Local Rapper Archie Green Celebrates 20 Years of Recording and Performing

McKinley Wiley

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a subject that rapper Archie Green has become very familiar with over the past few years. It was his song “Layers” that catapulted him from solely an emcee to a full blown mental health advocate in the city of Cleveland. Accolades and notoriety soon followed, and that’s something that Green still finds himself getting used to.

“Something I worked so hard for was to be recognized and respected for what I do on the mic, including the songs I’ve written such as ‘Layers,’ ‘Black Excellence’ and ‘Blacks Only’ and speaking from the black male experience in the 21st century and for people to connect with that,” Green says in a recent email exchange. He performs with Dom Deshawn, Feed the People, H9RU, Luvabstact and Sam Supreme at 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Grog Shop. “But now with me being recognized by Cleveland Magazine as one of Cleveland’s most interesting people, that takes it to a whole new level. I’m at the point now where people know who I am. When I go place to place and introduce myself, people either already know me, or they heard my name somewhere, and it’s a surreal feeling that people know and appreciate me for my music.”

While thankful for the opportunities, Green is quick to point out that it took a good amount of pain and tons of dedication to make it to this point.

“I’m grateful. I worked my ass off to get here,” Green insists. “I faced a lot of rejection. I faced going broke. I quit my day job and chased my dream full-time. Next thing I know, [the mental health awareness program] Peel Dem Layers Back starts up, and my life totally changed. Just from telling my story, I’ve been able to save some lives. Carrying that kind of purpose, it’s hard to put into words. I’m grateful to God to be able to do what I do.”

Read the rest of the interview over at Scene