Power 95.3 Kicks off Freestyle Fridays Season 2
By: Mireillee Lamourt
Just down the street from the Amway Center, local emcees gathered to freestyle at Styles of Life 2 Barbershop.
This past week, Power 95.3 kicked off its second season of Freestyle Fridays. This short video segment features local artists performing original freestyles. It has continued to pick up speed since its first release back in October 2016 and has also given local artists a bigger platform to share their music.
“I get antsy for these things,” said Shinobi Stalin, a local artist who will be featured on an upcoming video.
Dressed in a vintage Street Fighter 2 t-shirt and a clean pair of Jordans, Shinobi Stalin took the mic, grinned and didn’t show any hesitation at all as his freestyle came through in one clean take. He described his style as disrespectful.
“I like to say reckless things peppered in knowledge – straight murder, really,” Shinobi Stalin provoked with a confident head nod.
Shinobi Stalin also shared he was grateful for the opportunity to spit and is glad to see Freestyle Fridays coming up in Orlando.
“It’s hard enough to get music on the radio. This is the next best thing. There’s a disconnect between radio stations and local artists,” he said. “This is the first step in making the bridge and getting exposure to people who deserve it.”
Soon after Shinobi Stalin, Queen Fi, a glittery-eye-shadowed MC, walked onto the floor and shined on the mic. A chorus of “Ayyyys” rose out of the production crew and some of the barbers cutting hair during her practice session.
“I rap calmly. I’m not loud, I’m not too extra, but I am energetic,” Queen Fi said of her rap style.
While Freestyle Fridays is a good place for her to start, she said, she wants to see more from female artists in hip-hop.
“There are just not a lot of women and I want to represent for them. And I’m Haitian, so I’m representing females from other nations as well. – I want to see a lot of things,” she said. “I want to see multiple female rappers on the same track and more women coming to local cyphers. But this is great because people get to see a good female rapper from Orlando.”
Originally from Far Rock, New York and decked out in a Yankees t-shirt, Mydis, another artist soon to be featured hit the mic. His thick New York accent and 90’s style approach came through naturally during his performance. Afterwards, had nothing but good things to say about the Orlando music market.
“A lot of the time people say that you have to leave your city to make it work. New York has too much of a saturated market. Orlando isn’t as saturated, so I can make my way here,” he stated. “And the people are different here, too. Down here, everybody is really listening when they go out to local shows, not just trying to show off.”
Mydis went on to say how glad he is that Power 95.3 can provide this exposure for him and others.
“This opens up doors for people that probably wouldn’t have been heard. Local shows are cool, but you can’t even understand how much artists like me appreciate this opportunity,” he explained.
DJ Mz. Marina was one of the first people to sit down and organize the idea for Freestyle Fridays. She said over the past two years there were small attempts made by the radio station to create something similar, but nothing like this. She said eventually she wants to turn Freestyle Fridays into more of a cypher with prizes and create actual competition within the Orlando music community, not just exposure.
“The radio station is in touch with the local scene, but there is only so much we can do as a station. I love that I’m able to do this for Orlando,” she pointed out. “My favorite part of all of this is when that first bar comes off and you see the hunger that comes through when they touch that microphone. It fuels all of us.”
Check Out The Artists on Instagram:
Special Thanks to Styles of Life 2 Barbershop.
Artists to look for in the next freestyles:
J-Specish – @jspecish
KP Gwala- @kpgwala
Campaign Niño- @_campaignnino
Josh Esquire Santiago