Upcoming rap artist Ell Ebak and Carmelo Anthony have some interesting things in common beyond being raised in New York City from time to time. Ell Ebak, like Carmelo, believed there is no progress without struggle "No struggle No progess" one of the few quotes Ell Ebak live by which was first introduced to him by Camerlo Anthony when he looked up to him as a basketball player later on he realized Camerlo got that quote from Fredrick Douglass."It motivates me to go hard everyday through the process", said the 25 year old Ell, Who has released plenty of music in the past, and is releasing his debut album "Born 2 Lose Built 2 Win" in late September 2020. In the Q & A below he discusses some of his favorite athletes, his upbringing in New York, which Carmelo moment was the best he witnessed, How he records music and what influences him to do music. Q & A How did you start making music?Well, I have always been a die-hard music fan all of my life. My favorite genre is Hip Hop Soul, I think outside the box so my ears have always been open to different genres. I started out creating music at the age of 14/15 years old. I lost hope in all of my teen life so I was on and off with creating music I took time off in between due to being broke at an early age. I started recording Upstate, New York on my laptop through an installed microphone before SoundCloud came out. I use to record in my bedroom before I got kicked out or record in my ex-friend hallway off his laptop. That’s how I started creating music. Where were your born and raised?I was born in Concord, North Carolina and 2 weeks later I was raised in The Bronx New York. Later, I moved Upstate, New York ever since then I lived back and forth until I got into my 20's. Who influences you as an artist?Good question, I feel a lot of people influences me as an artist from people that don't record music and from people that do. Malcolm X, LeBron James, Kobe, Muhammad Ali, J.Cole, Tupac Shakur, Biggie, Big L, Sade, my genuine supporters, Spartacus, Da Vinci, Mansa Musa, Jay-Z, Nipsey Hussle, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Maya Angelou, Nina Simone, Will Smith, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and plenty more this is just off the top of my head. Who is your top five favorite artists of all-time?C'mon man this is super difficult. I would have to say and this is in no correct order Michael Jackson, 2Pac, Sade, J.Cole, Marvin Gaye. Who is your top five best rap artists of all-time? It all depends sometimes it changes for me, I would have to go with 2Pac, Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, & Lil Wayne. Talk to me about your recording process what is that like for you?My recording process can be a bit challenging varies all depends on the song. I always get chills when I'm about to go record in the studio because it feels like my first time all over again the process feel good but I never get over that nervous feeling and like I said all depends on the song, the flow, and the vibe that I'm in. I usually have my lyrics prepped for the hooks and verses before I book for studio time no matter how much I prep when it's time to go to the studio to record I get them chills that I tend to shield for cover. How much pressure do you feel to succeed with your debut album?I feel a lot of pressure mainly from myself. I've put my all into this from recording the music, spending my own money because I'm independent to choosing the beats that is relevant in today's era and staying true to myself a mixture of different sounds. Most importantly I feel pressure from people that's been following me on this journey every single step of the way not in between every single step of the way in a good way and from people that never heard me or to new fans so ultimately I would say 50 percent good pressure 50 percent bad pressure. Do you like being an independent artist if so why?Yes and No. There are pros and cons to almost everything you pursue or do in general in life the freedom of being an independent artist is good for a person like myself that just wants to focus on his craft and having full control over everything without a person or company tell me how and what I should do to craft for the sake of hits etc I feel it's a different level of expectations where it's not even fun anymore like it once was. The bad side to that is that you have to come out of your pocket to spend it on everything and you have to do everything yourself and yes I mean every little thing and it becomes overwhelming especially if your fan base is not big but you have great content. Being signed to a label can help you from the business side and can boost you up to the masses if they believe in you which comes with restrictions behind the scenes so it's tricky you can always negotiate your worth just be careful like I said early it all depends. Did you grow up playing sports?Yes, I did grow up playing different sports. I played Basketball, Football, ran two marathons, and played plenty of other rec sports. I hear you're a huge basketball fan.Yes, I am. I will always be a fan until the day I leave this earth. Basketball helped me through so many difficult times in my life and the sport itself it just amazing like the NBA says this is "Where Amazing Happens". I'm a huge fan of Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and other great players. Who's your favorite athlete ever?My favorite basketball player of all time is LeBron James, the best baskeball player of all time is Michael Jordan, and my favorite athlete of all time would be Muhammad Ali without a doubt. What is your favorite Carmelo Anthony moment in the NBA?My favorite Melo moment is when I saw him play for the first time in my life at the Barclays Center against the Brooklyn Nets. It was either the second or last year before getting traded by the New York Knicks. What was special about that moment is that I just turned 21 years old a few days before that game and I had no plans what so ever and I was feeling down. The next door neighbor that knew me since I was a baby knocked on my door 2 and a half hours before the start of the game and gave me 2 free courtside tickets to see the game because she was sick. During halftime, I got to eat food for free in there mini buffet and by the end of the game Melo scored 22 points and did a crossover on a Nets player but the Knicks still lost by a few points I believe. When did you realize your future was in music?I always believed it, from the time I started rapping at 14 or 15. I did, but I still had basketball dreams, too. I was pretty good at it and I would practice and hoop everyday almost all day my circumstances in life at that time was interfering with my hoop dreams and school dreams. Once I got in a better position and situation to survive in life and maintain that that's when I came back to music 3 years ago in a real studio with a drive and mentality to strive for greatness.