You'd be hard pressed to find a more established MC in Ohio's capital city than Blueprint. Calling music his profession for well over a decade, the Columbus native and Rhymesayers recording artist has been known in the hip-hop world as one of the genre's most cerebral. If you happen to know Al, he's a standup guy with perhaps some of the most practical of interests. He shared a few of those with us.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more established MC in Ohio’s capital city than Blueprint. Calling music his profession for well over a decade, the Columbus native and Rhymesayers recording artist has been known in the hip-hop world as one of the genre’s most cerebral. If you happen to know Al, he’s a standup guy with perhaps some of the most practical of interests. He shared a few of those with us.

Square credit card reader  

I’m a musician, and I’ve heard people talk about the Square card reader and how it got so many more customers. And so a buddy of mine had one and I borrowed it from him and took it on tour this last year. I swear by this thing, man. You make so much more money with it that it’s one of those moments where you’re like, “Wow, technology is just incredible.” Ten years ago, to accept credit cards at shows you had to get a real big card machine. The Square card reader is one that’s like, “Wow, that’s my joint.” People don’t carry cash like they used to either.

Motivational speakers

In the last year or two I’ve discovered how many speeches are on YouTube from motivational speakers, and as a person who does art and music, staying inspired is kind of important. I often find myself every couple of weeks getting lost in YouTube listening to motivational speeches. Les Brown and Eric Thomas are a couple of my favorites.

Columbus Metropolitan Library card

In the last three or four years since I got sober, I use it more than my damn debit card. I’m always checking out stuff. We’ve got a really good library system in Columbus. I never really realized it until I started touring and I would go to other cities and expect their libraries to be as good as Columbus’, and they’re not.

URL Rap battles

As far as the art of emceeing, if you call yourself a rapper and you’re not at least paying attention to the URL battle scene or rap battles you’re kind of slipping right now just because technically, what those guys are doing is really advanced, even if you don’t like the fact that they’re rhyming a cappella. As far as writers, I think that’s where the best writers are right now. I like Charlie Clips, Loaded Lux, Murda Mook and Arsonal.

Sennheiser headphones

Anybody who’s went through the ear buds phase of listening to music, and you go from that and you listen to high-end headphones — ones that are studio level — it’s just night and day. I haven’t been able to go back to ear buds since, man. Even when I’m working out or riding my bike, I still wear them even if they’re bigger.