Monthly Archives: March 2016

MGK

Love Has Everything to do With It

Richard Colson Baker, better known as the rap star Machine Gun Kelly or just MGK is from Cleveland, Ohio and when he’s not touring he still calls Cleveland home. He considers Cleveland a stimulus for his songs and when he wants to feel that same hunger he had before he got his record deal, he heads back to his hood and the streets. He gives credit to the city for the reason why his songs “blow up”. Everyone from the kids to people 60 years old are listening to his music, he claims. MGK has acting credits on his resume too. His first movie was in 2014 where he played the role of Kid Culprit, a rapper, in “Beyond the Lights.” Boy that must have been a stretch. He was born on April 22, 1990, in Houston, Texas. His parents were Missionaries and the family lived all around the world and throughout the United States. He eventually settled in Denver with his father after his mom left the family. He and his father lived with an aunt and fought often. His father was chronically unemployed and suffered from depression. MGK’s home life was unstable and he was bullied mercilessly by the other kids in the neighborhood. His father eventually went to work for the Army and left him to live in his aunt’s basement where he promptly stopped going to school. Then there was the drug experimentation. But, he also recorded his first amateur mixed-tape in that basement. His father was soon back stateside and they ended up in his beloved Cleveland. He convinced the owner of a shop that sold t-shirts, to become his manager. His fans gave him his name Machine Gun Kelly, because of the rapid fire delivery of his lyrics. He began releasing his own mix-tapes and his profile and reputation grew from there. His very first awards came from 2010’s Underground Music Awards where he won Best Midwest Artist and Best Music Video. It was Sean Combs who offered him his first recording contract. The song that means the most to MGK is the one about his two-year battle with heroin addiction that left him homeless. He even considered suicide by drug overdose but went to rehab instead. The song is titled Lead You On. He has only relapsed briefly one time in 2012. He does speak openly about his daily marijuana use and often references it in his lyrics. He said it’s a source of love. I have such heart-felt sorrow for MGK and what he probably went through in his early life and how he suffered from such a lack of love. The ramifications in your adult life from feeling so unloved as a child are profound. It seems every time he turned around as a child he was being rejected by people that you expect to love you unconditionally. That kind of pain can last a lifetime. I not only wish him the best but I hope he can come to terms with his childhood and realize that he is lovable and deserving of love.

Big Sean

I Carry the Responsibility of My City

Big Sean, the platinum-selling rap star is also quite the philanthropist. He believes in his hometown of Detroit and in showing the kids of Detroit their potential. He started the Sean Anderson Foundation and his mission is to improve the lives of young people. In partnership with Adidas he built a state-of-the-art recording studio at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, his alma mater. His desire is to cultivate young talent. His grandmother is responsible for teaching him that one man can make a difference in the world. He knows how easy it is to get caught up in all the wrong things when you’re young. He feels it’s necessary for every young person to have someone to look up to. Whether it’s a mentor, a family member or a rap star, just someone to show them they have potential. Inside the studio students learn how to navigate all the different roles involved in music production. The band director at the high school said the studio bridges the gap between traditional education and what this generation really needs to learn. Until now, this wasn’t being addressed. Sean and his mother Myra conceptualized a program called Mogul Prep. It prepares students for the business end of the music industry and gives students an opportunity to engage with its influential members. There were 10 Detroit area high schools that participated last year. Big Sean feels the city of Detroit made him who and what he is and he wants to give back. He said he carries the responsibility of the city no matter what. Whenever he thinks about the youth in the city of Detroit he thinks of himself. He thinks it’s funny that he used to get in trouble selling his CD’s in the hallway at Cass Tech. Imagine what it feels like being back here and opening up a recording studio. How funny indeed.

Big screams to our sponsor this month they are a roofing installation company in Commerce, MI.  Glad we can keep the lights on for a couple more months.

