PLACE OF BIRTH: East Orange New Jersey (Essex County)
MY STORY: I lived on the block of North 16th Street (literally 2 blocks from Newark). My mom moved us out Piscataway (Middlesex County) while I was in 9th grade. I experienced the Hip Hop culture vaguely in 1979 (with some break dancing I learned from my cousin from Uptown Manhattan, NY) then the movement picked up hard in the early 80’s. A lot of my Hip Hop influence began in in East Orange (E.O.) which was right across the water (Hudson River) from New York City. Hip Hop culture, to my knowledge wasn’t even called Hip Hop in the beginning, we were just living the daily life without fronting because it was the was for city kids. During the new birth Hip Hop Era, it was the norm to rock Nylon BVDs, Pumas, Adidas, name plate belt buckles, Lee Jeans (boot cut then skinny), stitched creases and zippers on pants legs, graffiti on plans legs, graffiti jackets, Kangols (bucket, spitfire, berets), gold chains with big Chinese letter name plates.
Graffiti blew up in the late 70’s and 80’s and I became obsessed with train hopping in New York and studying art inside and outside trains, walls, bridges, buildings, portable schools, etc. In East Orange, I met the artist JROO (Jay Roo) and picked up techniques from drawing on paper then drawing it with spray paint. I learned how to switch out spray paint nozzles, color blend, draw cartoons for pieces. After a while, I became a bonified “Writer”. As a knowledge seeker, I later joined the 5% Nation of Islam and capped 120 degrees of lessons. That’s around the time frame when we spit on the microphone and my lyrics adjusted to the language of mathematics. Lyrics contains wisdom, science, and explosions for listeners minds. In 1985 I went into the Air Force which changed my life drastically after 20 years of service.
While in the military, I met my best friend still to date (DJ Valor/Vincent James) from Utica NY. That’s when I got into sampling music, scratching, cross fading, etc in song development as an MC with DJ Valor. Now lets fast forward. It is 2015. A few years back, I linked up with Brian Eady (BeNO) and QA’d some of his songs having no idea we would do music together. That started when we got furloughed from the government for a couple of weeks. That’s when I hit his studio and he coached me to deliver the way I do today. Check out our Video “Barragin” by Hip Hop Meets the Future on YouTube. That was my first video. What an experience shooting that in downtown Albuquerque NM at night…lol! Oh by the way, today I am a Christian convert and I want to put out good music that doesn’t have to be religious toned rich in experience, wisdom, cleverness, talent, and about something positive for listeners. I want to get to the point where my lyrics just relate with listeners and make them laugh, think, or even mentally synchronize them into a righteous mindset.
HIP HOP MEETS THE FUTURE: This movement is about bringing the foundation to the forefront. Let’s recognize rap music as “real” music. If Paul McCartney and Ozzie Smith can still perform, why can’t rap artist of any age? If you got the skill, why not? Because we are too old? Well, look what’s going on with the young dominating the game? It’s destroying the culture for generation after them. HIP HOP past needs to be present as the ELDER of the culture. Those of the past are now more mature and I know have something to say (on the mike).