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Da Insider 15
His Story in the Making
Kendrick Lyrically in a class all by himself
FEATURED ARTISTS Darrick Wayne Jr. JayQ 9uzumaki Rayne Michael Pharaoh Gunther SAJ Casanova Jody Malcom Shakur
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Darrick Wayne Jr. We love shining the spotlight on talented new artists across the nation, and we're excited to introduce you to Darrick Wayne Jr. from Statesville, North Carolina. Recording music since he was in the 6th grade, Darrick has taken what was once a hobby of his, and has become a seasoned, wellcrafted artist whose talent spans across multiple genres.
Growing up on a street called Parkertown Road, otherwise known as "P town", wasn't always the greatest according to Darrick, but it was music that provided an escape for him during the rough times. With an older brother that was already into music, Darrick was influenced to begin making music himself, and he hasn't looked back since.
When listeners began telling him not to give up because he was definitely going places, he realized he could have a future in music and was motivated to start taking it seriously in 2013. Now exuding the qualities of a true artist, Darrick creates hip-hop, R&B and even pop music. He draws inspiration from one of his favorites in the industry, Lil Wayne, for his ability to stay relevant in the game for so long.
Photos shot by Ubuntugraphics
"When I find a dope beat and start writing the hook for a new song, that's what excites me the most."
Hoping for longevity in his own music career, Darrick's current goals are to gain more fans, collaborate with other artists, and eventually to go on tour. Darrick released his first mixtape titled "FoeverPtown", and since then has been releasing singles on SoundCloud and Spotify, as well as videos on YouTube. His upcoming mixtape, "Lost in the Sound" is definitely a project to be on the lookout for. When you have a unique artist like Darrick Wayne Jr. who doesn't just conform to the norm but stays in his own lane, mixed with the musical talent that he possesses, it is simply a recipe for success.
Darrick Wayne Jr.'s Links
Born in Brooklyn, Ny, now living in East Harlem, Manhattan, is a dope HipHop artist that is truly representing New York to the fullest. He puts his life into his art, and creates quality music that listeners can appreciate. He delivers variety in his style and content, and treats song creation like the craft that it is. Some call him Pharaoh, some call him Gunther, but on stage he's Pharaoh Gunther.
GUNTHER Writing music since the age of 15, Pharoah completed his first original studio-recorded song at age 18, an experience that left a permanent mark on him and solidified his future in rap music. Witnessing the finished product of something he had worked so hard on was an amazing experience for Pharoah, and he began to take creating music very seriously.
Being from New York has molded Pharoah Gunther into the artist he has become, each neighborhood contributing to particular qualities found in Gunther's style. Being from Brownsville, one of the worst neighborhoods in Brooklyn, has given him a grittiness that's clearly evident in his songs. Living in Harlem has ingrained in Pharaoh a swag and confidence that has influenced his music and added to his style. Many of today's hip-hop artists have also had an influence on Pharaoh's music, such as Drake, Eminem, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, and Travis Scott. However, the rapper he feels he shares a common thread with is Big Sean. Similarly to Pharaoh, Big Sean happens to be an underrated rapper that a lot of people sleep on, yet one who can deliver bars for days and make both mainstream music and more conscious, thought-provoking songs.
Aiming to be one of the "Greatest of all Time", Pharaoh's main inspiration is breaking the cycle of struggle in his family and providing them with a better life. In addition to his musical aspirations, this up-and-coming MC also plans to complete his bachelors degree program at SUNY Oswego by the end of the year, and possibly even pursuing a master's degree. But his love for the music has led to him winning several awards, as well as winning a popular New York City showcase called Rock the Mic. He won Best Male Musician at an awards dinner held at SUNY Oswego, and has also had his songs played on the radio a couple of times. Now, in addition to growing his following and fan base, Pharaoh's focus is on completing and releasing his upcoming mixtape. As a talented rapper who also has a love for astronomy, it's clear that Pharaoh Gunther is headed for the stars on his musical journey.
