Former HipHopDX Features Editor Andre Grant said in his “Defense Of The Struggle Rapper” editorial, “Out of all the things the Hip Hop web has vilified, the “struggle rapper” might be the least deserving of all that ridicule.” Before Kendrick Lamar became big enough for Barack Obama to sing his praises or Drake found himself making deals with Apple, they were artists without a significantly large fanbase attempting what seemed like the impossible. Hitting the top of the charts became a distant goal to making past one hundred streams of a song possibly made within the confines of their bedroom walls and gaining likes, re-post or anything else that would reach someone. Providing a weekly outlet for those getting their feet wet in the sometimes brutal sport of Hip Hop, allow us to give readers a look into tomorrow’s possibilities through “Up NeXt.”

Oklahoma Native Has Become A Leader In Baton Rouge’s Alternative Hip Hop Scene

Inspiration For Career

“My father is a gospel singer and musician. I grew up watching him create music, put it out, and perform all over Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, etc. Creating music is in my DNA. My older cousins where huge Hip-Hop heads in the 80’s & 90’s, during that time I memorized my first rap at age 5, wrote my first full song when I was 11. I come from a family of people who are musicians as well as very active in the community. So, being making non-traditional conscious Hip Hop is a natural part of who I am. I chose to make a career in Hip Hop because I feel I have something to offer the fight to overcome the struggle artistically.”

Having A Shot At Stardom

“This may sound weird, but I’ve never really cared about being a star… I remember when I was in my first group, I came up with this mantra, ‘The goal is not to sell a million records, but change millions of lives…’ Of course, I want the absolute max of people to hear & support my music, and I loved when I was opening for Common and Jay Electronica or Kevin Gates in front of thousands, but my focus has always been touching the people in a genuine way on, on a personal level. If I can do that and be big as Drake, or be an Underground King like Bun B, I’m blessed either way, as long as I’m touching people’s souls.”

Project(s)

My next LP is titled “Cry Freedom,” and it’s dropping late summer on Ohio-based upstart indie label Grand Union Media and Baton Rouge’s Real Profit Entertainment. It features STL activist Tef Poe, Carolina legend Supastition, DMV vet emcee Substantial, as well as New Orleans rising star Alfred Banks. The whole album is produced by Baton Rouge beatsmith Joe On The Track of Real Profit Entertainment.”


Twitter: @marcelpblack

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