By Joe Marvilli
Unlike many of today’s mainstream rappers, Charlie Scott uses his music both to inspire others and as an outlet to talk about relatable issues.
The Whitestone-based musician not only started writing and performing as a source of encouragement for his listeners, but to heal himself from a drug addiction. He started writing while at a treatment facility in Florida.
“While I was there, I wrote music and it became really inspirational for the people around me,” Scott said. “When I came back home to New York, I decided I want to see how far I can take this and it’s taken off fairly well since then.”
Part of what makes Scott stand out from the crowd, he said, is his philosophy of being a poet before a hip-hop artist. Scott said he is not interested in rapping about money or flash. Instead, his muse is spurred by old-school rap that dealt with real world problems.
“I know that, especially for people in my generation, they listen to hip-hop,” he said. “They appreciate lyricism and wordplay so I use that to my advantage to help reach people.”
While he has studio records, such as his latest mix tape “Lyrical Therapy 2,” performing live is where Scott truly feels at home. He feeds off the energy of the crowd, whether it is in a typical concert venue or at a rehabilitation facility, where he performs to empower those going through the same problems he did.
“There is nothing I enjoy more than reaching a live audience. There’s nothing I enjoy more than that, because of the interaction with the audience. I build off of it,” he said. “If I had an audience with me in the studio, my energy level would be through the roof.”
When playing live in New York City, Scott draws support from his friends and family from Queens, a big source of encouragement for him. Even though both of his parents are hearing-impaired and his mother was born deaf, they have been behind his musical pursuits.
“At my first showcase, [my mother] came out and supported me. She was sitting right in the front row and she loved it,” he said. “I’m happy I came back home.”
His two greatest musical inspirations are Frank Sinatra and North Carolina rapper J. Cole. He is a fan of Sinatra for his ability to make any song or style sound beautiful and classic. As for J. Cole, Scott enjoys his inspirational work and the fact that he graduated from college, a goal for the Whitestone artist as well.
Scott, 23, is a student at Queensborough Community College, the first step in his goal of going to a four-year college and getting a degree in psychology. He even takes his psychology lessons and applies them to his lyrics and music.
While a degree is a large ambition of his, Scott wants to take his musical career as far as he can.
“The amount of success I’ve gained over just one year of recording and performing has been so drastic and beyond exceeded my expectations,” he said. “I’m going to take music as far as it lets me go. I really have no idea where it’s taking me. I’m just leaving it all up to God.”
To find out more about Scott’s music and live shows, visit www.charliescotthiphop.com or www.soundcloud.com/charliescotthiphop.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.