While hip-hop has an enormous marketplace across the United
States, few rappers based in Hawaii are ever recognized
in the mainstream market.
The industry is solely a mainland phenomenon. Rappers
are constantly being plucked off the streets in cities from
Los Angeles to New York, but even if the best lyrical MCs
in the world were stationed in Alaska or Hawaii, chances
are theyd never be found, claimed radio DJ David
Westphal of Philadelphias 104.7 The Q. Honolulu MC Kyle
Johnson, aka Posterboy, may change all that.
Born in Washington, D.C., and currently living on the south
side of Kalihi, Posterboys unique mix of musical flow
and lyrical storytelling position him at the top of local
rappers. His newest single, Jurassic Harlem, has
been met with open arms; it can be downloaded off the Web
using any MP3 ripper.
Posterboy has so much going for him. Hes one
of those performers that you know is going to blow up in time,
commented Kalihi resident Mitch Townsend, an avid concert
For Posterboy, the journey from underground MC to national
rap icon will be a daunting one. Throughout my life,
Ive grown up listening to great MCs from Christopher
Wallace to Talib Kwelei, and I strive to come as close as
possible lyrically to those icons, Posterboy said. By
coming to Hawaii Ive expanded my mind and become
more adventurous with my word-play.
he journey to star status will be very difficult, but I take
everything one day at a time. I feel that by experiencing
lifes ups and downs first hand, I grow more knowledge
than from books and college.
While his unique flow has been loosely compared to MCs
such as Black Stars Mos Def and Talid Kwelei, Posterboys
lyrics are both personal and spiritual. The most important
thing in a song, to me, is words. With words I can get my
point across whether it be about partying or trials and tribulations
that have occurred in my life. Everyone grows up with interactions
and battles that they face all around them and they keep it
bottled up, and what they should do, as I do it, is express
themselves through music. Growing up in southeast D.C., with
what Ive seen, I can redefine words in the dictionary.
Some might feel it is a struggle, but I feel its a mind
boggling experience that I would never take back.
Look for Posterboys independent album Sunny Nights
and Dark Days at local retailers.