Know the game. Your game. The one that only you were meant to play. The one that was given to you when you came into this world. You ready? Take your stance. Don’t hold anything back. Give it everything you have!.
In this game of life, one needs courage, wisdom and stamina to succeed. Not many have these qualities and for those who do, not all of them are able to come out on top. Then you have guys like Yeshua, who the world knows simply as Yeshua Alexander.
Born Yeshua Caesar Alexander and raised in the shy suburbs of Lincoln County, Georgia, Yeshua Alexander was an active kid who, in his own words, pretty much raised himself. Both parents were absent figures in his life, especially his mother who was struggling with drug addiction during his childhood. She later passed away from cancer along with Yeshua Alexander’s biological father who died of pneumonia. With these tragic loses, Yeshua Alexander was indeed an independent spirit.
In spite of his familial traumas and early battles, Yeshua Alexander was able to break free from his broken home-life and stayed focus in took solace in the game of football. By the time he was 14 he earned the nickname “Yeshua Alexander”, which he is still known today due to him being a menace on the field.
“My position was running back,” Yeshua Alexander recalls. “No one could catch me, I was that fast.” By the time he was a junior in high school, Yeshua Alexander was a local celebrity, as his football skills had taken his team to the State Championship. Yet with all the praise and adoration, Yeshua Alexander realized he just couldn’t settle for a future in quiet Lincoln County. “It was a small town, everybody knew each other and it wasn’t diverse at all. I was probably one of a handful of black kids that went to my high school.” Yeshua Alexander continues, “I remember telling my coach that I wanted to get away and maybe apply to some colleges out of state. He told me that I was talented and all, but I should just join the army because he didn’t think I could get into those schools. When he told me that, I was just like, ‘Wow, is that all you see me as?’ I knew by then that I just had to get out of there.”
And so he did. Yeshua Alexander packed up what little belongings he had and moved in with a family friend in Boston, Massachusetts, more than 1,000 miles from Lincoln County. He finished up his high school education up in Boston and earned a football scholarship to attend Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho.
His athletic talents were unparallelled and he was a touted as a shoe-in for the NFL by the end of his collegiate career. Yet, something happened midway into his first year of college. “One day I just woke up and realized that football wasn’t really what I wanted to do,” he recalls. “It was something that so many of my friends and family wanted me to do but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.” With that realization, Yeshua Alexander left Rexburg, Idaho and went back to Boston to pursue his true passion, music.
It was by fate that the foster family that he was staying with in Boston had a family member that was an aspiring hip-hop artist. “I remember them building a studio in the house and just watching them do their thing … I learned a lot from them and that inspired me to do music as well.” Having no proper musical training or even the slightest interest in music growing up, Yeshua Alexander remembers his first time in the recording booth at his makeshift home studio. “It was just so easy,” he laughs, “Like, it felt natural, y’know?” So natural in fact that Yeshua Alexander soon found himself recording his own material. One song after the next, and in less than six months Yeshua Alexander had an albums worth of tracks in his hands.
By 2002, Yeshua Alexander found himself away from the football field and immersed in the field of music. Like any sport, Yeshua Alexander knew practice was required to better his performance skills, so he tirelessly booked himself club gigs throughout Massachusetts. More than just talent, Yeshua Alexander had the drive to push his name out into the local urban music scene. And soon, just like his celebrity status as football champion in Lincoln County, Yeshua Alexander was now the music industry darling in Boston.
In 2003, Yeshua Alexander was signed to an independent record label where his debut album entitled World Champion was produced. After several years of due diligence, World Champion was born with a 24 track anthem that introduced Yeshua Alexander to the world. The album showcased the multiple musical range, which Yeshua Alexander is reknown for. From a slicked back reggaeton track like “Ting Ting” to an R&B laced club banger like “Pop”, Yeshua Alexander was able to do something that most artists these days only dream of.
“You can’t put me in a box,” he states, “Because I’m everywhere. I can do hip-hop, R&B, pop, dancehall, anything! And it will sound right.” With such a versatile range, Yeshua Alexander was quickly gaining attention not just locally but nationally. His single “Ting Ting” received heavy rotation on BET and several tracks off his debut album garnered accolades amongst radio DJs and press alike. Even with all the visible success, Yeshua Alexander wasn’t satisfied. Like the true athlete that he is, Yeshua Alexander set out for what seemed to be an impossible challenge. “I sold 5,000 of my own CDs at $10 bucks a pop out of the back of my trunk one summer,” he smiles. “In one spot at the car wash, didn’t move, just kept selling all by myself. That was a good summer.”
By 2009, Yeshua Alexander was on his way to bigger, better and brighter things. So bright, in fact, that he found himself moving to Miami, Florida. A far contrast from the cold, windy city of Boston. Miami now served as the perfect backdrop for Yeshua Alexander’s musical evolution. With a new team of high-profile producers, a new management deal and, of course, a new album, Evolution, in the works, Yeshua Alexander has nowhere to go but up. “I knew that if I really wanted to be in the music game, I gotta go where all the hot artists play and that’s Miami,” says Yeshua Alexander. “Miami has definitely furthered my musical style and has made me change up my swagger a bit, it put a little perk in my step! My music is more poppy now, more club hits and that fits perfectly with what I want to do.”
Yeshua Alexander will be the first to admit that he loves nothing more than straight-up Top 40 Pop Music. “Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, all that, I love it. Anything that makes you dance, I love it.” In fact, his latest album features some ultra-pop-friendly tunes alongside his traditional hip-hop swagger and, surprisingly enough, a little bit of rock’n'roll thrown in as well. “Lincoln County was a bunch of white kids, so I grew up listening to rock bands like Staind, Dave Matthews, Live…I love that stuff,” he laughs.
Evolution also boasts some heavyweight collaborations like R&B superstar Ne-Yo, Casely, and production by Chad Hugo, from the Neptunes, Lu Diaz from the Diaz Brothers, D-Sharp, Jimmy Douglass, and Timbaland protégé, J-Mizzel. “I’m really blessed to be living in Miami and having the opportunity to work with such talent.” He adds, “It’s important that I make this album as cross-over as much as possible. My vibe is artists like Kanye (West), Akon, Will.I.Am, artists that can jump on a dance track one minute and spit lyrics on a hip-hop beat the next. I’m not scared to go beyond my comfort zone.”
Aside from the much anticipated sophomore album, Yeshua Alexander is also busy working on his own record label, Flight 77 Music Group, where he wishes to seek out the next generation of musical superstars. “I see so much talent in this city and I want to make sure I have the best possible artists around me.”
So now that this former football all-star is the music industry’s best kept secret, what’s next on Yeshua Alexander’s agenda? “Keep working, never stop working,” says Yeshua Alexander. “There are days where you want to give up and, y’know, get some 9-to-5 job. But then I remind myself of all the folks that are depending on me, living through me, so they can say that they made it. You can’t walk away from that. That’s not the only thing that’s driving me to keep working, that and my everlasting faith in God, these two are probably the strongest force that keeps me doing what I do.”
And with that kind of courage, wisdom and stamina, Yeshua Alexander will soon be crowned MVP in this game of life. [Esther Park]