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Instrumental beats pound to core of student’s passion

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By DaMarkus James

da.james@colostate-pueblo.edu

Originality could come from the ear of the beholder. 

Spitting beats and rhymes maybe easy for recording artists and rappers, but this CSU-Pueblo student believes his rap songs are original.

LaTerelle Burrows, a sophomore majoring in mass communications with an emphasis in advertising, has a passion for creating and performing rap music. In addition, he has had experiences while he still tries to establish a place in the realm of rap and hip-hop music, he said.

LaTerelle Burrows, a sophomore majoring in mass communications with an emphasis in advertising, believes his music is original. Photo by DaMarkus James.

Burrows views himself as a unique music artist, he said, and does not choose to emulate other rap artists. “I feel like I’m all original. I don’t feel like nobody in the industry raps like me,” Burrows said confidently. “I feel like I have a place in the industry because I’m no one else in the industry. I’m my own breed of rapper.”

His motivation for songs comes from his life experiences, he said. “I tell stories when I rap, I’m not all about trying to be a punch-line rapper,” Burrows said. “My life, just me.”      

Burrows realized that he had to make a name for himself by telling people about his music. “I mainly just try to get my music on the streets,” he said.  

Burrows’ interest in performing rap music began after experienced a football injury in his freshman year at the university. He said that he tore ligaments in his left foot.

Although he went through the injury, he has heard comments about his music from students.

“I’ve just been really focusing on my music lately, and it’s been turning out really good for me because I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from the students on the campus,” Burrows said reassuringly.

However, he has experienced rejection too. In his freshman year, Burrows tried to send his music to Mike Atencio, station manager for Rev 89. However, Atencio did not broadcast his music on the station, Burrows said in a disappointed tone.

“I tried to get my music on there my freshman year hard with them, but he kept giving me loopholes and B.S. excuses I felt,” he said. “I took another route.”

 A disc jockey produces the beats of his music on mix tapes, Burrows said. Moreover, he said that he recently completed a new mix tape, “The Box State is my State.” He performed songs from it last Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo., Burrows said, and he received good feedback from people. Additionally, he said people asked him more about his music.

The positive overwhelming feedback seemed to affect him. “A lot of people wanted to know more about my music like if I had anymore upcoming shows,” Burrows said then laughed. “It was pretty cool man.”

Merriam Webster online dictionary defines mixtape as, “a compilation of songs recorded (as onto a cassette tape or a CD) from various sources.”

Burrows tries to perform at venues that allow him to perform his music, he said. 

Burrows first gained an interest in rap music at about 9 years old from his cousin, whose nickname is Yadidi YunG Ro, he said. Eventually, Burrows said the hobby turned into a business, as his cousin, who became the founder, started a record label called YunG Assassins, and he is on the label’s roster. 

Recalling from his experiences, Burrows started recording music when he was about 14 years old, he said. However, Burrows took recording rap music seriously at about 17 or 18 years old, he said.

It took him a while to establish his compassion for rap music. “My first love was football, I wanted to play football. As soon as I came to college, college football really wasn’t what I thought it was going to be,” Burrows said. “I enjoyed it and I was good, but I felt like my passion started to fade away for some reason. My love balance shifted more toward the music side.”

 When it comes to his favorite music, he listens to instrumental beats, Burrows said. “I don’t listen to music, I listen to myself,” he said reassuringly. “I don’t listen to the industry per se, like the people in the industry because I feel like if I listen to them I don’t want to copy them. Ever since I was young I would constantly rap in my head.”