Could rapper Fese be the next Mixtape King? The North Philadelphia native has been creating an astonishing buzz for himself making 100.3 The Beat’s, DJ Damage’s top 20 club songs for 2010. You can find his videos on Youtube, his songs spinning all over Philadelphia radio stations and clubs. If you don’t know him you may know his songs that you subconsciously bop your head to on your way home or while your ordering your drink at the bar. The rappers latest single 4 Wings has people in a frenzy ready to pop a hole in the extra sweet ice tea from the Chinese store. The video for his single was shot on Temple University’s campus, though not a college student, Fese is well known throughout the University and is frequently ask to perform at campus shows.
Outside of performing the rapper has been staying busy on Youtube, collecting incomparable numbers than any other unsigned artist from Philadelphia outside of the recently signed Meek Mills. Fese’s, Do You Want That video has almost 15, 000 views and as for his new single 4 Wings, which is still increasing in numbers is receiving roughly 29,000 views, but none of them top his Four Loko smash hit which has 139,398 hits, nearly close to the numbers Meek Mills had when his records began spinning on local airwaves in the City of Brotherly Love. Without a doubt Fese is destined to success as his fan base begins to rise, he soon will be a household name adding another notch to Philly’s belt.
By: Mereb Gebremariam | Beat-Play Ambassador Philadelphia| @MerebwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
The congregation slowly begins to fill the seats while a soft Gospel melody is being played on the piano. Neatly dressed in a blue suit, Johnnie Williams starts singing, “This is the best place… Being in the house of God.” Hitting every rift and run, people wave their hands in the air feeling good and praising God. His voice soothed the listening ears with his words, that even with your eyes closed you envisioned serenity from his tone. The Preacher’s grandson voice is truly a gift that has enhanced since he began playing when he was sixteen, every Friday and Sunday in church, but no one had a clue that his passion outside church was R&B.
Some may argue that R&B music could be losing it’s touch to Pop music since current artist such as Rihanna, Beyonce, and Usher have had transitional success. Then there is autotune, which has been silenced and shunned by Jay- Z, but it hasn’t stopped artists who look for a more unique sound without belting out every song like Whitney Houstson, Jazmine Sulilivan, and Jeniffer Hudson. In some cases singers don’t feel the need to sing in key or at all, however, Johnnie Williams is the complete opposite.
Johnnie has been singing since the tender age of 8 in a church choir, “I like singing but I didn’t start until I was in he 10th grade. I went to my friend Kelly’s house and heard a group called HCL (High Class Lovers.) I went home and did my own demo and came back the next week and let them hear it, and they let me join. I listened to the demo recently, and that thing is the worst, I definitely gotten better.” Shortly after, HCL had changed their name to Prospect and won a talent show at Abington Senior high school. After their triumph the group parted ways, but Johnnie strived became great and he continued pursuing his music and began writing and producing with his band mate, Kelly. Johnnie’s hard work hadn’t gone unseen. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to meet Damon from the famous R&B group No Question, who discussed the possibilities of a comeback after the group’s hiatus, but this time with Johnnie as a member. After auditioning for it he became a member and they started working and completed 4 songs, but soon after differences erupted among the members about unmade promises that weren’t kept, “Deals with money were on the table and when it came down to it everything kept falling through, so I separated ties.”
Once the group fell through, that situation had not discouraged him, yet motivated him to focus on his own music. Johnnie went back on his grind at his in home studio where he produces 10-20 beats per week and writes all his material from his inspirations,“My inspiration comes from people around me, people I know, and people that touch me emotionally and personally.” Almost immediately, Johnnie had heard that MTV was having auditions for Diddy’s Making the Band, Season 4 in search for the next boy group, “I auditioned on Myspace and they gave me the VIP ristband so I din’t have to wait in line.” He went to a New York club where the auditions were held and sung Usher’s, “Let it Burn” for Michael Bivins, Slam, and Ankhra and was passed to the 2nd round. The next day Johnnie had to prepare for the combination of dancing and singing portion, “I got past the dance round but didn’t pass the singing round because I lost my voice after standing outside in the winter cold waiting for my auditions.”
Since his MTV auditions, he became good friends with Dyshon, who was a finalist on Making the Band and helped him with background vocals for Dayshon’s solo project as well as his own project. Currently, he’s constantly posting music on Youtube, and plans on taking Neyo’s place in the music industry as a writer, proudcer, and singer and doesn’t mind just writing for other artist, “I do music just to do it, I want a deal, but I do music for people and do songs to sell them.” His new single is called Confession (I Love You), which is a slow ballad written and produced by him that is receiving a lot of positive feedback, “It’s my favorite song I’ve ever recorded, because out of all the songs I’ve done, I let my all out on this one.”
By: Mereb Gebremariam | Beat-Play Ambassador Philadelphia | @MerebwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
In 2003, Chic Raw’s first mixtape, Shots For The Streets debuted, and gained great success on the streets of Philadelphia for his firm rap sound regarding to his struggles and pain. Raised in “The City of Brotherly Love,” Chic submitted to the materialistic fast life of money and respect, and so began selling hardcore drugs from weed to crack at the age of 15. Eventually, the fast life caught up to him and in 2005, he got into a drug related altercation and was shot, and by 2007, Chic was sentenced to prison for three years on federal chargers for distributing narcotics. Suddenly, the popular underground rapper found himself in a deep hole, almost ruining his chances to enter the music industry, however his determination, passion, and team behind him, he stayed motivated and focused.
