Whoever would have thought that one day, in America, just because you land on national television doesn’t write your ticket for success. Even then, there is still a grind process an artist must go through to stay relevant and famous. But consider this, in 2018, national tv has to compete with all shapes and forms of social & independent media. This means that as soon as the public at large is fascinated with what appears to be viral news….they’re already on to the next thing. Enter a young man from Toledo, Ohio by way of Philadelphia PA that got his big break (which he really didn’t know he had) on the very popular music show 106 & Park. They call him Payne Da Squad Boy!
Being in this hip hop game a while, I know that there’s several things that really motivate urban rappers to be successful…getting shot or being homeless. Thank God for Payne it was the latter. In the late 2000’s Payne found himself homeless. But he decided if that was going to be his fate, he’d rather be homeless in a city of opportunity than scratching his head in Ohio. So Payne packed up what he had and moved in with his comrade in New York City. Trying to do the right thing, he wanted to earn his keep by enrolling in school and getting a job. Low and behold he came across a sign to audition for Freestyle Friday’s on 106 & Park. After he passed the test in New York, they sent him down to D.C., and from there they gave him his first date to air on the show.
Payne battled himself into the finals, being judged by the likes of Hip Hop Celebrities like DJ Premier, Ron Brows and straight outta the ATL rapper Bonecrusher. After handling himself superbly…he was recognized around town by the cities A-List celebrities like Alicia Keys, Beanie Sigel etc. In fact, rumor has it, Juelz Santana stopped his vehicle in the middle of the street to politick with the up and coming rapper.
The real test came when the freestyle champion started to make actual music. What happened to him happens to so many artists that gain national attention too fast. You begin to lose yourself. Business men in suits and glass desks strongly encourage the content of an artist work be commercial friendly. From there, Payne’s focus began to spiral and so did his promising career.
Eventually, he found solace in his roots back in Philadelphia but he knew the love was back in Ohio…so Payne headed back to the MidWest to regroup. He says he still has his industry connections, but he wants full creative control over his art so he chooses the do a number of things independently just to have peace of mind.
He tells me “Layne, I’m grateful for it all, but if I could change one thing, I would’ve taken my time on making music and focused on the battle. That’s where my heart’s at, that’s where my love is at. The Battle. But you know how it is. So many people in your ear telling you what they think you should do….I woulda mastered the same thing that’s feeding me today. Battle Rapping.
Today, Payne goes heavy on social media promoting his brand of music and he is also getting booked for rap battles nationwide. People that know him can recognize that his hunger has been restored. In 2018…he comes to Bring The Payne…literally.