior year, I was performing 3-4 times per week, every week. I was the vice president of Verbal Mayhem, which was, to this day, the greatest outlet I’ve ever had. I was constantly surrounded by intelligence and passion. But it’s all about learning how to move in the environment you’re in. When I went to Rutgers, my target audience was generally folks that attended UNICEF fundraisers or weekly poetry open mics. And while I still participate in those sorts of events, they’re less common now. Now it’s more like going to popular parties in the city or scouting out whatever hip-hop shows are going on on a random Friday night.

 

How do you balance your work, school, and community involvement?

I really have like five thousand lives, it’s crazy. I mean, there’s Internal Rhyme, there’s a student, there’s a social worker, there’s a son, a boyfriend, a photographer, a tutor, a teacher… I do a lot. I’ve always liked to keep busy. And believe me, it’s very tough and I let people down a lot. I’m trying to get better at managing my time, but I commit to so many things. I really like to jump on opportunities when they’re presented to me because I recognize that they’re a blessing. But I get caught up a lot and I’m trying to learn how to solve those issues more. I think I have to get this whole daily planner thing down finally…

Check out Internal Rhyme’s music here

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