Instagram- pharaoh.isgunther Facebook- Pharaoh Gunther Soundcloud- Pharaoh Gunther
UNSIGNED ONLY Music Competition
2018 seems to be quite the amazing year for Grammy-award winning rapper Kendrick Lamar, and it isn't hard to see why his stock in the game is sky-rocketing. From the five awards he won at this year's 2018 Grammy award show, including Best Rap Album, to his iconic, show-stopping Grammy performance that had the music world labeling him a "genius", Kendrick Lamar is easily becoming one of the most widely-known rappers in the world. But not willing to stop there, Kendrick took it a step further, curating the soundtrack of the record-breaking movie of the year, Black Panther, titled "Black Panther: The Album", which has already debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In the midst of all his success, Kendrick remains humble, which can probably be attributed to his humble beginnings. Born in Compton, California on June 17, 1987, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is the son ofKenny Duckworth, a notorious gang member affiliated with the "Gangster Disciples" of Chicago. Although his parents relocated to Compton before he was born, he still grew up around dangerous gang activity, and his family was directly affected by the violence of the streets. Through it all, Kendrick remained soft-spoken and thoughtful, a keen observer even as a child. He was a good student and an even better writer, creating stories and poems before graduating to song lyrics. Witnessing two of his idols, Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, filming the music video for their hit single "California Love", proved to be a life-changing moment for young Kendrick. He soon adopted the name K-Dot, and in 2003 at the age of 16, he recorded his first mixtape titled " Youngest Head Nigga in Charge". This mixtape garnered lots of attention in Southern California, and also gained the attention of independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, with whom he signed a deal and soon dropped a 26 track mixtape titled "Training Day". In 2010, K-Dot dropped the moniker and began using his own name, shortly before releasing his fourth mixtape, "Overly Dedicated", and his first full-length independent album, "Section. 80". He began touring and collaborating with popular artists Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes,Young Jeezy, The Game and Talib Kweli and soon caught the attention of one of his idols, one of hiphop's most
respected and influential producers, Dr. Dre. Dre took the young prodigy under his wing and became his mentor in both music and business. Soon the "Humble" rapper was signed to Aftermath Entertainment alongside 50 Cent and Eminem, and in 2012 Kendrick released his highly anticipated major-label album, "good kid, m.A.A.d city". The Album received wide acclaim, and paved the way for major tv appearances including Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With David Letterman, and Saturday Night Live. MTV named Kendrick the "Hottest MC of 2012" and he became known for his sharp observations of street culture and his social awareness. "To Pimp a Butterfly" was released in 2015 and was noted for its vulnerability as well as it's consciousness of community politics. The "Loyalty" rapper told the British newspaper, The Guardian, "At first, I was scared to show fear because you can never be sure how people will perceive you. But I dared myself to do that, to stand out." Lamar was nominated for a mindblowing 11 Grammys that year, receiving five wins, making him the biggest winner of the night. He also brought down the house with a phenomenal performance that fused traditional African dance, spoken word, live jazz, and a reference to the death of Trayvon Martin. Kendrick continued his reign in rap music with the 2017 release of his album "Damn" featuring hit tracks "Humble" and his collaboration with Rihanna on "Loyalty", an album that achieved double-platinun status. He kicked off this year's Grammy awards show with a politically-charged performance featuring Bono and the Edge of U2, with a special appearance by Dave Chappelle. With seven Grammy nominations, he swept the rap categories, taking home Best Rap Album for "Damn" and Best Rap Song for "Humble", totaling five Grammy wins for the night.
Now this legendary rapper is making history producing, curating and featuring on "Black Panther: The Album", the soundtrack to the biggest movie written by, directed by, designed by, and acted by the best in black talent. Essentially a full-length Kendrick Lamar album, this soundtrack is fun, diverse and daring, a mirror image of the Marvel Comic movie it represents. Handpicked by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler, Kendrick delivered the expected and then some. With the album debuting at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart and sales topping 150,000 in its first week, it's clear that Kendrick Lamar has the Midas touch. This platinum-selling, Grammy-award winning MC is definitely your favorite rapper's favorite rapper, and he has managed to produce mainstream success while maintaining the respect and support of all those around him. If Kendrick Lamar is the future, it's safe to say the music business is in great hands.
