Rappers ‘spit bars’ to express themselves

Bret Waelterman
Video/Graphics Editor

Senior Marquis Houston, Alumnus Chris Frey and senior Wes Ragland perform at the 2014 WGHS Talent Show on March 26, at 7 p.m. in the Jerry R. Knight Auditorium.   Photo by Donald Johnson

Senior Marquis Houston, Alumnus Chris Frey and senior Wes Ragland perform at the 2014 WGHS Talent Show on March 26, at 7 p.m. in the Jerry R. Knight Auditorium. Photo by Donald Johnson

“Hip-Hop Club,” led by Dr. David Schuster, meets every Monday after school.

“I love hip-hop because of the energy and how big of a range hip-hop has. Hip-hop is something you can experiment, and I love its freedom and clever rhymes,” Schuster said. “I consume; I don’t produce.”

Alumnus William Berkawitz started Hip-Hop Club, and it has stayed a club.

Sophomore Che Askew said, “I have always been involved in hip-hop and rapping.” He added, “My mom was always into it, and she introduced me to ‘real’ hip-hop. I have learned to rap, and I believe I have gotten pretty good at it.”

Askew performs in a group called Subtle Aggression Monopoly.

He shares his music on a website called Soundcloud, and his username is “che.”

Askew will head to Austin, Tx, this spring to perform at South by South West (SXSW), This is a national rap contest for students and young performers. Askew is currently raising money to go, and said anyone willing to help should contact him. Donations will help fund the cost of the trip.

“I am a solo artist. Everyday I practice my writing, and I am currently learning how to produce music,” said Askew.
Askew plans to eventually take rapping to the point where he can pay the bills.

“I enjoy making music and rapping. It is a great way to let my voice be heard and express my opinion on my beliefs and opinions on life,” said Askew.

Senior Wes Ragland said, “I was introduced by a good friend of mine named Jose Marks, I have been rapping since seven. Turns out, I’m pretty good at it.”

Ragland has rapped since he was seven; however, he started getting pretty good in high school, he said. Ragland is also in Subtle Aggression Monopoly.

Ragland’s stage name is “C@$p3R.” He performs in one “gig,” also know as a show, at least once a month. Ragland performs at The Grove and Atomic Cowboy.

“We have a new CD coming out called ‘Daze & Nights.’ It will be releasing this spring,” Ragland said.
“The Daze and Nights” is a mix of old school hip-hop and new school hip-hop, “daze” being old school and “nights” being new school.

CDs will be sold for $10. Anyone who is interested in getting this CD, should contact Ragland.

Senior Marquis Houston (Que-Houston) started rapping because of early depression. He also is in Subtle Aggression Monopoly and performs three nights each week at different locations around St. Louis.

Houston is also starting his own label called “Coaltion,” and he is trying to get away from more the business side of hip-hop and wants to meet more artists.

“I rap because it is a different way to express, to express my philosophy on life,” Houston said.
Houston has been rapping since he has been 12, but he didn’t start hip-hop until he was 14.

“Rap is not hip-hop; hip-hop is a culture, just like a religion. Rap is a part of hip-hop. There are five stages of hip-hop. 1) DJ’ing 2) Dancing 3) Rapping 4) Graffiti 5) Knowledge,” Houston said.



Categories: Features

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