The Future President: Interview with Coley

I’ll never get over how fortunate I am to have met Amy and Julyssa. And it’s moments like this that remind of how lucky I am to be a writer for YAM. When Amy first gave me a heads up about this new artist, I was skeptical, as you can imagine. It seems like almost every day there’s a new MC claiming to bring something unique to the game. However, most of the time I find the content lacking, the flow elementary, and the message… just… no.

In walks this cocky mofo named Coley. He’s got a laid back sort of attitude about life, treating it as a constant experience to learn something new. But he’s got such a wicked sense of humor I thought to myself, “Is this dude serious right now?” But what impressed me most about him wasn’t his witty use of the English language, not even the ease of his style. What’s so incredible about Coley is his ability to take the autobiographical elements of his life and turn them into something clever, funny, and as visceral as if he were holding up a family photo album.

I got the chance to actually send him a few questions about his particularly charming brand of hip-hop, and along the way learned about how he got his start, his thoughts on politics, and his general life’s philosophy. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you your candidate for the next President of the United States: Coley.

I always want to start with just a little bit of background. I’ve read your bio, but it’s always best to hear it from the artist himself. So, if you could give yourself a three sentence bio in however way you wanted, what would you say?

(in my epic prophet voice) I’m the one and only Coley, bringer of truth and fun baloney. Lol Jk. I’m just a dude from Philly burbs who likes philosophizing and talkin’ shit about biz and broads. I’m delusionally optimistic, which has gotten me from a small town outside Philly to graduating Georgetown in three years to working on Wall Street to CEO of Revel Music Group to pullin’ my balls out as the artist currently known as Coley. Get ready for Mr. Ridiculous. Sorry that’s four sentences, I’m badassss like that.

HaHa. Everything you just said earns you your own chapter in my book of All Things WIN! Speaking about your time at Georgetown, it’s not exactly something very common for rappers nowadays to even think about anything past high school. What pushed you to want to go further?

I love learnin’ and shit. That was Step 1 of my master plan to get where I am now. I did it in three years to push myself and save a year of tuition — Gtown is expensive as balls. My advice to anyone going to college is get your money’s worth — pack in as much as you can for those ever-increasing tuitions, it’s a competitive world out hurr.

Ain’t that the truth? It’s incredible you own your own label. How did you actually meet Tyler Nicolo?

We went to the same high school, he was two grades above me. We never knew each other in school, but we knew of each other because we both were doing things in music. He was producing for Rocafella’s Philly artists and he heard about the label I started in college and the shows I was doing as an artist. One day after getting home from work at Credit Suisse (investment bank), I got a call from him out of the blue in the middle of the night. I’ll never forget the first conversation we had — we just clicked and ended up talking for three hours. We decided right then and there to start a label together. Now he’s like my brother, produces most of my songs, and we co-own Revel Music together.


As unexpected as my path was to loving all things weird, more unexpected is my ability to get attention for writing about the stuff.

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