Forever PTown on SoundCloud
JayQ on SoundCloud
Timberlake, and George
Michael are just a few of the outstanding performers this talented singer has been compared to. For this aspiring artist, being raised in a single parent household may not have always been the greatest, but the experience shaped and molded a passionate artist with intense feelings and emotions that resonate through his music. Tell us the story behind the name Rayne Michael. My legal name is Ryan Brown, because when I was born my father said no child of his would be named Rayne. So, when I decided to get into singing professionally and introduce myself to the world, I did it as Rayne Michael, as a tribute to my mother who wanted that to be my name from birth.
Where are you from? The easiest answer is both Anderson, Missouri and Mahnomen, Minnesota. My parents divorced when I was 6 or 7, my mom moved me and my sister up to Northwest Minnesota, and we would spend every summer down south in Missouri. We moved a lot growing up and I was in several different schools, so I never really had what I would consider my own hometown. I currently reside in Fargo, North Dakota and am relocating this summer to Minneapolis, MN.
How has your early life affected your music? I mean, when you're being raised by a single parent for most of your life you realize pretty early on that life isn't as easy as you would like it to be. The one thing that has kind of always been a constant for me is singing. Doesn't matter where I lived, or who I was with, singing was always the one thing I had that was a constant. I think I internalized a lot as a child and I was very sensitive to everything around me, and those intense emotions and feelings can be heard in my voice and throughout my music. So, in reality, even though it was hard sometimes, I'm grateful for those experiences, because they made me the person and artist I am today. Which is someone who is a very passionate, hardworking, and emotional performer as well as a down to earth, realistic, and genuine person.
What type of music do you create, and how would you describe your sound? I love R&B/Pop music, so that's what I like to create. My sound itself, is really just a hodge podge of many artists I grew up singing along to, which was mainly 80's and 90's R&B, Pop, Rock, & Country. I never really thought that there was one specific artist I sounded similar to, but the biggest comparisons I seem to get are Prince, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Darren Hayes (Savage Garden), and George Michael.
Photos by: Jill Schafer
How long have you been creating and recording music? Going on about 12 years. 2006 I started putting myself on Myspace and YouTube, singing covers and original songs. I started auditioning for different talent searches and agencies. I've always written poems and songs, ever since I was a teenager, so I started looking up free beats around that same time to write my first original songs. Later those demos became my debut album "Dare To Dream" that was released finally in 2016, and can still be downloaded for free on raynemichael.com
How did you begin making music and when did you realize you were good at it? I've always sang, but when I was 13 my foster sister Charity overheard both me and my other sister singing one day, and she stopped us, looked at me, and said, "If you're gonna sing do it loud enough to be heard." I had never been given that kind of encouragement before. My father was the type who'd ask things when I sang along like "Who sings this song?" I'd get excited cause I knew exactly who it was, then quickly deflated when he would say "Let them sing it.". After Charity's encouragement I started constantly practicing and mimicing what the artists on the radio were doing. Flash forward a few years later to 2006, I had just gotten out of a bad breakup, and I started writing songs in my moms kitchen. My mom would come out of nowhere and be like "Did you write that just now?" She joked to me that I was a 5 minute hit maker, and I was sure she was just bias cause she's my mom, but as I've gotten older I've realized I do have a talent for writing songs and singing.
Who inspires you musically? That list is truly neverending. Currently I'm inspired by Kelly Clarkson's album "Meaning Of Life", and Sam Smith is definitely someone who inspires me vocally. The things he can do with his voice are just incredible, and I like that he's not afraid to hold back his true feelings in his music. I'm inspired by Justin Timberlake, he is the perfect example of someone I refer to as R&B/Pop. He's got the vocal dexterity and all those runs in his music I love to put into mine. I started singing along to a lot of Britney Spears. There's something about her natural voice that is just so vulnerable and beautiful to me. Christina Aguilera has the raw power in her voice I always wished to have, and Mariah Carey is just a vocal monster with a range that is truly unheard of that inspired me to push my range as far as I could go.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry? The music industry is in some serious trouble. There's a few artists that can actually sing their asses off in mainstream right now, like Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson, even Kesha's new songs have her showcasing raw vocals, but then there's so much computerized mess. I feel when you go to a concert and find out the artist sounds nothing like the record, it's a little off-putting. I think more artists need to say no to being overproduced for radio purposes, and really put themselves out there as they are, and sink or swim that way. That way, it gives a chance for some indie artists with astonishing voices to get their feet in the door, regardless of popularity contests.
