Interview with Ismeal Cuthbertson (Ishues), May 18, 2016

Collection: Athens Music Project Oral History Collection

Dublin Core


Ismeal Cuthbertson talks about the culture shock he experienced when moving to Athens, Georgia, and compares the violence between Athens versus the other big cities he's lived in. He talks about his early hip hop influences like Canibus and Fort Knox, his move to New Jersey after graduating high school, and the training and experience he acquired during those years away. He recalls moving back to Athens, building up recognition as an artist, and working with Hano Leathers and Fort Knox as his management team. He recalls that the only Athens venues that supported hip hop in the early 2000's were the Athens Music Factory (no longer in existence) and the 40 Watt. Cuthbertson talks about being active in the battle rap scene in Atlanta, working with the Attica Sound label, and touring and performing nationally with rapper KRS-One. He recalls performing at Music Midtown and internationally in Germany, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Cuthbertson also reflects on his decision to stop performing and focus on his family. He gives advice to future artists regarding balancing their music careers and personal life, and comments on hip-hop in Athens in 2016, the fragmentation of the black community in Athens, and how the internet has changed the nature of music exposure.






Oral History Item Type Metadata



82 minutes


Ismeal Cuthbertson and Dennis Knowa Johnson, “Interview with Ismeal Cuthbertson (Ishues), May 18, 2016,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed February 26, 2024,