August 19, 2009

Freddy Lap$: Pushing Intelligent Ignorance

Words by Amanda Macchia; Photo by John Doc

We’ve all heard the expression that rappers are a dime a dozen. When you’ve immersed yourself into an artist’s career, the competition becomes that much more obvious. If you open your eyes wide enough, talent is everywhere. Popular culture is a constantly evolving, breathing and reacting life form, and it takes an active mind to have the capacity to grow with it. Not only do you have to breath and react in sync, but you also have to feel the pulsing rhythms and reflect them in a direction that promotes success. But this is often mistaken for conformity. The talented dime in that dozen is the artist that uses careful observation and the history of their craft in order to create new rhythms, and to expand on these long-trekked paths that form the spider web that is pop culture.

Boston’s Freddy Lap$ found his way to hip-hop coolly and innocently, by way of his cousin’s CD collections. By age 13, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots and Big L records had rocked the young rapper into a world of beats and rhyming. “It’s time to get serious about this rapping thing,” he said, and that is exactly what Lap$ did. That moment was like introducing a new species of birds to an ecosystem. Slowly, the new birds make the environment theirs, and after about 10 years you can’t go outside without hearing their distinct call. At 26, with over a decade of chirping, Lap$ is starting to cement his mark in hip-hop.

Today, he has developed into one of New England’s most incredible lyricists. His smooth, yet raw voice has an indelible way of weaving witty remarks together and painting fantastic, funny and serious images for your ears to catch and your mouth to repeat. This visual, diverse form of hip-hop is what Freddy Lap$ calls “intelligence mixed with raw realness” or “intelligent ignorance.” Lap$ continually projects an air of authority, while remaining relatable to his audience. “I’m one of the nicest rappers out,” he says with confidence. After all, you can’t be in this business if you don’t appreciate and love what you’ve got. So far, Freddy Lap$ has put out three projects, a self-titled EP, his crew The FaQulty’s The Higher Learning mixtape and his most recent record, The Starting Lap. These albums speak for themselves in that they emanate a flexible, real sound that can be played in clubs, cars and headphones.

For the past 13 years, the young MC has developed a sound that is an infallible representation of the eclectic and experimental artistry of today’s popular culture. “I studied my books and used my life for real as subject matter,” Lap$ says, commenting on The Starting Lap. “So the combination came out a classic.” He’s got a point, because it’s one of those records that gets stuck in your head after one or two listens.

Freddy Lap$ is always performing and collaborating with Boston’s finest up-and-coming talent, and has opened up for bigger artists like GZA, Canibus, Akrobatik and KrumbSnatcha. In addition to being a regular guest freestyling and rhyming live on WUML’s 91.5 FM, his song “5 Minutes” was featured on JAM’N 94.5 FM’s Launch Pad nine weeks in a row. Hip-hop and poetry are his life, and Lap$ never stops thinking, acting and reacting in dedication to his music. Already working on a fourth project titled The Co-Lap$, he is ready to show the world what he is all about. Follow him to see if he can become a genuine part of what he likes to call “the re-birth of the Golden Era of Hip-Hop.”

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