I stand out from the pack in the sense that the flow and my voice is nothing like anyone else in Pittsburgh
â€? Cover Story: Beedie
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JENESIS magazine presents
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STARTING 5 COACHES PICK 2014
Living under a rock is the only way you haven’t seen that HBK has been running things as of late. P-Lo who provides much of the production heat for the team delivers a rack of hits on his latest release MBMGC2. Twitter.com/hbkplo
ACTION BRONSON “BLUE CHIPS2” twitter.com/actionbronson
CURREN$Y & SMOKE DZA “THE STAGE EP” twitter.com/CurrenSy_Spitta twitter.com/SmokeDZA
STARLITO & DON TRIP “STEP BROTHERS TWO” twitter.com/LITO615 twitter.com/MrDonTrip
A new year has come and new artists will rise to the occasion. 5 of us from JENESIS make it known who we would add to create a Starting 5 on the JENESIS team in 2014 off of their hard work and grind from 2013. We don’t need you to agree, we just need you to watch the progression these artists we make without saying “we told you so” at the end of the year.
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After eight years of releasing project after project, Gerald Walker is taking the year off- not to rest, but to put together his debut album entitled “TARGET,” which stand for To Achieve Respect Grind Elevate. The new project is set to drop in 2014 and is to be accompanied by a book, according to Gerald. Gerald remembers buying his first rap tape at a local drug store growing up, but didn’t start taking his career totally serious until he had finished high school. With friends and family not supporting him, he knew he had to keep grinding. One producer, who he thought might not even reply, helped him gain that confidence to keep grinding. “I sent a record I did over Cardo’s beat to him and he replied back within minutes,” Gerald said. “He said I could have anything on the site, but I wanted to do an EP and he was down.”
GERALD WALKER jenesis
Major success is the ultimate goal Gerald said, but he realizes he needs to prove himself in order to get to that stage. Just as his friend Cardo got the opportunity to work with Taylor Gang before an eventual split, he believes that major label endorsement is the ultimate goal. “The major labels may not know how to get you from 0 to 60, but set you up for more,” Gerald said. You can even hear him proclaiming this in his song, “Some Things Never Wash Out” as he raps, “Baby can you blame me/ Even Marshall Mathers switched it up to turn Shady.” Working on his album, Gerald said that he thinks this is the year the records will come back. “Mixtapes are becoming a thing of the past,” Gerald commented. “CDs will always be around, I believe people like the art factor.” Working more and more on the projects and possibly producing is something that Gerald said he could see himself doing in the future. “Working with Sledgren, he has showed me what it’s like to really be passionate about
music,” Gerald explained. “Even if the record isn’t close to being done, he still sees it.” Even though new school rap may be what’s in right now, Gerald said his biggest influences still come from the old school era. The doubters may have been around, but Gerald believes that maybe his stubbornness has helped him keep pursing his goals. He says, “You always have to have targets and take things one step at a time. You got to elevate and gain the respect and if you put forth the effort people will recognize.“
You got to elevate and gain the respect and if you put forth the effort people will recognize.
Winning the LAUSD poetry contest might not be the best look with homies. You might feel misplaced, but you have something that it could take people many years to find, you’re not afraid to be yourself.
“I remember going to a shoe store in Crenshaw to perform a show,” said Kyle. “We performed in front of, like, three people and they didn’t cheer or boo, they just looked at me and didn’t say anything… Straight rapper hell.”
Kyle, 20 formerly known as K.i.D, is finding his own voice in the Indi-Pop studios in Downtown Los Angeles. He was born in the San Fernando Valley, where his family encouraged him to perform and sing at an early age. “You tell a kid to do something and keep encouraging them, they will really start to believe that is what he is here for. I’ve known I wanted to be a musical performer since I was 6 years old.”
The energy didn’t change for Kyle, he rapped his lyrics with a strong delivery and he made jokes with the crowd. He gave those three people in Crenshaw his all, even if they were wondering, “Who is this kid?” Moments like this one that he went through in Crenshaw gave him strong skin and he knew that these were just moments; it wasn’t going to be an everlasting feeling. Nothing could crush his dreams.
