Just when you think that all rappers are the same, talking only about flashy cars and simple women, two young men have emerged on the scene and are eager to change the art of rap.
Derryck Black, 21, and Irving Maurice Millard, 22, are living out their dreams through lyrics, beats and everyday life realities.
“Music is the fuel in my truck,” said Black, the co-president and chief operating officer of Hidden Talent Records, an independent record label that began in 2003. “Everyone listens to music; it’s inspirational.”
Black and Millard recognized a common bond, their desire for music, when they attended middle school in Atlanta.
Black said he used music as an escape during the trying times of his childhood.
He said listening to rappers like Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G. and L.L. Cool J., helped him to realize the power of music and he wanted to become a part of it.
However, Black was not alone in his pursuit to achieve musical success.
His friend and soon to be partner Millard was also discovering a passion for music through rhyme.
Millard has been rapping since his early teens.
It was during that time he realized he was destined to becoming an entertainer.
“I knew that it (rapping) was the beginning of something big for me,” Millard said.
Now, ten years later, from the freestyle competitions in the cafeteria, to working full time at their studio, Black and Millard are ready to become the best.
Millard, aka Xcellence, is a lyrical genius and said his music contains what a lot of other Hip-Hop and rap artists are missing: creativity and individuality.
“I write songs, make beats . I offer something for all types of crowds,”
Millard said. “I come with something different.”
Millard said that during his last year of high school instead of doing homework he would be writing raps.
“I decided not to enroll in school (college) because I knew what I wanted to do,” Millard said. “I went after my dreams, I didn’t want to wait.”
His partner, on the other hand, decided to take on the responsibility of both school and music. The senior business administration student said it (college) has been stressful, but he remains focused.
“I’m a responsible person, I get my bookwork done and I work with “X” to make some hits,” Black said.
For Black and Millard getting the job done requires sacrifice and hard work.
“While everyone is out at the club we’re up late working,” Millard said.
“We work around the clock.” And their hard work is paying off.
Hidden Talent Records released their first album, “Tha Vine,” in 2003 and their sophomore album is schedule for release in the spring of 2004. The first single “So what,” is already in rotation on WANM 90.5 and WWLD 102.3.
Radio personality “El Nino” for WANM 90.5, said that he sees the potential for the group. “What sets them apart is the quality of their recordings,” he said. “They sound really professional.”
He admitted that he already had a favorite song. “I’m digging ‘You Don’t Know Me’ (from their second album). It is definitely something that I can play on a regular basis.”
Both Black and Millard believe their music has something to offer and are looking forward to reaching worldwide recognition.
“We have something for everybody,” Millard said. “There’s laid back music, free-style, and there’s always something for the ladies.”
If you would like to contact Hidden Talent Records, e-mail them at DK2productions@aol.com.