Everybody is a rapper these days. Your cousin, your nephew, you, your momma, your daddy, everybody knows somebody who is “droppin’ a mixtape”. Some of those projects are worth listening to, most of them are not. White, Black, Asian, whomever – the over saturation of “wanna-be” rap hacks has caused many to underestimate and overlook the solid, independent, up-and-coming artists that are maintaining a standard of quality and creativity. However, there are artists worth experiencing.
In Atlanta, there is a rise in the number of noteworthy emcees paving their way to greatness one record at a time. From Apache Café to Vinyl, performance venues throughout “The A” are showcasing the future. I’m glad that I have front row seats.
A few months ago I had an opportunity to stop by The Bar Exam, one of Atlanta’s premiere hip hop showcases at Apache Café, and witness the performance of an emcee that goes by the name of 16OS. He stood out because of his music, lyrics, stage presence, and crowd response. I captured the coolest photo of his mother cheering him on as he acknowledged her love and support. I recently saw him again at Vinyl and it was obvious that he is on his way to becoming a household name.The name 16OS stands for 16-Old Soul. 16 was a nickname given to him because of his ability to write a 16 bar verse very quickly with skill and precision. When you hear his music you will understand why he’s branded with having an old soul.
He’s currently working on building his brand by performing, strengthening his team, and creating a video series based on his latest project entitled S.O.U.L (Story Of Ur Life).
I don’t want this to turn into another hip hop blog, my goal is to learn about, write about, and bring attention to a broad range of art forms, but hip hop is where my roots are. Hip hop is a culture, a life style, a definite art form that has been degraded and devalued for years. It can be easy for outsiders to misunderstand it, and judge it based on how it’s expressed through the mainstream channels of pop culture. I love it for what it is. It can be brash yet beautiful, vulgar yet vulnerable, ignorant and intelligent all at the same damn time. It is full of complexity and contrast, just like America… just like the inner city streets it was born in.
For more information about 16OS visit his website: www.IAm16OS.com
To hear his project visit: https://soundcloud.com/iam16os
Here’s latest video from 16OS for his single “My Dreams” off of his project S.O.U.L.