At just 18-years-old, Young Phoenix is already proving himself to be one of the most talented and creative forces to emerge from New York’s underground hip-hop scene in quite some time. With the pending release of his new mixtape (“City of Dreams”), a new company (All-Pro Hip-Hop) and a slew of multimedia projects in the works, the young artist, blogger and hip-hop entrepreneur is poised to show the world why some are calling him the “future of hip-hop”.
Born Rakeem Marshall on May 22, 1992, Young Phoenix seemed destined for a career in hip-hop from the very start. As the son of another formidable underground emcee (Brain Dead of Dysfunkshunal Familee), YP has been immersed in hip-hop culture his entire life. Growing up in a household headed by an independent hip-hop artist provided Young Phoenix with a steady stream of musical influences from rap artists in every genre and era of hip-hop,as well as a lifetime of exposure to inner-workings of the business of music and the entrepreneurial skill to capitalize on his many talents.
Musically, Young Phoenix possesses an uncanny range, making it possible for him to appeal to an extremely wide audience while remaining true to himself. Not surprisingly, his catalog features something for everybody—from love songs and socially-conscious music to radio-friendly anthems and hardcore street bangers. Equally important is his ability to weave them altogether into cohesive bodies of work that take listeners on an emotional rollercoaster ride (as in the case of “City of Dreams”).
As an entrepreneur, Young Phoenix has set out to leverage his considerable talent and marketing savvy to help other unsigned artists get their music out to the world—a mission that led him and his father to found All-Pro Hip-Hop. The company’s first venture isAllProHipHop.com—an underground hip-hop blog and free blogging community for unsigned rap artists and hip-hop entrepreneurs. Young Phoenix hopes to distinguish the site from other music marketing sites like ReverbNation, with APHH’s single-minded focus on hip-hop and its “damned near fanatical” promotion of APHH members. Beginning in June, the site will be launching a series of monthly mixtapes consisting entirely of songs by its APHH members. Young Phoenix believes the mixtapes will help attract an unprecedented amount of exposure to the unsigned artists featured in the series. Also in the works are an internet radio show (Spring 2011) and a web-based reality TV show (Summer 2011)—both of which Young Phoenix plans to use as marketing vehicles for unsigned artists.
It’s rare to find so much talent, drive and vision in such a young artist. Then again, Young Phoenix is not your typical artist. He’s the future of hip-hop.