It would probably be easier if we told you what Hopsin doesn't do, but Hop is an MC, producer, director, actor, and editor. And his journey has been anything but painless.
Like many kids, Hopsin wanted to be "cool". But as hard as he tried, he never graduated past being that "weird black kid" that rode around on a skateboard. He tried to get attention by making people laugh, but he always ended up being the butt of the joke. He wrote songs for girls to get them to like him, but got no love.
Stuck in special education classes, Hopsin did not see much of a future. His teachers did nothing but reinforce the feelings that he wouldn't amount to anything; especially if he continued to waste his time attending classes where nothing was actually being taught. So with no money and only a few real friends, Hopsin dropped out of school in 2004.
Despite the lack of support from anyone but himself, Hopsin knew that his raw talent to rhyme would one day allow him to spit in the face of all of his critics. In the meantime, however, he had to find a way to make money. He thought his goofiness would translate to an acting career so he auditioned for several roles. The only role that he was ever able to obtain was as a "day player" on Disney's That's So Raven. He thought things were looking up from there, but nothing seemed to come through after that.
Still determined to be one of Southern Cali's premier MCs he bought an $8 microphone from Wal-Mart, installed Fruity Loops on his computer, and locked himself in the basement. Not only did he spend countless hours perfecting his own craft, he also studied the careers of artists to better understand what has made them successful. As time went by he knew that his lyrics and production had surpassed what he was hearing on the radio. He combined his skills with a new image [often seen wearing white contacts] and emerged from the basement as a complete artist. In 2007, Hopsin signed a major record deal with Ruthless Records.
Hopsin gets his inspiration from all types of music, from 50 Cent & Alicia Keyes to the All American Rejects. His creativity and raw energy come from all the people in his life that have told him that he didn't have a future. At times his lyrics can be dark and grimy, but they only reflect all of the negativity that he has had to endure in order to get to where he is today.
Hopsin founded Funk Volume to share his story, spread his message, and display his many talents. He has been on a long journey to hone his skills, and to get comfortable being who he is. Now that he has the confidence there is no one and nothing that can stop him. He has come too far and been through too much. Funk Volume represents what has made Hopsin successful...real pain, real passion, real music.
Not many 21-year old rappers can say that they've been rapping for over a decade. The Las Vegas-based rapper began rapping at just 8 years old with the group "DaFuture" with his brother and very close friend – his mother wrote his raps at the time. "My Mom was like Joe Jackson," says Wright, "She was a concert promoter so I was exposed to the music industry early – we even did youth reporting at... major awards shows like the BET Awards."
At 17-years old with several years of experience Dizzy decided to take his rap career seriously. Formerly known as Dizzy D Flashy, Dizzy was a winner on BET's "Wild Out Wednesdays," winner of the Sheikh Music "Rip the Mic" Competition and released 5 mixtapes, which lead him to rack up over 1-million views on YouTube. Wright wants for people to learn something when they listen to his music by discussing situations that his fans can relate to. "The internet allowed me to see what my music did to people – I like being able to see the response. When you rap, you have a voice and this is how I balance my thoughts," says Wright.
In November 2011, Wright signed to Funk Volume after being discovered at the Sheikh Music "Rip the Mic" Competition in 2010. Impressed by his smooth flow, confident stage presence and energy that won over the crowd, Funk Volume knew he was a special talent and would be valuable addition to the team. On the heels of his latest mixtape "Soul Searchin' Next Level," Wright will release "Smoke Out Conversations" on February 20th, and says the tape was inspired by Don Miguel Ruiz's widespread book, "The Four Agreements." "I live the four agreements. The first agreement is be impeccable with your word. People will learn something from this mixtape.
Born and raised in Southern California, SwizZz is not your stereotypical MC. Through his music, SwizZz reveals a wide range of experiences, much of which he credits to his biracial background. He is not, nor does he claim to be, a "thug" or a "gangsta", but prides himself on being able to reach the masses by being honest about his confrontations with life's challenges. It is not always glamorous or positive, but you can count on SwizZz being true to himself.
After high school SwizZz got accepted into the University of California at Irvine, but after two years he has decided put his education on hold in order to pursue a career in music. He was having a hard time figuring out what he wanted to major in, and because he couldn't find anything he was passionate about in school, he didn't want to continue down a path in which he was not going to put forth 100% of his effort. SwizZz strives for perfection, and quite frankly, mediocrity is not an option.
Since dropping out of college SwizZz has been in the studio, grinding away at his music. While working on all elements of his craft from songwriting and storytelling, to his physical fitness and image, he still finds time to bless the mic with a freestyle session. And SwizZz's freestyles are always off the top, never written, never rehearsed. Some folks have described his style as "real", "raw", "loony", "creative", "insightful", and "authentic". But however you want to describe him the man is a unique talent.
SwizZz is inspired by all type of music, from hip-hop and alternative rock, to trance and R&B. If you got a hold of his iPod, then you would find Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, 2pac, Eminem, DMX, 50 cent, Taking Back Sunday, The Used, and Circa Survive just to name a few of the many artists that he is a fan of.
A pivotal player in the Funk Volume movement, he plans to help us usher in a whole new era of music and develop up-and-coming artists.
If you need to find SwizZz, he is the basement, writing, producing, working out, and honing the various skills needed to perfect his craft.
Born in Reisterstown, MD and currently residing in Westminster, we have Billy Lyve, solo artist and frontman of the new multi-genre band iLL LuCK.
With a unique sound which includes hip-hop, r&b, rock and edm, iLL LuCK has recently been making a lot of noise in the Baltimore music scene. The band consists of DJ Cliffstarr, Ambush (hype man), Superman (drums) and Nic Richards (guitar). The band also features several vocalists. iLL LuCK's influences include, but are not limited to Rage Against the Machine, Eminem, Linkin Park, 2pac and Nas. Recently iLL LuCK opened up a sold out show with MGK. As a solo artist, Billy Lyve has opened for Rakim, Hopsin, Talib Kweli, Skyzoo, Cappadonna, Project Pat, Ill Bill and Slain and more.