Williams Lake’s own hip-hop and rap community are still as passionate and vibrant as ever as they pursue their musical dreams.
At Tombstone Entertainment’s monthly concert at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre on Thursday, Feb. 20 three of the lakecity’s emerging artists took to the stage for a night of Hometown Hip-Hop. Each is at different stages of their musical careers but all are loving the pursuit of their passion.
Making her on-stage debut that night was Franklyn Boyd aka Fate, a Grade 11 high school student who has loved rap and hip-hop since the age of 11. Boyd began writing her own music at 14 and has been a frequent attendee of lakecity hip-hop concerts where she has freestyled in the past so now, at 17, she’s ready to begin sharing her music with the community.
“I guess the reason I got into rapping is that I have a really low voice for a female, right, so I was always a little insecure about that and with rapping you typically have a low voice so I just felt like it was ok to let myself go,” Boyd said.
Her interest in rap was started when she first listened to the rapper known as Logic for the first time in Grade 7. Boyd had always known she wanted to make music and for a while it looked she was going to become a more traditional singer but as soon as she saw him perform during the X Games, she knew any music she’d make would sound like that.
In fact, that determination to become a singer and later a hip hop artist is what coined her stage name of Fate, as Boyd feels she is destined to become a rapper. She said she particularly enjoys the way it sounds and how it feels to be up on stage.
While she’s been on the mic a few times at CJ’s Southwestern Grill, Thursday marked the first time Boyd was performing her own songs live on the stage. Going in she said she was really excited to have her name on the poster and to be actually opening up for fellow hip-hop artists.
Boyd performed two original songs one entitled Brighter Future while the other remains unnamed, as of this article. While her nerves showed, she gave a solid performance to the cheers of the crowd and left the stage smiling widely.
“I want to make it into a career cause nothing else really interests me to do for a living,” Boyd said.
Looking to the future, Boyd said she plans to save up some money so she can go back to the studio and record more of her songs.
Following Boyd’s opening act was local writer turned hip-hop artist Cassidy Porter who, at the age of 34, remarks she started pursuing her musical aspirations a little late because of how shy she was as a youth. However, in recent months, she’s begun to blossom musically with Hometown Hip-Hop marking her seventh live performance in eight months.
In that time she’s been writing music like crazy and has been recording and releasing her music to the public, initially through Shock Collar Records and recently on her own at home. On stage, she goes by CassCity and has a loyal following of family and friends who follow her to each show.
On the writing side of things, Porter has submitted another story to Chicken Soup for the Soul following being published in one of their previous editions. While she’s not sure if she’ll be as lucky this time, she said her story is called Wounded and is about her experience with her dog Odin she adopted from the BCSPCA and their initial struggles caring for him, including when he ran off one night.
“It kind of hurt my heart, you know, because we just rescued you and now you’re trying to run away,” Porter said. “It’s about the healing process and about how we’re all wounded sometimes.”
She also wrote a song called Wounded she performed that night so if she does get the story published too, that’d be really cool, she said.
On the hip-hop side of things, Porter intends to continue to release more songs as she has so many she’s written over the past decade that have yet to be published. She hopes to release them all together as a CD and get them on to Spotify and iTunes. She’s hopeful people will continue to phone her to perform at shows both locally and out of town, which she’s been able to do a few times already.
“It’s so therapeutic and something really special about doing what you want to do as opposed to what you do for work compared to what you’re really passionate about,” Porter said. “I encourage everyone to pursue their passion, do what they love and don’t let anything hold you back.”
Headlining the night was Bryan ‘Bioson’ Delaronde, a leading figure in the Williams Lake hip-hop scene and a longtime lakecity resident. Over the last few months, Delaronde said he’s just been running around doing shows in other towns and opening for big names in Kamloops, Chilliwack and Vancouver.
Recently, he took some time off to build a new album called Cover Fire he plans to release sometime in March. There are around 11 tracks on the album, his favourite of which is a song he wrote for Marcy Delaronde, his young daughter.
“I’m starting to make a bit of money off music now so I’m just kind of motivated to keep making music because it’s kind of gone from a joke to there is actual income coming from it now, which is pretty cool,” Delaronde said.
The thing he’s enjoyed doing the most these last few months outside of recording music and performing is making music videos with Andrew Bettles, whom he’s wracked up around 100,000 YouTube views with.
Outside of releasing his album, Delaronde’s biggest plans for 2020 is to tour Canada this summer. He’s applied for several venues and is hoping to go on tour with some close friends. Delaronde is also hoping to sign on with Snak the Ripper’s label, a Canadian rapper who recently bought a million-dollar house, according to Delaronde.
“The more I put into it, the more work, the more videos that come out it’s a snowball effect. Everything kind of feeds into new moves so it’s at the point now we don’t have to push as hard as artists,” Delaronde said. “As long as you’re putting the work in, people call you, it’s nice.”
In the meantime, Delaronde said he intends to continue to pursue his brand of experimental hip-hop working with everyone from pop singers to heavy metal bands. He’d like to thank everyone for their continued support and all who took part in the Hometown Hip Hop show.