THE BRIGHT SIDE OF JACKSONVILLE
The current rap scene in mainstream music glorifies scantily clad women, money and living a lavish lifestyle. Top rappers such as Kanye West, Jay-Z and Drake produce entire platinum albums filled with this content on their tracks. But not all up-and-coming artists feel the need to follow suit in the precedent persona of mainstream artists.
Jacksonville native Langston Brown exemplifies the positive side of hip-hop with his project, “The Bright Side,” which includes a clean, family-friendly and motivational platform for rappers and other local artists. Brown also promotes his collective production association, “Champ Life,” which is a platform for arts and entertainment as well as music production.
Brown clearly differentiates himself from other artists through the lifestyle he embodies. Being an uncle, Brown said he is very conscious about his lyrics and what he promotes. He does not want to be clustered into the stereotype of “just another rapper,” yet Brown still wants to be an influence for purpose and dedication to his young nephews.
Though Brown said that it is hard to differentiate him from any other rapper out there, he singles himself out due to his personal outlook on life.
“A lot of things people glorify that shouldn’t even be thought of as fun,” Brown said. “I am not big on small talk when there are uneducated and hungry people out here, especially in Jacksonville.”
Brown only made it to the last few hours of One Spark last year and was blown away by the amount of creativity that rests in the depths of Jacksonville.
“There’s no particular vibe to the One Spark project, my main focus is to promote a positive spirit, positive thought and no profanity,” Brown said.
Having only pursued music for just over a year, Brown has a clear and direct vision for his music. Being a Jacksonville native, Brown hopes to change the perception of Jacksonville to the outside audience.
“Jacksonville is mainly known for crime, and that is the reality,” Brown said. “But every city has its problems. All we can do now as artists is build over that perception and showcase the talent that’s hidden in Jacksonville.”
Brown’s recent pursuit of music was fueled with passion for other motivational artists. Inspiring artists such as Marvin Gaye, Rick Ross, T.I., the old N.O. Limit, Sade, Avril Lavigne and even System of a Down. Brown also says the rapper Drake inspired him to sing on his tracks. Drake inspired him to get into auto tune and manipulate his voice as well as try to tap into higher notes.
So why vote for Brown at One Spark?
“I’m great, I’m undiscovered greatness. There’s a lot more bottled up inside that I haven’t even taped into that needs to be let out,” Brown said. “The people of Jacksonville should give greatness a platform to present itself and allow it to grow and expand in the face of the people. Music is my passion and my love, everything revolves around music, I’m dedicated to it and my life is seriously about inspiring others.”
This story was reported by Ignite Media, an independent news bureau created by University of North Florida students.