Every action, event, and occurrence that has collectively and ultimately molded rapper…Kese Soprano. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Change is an important process in life. Life itself is an actual changing of cycles and processes. This theme can be found in everything from time, to human growth, to seasonal weather and so on…even in hip-hop.
Every so many years the culture of hip-hop goes through changes, and when things get stagnant, certain individuals will bring change and usher in the newest cycle and fad in rap. While New Jersey native, Kese Soprano may not be one of those known for spearheading the next change right now, he is definitely a representation and supporter of change. Kese Soprano is the prime example of what change can do for a person, not just a rapper. Change was something that Kese Soprano, better known as Marquis Cameron, had to get used to at a young age.
Growing up in Paterson, New Jersey, Kese started with a curious and very mischievous attitude, which often got him into tight situations. As a child, because of his temper issues, he had to ultimately be transferred into different learning disability programs in public school. Due to his mother’s situation, Kese faced his first major change, in moving to Atlanta, Georgia. Maybe it was fate though, as it was here, while attending Thurgood Marshall Middle School, that he began writing poetry daily, and slowly started toying with rap music.
Beginning as just a fan, Kese claims his biggest influence was Tupac Shakur. “I just felt like he always said what I wanted to say…He was like a father figure”, says Kese. Other influences included: N.W.A., The Wu-Tang Clan, Redman, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Big Pun, and Big L. By age 16, now living back in New Jersey, Kese considered this where he started taking writing lyrics seriously.
He was now diverse enough to rhyme about anything relevant in his life. From his love to basketball, to girls, to the surrounding violence, to his family situation – the subject matter would change often, but his lyrical ability was always strongly present. As an upcoming recording artist, Kese has gone through many changing methods and equipment. Not falling victim to the change, he was willing to work with what luxuries he had.
His very first recording opportunities were many times on tape-deck boomboxes or worse yet, on a bootleg mixing setup wired through a Sony Playstation. Afterwards, thanks to his god-brother, Kese was able to make the change to a 4-track recorder, and then to an 18-track recorder. Later, Kese finally graduated up, and started recording on Pro Tools and on real studio equipment at Q-Entertainment Studios. Given the decision to move to south jersey with his mother, Kese instead stayed in the Paterson area, trying to make the change to independence.
It was a struggle, in which Kese had to often take refuge on the couch of a nearby cousins or grandfather’s house. Now more than ever, his writing became much more therapeutic. Beginning to join backpackers in sidewalk ciphers to freestyle, Kese looked for any other aspiring rappers in his surrounding areas. Kese was given the early chance to travel to places like Bergen Community College and William Paterson Community College and perform his rapping on stage.
It was during this time, where he met another New Jersey rapper, Nyce Hoffa, and again changed crews, to form Wrong Onez. Through these changing times of his life, Kese Soprano was actually able to get his music on to a large number of various mixtape releases in the local area. In 2002, on the roughly burned “The Indictment” Kese made his first mixtape appearance. In 2003, Kese joined Nyce Hoffa, and Starbucks to create and release a small promotional disk entitled “Welcome to Silk City”.
Kese followed up in Fall 2004, with his own solo mixtape “Undaground Pop Life Vol. 1”, in which was his first project sold significantly to local schools. From the success of this mixtape, he naively signed a dismal contract with local upstart (and financially unstable) Joint Beat Productions. They really couldn’t deliver on any of the promises made to him, so that deal didn’t last very long.
Frustrated from not getting help or funding, Kese change attitudes, stole the few recordings he did while at Joint Beat, and released “Undaground Pop Life Vol. 2” which proved to be his most personal and darkest project to date. During this time, Kese met and befriended former Def Jam recording artist, Lady Luck, and for a short time was a roadie for her. “Kese is an illmatic emcee”, Luck proclaims, “He has a different but likable style”.
Then after a chance Myspace message, DJ Rakesh reached out to Kese and put together the “Jerzey’s Finest” mixtape, which would be his largest pressed project to date. In the midst of promoting “Jerzey’s Finest” and trying to further himself from Joint Beat Productions, yet larger life change was yet to come – on the day of leaving for a Lady Luck show trip to Miami, Florida, Kese got word that he would be a father. The biggest surprise – it was TWINS. In October 2006, Kese’s girlfriend gave birth to two healthy daughters, Brianna and Brooklyn.
A month later Kese joined forces with Arizona rapper Psycho to form the trans-coastal crew Undaground Assassinz (UGA) and released “Coast 2 Coast”. He then registered into the award-nominated Hear My Voice Service Database, who are now attempting to teach him the basics of music business. Although this was a change to a sometimes tedious learning process, in his short time at the company, they have helped him improve his professional display, apply for his first copyrights, get mixtape appearances, and are hoping to promote him the way he should have been. There are many potential changes that look bright in Kese Soprano’s future as well.
With the New Jersey duo, Wrong Onez still together and strong, Nyce Hoffa and Kese released a new mixtape entitled “The Resurrection“ during the winter 2007. He also has been working on the “Putting The Game On Life Support” mixtape with DJ Shortkidd and DJ Messiah. In addition, Hear My Voice CEO Doc J have just begun work on Kese Soprano’s first company mixtape, “Race 2 Fame”. In the matter of 6 years, and a whirlwind of events, change was inevitable.
Kese Soprano has managed to transform; first from a child…to writer…to friend…to fan…to rapper…to student…to man…to father…and now to an ambitionist. Change is something that has followed him his whole life, something he can accept, and because he can’t stop change…it isn’t something he fears. Hopefully, you will be just as tolerable to change, as he is, and give him the chance he deserves. Kese’s main goal is to bring his own personal change to the music you listen to, and if you listen deeply enough….maybe even your life.
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