At the age of 12, Kyle moved with his family to the coastal town of Ventura, Ca. At Ventura High School, he was a standout actor in the drama department and his song “Black and Gold” became the school anthem and could be heard at every sporting event. The standout rapper/singer used technology to his advantage by recording music videos and freestyles to post on YouTube. He built a strong fan base in his hometown, becoming the local kid opening up for all the big names, such as, A$AP Rocky, Bone-Thugs-NHarmony or anyone else that performed at Ventura Theater.
With a mixtape and a small school tour completed before Kyle got his high school diploma, he knew that his next step was the school of music in the real world and the Internet. Working with Oklahoma’s finest producer Dave Cappa, Kyle dropped Super Duper K.i.D in 2011. A CD with funky beats, smooth harmonies and strong lyric’s that was universally appealing to music lovers.
“Visuals are so important to me,” said Kyle. “I owe my career to YouTube.”
A NERD LIKE NO OTHER
article by jesus araujo | Photo by Cyle Barinzi The transformation of any teenager is an interesting one. It is a delicate time that can form and shape thoughts, ideas and body hair in awkward places. Some are often labeled nerdy just because they like being in plays and watching cinematic movies, or starring in the high school musical could be social suicide amongst jocks and cheerleaders.
With more than 20,000 views on several of his YouTube videos and mixtapes (Senior Year, FxL, and Super Duper K.i.D), in addition to small school tours and opening celebrations of retails, the opportunity came to Kyle to become a part of the Indi-Pop family. Producers DJ Carnage, Bedrock, Benny Haze, Dave Cappa, Chris P, Antonio Nochez and Tomas Barfod all helped attribute to Beautiful Loser, the album that reached number 7 on the hip-hop charts on iTunes. With millions of views on Vevo (“Keep It Real” and “Hey Now”), and after headlining his first tour this past Summer (The Beautiful Loser Tour), Kyle knows that this is only the beginning and won’t forget the motivation that has pushed him.
“I wanted a song that described me but also something that can relate to people.” The title of the song ended up being the title to his album Beautiful Loser. “I want my fans to know you’re ok,” said Kyle. “Don’t change who you are. You are beautiful the way you are. I hung out with the drama geeks. Technically that would make me a nerd or a loser. I am a nerd, I play video games, I’m mad I didn’t get to see The Hobbit, I don’t get girls, I am technically a nerd.” At Ultra Music Festival with Martin Solveig, in front of 60,000, a drama nerd hit the stage and sang “Hey Now.” Childish Gambino’s short film Clapping for All The Wrong Reasons shows Gambino spinning Kyle’s hit “Fruits Snacks” on the turntables. With all that Kyle has accomplished so far in his music career, he knows that this is just the beginning of more to come. I guess being a nerd isn’t all that bad.
article by jesus araujo photo by Amy Narodovich
Nate Fox, 26, is from Scottsdale, Pennsylvania, a small town 49 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. “We only had one traffic light I swear,” said Fox jokingly. Though his surrounding didn’t have the bright lights of a city or music clubs like New York, Fox’s house was filled with music from all of around. “My dad was the eclectic one,” says Fox. The soulful one of the house who had Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 going on in the background as they cleaned their house. “Mom would play Carly Simon,” said Fox. With soulful music and music that builds like an epic movie, Fox was listening to music on different types of levels. This gave him the musical knowledge to hear and understand the beauty of music.”
The bond that two people create can help push both people to reach their full potential.
It is a feeling that you will never forget. When that one person tells you “You made this? This is fucking dope!” there is no other feeling to describe that feeling. When working with Nate Fox, that is exactly what you get. The producer has worked with many up and coming artist such as King Chip, Lorine Chia, Machine Gun Kelly, and produced on Chance the Rapper’s heavily acclaimed mixtape “Acid Rap.”
