Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Next Big Thing?

My friend, Crystal, wrote this fabulous review on an up-and-coming rap artist from Las Vegas named Reallionaire Jream. You can listen to his music HERE

There is a dispute among a local Memphis rapper, Skinny Pimp, and Craig Brewer, who is the director of the movie Hustle & Flow, as to who actually came up with the idea for that movie. Many rappers claimed that Ludacris’ character, Skinny Black, was based on their lives. I remember hearing Craig Brewer say something along the lines of he can throw a rock into a crowd and odds are that it will hit someone who claims to be a rapper or musician. In my own experience, ne’er have truer words been spoken. 5 out of every 10 people that I know have an “aspiring” music career, a number that I am sure will be amplified as more and more people find themselves out of work.

Because of the overabundance of rappers, singer, writers and producers (using each of those terms very loosely), we tend not to take musicians seriously until well after they have proved themselves. I am no exception to that notion. In fact, I believe my self to be one of the biggest skeptics when it comes to claims of unique musical ability. So when I hear an artist or track that I find to be a cut above the rest, I deem it my duty to speak up.

I have not been taken aback by pure talent since watching Ryan Leslie’s making of Gibberish, but recently, I have been captivated again. This time by a young hip-hop artist who goes by the name of Reallionaire Jream. I actually came into contact with this young man several years before I even decided to listen to his music (see my previous claims of skepticism for an explanation as to why). He was a young guy scribbling lyrics down in a beat up notebook, with dreams of being heard. Years after this encounter I came across this same young guy on one of those social networking sites, and was pleasantly surprised to find that he was still scribbling and telling his stories to whomever would listen. So I took the time to hear what he what he was all about. Needless to say, I was blown away, and am now a true fan of Reallionaire Jream.

When you think of a 20something year old, hip hop artist who hails from Las Vegas, you expect to hear all about his misrepresented life of crime, what he likes to spend his “benjamins” on, how he gets the barely legal girls to shake and dance for him, or better yet, the art of fellatio (at least that is what I had expected). But that is not what I got. In his songs, Reallionaire Jream, who prides himself on “being real”, is simply telling it like it is; giving you the opportunity to envision the world through his eyes. He talks about life, in general, personal triumphs and tragedies, his influences, his views on past relationships and young love, his family, and so on. He was easy to relate to, but more importantly, his music has sustenance, which is refreshing during the rise of bubble gum hip hop (nothing against the Lil’ Mamas and Soulja Boys of today, I just don’t care about your lip gloss or your swag).

Reallionaire Jream is one of those artists that I affectionately call a “kitchen magician”; meaning that his music is homemade, but the magic that he puts out is that of a professional who is already a veteran of the game. I am more than impressed with his style, and it is hard to describe, or compare. His music has the lyrical phenomena similar to that of Talib Kweli. His subject matter has the serious, heartfelt emotion similar to that of AZ. His rhymes have the entertaining hint of humor, similar to that of Redman. He possesses the mainstream potential of Eminem in his heyday. This young man is not only a gifted lyricist, but an unparalleled artist as well. I have to give props where they are due; and Reallionaire Jream is more than deserving. And now, I sit back and watch as this star begins to shine!