Students who have the musical ability to create an original sound most of us have never heard are walking among us every day on campus.
At the University, a group of juniors have created a diverse group of talented performers who write their own lyrics and produce their own beats. They call themselves The Graduates, and they have a fourth music video set to release Jan. 26.
They officially became The Graduates in March, but it all started as early as elementary school, said manager and group member Raheem “Heemy D” Allen. The group created a bond starting from childhood all the way to college, and now they must learn to adapt a balanced life between performing and studying.
“It’s so hard, but the most important thing is scheduling,” said business management junior Allen. “I keep everything organized and together.”
Digital arts junior Tyton “Darker Parker” Charles and communication arts and theatre junior Quaan Logan at University of Wisconsin-Madison find it even more difficult because they prioritize school, but it is also their passion to create music.
“You make time for the things that you’re passionate about, and it’s equally hard as a student even in the arts,” Charles said. “People don’t realize it takes a lot of time, and it’s very stressful.”
Charles performed as an opener for Aminé at the 2017 Homecoming Concert and has much planned for the future, including his mixtape, “DeeperThanRap2,” coming out in early February, and his “Dark/Light EP” coming out later this year.
Every artist has their own reason to make music. The Graduates are out to promote a sound no one else has. They do not carry the image or sound most Baton Rouge rappers portray. They believe there is a specific sound most local rappers have, whether it is about the streets or the struggle.
“Individually we’re all so much more than that, and that’s just not what your going to hear from us,” Logan said. “The music we make as Baton Rouge artists is widening the view of what Baton Rouge artists look like to others.”
The group believes they cannot be categorized in just hip-hop and it does not accurately describe them.
“We make any kind of music we feel like making,” said English and computer science junior Antonio “Tony Blaze” Dupre. “When we write, our verses are like journal entries to where we are in our lives.”
Their creative process is original and they flow off of each other’s energy to make each song. They understand their audience and what it takes to make people love what an artist puts out into the public.
“It’s really important to feel what we’re making and have fun while doing it because if we’re bored, our listeners are bored,” Dupre said.
The Graduates are not like any other musical group in Baton Rouge. They provide the public with music ranging from hype to comical to deep rooted. No matter what reaction they receive, they know they can still enjoy their music together.
“We make music for a purpose,” Charles said. “We try to spread positivity and we enjoy doing this. It’s not something we’re going to give up on just because we’re not famous – it’s always going to be The Graduates.”