Lil Wayne

Now that we have that out of the way…. In New Orleans, Louisiana on the 27th of September in the year 1982, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. is born. He grew up in poverty in the Hollygrove neighborhood after his parents divorced when he was just two. His father permanently abandoned the family and Dwayne considers his stepfather to be his real dad. Dwayne was smart and enrolled in the gifted program in elementary school. He wrote his first rap song at the age of eight. At 12 he accidentally shot himself in the chest with his mother’s hand gun. An off- duty police officer drove him to the hospital and probably saved his life. He dropped out of school at the ripe old age of 14. At 16, Lil Wayne, as he is currently known, is a star. He dropped the “D” in his name because he was a junior. His father had never been in his life and he was still alive so he wanted to be a “Wayne”, not a “Dwayne”. Sadly, he was close to his stepfather but he was murdered before he ever got to see Dwayne become Lil Wayne and his rise to stardom. Since meeting the owner of a record company who then took Lil Wayne under his wing, he has continually recorded and released his own albums, collaborated with other rap music stars and performed cameos on their albums and they on his. He and his rap style music have won numerous awards, he holds countless music records and in 2008 he became the first hip-hop act to perform at the Country Music Association Awards. Lil Wayne is not without controversy though. There are weapon charges, drug charges, and a stint in jail and a little lapse in judgement when he sold crack. The loaded gun wasn’t on him, it was on his tour bus. No one fesses up, your bus and it’s your charge. Just like the rap superstar “Drake” before him, Lil Wayne had fallen victim to the rash of recent celebrity death hoaxes. And, once again noticed on a Facebook page, he was supposed to have died on March 13, 2016. Millions of fans left “likes” and comments on the page. Those who were skeptical of this report realized that a star as popular as Lil Wayne would surely have his death reported by the major television networks. Not to mention they had just been taken in by Drake’s false death report. The rappers reps officially reported he was “alive and well” the next day. Although this angered a great many of his fans, they understand this is a result of his immense stardom and popularity. No one thinks this is funny and someone certainly has an irrepressibly sick sense of humor. Most recently, Lil Wayne was featured in three separate television ads by Samsung. This is only the second time the entertainer has appeared in ad campaigns; the first was for Apartments.com that debuted during the Super Bowl. He said he had fun and was extremely humbled by the opportunity. He desires to do more ads so he said he did his best and hopes other companies will want to use him. Early in March of 2016, Lil Wayne was all strapped in his seat on a privately chartered plane, when he told the pilots to wait, he had to get off. Lil Wayne noticed a military plane arriving and about 30 soldiers were walking into the lobby. He went and shook each and every one of their hands and did numerous photo ops just to say thanks for their service. There were no press people around and no reason to show off or garner any publicity. He did this simply because he wanted to show his appreciation to these 30 service men for defending his freedom. Wow. In my book, that’s a great man with a great heart.

Drake- Canadian

Drake started out as Aubrey Graham. He was born in Toronto in 1986 on the 24th of October. Spending summers with his father in Memphis, Tennessee, he gained an appreciation and understanding of music that would influence his signature sound in his later years. Drake’s numerous accomplishments include holding the record for the most number one hits in the R & B/Hip-Hop category on Billboard’s chart. After releasing his mix-tape So Far Gone in 2009, the creative world considers him a trailblazer. In the hip-hop and contemporary music space he has garnered massive influence and market space and there seems to be no stopping him. His role on the highly successful television series DeGrassi: The Next Generation and going on the road with rap star Lil Wayne was the impetus for Drakes early recognition. In the summer of 2008, Lil Wayne became a fan of Drakes after hearing his music. In the last few decades, hip-hop has had many victories to its credit and Drake’s success is considered to be a major one.

Drake is thought to be very versatile. He raps about the soft things and he sings about the harder things. His expectations are confounded. He is unusual, decadent and emotionally complicated and he binds together urban radio as a whole. And there are many who consider Drake to be “soft.” What, too soft to be a hip-hoppin’ rapper? He doesn’t seem to mind the teasing and being the butt of jokes. They make fun of him for being Canadian, being Jewish, overly emotional and having played the part of a teenager in a wheel chair on a popular Canadian television show for teens. There are also GIFs and MEMEs that mostly show him crying alone in his room over something inconsequential. Maybe it’s his ability to feel things so deeply that make him someone with such universal appeal and influence. Yeah, I bet he cries all the way to the bank.  Funny side note( Drake actually worked doing landscaping in Waterford, Michigan for one summer in his teens when his father was in jail.)

The divorce of Drake’s parents greatly affected him as I’m sure it does most children of divorce. He lived two completely different lives and had many life-changing experiences. With his father in Memphis, Tennessee he lived the “hood” way. He witnessed his father being arrested twice and says not having a father, when his father went to prison, was character building but it didn’t make him happy. His father was from a musical family and as a session drummer; he once played for Jerry Lee Lewis. It was his uncle (on his father’s side) who first told Drake to develop his singing ability. He felt this would give him an edge on the competition.

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