What do you hope listeners will take away from your music? That I'm not afraid to be vulnerable, and really show my feelings. I want people to get goosebumps, and relate to my music, because it's something they have gone through. I want them to laugh, I want them to cry, I just want to inspire people to achieve whatever dreams they have for themselves. I want my message to be not to give up on yourself or others. I hope my music touches you.
What goals do you have for the future? I have a few new songs I'm working on releasing over the next couple of months, and a couple of covers I want to put out on Youtube. I'm in the process of trying to go back to school to finish my degree in Theatre and Vocal Performance. I'm relocating to Minneapolis, MN so hopefully this summer I can find places to do some shows or perform in different areas of the industry. I just want to take this time to focus on myself and figure out what I want for my future. I want to be happy, and I want to continue to put out songs and music I believe in.
What recent songs, videos or mixtape releases are currently available to your fans and where can they be heard or downloaded? You can buy a HARD COPY of my newly released single "Baby I See" Prod. by PU Muuzik with a BONUS track and an autographed poster from http://pmepromo.biz/rayne-michael The Official Lyric Video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNfURJ7UaH4 You can also download the new single on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and more, PLUS stream it from Spotify and Souncloud, coming soon also to Pandora.
S A J SAJ on Spotify
Meet SAJ, a hip-hop and R&B artist who's heating things up with his new single "Dim The Lights". Produced by JVA, this hot, sultry new record depicts a regular, normal day leading up to a sexy, romantic night, reminding us all to spice things up a little. SAJ, who is originally from Troy, New York but relocated to Stafford, Virginia as a teen, takes a seductive chapter out of the books of Usher, Tank, and Ginuwine, but gets his hip-hop inspiration from Mos Def and Nas. However as far as overall musical inspiration goes, SAJ says he owes it all to none other than the classic R&B group, Boyz II Men. With the quality of music this talented artist is putting out there, it's inevitable that he'll continue making waves musically, and that's why he is definitely an artist to check for!
Instagram @sajtheartist Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and currently living in, Springfield, Illinois is a dynamic aspiring artist who hopes to accomplish big things in the music industry. With a sound that's as unique as the name he goes by, this artist that calls himself 9uzumaki describes his vibe as a mixture of Trippie Redd, Kodie Shane, Uzi and Wayne. Inspired to go further with his music by his younger brother who recognized and acknowledged his rap skills, 9uzumaki hopes to gain the love of fans by "writing what he lives". He wants to make music that's not only relatable to the listeners and viewers, but also music that they can love all elements of, including sound, rhythm, and overall vibe. Check out his new single "My Su Nights" from his project titled "Down South Da EP", and find out why 9uzumaki is an artist to check for!
9uzumaki on SoundCloud Instagram: Geauxhead Twitter: Geauxheadd
9 U Z U M A K I
Meet Casanova Jody aka Jody Fuego, a hip-hop artist from Paterson, New Jersey who's also CEO and music artist of the 1037 Cloud Gang talent group. A true rap artist at heart, Casanova Jody is inspired by the OGs of rap - old school artists like Wu-Tang, Snoop Dogg, Biggie, Tupac and who he considers the greatest of all time, LL Cool J. Being a fan of old school hiphop, Casanova Jody creates what he calls "real music". Far from just throwing rhyming words together and dropping them on a beat, this talented MC pours his heart and soul into the music he creates. "I shed blood, sweat and tears into every bar I spit and every song I create." Currently, Casanova Jody is promoting his new song titled "Struggle", featuring Yung BossTrip, a deeply insightful story of two people working their way through the struggle and doing whatever they can to find a way out. It's a song that Casanova feels listeners can relate to, and a song that showcases the three thing he hopes listeners will take from his music: work, grind hard and be consistent. "No matter how old, no matter how young, if you work, grind hard and stay consistent, there will be no limitations on what you can achieve." Casanova Jody is living this truth, and that is why he is an artist to check for.
