In The Spotlight: Hollywood

I've been blessed to do many spotlights of upcoming artists, producers, designers, etc.,  since the blog started, and will always continue to do so! (Email me for your feature!)

Excited to introduce you all to another great artist! Rapper Hollywood calls his hometown of Brooklyn the "recipe" to his music and life, repping his city to the fullest! He got his start in music at a young age, participating in his school choir, singing for a few groups, and even had a role in A Christmas Carol on Broadway! However, he started getting serious about rapping in about ninth or tenth grade, eventually getting into battling. "Older dudes on my block used to rhyme, and one day, a few of us younger cats were just sucked in," the rapper says. "We chose sides and joined the battles." He battled everyone anywhere from the lunchroom between classes to around his block. "Guess once I started, I just couldn't stop," Hollywood laughs.

Hollywood eventually took his music to the next level, developing East Brook Familia in 2010 to promote his career as well as the careers of several rising artists. The group is made up of close friends of his that have been together since childhood. "As part of a graduation requirement, I had to make a business plan, so I used us," Hollywood says. (The rapper holds a bachelor of science degree from Hampton University, and a master's degree in Business Administration from the Metropolitan College of New York. Everybody should have a Plan B). "A group of dudes pushing to promote what we feel is real rap, [but] nowadays EBF is more than just us. All of our supporters are part of the family." he claims.

Inspired by classic and timeless rappers like Biggie, Jay-Z, Fabolous, and Lupe, Hollywood released his first mixtape, 24:7, in November 2010, which was seemingly effortless from the rapper. "There wasn't really any thought process behind it. I had a bunch of random tracks on my laptop. I picked my favorite seven, came up with a mixtape name, cover art, and there you go!" he admitted.

However, his upcoming mixtape,  HBO Vol. 1: My Eastside Story, is completely different. With "HBO" standing for Hollywood's Brooklynz Own, the mixtape will show growth from 24:7. "I wanted this mixtape to be a story, a movie," Hollywood says of the project. "My goal was for everything from the track names to the transitions from track to track to have a movie feel." The mixtape, the first of a three part series, was recorded at Hall of Fame Studios, the studio were Jam Master Jay was killed back in 2002. Audio engineer Teardropz worked with the rapper on the entire project, giving it a better sound with better equipment than 24:7, Hollywood admits. While there's no vocal features, two tracks ("Who I Be" and "Dutchess and Hennessy") features the talent of musician Lawrence "Strings" Williams, who plays bass and electric guitar on the songs. EBF, of course, has been crucial in this upcoming release, promoting it heavily (A listening party is set for December 21 at Hall of Fame Studios on Merrick and Jamaica Ave. in Queens from 8 p.m. to midnight. If you're in the NY area or can make it up there, definitely check it out!)

In terms of his next steps for a career, Hollywood plans to get on the road, and wants to get into college tours with EBF. What does he think separates him from other rappers? He unapologetically does him, and is not the typical rapper one might expect. "I rap. I'm educated. I smoke weed. I sing in church. I love God. I love music," Hollywood claims. "This is me. I'm comfortable with it." He is clearly using the gifts God gave him to create incredible music for listeners!

You can tell from listening to even one of his songs that Hollywood is not only talented, but HUNGRY for this. I stress hunger in this industry because sometimes it's seriously lacking and you can tell through an artist's lyrics, promotion, and overall growth (or lack thereof). We at JWWWD support him because he's like us: he does and says exactly what he wants with his music. So check him out and support! Hollywood is definitely going to be an artist around for a while!

You can connect with Hollywood on his official website, EBF's website, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and YouTube! And be sure to check out his mixtape, available now! 

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