I’ve been missing you…

November 17, 2011

I knew the Astronomical Kid was destined for stardom way before X Factor. What I liked most about the young passionate MC was that he represents a type of hiphop that you rarely see these days, at least amongst young people. And when I heard he was going to be on X Factor I wasn’t sure how he would fare, not because he lacked talent or x factor (because he has both to spare), but because these types of competitions are dominated by singers, and no rapper has ever made it very far.

However, week after week Astro has proven that he is not only a strong contender, but he is one of the favorites, by far. Amazingly to me, he has  managed to do this without selling out and doing corny club tracks. He’s kept real to who he is and how he wants to represent hiphop, within the perimeter of the show’s box. He’s really made hiphop proud! This week was no different as he took things to a whole new level.

The guitar riff of The Police’s “Every Breath I Take” (also later redone by Puff Daddy as “I’ll Be Missing You”, a tribute to BIG) started, and Astro sat on mock-up Brooklyn stoop, modeled after the very type of New York City porch steps that held up the forefathers of hiphop, as they beat-boxed and rhymed their way into history. And then he jumped in,

“Uh! This is dedicated to her, the one and only girl that’s known all over the world. She’s forty years old but I still try and speak to her. We talk all the time and my heart beats through her. She messed with the wrong dudes and now she’s messed up. Started doing drugs and showing the kids that stuff…”

Before this point I thought Astro might have been talking about his mom, or a really old (forty-year-old to be exact) girlfriend. But when he mentioned the drug part I figured that’s not it, because he wouldn’t put that out there like that. Then I realized he’s not rapping about a girl, he’s rapping about hiphop, and I got chills. What followed was a beautiful ode to what hiphop was, a lament for what it has become, and an honest, raw love song in tribute to this “girl” he cares so much about.

He paid homage to Biggie with a couple of lines, mentioned how he met hiphop through The Sugarhill Gang, and painted a picture of the blinged out mess that hiphop has become. Then he passionately started rapping about how he wants to, “get her back to the old her,” and the beat started to build. Astro threw his hand in the air and said, “But good news for anybody missing her like I do, your boy’s bringing hiphop back!” I believe him! And if this is the direction hiphop is moving again, I couldn’t be happier. Keep doing your thing Astro! Bring that real hiphop back!

 

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Astronomical Kid!

February 10, 2011

Astronomical Kid, a big name to live up to, with skills capable of that challenge, “And uuuh, I came from the bottom to the top. I’m representing real hiphop!” And at only fourteen-years-old his words couldn’t be more true. I stumbled upon him on Youtube, like many people probably did, my attention immediately grabbed by his track “Stop Lookin’ at My Mom”, which saw millions of hits worldwide.

I thought the track was catchy, and a nice mixture between tough and innocent. I was impressed that there was no profanity in his lyrics, he didn’t promote gangsterism and drug use, and he wasn’t degrading towards women (the opposite really in that particular track, as he warns guys not to gawk at his Mom). But I wondered if this Astronomical Kid was another “one hit wonder”, or just another kid who got lucky with one viral video, possessing nothing much to follow-up with. So I went to his Youtube page and listened to some more of his tracks, from various different mixtapes.

I was blown away by what I heard. Honed skills, originality, diverse flows, and some serious lyrical content, with a large vocabulary…actually used properly. I know grown adults in the Cape Town hiphop scene who improperly throw around big words, just for the sake of using them, trying to look intelligent but achieving the opposite, really. No ABC rhymes from the Astronomical Kid. This kid spits next level stuff.

What really excites me is to see his passion, motivation and love for music, but also his seeming desire to express it in a positive way. Sure, he rhymes about wanting to make money, but there are more gems to find under that gold, and no negativity to speak of. That became very clear to me when I saw a video he just posted today on Twitter of a cypher he went to. These older dudes went first and they were rapping like, “Blah blah blah mother f@&%ing late, blah blah take you on a mother f@&%ing date.” I wasn’t impressed. But then the Astronomical Kid stepped up to the plate, the DJ kicked the beat,  and Astronomical Kid started bobbing his head.

He opened his mouth and started rapping a bold, fluid stream of verse, with solid punchlines, using no profanity at all, and switching flows at least seven times. If you ask me, he EMBARRASSED a bunch of grown men. I hope if the mic got passed back around to them, they passed it up. It excites me to see such young talent in a kid who is a role model and inspiration to kids, and even adults. I don’t think it will be long before the kid gets signed, but I’m sure he can use all the support he can get. You can follow him on Twitter, check out his Facebook page, his website, or his Youtube page.

And here’s the video of him putting grown men to shame: