A few weeks ago I was approached by a rapper on twitter. My usual reaction of rolling my eyes into oblivion was subsided by the way he presented himself — an extremely humble, thirsty, young talent. So I bit, and the result was not disappointing. Hailing from the city that birthed hip-hop legends such as Jadakiss, Swizz Beatz, and DMX, Yonkers, New York, Paradise is poised to make some elbow room for a space in the game.
Behind his targeted flow and dark, vibe-driven production from right hand man, Mazen Ali, Paradise is ushering in a new-era of New York rap. The upcoming EP, 914Ever, comes from the tangential byproduct of a feature length project. He found himself restating a constant theme that ostensibly tapped into the very essence of his being, and the result was an ode to the very place that made him; the reason Paradise is the person he is— 914Ever.
Paradise moves cautiously, almost tactical in nature. Every move carefully calculated like a commander-in-chief leading an army -his 1 Utopia team- into the battle that is the currently over-satiated music landscape that cyberspace shelters. On September 14 at 9:14 AM, he released the first of two singles of the day: “Cautious” -exhibit A of his tactical nature- on his SoundCloud. As per the title of the song, Paradise views his eyes through an almost omniscient scope as if he was rapping from the perspective of actually having eyes in the back of his head.
Paradise comes from a mixed background, and credits his parents exquisite, diverse music taste. The odd part being none of the music he heard from his parents was rap. In fact, rap was a no-go in his household. He was exposed to the genre through his cousins, and he naturally became infatuated with it. Through conversations back and forth via email, and Twitter, he recalled his experience that turned him from consumer to creator.
“The first song that ever made me want to start rapping was Mr. Me Too by the Clipse – I have no idea why. The beat Pharrell laced was incredible, as per usual, and the way Clipse and Pharrell floated on that beat was amazing. I was sitting in a Home Depot parking lot as it got premiered on Hot 97 and all I can say is “Wow, this is awesome. How do they come up with this?”
The most striking takeaway from our conversations was when he said, “I write music to understand myself better.” This sentiment is echoed in his track, “From The Way,” where he notes the parallels between his current relationship, and the one that his parents had. This content is delivered in such a way that the severity of the lyrics is clouded, but that’s done intentionally- exhibit B. The more you listen to each track from his now limited SoundCloud selection, the more layers you peel back; the more you get to understand what Paradise is chasing after.
As far as what the future holds for Paradise is up in the air, but his purpose behind the music is much more cognizant, and hyper-aware than most. He says,
“I want to provide a purpose though the music as much as the music provides a purpose to me. I want to give you moments. I want to be that artist you request at your wedding because my sound caters to a joyous occasion; I want to be in your headphones when no one else understands what you’re going through or how you’re feeling; I want to be in your Uber’s subwoofers as you got your driver’s aux cord booming on your way to an unforgettable night.”
It’s not often that artists are so confident, yet still humble. The best quality that Paradise possesses is his humility, and that leaves infinite room for improvement.
Links to his SoundCloud can be found, and Twitter can be found within the post, and below.