David Da’von Adams, “The Supreme General” to Buffalo hip hop fans, has been performing since 2007, but the MC’s nerves still clench up every time he’s about to go on stage. Performing in front of an audience is a feeling he describes as frightfully euphoric, like having sex for the first time. You can pray you don’t fumble, stumble and fall, but when the moment arrives, it’s do or die.
This is the attitude daredevils of chance like Supreme are made of. It’s the all or nothing war cry that carries them closer to their dreams. It’s the glue that holds them together in times of weakness and defeat, and it is the rallying spirit chanting them on in a leap of faith. “I learned a lot too in the military about persevering and pride and…not just doing the bare minimum type of stuff. That was very useful in my life,” he said. When you’ve lived through the sort of life experiences Supreme has – joining the air force after high school, surviving a love lost, and losing a best friend – you learn to quickly reprioritize. “Since then and now I have grown a lot…(Life experiences) force you to either learn to prioritize your focus, adapt and prosper, or remain stagnant and endure a mediocre existence or worse. The latter was never an option for me so I never relent when it comes to my career focus,” he said.
29 years young and flashing a beaming smile, deep brown eyes with glints of a storied past, and an ingratiating look only a mother could love, The self-titled “Hustle Game Boss” has learned that time equals opportunity, and when it comes to his passion, he squanders neither. Supreme has built an enterprise from a rap career with roots growing between the concrete of one of the harshest neighborhoods in the city, Box Avenue in East Buffalo. He worked to turn his life around by studying and mastering the science behind a demanding industry. He boasts an impressive catalogue of work — an EP and two thoughtfully constructed mixtapes, a sleekly-designed app tailored to the personality of any die-hard Supreme General fan, and his own Pandora station (he is the only artist in Buffalo known so far to have music listed on the service).
His lucid lyrics, rapped over cakey, statement-making bass-filled beats, speak of his burning ambition, understated bookish side, and refined character. They growl like a man hungry in the hunt. Supreme’s realist perspective shows listeners what it’s like to navigate the world as a young black man breaking through stereotypes and pushing past an “impoverished mindset.” “I want to show the world that you can be a strong black man who is authentic, stands on his word, is intelligent and revels in being so, and doesn’t focus solely on flossing and shining without the pain from the game context that goes with it,” he said of his music. “You know, records that actually mean something. Those are all big parts of the game I feel are currently missing and need to be reintroduced.” Supreme does this by tackling real issues that examine the human condition. The greatest example can be found on one of his more poetic compositions, “Crash,” a heavy track packed with vivid imagery. The listener is caught in a torrent of mental and emotional chaos, oscillating between panic and mania. “Though I have never suffered from drug addiction, quite a few people in my life have so I have a deep understanding about the way it can leave you and why people feel driven to it,” he said. “It’s a heavy song I felt like the game needed.”
In addition to a well-tuned ear, he has a clever (and often boisterous) mouth. He knows how to masterfully and strategically steer his way around a lexicon. The unabashed MC keeps an extensive vocabulary and values language learning processes. He credits his beloved sixth grade teacher, one of many teachers who helped guide him through life, with ingraining that love in him. Through his art he hopes to ingrain the value of an education in other young people. “See what most people fail to realize about rap music is the effect it has on youth who, for whatever reason, live day to day without the proper guidance. Those kids cling on to every word their favorite rapper speaks and their influence is disproportionately heavy on them. I make music for that kid,” he said.
As for the “game” and the science behind it, nothing ceases to amaze the Hustle Game Boss. He’s aware of what strengths he brings to the table. The MC also understands the business side, the grimy side, and the rewarding side of the music industry. As long as you’re staying knowledgeable and true to who you are, the rest will always fall into place. “The game is not hard, you just got to play by the rules. Honor and respect will get you further than anything else in life,” he said.
For the latest in Supreme General news, check out www.hustlegameboss.com.
Written by Jessica Brant
Top photo: Nick John Morgan Anderson