Described by the Washington Post as an artist who is currently “blowing up,” and dubbed “outstanding hip-hop artist of the year” at the Detroit Music Awards, deaf rapper Sean Forbes recently spoke with the Washington newspaper on being one of a handful of deaf musicians in Hip Hop.
Forbes, who raps along to his records and also signs them, spoke on his ability to utilize the beat while signing.
“When I sign rap music, I try to follow the beat with my body. I try to paint a picture with my hands. You really have to see me to get me,” he explained to the Post.
Forbes’ longtime producer, Jake Bass, spoke on the lyricist’s ability to break into non-deaf audiences with his “inspiring story.”
“Sean has really broken through across different audiences, and I think that’s because the material we write is able to connect and resonate with everybody,” Bass said. “This is something that’s just beginning. It will grow and get bigger, because it’s an inspiring story and something that needs to be shared. We need more stories like this. I mean, if a deaf guy can do music and write great songs, what’s stopping anybody else from doing what they want to do?”
Forbes, 32, says he was introduced to music at a young age in his family’s home, which housed a variety of instruments.
“We always had instruments in the house,” he said. “I grew up watching shows and seeing firsthand what the business was like. I would drum-beat on my thighs or on the dashboard of the car or whatever. Whenever there was music, I was always following along with it.”
Lastly, Forbes declared that he sees himself as an entertainer rather than solely a deaf rapper.
“Some people think of me as a deaf rapper, but I like to think of myself as an entertainer,” he said. “There aren’t too many things hearing and deaf people can enjoy together. I’m one of those things.”