Music was becoming more a part of Fox’s life—citing Busta Rhymes and Mack 10 (and even emo artists) as early influences. He was noticing subtle invocations in artists and how they made themselves unique. “Biggies ability to change his tone in raps,” said Fox. “He had the ability to make himself sound like two people on the track was crazy!!” By 14, Fox had realized that making music was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. After high school Fox entered Tri-C Metro in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a music school and Fox got an internship working in the school studio with Mark Baker. After a year of school, Fox decided it was time to take what he had learned and go on his own. “I wasn’t able to get idea’s out,” said Fox. “ I felt I was withholding my creativity.” Fox began working with Cleveland rapper Cuzo and began to network with more people. He soon found himself working with Cleveland rappers MGK and King Chip (at the time known as Chip the Ripper). A quick transfer of information with Chance the Rapper two years ago at SXSW the two began working. The two immediately bonded. “I get asked all the time what was it like working with
Chance? It wasn’t really working,” said Fox.” It was us being friends creating something organic.” His songs “Pusha Man”, “Chain Smoker”, “Lost”, and on-line sensations “Juice”, and “Favorite Song” all made the highly acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap. It was an August night in Chicago, Fox and Chance the Rapper were working when Pat, Chance’s manager, received a call from Cortez Bryant. “Wayne wanted Chance to be on D5,” said Fox. Wanting to make something from scratch Fox worked from 11 pm to 10 am the next day to create “You Song”. During this session Fox would have to break a personal rule of his. “There are just certain people that you do not sample from, Michael Jackson being one of them,” said Fox. “That night though, it was a night of rule breaking.” One of the most important parts of being a producer is the bond that you build with that artist. Email makes it easy to send beats; it’s a click away. Fox can send you beats, but he is coming as well. “I want to bring back the collab vibe,” said Fox. “I want them (the artist) to experience the first time they wanted to do this forever,” said Fox. Throughout this interview we went on side conversations: About how Morning Sunrise by Weldon Irvine is the greatest song of all time, if wrestlers were rappers who would they be (he says that Bam Bam Bigelow would be Action Bronson), How Eureka's Castle is underrated, and how not only Donny Hathaway is amazing but how he used “Jealous Man” as the sample in “Juice.” As natural as it was to talk to him you can feel his desire to help create a song that will last forever; a song that will stand through all the fads that come along in music. “Music that can make people move. Something like a wedding song,” said Fox. “ You know, a song that makes you feel that feeling like it’s the first time. That’s a song that will last forever.”
I’m definitely doing me and doing what I love how I want to do it but I’m taking on this responsibility where I want to inspire people, especially little girls.
Rapsody. The name has gotten to the point where it’s become loaded. Even if the average hip-hop fan hasn’t listened to her full discography, it’s associated with talent. Rapsody’s been around long enough, and associated herself with enough of the right people, for it to be assumed that she’s an artist of note that should be paid close attention to. Over the past eight years, Rap’s made more than a few blips on the hip-hop radar. Some of the biggest blips include The Idea of Beautiful, her debut studio album, her Thank H.E.R Now, For Everything and She Got Game mixtapes as well as her appearance in a BET Hip Hop Awards cypher a couple of months ago. When I talked to Rap, the day before marked exactly a month since She Got Game was released.
ARTICLE BY KEITH R-C
PHOTO BY SAMEER ABDEL-KHALEK
“So far, for it to be out only a month, I feel like people are still discovering it,” says Rapsody. “We just dropped the first video for it today, it’s definitely still spreading. But to drop it and it has 30,000 downloads and people are talking about it, you know, that’s the most I could ask for. I never try to go into it expecting something. The most I could ask for is for people to like it and to share it, and that’s happening by the tens of thousands. So I’m more than pleased.” The Idea of Beautiful was no secret to those that appreciate the genre. It was followed with great reviews and publicity. It appears that She Got Game is having a similar result. Both of these projects contained thought and emotion provoking lyrics and clinically precise delivery skills that Rapsody has taken the time to improve throughout her career. When she first met 9th Wonder, he was impressed with her raw talent and gave her homework to enhance her skills.