Listen to "Struggle" now!
Malcom Shakur - a powerful name that's a combination of two outstanding figures in Black history, Malcolm X and, of course, Tupac Shakur. Now this talented individual is aiming to make a cultural impact of his own through music. A great writer of poetry as well as a prolific creator of music, Malcom Shakur says he will be the leading conscious rapper out of Jacksonville, Florida.
Being a very different child at the age of
types of shenanigans. He was given a
8, young Malcom would write poetry to
journal by his social worker, in which he
the sound of the thunder, rain and other
would write any and everything he felt,
noises, which he calls "a melody of
everything from depression to
atmospherics". His poetry writing evolved
hallucinations. Before he
on May 23, 2003 when Malcom witnessed
knew it, he had written
his mother being physically abused.
over 2,000 entries in
Unfortunately, after the separation of his
less than a year, and
parents, he began to act out behaviorally,
amazingly all of it
getting into street altercations and other
Shakur's writing began to mature into a
dimension, and he was compelled to stop
more diverse yet subtle version of lyrics.
James before he departed and bless him
He began to rap for other people and
with some poetry of his own. Allen James
would even have rap battles in school.
was so impressed that he asked Shakur to
When he turned 18 he met his mentor,
be a part of his poetry group Poe Faces,
Allen James, who at the time was the CEO
for which he began to perform every other
of the Ritz theater, delivering poetry at the
Thursday. When he saw how much the
school where Shakur was working. The
crowd loved his pieces, he began to realize
poetry he heard sent Shakur to another
the talent he possessed.
J Cole, Eminem, Logic, Rapsody, Roots, Big pun, Wu Tang, and Chance The Rapper are just a few of the artists who have inspired Shakur musically. But his number one inspiration artistically is definitely Kendrick Lamar! Not only is he compared to Kendrick when he freestyles, but Kendrick's music simply helps Shakur understand himself better. And like Kendrick Lamar, Shakur has chosen not to be a follower, and to lead with no exceptions. So far he has won a few talent competitions, did some performances in Miami, and did a radio appearance in Jacksonville for which thousands tuned in. With the goal of eventually becoming the leading conscious rapper out of Florida, Malcom Shakur will continue making good music, continue meeting new people, and continue learning the game. Working with genius producer, songwriter and engineer, Emmanuel Walker aka 3PM, has resulted in the creation of some prolific songs. Now working with independent singer Lisha Mone', Shakur has a sure-fire hit in the works titled "Believe In Me", and he's also working on his next mixtape he calls "vibeMe". Be on the lookout for Malcom Shakur, an up-and coming rapper with a lot of heart, a lot of hope and a lot of talent.
Instagram: @malcomshakur.v YouTube: @Malcom Shakur
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @IAMmalcomshakur
Morning Habits of Successful People
And How To Make Them Work For You
A big part of being a successful artist, or a successful anything for that matter, is learning from, and following the lead of those that have done it before you. That doesn't mean be afraid to step outside of the box creatively, but there are a lot of little things that can help you become a more productive and more focused individual on your quest for success. A few aspects to take into consideration are the morning habits of highly successful people. The early morning is an extremely important time slot in the lives of those ahead of the game. So what exactly do these people do during those precious a.m. hours? The answers may surprise you, and may help you improve your own life. These are the top 7 morning habits of highly successful people.
Successful people tend to wake up early.
Those who value success value time as a precious commodity. The idea of waking up early to take advantage of extra time in the day is not lost on this group of people. Waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual can greatly improve the flow of your morning and even impact the overall structure of your day. Extra time gives you the opportunity to do the things that matter, which can help minimize the stress level of the morning and help you start your day with a clearer head.
Make lemon water your morning drink of choice.
