In this day and age, everyone is a rapper — and not all these rappers can actually rap. Many are trying to sell you an image on their MySpace.
There's the tough guy dressed in baggy clothes. He's usually aggressively pointing toward the audience in the picture, breaking the fourth wall. There's the former/current drug dealer draped in jewels. As he holds his chains up, his smile reveals a bedazzled grill. Then, of course, you have the intellectual in black-rimmed glasses. His hands are grasped together, but he's not looking at the camera, because he's caught in introspective thought.
Then there's [artist id="1292934"]Charles Hamilton[/artist]. His MySpace page is covered with images of Sonic the Hedgehog and pink typeface. And when you make it to his music player, you realize he's actually a gifted rapper.
Welcome to the Hamiltonization Process.
"The Hamiltonization process is a two-month — no, it was a four-month process of introducing myself," the eclectic rapper explained to MTV News. "Basically, in four months, I did what I could do in 45 minutes if I had the JumboTron in Times Square."
Over that course of time, he released eight mixtapes in rapid succession. Each mixtape chronicled who Charles Hamilton was. Whether it was The L Word, which explained how he views women, or Sonic the Hamilton, which dealt with him waking up and physically being Sonic the Hedgehog, Hamilton was determined to share his point of view with potential fans.
"The whole process is for me to let other people see how I look at the world," he said. He wasn't sure how people viewed him as a rapper. He said he could be considered a passing phase, or "I could be considered the real deal."
The Hamiltonization Process has been therapeutic, the up-and-comer said. While the people he's shared his story with have benefited from it, he's been just as fortunate. "I should be paying the fans for helping me in using this therapeutic art form," he said.
The process helped him reveal some intense things about his past, including drug abuse and being homeless in New York. He said he's thankful for the acclaim, but he's happy to be alive and making music.
"As long as I'm alive, there's always going to be Charles Hamilton music," he insisted. "Whether it's a song, or you just sitting next to me hearing me humming somebody else's song, there's always going to be Charles Hamilton's spin on music."
Also check out [article id="1602167"]Asher Roth[/article], [article id="1602095"]Wale[/article], [article id="1601933"]B.o.B.[/article] and [article id="1602354"]Kid Cudi[/article] in our "MCs to Watch in '09" series.