“He told me ‘Yo, you have a dope voice, you have a whole lot of potential. All you need to do is work on A, B and C’,” says Rapsody. “That was kind of
like the gasoline on the match that just turned into a big forest fire.” “The next two or three years we kept in contact and he kind of took me under his wing,” she says. “He’d invite us to the studio and coach me through things and give me advice; he gave me homework.” He told her to study the mechanics of classic hip-hop records and understand the use of the small details that separates them from the masses. After a while, Rapsody was able to use these skills in her own music. Three years after they met, Rapsody signed to 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records in 2008. If artists don’t have a sense of purpose, beyond making something that sounds nice, they seem to not stick around for too long. Rapsody has a purpose, a great one at that. “It’s a balance,” says Rapsody. “I’m definitely doing me and doing what I love how I want to do it but I’m taking on this responsibility where I want to inspire people, especially little girls. I think about when I was growing up and how much MC Lye, Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill and how much it meant to me to see them doing it and how different they all were; even Lil’ Kim. They all were dope but they all were different so I just want to help create that balance and just bring something different to the table.” Even though she’s seen a considerable amount of success through her solo career, Rapsody hasn’t forgotten how she got her start and still has an active role in Kooley High. It was earlier reported that a Kooley High project, executive produced by 9th Wonder, was slated to drop this year. Rapsody says that this project is still going to happen, but should drop at a later date. The group is still in the process of trying to narrow down their tracklist from hundreds of tracks.
All artists go through change over time, but the newest upcoming project for Pittsburgh artist, Beedie, may be showing his true side more than anything else. “I feel like this is the year and the album that I decided to say f**k everybody else, I'm going to do this shit my way.”
Much of 2013 for Beedie was spent in the studio. The music business is not new to Beedie, as his family members were involved in music when he was younger. “My grandma was an opera singer,” he said. “I grew up with a hip-hop upbringing, my lifestyle and the people around me.” A career in music is something that Beedie said has always been his goal, but that doesn't mean he has always believed it was possible. “I never really thought it was actually that possible for someone to do it in my shoes until I saw people in Pittsburgh doing it.”
in The best position article by trevor leard | photography by andy menarchek
Coming out of a small market city, Beedie knows that he has to be different from the others in order to stick out. Also, being from the same school and even grade as fellow rapper, Wiz Khalifa, he tries to bring his own style rather than just fitting in. “I stand out from the pack in the sense that the flow and my voice is nothing like anyone else in Pittsburgh,” he said. “I feel like I represent me and I like to do what people can feel, something that’s real and people can appreciate it.” But he knows that making it in his city is not even the goal. “To make it in Pittsburgh you got to make it outside the city,” he said. “Over the last three or four years we’ve been taking more shows and going out of town.” His growth is something that shows- he was recently verified on Twitter and gains followers by the day. Being signed to a label is not the most important thing to Beedie. “We shopped the new album around a lot and had some meetings with labels,” he said. “They were talking cool stuff, but at the same time I feel like they didn't have much to offer me that I can't do by myself.” His newest project that does not yet have an official title, but is expected in the first half to late spring of 2014.
Staying in the same lane is not something that Beedie plans on doing for this album either. According to Beedie, the new album will bring a darker vibe that can be seen in his newer videos such as ‘Miss Me’ and ‘Slow Ride.’ “It’s basically a yin-yang, Above The Weather would be the yin and my new album would be the yang,” he said. “Basically they are one in the same, they have a unique together feel in a sense, but at the same time the beats are big and lyrically in a sense its more personal and more musical." But not everything will change for the Pittsburgh artist, he stayed local for the productions with his go-to producer DJ Huggy who he said had the bulk of the production, along with E. Dan who he has previously recorded with. He also has a feature with fellow Taylor Allderdice graduate Wiz Khalifa and Pittsburgh artist Boaz. Last year was a big year for Beedie finishing up the project. He was in the studio for most of the year and considered himself working as a bat cave rapper, “Looking like Clark Kent but acting like Batman,” he said. The ultimate goal of every artist is to bring the best vibes to the table just as Batman was bringing the best vibes to Gotham by protecting it. And after spending a lot of time in the studio, Beedie is trying to bring listeners to the special place he likes to call Beedie Land. “It’s an escape from whatever you need to get out of,” he said. “It’s basically that happy zone you go to be free with no mental stresses.”
I feel like I represent me and I like to do what people can feel, something that’s real and people can appreciate it.
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