POPGH had a chance to catch up with the Real Deal on his new project, collabs and what makes him real.

1. Why the Real Deal? What makes you Real?

A: Before I started writing I just picked it, eventually people would be like “damn, you are the real deal” at shows and whatnot. It sounds corny lol but honest of god thats true. To be frank it is probably the least original thing about my music career.

2. You have grinded and put your time in with many local emcees. Who locally do you feel has given you a run for your money?

A: As far as the battle circuit people like Anymal and Boka in a written format would really present a problem. Both have great delivery and conviction. Anymal a bit more street and Boka more unorthodox.

3. What can you say about some of the countries you have battled in and the styles produced there?

A: It’s wild because overseas even though they have some very ill pengames they seem a little bit behind as far as battling. Then in the states you have a melting pot of styles and approaches. You have street, comical, punchlines, swagger rappers, and all types of others. Sometimes can make battles very subjective.

4. As a teacher, I’m sure you give out your share of homework. How much time do you put into “homework” before entering a battle?

A: I used to do alot more as far as personals and what not but I think the whole “diggin up dirt” thing became watered down. People telling stories noone cared about. Recently I have done less of that and just reverted back to “Bars”.

5. You are working on your third album, Fight or Flight Mode. What side of that title most represents you? Are you up for the fight or ready for flight?

A: I think thats the beauty of it. Where I am in my career it’s like “DO I want to really stick it out, is it worth it”. I admit I am often confused about which I will choose…Fight or Flight.

6. What can we expect from “Fight or Flight Mode”? Any sneak peaks for POPGH?

A: I have just recently dropped the first joint off it featuring world renowned super talent Mac Lethal. The track is produced by Enigneer and is entitled “Pawns”. I feel like this project will show a great deal of maturation with my music.  {hwdvs-player}id=320|width=560|height=340|tpl=lightbox{/hwdvs-player}

7. Who locally do you want to work with next? Are you up to some new collaborations?

A: On this new record I will have collaborations with Mac Lethal, Fresco, Copywrite, and more. As far as locally this city has a great deal of talented cats. People like Draztyk and Kid A are personal favorites of mine. I also enjoy the music of Apex and Varsity Squad.

8. Any advice you can offer for young cats wanting to enter the ring on their first battle?

A: Keep an inner circle who is realistic. Do not let friends convince you the plunge is worth it if you just don’t have “it”. That has led to the oversaturation of battling as a whole right now. If you do keep grindin and it should pay off. It can be an incredible promotional tool.

9. Whats next for the Real Deal?

A: Hopefully this album my late 2012. Also Battles in Toronto and NY in this month alone. Should be a busy year but hopefully no wasted moves.

10. POPGH stands for PEOPLE OF PITTSBURGH GOING HARD, How do you feel you go hard for Pittsburgh?

A: I work for everything I have gotten. I never forget where I came from and where I am trying to go.