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Teenage Rapper Astro: "I’m 16 Now. My Content Is Way More Mature Than It Was Before"

'The X Factor' finalist gets real on why he needed to release a mixtape "more along the lines of who Astro is"

Astro came in seventh on season 1 of The X Factor, andsince his big break, the rapper has appeared on a remix for Cher Lloyd's "Want U Back" and an episode of Person of Interest. He gets back to his hip hop roots on new mixtape Deadbeats and Lazy Lyrics and shared his creative process in the latest episode of The Mixdown.

On the Mixtape's Title Deadbeats and Lazy Lyrics 
My pops, my biological father, was never around. I used to joke about it a lot like, "He’s a deadbeat," he was never there. I know he listens to my music and watches what I do. I said to myself, "When I get big and people are actually paying attention my work, I need to make sure I use this as a title for something—just to antagonize him." And then deadbeats sounds like it has something to do with wack instrumentals, so I put 'lazy lyrics' after it; make it a double entendre.

On Why He Made the Tape
I felt like my sound was real kiddie. It was veering off into some other planet. I did The X Factor and I had to adjust myself a little bit to move on in the competition, but it wasn't really all the way hip hop…this mixtape is me getting back to my roots. It’s me saying, ‘OK, I’m finding myself as an artist more.’ And this is more along the lines of who Astro is.

On Being Labeled a Child 
The child stuff [has] stopped. Now, I’m not a baby no more. My voice got deeper, I got a little taller. Lyrically, I’m not no child. I’m sorry if it’s cocky, but you cannot listen to my mixtape and be like, ‘Oh, he’s just a child.’ You cannot. I think that people think I’m from a suburban neighborhood. I’m from Brooklyn; Brownsville. That’s the motivation behind my records.  I think people need to understand that. I’m 16 now. My content is going to be way more mature than it was before. Nobody really says "Astro’s a kid" anymore. They said that when I was 13, 14. But now I think it’s a little more acceptable.

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