Charles Eddie-Lee Hamilton, Jr. (born November 10, 1987), known as Charles Hamilton, is an American rapper and record producer from Harlem, New York City. His popularity began to flourish after being featured on the cover of the Freshmen 09' XXL.
Early life and career beginnings:
Raised in Harlem, New York, Charles Hamilton was exposed to music at an early age. "My mother was an entertainment journalist for the Cleveland Call and Post, so she would take me with her to events when I was just a baby." Hamilton stated his mother always made sure he had an instrument around him. His mother put different kinds of instruments in the basement of their Cleveland home, but he naturally gravitated to the keyboard. Hamilton has stated, "At first, I was just playing the rhythm of the songs I would hear... The older I got, the more proficient I got at hearing the notes." For most of his life, Hamilton was self-taught. Picking up the lead and bass guitar in his teenage years, as well as the drums and harmonica. Hamilton has stated that listening to other genres of music, being exposed to different cultures and experiencing life helped mold his musical sound. Utilizing a studio built in the Frederick Douglass Academy, Charles Hamilton has spent countless hours in the studio, developing his craft and his own signature sound. Hamilton stated, "The Lab (FDA's studio) means so much to me, because when I literally didn't have anywhere else to go in the world, I can just go into my beloved alma mater and purge myself creatively." The studio in the Frederick Douglass Academy is where most of Charles Hamilton's music is made. Hamilton has also stated, regarding FDA's studio, that "I can do my thing in other studios. It's just something about home that makes my music breathe."
Hamilton met future manager Le'Roy Benros after offering to help with a music event that he was organising. When Benros eventually heard his music he was "blown away" and arranged a meeting at Hamilton's high school in Harlem. Benros set about promoting his first client in any way that he could, burning CDs, putting him on at showcases and securing his first appearance on the influential blog "You Heard That New". He also managed to introduce Hamilton to Theo Sedlmayr, one of the most powerful entertainment lawyers in the music industry.
2008-2009: Interscope Records & This Perfect Life:
In 2008, Hamilton stated that his debut solo digital album, The Pink Lavalamp, is his way of illustrating his ideas for the future of music.The Pink Lavalamp was later released on December 8, 2008 online as a free download.
His song "Brooklyn Girls" was featured on Season 5, Episode 3 "The All Out Fall Out" of the HBO series Entourage. His song "Lacey Duvalle" was an ode to pornographic actress Lacey Duvalle.
Hamilton was to be releasing his first studio album on Interscope, titled This Perfect Life, in 2009. According to Hamilton's blog at the time, the album was to be released digitally on June 23, 2009, and the physical copy in stores on August 25, 2009. The album was supposed to be Hamilton's major label debut and the first album distributed by a major record label for free download on Charles Hamilton's own website. There was also a physical copy of the album that would have to be purchased in stores that included a DVD of animated videos to help the listener get a better feel for the music. After months of speculation, the album was never released as a result of Hamilton getting dropped from Interscope on September 19, 2009 for multiple reasons, including but not limited to his poor performance at a Penn State rap battle and his unapproved crediting of J Dilla. Manager Le'Roy Benros later explained why he felt Hamilton's career stalled by telling HitQuarters:
"I think things happened too fast. I don't think we were well prepared for what was given to us."
The unreleased album was released digitally as a leak on various websites.
2010-present: The Mind of Charles Hamilton:
On March 25, 2010, Charles Hamilton released his mixtape entitled The Binge Vol. 3 - Charles Hamilton's Last Mixtape. Although he announced that The Binge Vol. 3 would be his last mixtape, Hamilton, along with fellow rapper B.o.B, released a video trailer on March 29, 2010 to promote the song "Paperboy". In the video, B.o.B hinted that the two may be making a mixtape together. The single "Paperboy" ended up being released on May 21, 2010 and was produced by Woody. Also in March, Hamilton dedicated a song called "Choices (A Wave to Alex)" in honor of a friend who died after getting in the car with a drunk driver." Hamilton released a new single called "Gauchos" on May 4, 2010. On July 3, 2010, Hamilton released six mixtapes entitled Well This Isn't Awkward (Winner Takes All), Autumn Harvest, Gynophobia, Atlantis and A..., 10 Things I Hate About Me and The L Word II (INcomplete).
On September 23, 2011, one day after his discharge from Community Assessment & Treatment Services Rehab (C.A.T.S), Charles Hamilton released two mixtapes, 'Gynophobia 2' & 'C.A.T.S. Can']. Early morning of October 4, 2011, Charles Hamilton publicly released What the Hell Is Wrong with You?! via his Facebook page. This project was written during his rehabilitation and later recorded following his discharge from rehab on September 22, 2011.
On June 18, 2012 on His Twitter Charles Hamiltion announced that he was releasing another independent album entitled Ill Doesn't Meen Classic on July 7, 2012. Hamilton also announced that he was working on a new studio album entitled The Mind of Charles Hamilton to be released sometime in 2013.
On July 30, 2012, Charles Hamilton released a mixtape titled Cinematic Hallucinations: The Bully And The Pet which featured rapper SKE and included the Eminem-produced single "I Don't Care".
In March 2013, Charles went to London in an attempt to rediscover himself and is now focusing on his music and other things he is passionate about in life.
He is the cousin of fellow rapper MC Lyte.
Hamilton caused some controversy when album covers were released and the deceased producer J Dilla, was named as executive producer. A handful of Dilla's closest associates through hip hop began speaking out against Hamilton's use of the name and its connection to his music. Hamilton later stated he wished to financially help J Dilla's mother who had thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, the same illness that took J Dilla's life. J Dilla's name was later removed from the album artwork due to legal reasons.