It can be hard to live up to the standard set by your parents, especially if one of them made their name in your industry. But up-and-coming New York rapper Turbeazy is both following in his father’s footsteps and blazing his own path.
Turbeazy remembers going to his father’s concerts as a kid; formative experiences that gave him his first exposure to hip-hop. When his dad became a DJ, Turbeazy took advantage of the moment, feasting on a fully fleshed-out collection of rap records that also helped to influence his career choice.
“At school, I used to freestyle,” Turbeazy says, “and one day somebody told me I should rap, so I ended up going to one of these kids that somebody put me on to that had a studio.”
Thanks to a laptop his mother gave him, Turbeazy kept recording, even while in the Army. When he got out, the education continued with classes that helped him forge a career as an audio engineer at Manhattan’s Fight Klub Studios.
When he records now, Turbeazy is sure to keep one foot in the past, allowing the influence from his father’s career and record collection to find its way into his music.
“In order to move forward, you gotta be able to know and acknowledge the past,” he says. “I still feel like that needs to be represented. It’s something that I was raised to appreciate, coming from a household of an artist and a person who was deep into hip-hop culture. I love and appreciate how far music has evolved.”
While Turbeazy is forging his way forward, his journey hasn’t been without challenges.
“When I was in the Army, nobody really wanted me to rap,” he says. “They thought it was funny. I had a few supporters, but when it was time for me to leave, they were saying, ‘You should re-up and stay in the Army. You can be a good soldier.’ I was like, ‘I want to go to school. I want to be a rapper.’ People were like, ‘That’s a stupid idea.’”
He also remembers being rejected when he tried to pass somebody in the industry a flash drive of his music. It’s something that could discourage someone, but Turbeazy turned it into fuel, telling us that it made him “want to go harder.” And so far, that persistence is paying off. Turbeazy’s profile is steadily increasing and he has songs racking up tens of thousands of plays on platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud. The way Turbeazy sees it, staying positive and dedicated, especially when the goal seems so far away, is the only way forward.