Before incarceration, Chic Raw caught the attention of one of Rap’s powerhouse, 50 Cent, who still remained interested in the Philly rapper during and after his prison stint. During imprisonment, Chic had what he calls a “machine” behind him supporting him and updating him on what was going on in the music industry. In March 2010, Chic was released from prison and placed in a half way house where he would serve the remainder of his term, however, 50 Cent, was able to write a letter of employment for his lawyer to present to the Judge to get Chic out and back on his grind. Even though, unable to leave the State, money was put behind him, “They helped me put everything out and get back on the internet and the scene, as far as the underground scene for my city.” The Philly rap game had changed, but Chic’s lyrical content still remains harder than the next song, and doesn’t think he should alter his style of rap to acclimatize to the current trend, “(Meek Mill) really tries to cater to people on what’s going on right now. I write from my heart, the majority of my music.” One of the Machines supporting and managing Chic is Dwayne McKenzie, A &R of G-Unit, has supported Chic while he was in prison and now helps him select what he releases guiding him to a successful direction.
Recently, Chic had collaborated with one of Philly’s finest, Jazmine Sullivan for a song called Fame (Got To Have It), “They sent me some beats through my email and one of the beats they sent me is the joint with her already on the hook. I said damn, I’m gonna go and do it.” Shortly after releasing the song, Eminem released the same song with Jazmine Sullivan, called Cocaine, which has the same hook as Fame (Got To Have It), “I was like damn, I didn’t even realize he was watching, but see when people like that take your shit, there’s nothing you can do about it, cuz they in a better position than you.”
Chic Raw is now pushing his album, The Relief that’s being hosted by Mr. Peter Parker from Eminem’s Sirius Satellite radio show, SHADE 45. The album contains 11 songs with two bonus songs and is receiving rave reviews on the underground scene in Philadelphia. Chic promotes his music videos on YouTube to give visual detail that brings his songs to life. In the next year, Chic Raw expects to change his sound, “I got a fan base just from being aggressive and loud on tracks, that when I came home from jail, I matured, like I calmed myself down.” Now, Chic is working on a new project while perfecting his craft, determined to be on top one day, “Hopefully, you know, one day I get on. I ain’t gonna stop working hard until I get on.”
A college graduate in Speech Communication, Chill Moody is now gaining a degree in the underground rap world of Philadelphia. Moody’s distinctive lyrical content is often compared to conscious rappers such as Talib Kweli, Black Thought, and Common, so much so that he was fortunate enough to meet and rap for Common at a performance at Millersville University, “ He (Common) really took a liking for my lyrics. (He) Liked what I was saying, liked what I was doing. He even shouted me out in one of his freestyles.” Even though, he’s probably cursed about four times in his last album, mainly so that his mother wouldn’t feel embarrassed playing his music in front of other people, he thinks that’s where people tend to draw the comparisons from Chill Moody to conscious music. Moody called out the labeling in one of his songs “I carry a back pack, but I’m not a backpacker. It’s just me being me, just Chill… I’m not in the streets, I’m college educated, so I can only talk about the things I know.”
In 2009, the novice rapper debuted his Ill Chill album on his website, which had 100 downloads in 10 minutes and overall cleared an impressive 3,000 downloads. “I didn’t know 100 people were looking for my music or like anticipated for it to drop. It just started buzzin’ and it was like a snowball effect and it was a blessing.” As the front man for a hip- hop stable called, “Tha ESTablisymynt,” that includes a team of producers, rappers, and singers. In addition, Chill has a show on YouTube called, E.S.Tv. and has also created a clothing line called, Moody Sunshine. Chill plans on getting his feet into many production projects as possible and plans on directing as well as pursuing his music career.
Currently, Chill has released a more recent album entitled, wESTchilly with producer, Wes Manchild who has worked with him on his last album, “We tend to stick to the same formula. I like to work closely with one producer and get a cohesive sound for the album.” His sound is distinguishable amongst other Philly rappers and carries a prolific sound that expresses the pits of reality that he has witnessed. He is without a doubt comparable to Nas, Common, and Talib Kweli for a reason and rightfully so, deserves respect for his art.
Anthony Rankin is a talented rock/pop singer from Philadelphia, PA. Rankin’s hook heavy songs and his groovy musical style combine to form a very entertaining combination. Check out his official music video to his single, “Mean It.”
Kyle C. Stilley | Online Marketing Strategist | @stillz | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
Rockin’ out some fun tunes from the Philadelphia area are The New Motels with their music video for “My Radio”. They have a very relaxed airy feel, incorporating folk and pop to their indie rock style, makes it great music to just kick back and enjoy some tunes. Visit their website for more music.
Get your dance on tomorrow night downtown Philadelphia in OLD CITY at the Grey Social bar + lounge!!! Listen to hit HOUSE mixes by DJ Matthew Macchioni starting at 10pm. This is going to be EPIC!!! Here is a taste of what’s to come:
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