Waking up to a nice healthy glass of water does wonders for the body. It rehydrates your body after hours of sleeping, it jumpstarts your metabolism, and it just helps you feel more alert. Adding lemon to that glass of water turns this healthy habit up a few notches, especially when drank on an empty stomach. Lemon is known to increase nutrient absorption in the stomach, and this citrus fruit is packed full of all kinds of nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. The result is a spike in your mental and physical energy levels, leaving you with a steady, natural buzz that will carry you through the day.
Make exercise a part of your morning routine.
Exercising daily is a sure-fire stress reliever, plus it gives you more energy, both which are critical for getting things done. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, helping you think more clearly and improving your level of self-control. Making time for a workout in the morning, no matter how small, ensures that you get it done and not put it off, which is more likely to happen later in the day.
Start the day with a breakfast of champions.
The saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" didn't just come our of the clear blue sky. Eating breakfast decreases the likelihood of diabetes by helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, and also decreases the chance of becoming obese. Eating healthy foods for breakfast increases your energy level, improves your short term memory, and helps you concentrate more intensely for longer periods of time, in essence making your day a more productive one.
Find a peaceful moment.
Ninety percent of illnesses are stress-related and therefore preventable. Which is why it is important to find a quiet moment for prayer, meditation, or simple reflection. Whether counting your blessings, reflecting on what you're thankful for or even listening to inspirational quotes or a motivational speaker, these moments can make a huge difference. Improved focus, creativity boosts, and minimized stress levels are all advantages of these peaceful moments. Not to mention, making this a habit can help you become a more optimistic person and improve your overall outlook on life.
Successful people set daily goals.
This may be the most important daily habit to adopt on your journey to success. Making a daily list of tasks to accomplish before the day is through makes you more likely to actually complete them. Not only does it set the precedent for the day, but setting goals also gives you an idea of the amount of work that is ahead in the coming days or even months. Making your to-do list right after your period of quiet reflection can help you plan your goals with an optimistic and clear mind, which is the best way to do it.
Put it in gear and go.
Now that all else is done, the only thing left to do now is to get moving. Because your willpower is at its freshest first thing in the morning, start with the day's most daunting task. Willpower is like a muscle - it tires after prolonged use, so taking advantage of it at its strongest point is something winners have mastered. Throw procrastination out of the window, and throw yourself head first into completing your day's to do list. Attacking your projects first thing means you're more likely to finish it, and more likely to do so without interruption. Although these strategies are tried and true, it's important to add to your routine whatever strategies you find work best for you. Once you've found the perfect combination, you'll be one step closer to joining the ranks and entering the winners circle.
Freestyling for fun is something a lot of young rap fans tend to do, but for those with a true affinity for music, that hobby usually grows into something much more. That's exactly what happened with this next artist. He's a talented young man from St. George, Utah and he goes by the name JayQ.
For him, music started out as a hobby with the homies, and now three years later he's creating many genres of music with a sound that's unique and creative. He would watch and learn, absorbing the craft and technique, then go back and write in his notebook and practice his delivery. The first two tracks he created gained lots of positive feedback from friends and town locals, and for JayQ, receiving recognition in his town is a huge honor. As someone who's always surrounded himself with music, JayQ grew up listening to some of the greats in the industry, including Biggie Smalls, Lil Wayne, Kanye and Diddy. Already completing his first mixtape, JayQ has lots of plans for the future, including dropping an Ep, going on tour, meeting new people in the industry, and even starting his own clothing line. He's already opened up for OmenXIII, Jgrxxn, Freewill, and Lil Rob. JayQ has just released his most recent mixtape titled, "Never Turning Back" which is available now on SoundCloud. With continued hard work and endurance, plus the support of his family and friends (whom he'd like to shout out), JayQ has a very bright future ahead.
JayQ SoundCloud Instagram: jaydon_q
If you think you have what it takes to be featured in Da Insider Magazine Submit your MP3, music link or photos of what you do to email@example.com for review for a feature spot today!!!
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This magazine highlights talented hip-hop and R&B artists across the country who are ambitious and ready to take their career to the next le...
Published on Feb 27, 2018
This magazine highlights talented hip-hop and R&B artists across the country who are ambitious and ready to take their career to the next le...