In an industry that can be shallow and selfish, Swagger Records struts on the streets. Not only is Anthony Davies, President of Jordan Empire Group, proud of his promising potential platinum-selling artists, promoting them with an ambition far more impressive than a billboard on a busy business block, but he truly cares about his beat-makers in the booth. His MySpace page implores, “Come support Swagger Records, but most of all, come support your local artists,” which he features in his top friends. Davies, a college grad with a Masters in Business Administration, “fell into” Swagger Records by asking basic business questions and then offering his services, which later led to him becoming CEO.
He understands that all stand-outs had to start somewhere, and is ready to reveal the rappers who are generating gossip in the “goldmine” of Colorado. What exactly does it take to have Swagger, you wonder? Davies is looking for top talent, a powerful stage presence, not just performers, but artists who can command a crowd and work for what they want, because he certainly hustles hard to spread the hype. Lazy is not a lineament that Davies looks for. When it comes to being the boss as opposed to the big brother, Davies doesn’t tolerate torpid talent. “It does not say CEO on my card because it looks cute,” he warns future faineant employees.
While listening to the line-up on Davies’ label, one artist in particular entertained my ears. Angel Blacc made me more than just browse – he made me stop and study his story. Representing Shadowboyz Entertainment along with J-Twizz, Fix, and Memphis, 23 year old Blacc has the vocab and the voice to be a valid contender on the charts. Unlike some of his contemporaries who may get the dance floor full on a Friday night but offer little enlightenment and an even less lyrical level of knowledge.
Blacc delivers not only with lyrics but lessons. His voice is both street and sweet – he can be vicious and vulnerable. He is an eloquent emcee that has rhythm regardless if there’s a beat in the background. Blacc is the type of artist you can not only listen to but also learn from. He is lyrically legit.
Blacc believes that he was born to make music, wanting to be involved in any way since he can remember, and he’s doing a fabulous job so far, especially because of the emphasis and detail he puts into his delivery. He understands the obstacle he has to overcome is all the other hip-hop hopefuls who are trying to break out of the box, but he has the arsenal to achieve what he aspires to do, and he will find success without being phony. “A lot of these other rappers insist on sounding and mimicking their favorite artists. I have my favorite artists too, but would rather be real and original than like someone else, and that alone I believe will cause me to stand out more than most.”
Not that he needs any more proof to be the leader of the lyrical pack, but Blacc says his favorite lyric that he has written is from his song, appropriately titled “Less Talking” – “You can do all the talkin’ but start walkin’ it first / I guarantee this, my actions are as loud as my words / And whether I’m up in the streets or in the booth with a verse / This lyrical curse has been with me since the day of my birth / My rhymes will disperse like people with a bomb in the church / I know it hurts what can I say I am a KING in the works.” Although he doesn’t court catty drama, he admits “If it was something that I felt really needed to be said, I would be the first to say it,” and he backs up that behest in his song “Like Nobody Else,” calling out all the copy cats: “I ain’t trying to sound like nobody else/And you can’t even sound like you’re mother fucking self.” Blacc notices that his fans “know good music when they hear it, and I’m not only talking about me, just in general.” He acknowledges and appreciates the attention they have given him, and is intent on increasing the size of his supporters, which I predict won’t pose much of a problem.”
Swagger Records is launching a line of Swagger Gear, including shirts, apparel, and a 2010 calendar featuring the “Swagger Squad.” Swagger concerts convene all throughout Colorado and their label launch party is scheduled for sometime in October.