It's so obvious and you hate to say it, but Outasight looks nothing like the Yonkers music royalty we know that come from the outskirts of NYC.
The LOX? Nah. DMX? Nope. He'll never even be mistaken for running with Mary J. Blige's camp, but as we know in hip-hop, you don't have to look bone-gristle hard to make an impact. Twenty-six-year-old Caucasian MC Outasight says he's proud to come from an area that spawned so many dope acts and is looking forward to receiving his own recognition.
"I certainly respect it amazingly," 'Sight said about Yonkers' lineage.
"I grew up and saw it. I'm a little bit from a different area," he added. "For me, it's more of a suburban perspective, coming from Yonkers but at the same time being so close to New York City, so I'm able to hopefully conjure those two vibes — a little suburban, a little urban comes to together, different perspectives on it."
'Sight was mostly raised by his grandmother, but had his mom's love for music, listening to artists such as Stevie Wonder. At 8 years old, he got some of his first hip-hop LPs, such as A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders, De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising and Black Sheep's A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. He started rapping and singing, and still uses both in his music almost two decades later.
"I been doing music my whole life. Singing and rapping were both separate entities," he explained. "Then Mos Def and artists like that inspired me. I saw you can do it — you can sing and rap and make it jell. I started taking my craft more seriously and just kept working on it. It's just a natural thing. It's never planned out. It kinda flows and goes from there."
Last year, 'Sight's video for "Good Evening" got some play on mtvU and MTV2 and in March he released his mixtape From There to Here and gained the attention of several key music- industry insiders from Chris Lighty to Russell Simmons. He just recently finalized a deal with Asylum/Warner, and his debut album From Here to Eternity is slated for next year.
"It's a funny story," he said about how he got his name. "My original MC name was Outsight, which [meant] 'insightful but outside the box.' It was all right. Sometime I can have a bit of a mysterious nature. I was living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, dipped back to Westchester, came back six months later and a friend of mine was like, 'You're, like, out of sight,' 'cause he hadn't seen me. I thought it was a dope name. It has a '70s feel to it. But it's real and I stuck with it. I like it. Outasight."
Firestarter Overtime: Ameer
Ameer, which means "King" (it's his given name), had thoughts of disappearing from the 'hood, which influenced his new mixtape Gone Til Novembuary. Homie got his wish during a stint in the Army — he went from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Croatia and Bosnia.
"I'm in one piece. For the people that didn't make it out, I wanna send prayers to their family," he told MTV News. But he won't be speaking too much about his time in the military in his music, as it's too serious a situation for that.
"People are actually dying at war — I don't play with the name or fame of it. I know some of my friends are really not here. I wasn't out there killing nobody, I was just doing what I had to do — doing my job."
In his downtime, he took up rapping.
"I got serious when I went to Albany, [New York]," the Mount Vernon and New Rochelle native said. "We had an hour and a half for lunch. I would take 15 minutes, drive to the studio, record for an hour and drive back. As far as the music — dexterity, truth. You're gonna hear life's truth."
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