Making AllHipHop.com’s Top 25 Underground Hip Hop List
So a little under 2 weeks ago (Jan 7th), I’m walking to the Stu’ from the spot. Having a “just want this day to be over or better” kind of night, right? Cutting through a parking lot, I get a text from my bro Jasiri X.
“Check this out, website link“
I stopped, checked the link, slowly reading the article and scrolling through the list…
..and then I get to #3, right after R-Mean from L.A. and Your Old Droog from Brooklyn; Idasa Tariq, Pittsburgh PA.
Now y’all already know how I feel about the Number 3, lol (great and powerful number). I ain’t gon’ lie, I started crying for real. Some happy tears. I felt accomplished, overjoyed and relieved. I don’t come up on these lists and for real never imagined being on one. Whether it was self doubt, the type of music I make, or a combination of them both I just never saw it. And it all kind of came full circle right there. “You’re doing this man. You’re music CAN and IS having an impact.”
It didn’t stop there. My folks back home started getting phone calls from people congratulating them. They were a little lost until I called them, with my Ma like, “someone called talking about you were on a Top 25 something or other…”. Me, “yea Ma, the AllHipHop.com’s Top 25 Underground Hip Hop list…they’re like the CNN of Hip Hop”.
Ma, “Congratulations baby. I’m happy and proud of you!”
Again, I want to thank all of the people who have been riding with me these past 14 years. Been making music since I was 14 back in Binghamton High School on my physic’s teacher’s laptop. Since 2008, when I took my craft seriously and moved to Pittsburgh as a 20 year old small town kid who was as green as a untouched-by-Monsanto blade of grass. From “Just A Minstrel” to “The Babies”. Since 2013 when I first jumped into activism and teaching youth. Whether you are here now presently in my life or gone, you have made an impact on me that I carry with me in my music and journey.
I thank my fam/squad/co-workers & superheros 1Hood, Skyy Hook, my DELS colleagues, my homes Binghamton and Pittsburgh, the Shadow Lounge Alumni, 9-to-5 and grocery store homies, and everyone who honestly supports me. I thank you all for not just showing me my music is worth it, but that I am worth it as a human being on this planet. Worth it to these young folks who believe in us because we believe in them. Worth it to just be living and breathing. And above all, for reminding me that none of this was possible without the Grace, Mercy and Blessings of the Most High; something so grande yet so easily forgotten in our realities.
Thank You! 1Love, 1Hood, Ma’ Salaama
– I.T. The Soul Man