Wednesday, January 12

My New Sounds: Amiyj Ft. Jazz - Me

There’s a saying in the basketball world: You can’t teach height. In the stratosphere of entertainment, it’s star power that relegates education obsolete. It’s also what makes tomorrow such an inviting host for Massachusetts’ first hip-hop star, Amiyj (pronounced Ah-meej). With a fashion model look, consuming charisma, a flammable independent single (“Take A Picture”) and personal story worthy of cinematic attention, Amiyj is you and your significant other’s favorite new MC.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts to a Ghanaian father and Trinidadian mother who weren’t able to financially raise their son, young Amiyj was shipped to his grandparent’s home in Trinidad. With a minister for a grandfather and a Soca band leader for an uncle, Amiyj discovered an appreciation for words and music early on. This appreciation would mature into a passion once the destined MC returned to the U.S and found what would remain his biggest love (until the birth of his daughter): hip-hop. “Yes my extremely diverse background immediately separates me from other rap artists,” says the 28-year-old. “But there’s so much more to my story that I have no choice but to stand apart from the pack.”

His story does get deeper. While Amiyj’s parents were finally able to shelter and feed their son, they had no desire to keep him on par with the Jones’s. So at age 14, Amiyj fell into the all-too-familiar trappings of drug hustling. Never compromising his intelligence for commerce, Amiyj maintained his A-student status during the former part of the day and hit the block heavy for the latter. By the time Amiyj was able to send himself to Salem State College (Sociology major) he already had a rep as a local rap star, built on his articulate delivery and fortified by rock-solid relationships throughout the underworld. Throughout the New England area he would easily sell out shows, even becoming the first rapper to perform at the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra.

Unfortunately, after college, with mixtape sales and a Hollywood modeling contract unable to sustain his new title of Dad, Amiyj returned to hustling, eventually landing him a drug charge in 2008. Fortunately an illegal search helped him avoid prison. Viewing his exoneration as a blessing, Amiyj teamed with Famish Enterprises and fully committed himself to his music, and completely leaving his illegal activity behind him. Now with “Take A Picture” catching fire from Boston to South Beach and his self-titled video grabbing the Internet’s attention, it’s looking like the son of two immigrants is finally ready to live his American dream. “How many rappers lived in a foreign country, are familiar with the street life, went to college, were signed to a major modeling agency and can make hit records with the best of em?”

 Amiyj Ft. Jazz - Me by Trendsetter Music

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