Self-made Rapper/Artist/Musician/ICON in the making, Jonathon Griffin, AKA Lor Sosa candidly admits he has no real musical training. Just him being a nearly obsessive fan of music and music culture, created his insatiable desire to make music, and not just the music, but the recreation of the emotion and the inspiration behind it. “I could be watching a movie,” Sosa introspects, “and while everyone else is focused on the screenplay, I tend to be just as entertained with the musical production. I like the way that music can be used as such a powerful catalyst for strong emotional stimulation. It’s always there in my mind,” he muses.
Sosa was born to a Mexican American mother, and an African American father, who was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, CA, but made his life in Howard County, Maryland. With his parents on polar opposite coasts, Sosa was able to blend the culture and insouciance of his mother’s home, in Phoenix, AZ and the fast pacing of the Baltimore and DC, with his father, in Maryland, to create his own inimitable style and lane, with respect to his music, fashion sense and even his vocal cadence. Sensory by nature, Sosa would learn early on, to use what he had picked up in grade school, learning about poetry, carry it over to his lyrical production, mix it with real life street experiences, a good ear for melody and a hot track, and you have a hit on your hands.
Inspired by the likes Scott Storch, Rihanna, Travis Scott, Mac Miller, Drake, Frank Ocean, Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole, just to name a few, Lor Sosa is charting his own course. Though influenced by some of the greatest, his sound is nuanced by his own creativity and driven by his sheer will to create not just music, but a whole experience when you hear it! Who’s got next?... We just changed the whole damn game!
OSIN, an acronym combining the title of Original Asiatic Black man, and the phrase, Surviving In Negativity, doesn’t just name the rapper, born Cleotis Wilkerson, it describes him.
Rising from the streets of Durham, North Carolina, OSIN, with a self admitted dark and evil past, has parlayed his life in the streets into a cautionary testimony, put to music. Like the luminaries before him, his idols – Tupac, OutKast, Jay-z and Snoop, OSIN’s music teaches elevation and overcoming the elements, at all costs. With a flow that is as raw and aggressive, as his lyrics are viscerally prolific, the rapper “preaches the gospel... the street gospel.” As he details, “You’ll hear me say some deep things, and inside the same verse, talk about figuring a way around it, while keeping your eyes on the snakes...This stuff is real for me,” the rapper continues. “To the people that listen to my music, I am trying to be what I needed coming up, and trying to say what I needed to hear.”
OSIN’s Forthcoming project, “Code of Silence,” does just that. His content is pure and unfiltered, coming from a man that has seen a lot, and done even more. In it, “SIN,” tells you everything you need to know about surviving the streets that shaped him... Barely surviving in some cases. Moving a lot like his predecessors, OSIN eloquently delivers hard-edge reality in his lyrics, cautioning against the pitfalls of posturing and swallowing your pride, even though it may be hard to digest. In an effort to advise, more than provide answers, OSIN uses his music to accept the parts of his past that were hardest to face, while in advertently teaching others how to process and move forward from their own challenging spaces.
A provocateur? - To some. A gifted street poet? - A moniker he wears with pride. Passionate about his music and the community from/for which it is written? - Absolutely! As the rapper introspectively asserts, “Being respected by my peers and embraced by my community, are my only goals in this game.“ And without question, OSIN is well on his way to accomplish both!
At 21 years young, Alex Fraze has mastered creating fresh, uncompromisingly soulful music
that transcends all genres and classifications. In fact, the musical virtuoso is determined to create his own lane, blending the soul and drive of funk with new elements of trap, producing a sound and space
that has never been heard before, but is exactly what we need to hear in music today. Fraze’s ability to combine elements of neo-soul, reggae and lo-fi,
with Hip-hop and Trap influences, and turn it into something that transports the listener to a higher plane
musically, is unparalleled. His music is not just heard, it is experienced, a feat that hasn’t been done
since that other musical genius propelled out of
Minneapolis, in all of his purple glory, at the same age.
Turning his focus to music, seriously, at 16 years old, Fraze credits his father for introducing
him to “real music.” When asked who has influenced him the most, Fraze rattles off an
impressive and eclectic roster, that is more a blueprint than a list for the artist: Bob Marley,
Michael Jackson, Bootsy Collins, Usher, James Brown and even Selena Quintanilla, top the
list, and that’s not including the Hip-hop and Trap influences that round out the artist,
who says he feels impelled to re-invigorate and refocus music.. “Music today is
manufactured and rushed,” the artist waxes. “We have to get back to making good music,”
he adds. “Switch It up.” Mastering piano, bass, guitar and drums, using his voice to stir
emotion and turning his experiences and pain into lyrics and notes, has uniquely positioned
Fraze to not just change, but re-imagine music as we know it.
“Your life is a movie, and you are the main character,” the artist muses. “It’s up to you to
make it interesting,” he finishes with a laugh. Interesting doesn’t even scratch the surface,
when it comes to Fraze’s debut EP, “Lover and a Fighter,” on the SAR label. “It’s really good
music,” the artist boasts. “It’s my greatest accomplishment, “ he adds. Lover and Fighter is
certainly not a standalone achievement to be sure, but rather a powerful introduction to
the genius that is Alex Fraze!
Born Demontray Bullard, he is a luminary in the making,
crafted from sheer struggle and grind, wiser than his years
and stronger than the eroded tears of the mothers and
grandmothers, in his neighborhood of South-central LA.
Kayos is a deliberate departure from his name. Nothing about him is out of order or
confused. He adopted the bedlam derived from his moniker, as a nod to the environment
around him, to which he vowed to never succumb. The rapper confidently affirms “yeah,
that’s my upbringing… But not my pathology.” The only man in his family never
incarcerated, the only one of his peers that didn’t gangbang, Kayos credits music as the
necessary constant in his life that kept him out of trouble.
From an early age, shaped by his grandmother’s contralto voice wafting through the house,
and sparked by an older cousin, who Kayos credits as “still being one of the most prolific
rappers he’s ever heard,” he knew he wanted to be an artist. Influenced by West Coast
Hip-hip pioneers, like Too Short, Dr. Dre and of course Tupac, Kayos learned to pour all of
his emotions (good, bad and indifferent) into his music. His personal life experiences make
good fodder for his lyricism, which could very easily hang with that of his predecessors.
The rapper/ songwriter confidently asserts, “What comes from the heart, reaches the
heart. As artists, we have to be real about the stories we tell and the pictures we paint
through our lyrics. It’s too many people out here rapping about stuff that’s not their
reality, and that’s reckless. Tell your truth, and those that can relate to that truth, will
relate to your lyrics.” “Music is transcendent,” the rapper adds. “You can bridge genres
and communities through music and lyrics, and that’s my goal. Some may think it’s lofty,
and to that I say, watch me, why not me!”
Already delivering on this promise, Kayos has produced a masterpiece with his soon to be
released EP, entitled "Stay Tuned." So while the world waits with bated breath for the a
change agent…Kayos got next!