It’s not every day that you come across a high school age rapper who can command the stage. On Friday, Sept. 19, ARTworks will introduce two.
Young local performer Trey Nelson, aka “Finesse,” hails from St. Helena Island. He describes himself as a “writer, poet, and actor who tries to put all aspects of these skills into his music.” He chose the stage name “Finesse” because he feels that it describes a combination of style and skill that he puts into all of his performances. Although he only started making music in the summer of 2012, with the release of an amateur mix tape, Trey has expanded his “brand” to websites ReverbNation, audiomack and YouTube, and a few of his tracks can be downloaded from iTunes, Google Play, or streamed on Spotify.
Clearly, this is a young man going places, but what is he all about? Like many young people, Trey is a hardcore idealist in the best way possible. In a blog post titled “The State of Hip Hop … Through My Eyes,” he laments the downfall of hip hop which, in his words “became a marketable scheme that we allowed the ‘Man’ or in this case ‘Men’ to get their greedy little hands on. And from then on out it was a slow and painful decline of lyricist with simple trends just coming and going away as if rappers were seasons.”
When asked to describe what makes his own music special, Trey says “a huge part of my music/philosophy is knowledge and empowerment. You hear the same things over and over on the radio, and I just can’t listen to that, so I make my own music. My music is positive to listen to, it makes sense.”
Performing onstage with Trey will be Christopher Bacon, a senior at Beaufort High. Although young, he is already a hip-hop artist and producer. His music is faster paced than Trey’s old school hip-hop influenced sound. Every note in Chris’ music is self-made, and his words seem to strike the air with force and a relentless beat.
Although rap and hip hop have sometime been given a bad name as attracting and instigating violent crowds, these performers actively go against the stereotype. Instead, they focus on empowering young people to think about the world around them and be a positive force for change. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” and these teens are doing just that, leading by example and dedication to their craft while inspiring others through music.
The show takes place Friday, September 19 at 7 p.m., at ARTworks located in Beaufort Town Center on Boundary Street. Tickets are $10 for ages 16 and up and $5 for ages 15 and under. Advance ticket sales at the $10 level are available at www.beaufortcountyarts.com or by calling 379-2787.