Local Hip Hop scene in Orlando is filled with different types of artists. While out on the town, I met an old school emcee and producer with a dreidel twist.
Eddie “Knaladeus” Maldonado, which is pronounced “knah-lah-day- us”, is a local 25 year old Messianic Jewish rapper from Harrisburg, PA, but has come to know Orlando as home. While his dad, Puerto Rican and mom of Jewish decent, he explained his heritage to me. While looking Hispanic, he explained his parents are Sephardic Jews which are Jews with origins from Spain.
His music is mostly about social issues, what he has been through, and God.
He is heavily influenced by old school rappers like Jimmy Spicer, Slick Rick, Rakim, Nas, and Big Pun.
“When you produce a song, you hear a beat come from inside your head and then out from the speakers. You start to feel it. The lyrics flow from paper through the microphone, and then record the lyrics. You mix and master the levels, and bounce the song out and burn it on a disc. Sit in the car and listen to the finished product. That’s what it’s all about. The finished product,” said Knaladeus.
He has rhymed since the age of 3, but really got into his music at the age of 13. When he first came to the church as young boy, he heard Christian Hip Hop but felt that it was lacking.
“I felt there wasn’t quality music out for old school heads like me. I wanted to make music that was a little more lyrical and for my style of Hip Hop,” commented Knaladeus.
He has worked with several different producers and rappers in the Orlando area. He has worked and collaborated with rappers Madd Illz, Stefanotto, BrownStudy, Sincere, Bear, and Soy is Real. He has produced for several of those artists, but has been getting close attention from other labels and signed artist like Braille and Hazakim.
“I’ve learned to respect music more. I’ve gotten a lot of good friends out of the music, but it is time consuming. When not well received and when people don’t understand my music, it’s hard,” said Knaladeus.
Over the years, Knaladeus has made the different choices on his projects. Old school hip hop relies on sampling which is the art of creating new music out of old music by chopping, slowing down, and speeding up tracks. Knaladeus is great at producing these kinds of records, but has recently made the decision to work on more original music without being a copycat of what’s on the radio.
“Variety is what makes my music unique not everyone does what I do. I bring sincere music and I do not lie about my lifestyle,” shared Knaladeus.
Knaladeus and his wife have a 2 year old son, Malakhi, are expecting twins on the way. Being a parent and doing Hip Hop music has also taught him a lot about himself and what are the best practices when making music.
“I’ve learned time management from being a father, I’ve learned to be fast pace creatively making music in between Malakhi’s naps,” commented Knaladeus.
Knaladeus has worked on over six albums. His recent project, Hip Hop Soul & Imagination, was sampling at its finest and was a commentary on Hip Hop. Tertium is his album that was based as a Messianic Judaism apologetic. This album brought him attention from other producers and rappers like Hazakim. His newest project is called Soul Portait and features producer and singer Tone Jonez.
All of the archives of Knaladeus’ music are available online at www.knaladeus.bandcamp.com. Samples of his production and beats are available to be heard and purchased at www.soundcloud.com/knaladeus. Also, keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter @Knaladeus.