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Florida’s Eric Biddines may remind you of your favorite rappers, but nothing about his music is a throwback or a redo.

Eric Biddines’ new album The Local Cafe has been in the making for years. Perhaps that’s why you can hear so much life in it. It’s been almost four years since his last offering, the critically-acclaimed planetcoffeebean hit the web, but that doesn’t mean he’s been sitting idly. He’s spent the time recording more music and working with producers ranging from Grammy-winner Jack Splash [Cee-Lo, Kendrick Lamar, Jennifer Hudson] to Danny Brown’s go-to guy, Paul White. With the latter, Biddines formed a genre-defying duo called Golden Ticket that toured the world.

But if his Southern drawl and gold-teeth weren’t proof enough, Florida is always going to be in Biddines’ heart. So with his latest effort, he wanted to emphasize where’s from.

“It’s a sigh of relief to get this out because I had so much music that’s already completed,” says Biddines, literally sighing as he talks. “It felt like I needed to have something that goes out to the people.”

HipHopWired: Why did you start your album with the song “Sumn To Say?”

Eric Biddines: That song was actually the last song I recorded. Richie Abbott said that I needed a song on the album telling people where I’m from to start it off. I came up with that song because I wanted to make a statement if I wanted to go in that direction. I have other concepts like “Railroads Down” and “Praying Mantis” all over the album, but I felt like this song would open up eyes immediately.

HHW: “The South” has been active and popular in Hip-Hop for some decades now. Andre 3000 first made that statement more than 20 years ago. What does the South actually have to say right now?

EB: I think we have more of a social voice than what’s getting exposed right now. I feel like in 2017 we have more to say than what is represented. A lot of what America is seeing or experiencing right now, people in the South have seen all the time. A lot of us are missing out on the opportunity to share a social message. I want to let people know that people in the South have voices and want to say important things. Guys like Big K.R.I.T. and Nick Grant are doing a good job of that.

HHW: It’s not like there’s not a lot to talk about, you can’t escape a lot of the political and social issues in the news right now. As an artist, does that make you want to address those things more or take listeners minds off of all of it?

EB: The current political climate motivates me to want to talk about it more. Especially in the rap community, I think we have a few acts that may want to, but not know how to. Or some artists who want to but may feel like they could be jeopardizing feeding their families if they do. I feel like I’m in a position where I don’t have anything holding me back, so I can speak out as much as I want to. I don’t have to make club songs because I’m signed to a certain label or anything. I’m able to play to my strengths as a lyricist.

Listen to the entire The Local Cafe album below. If you like what you hear, support him on iTunes.