True hip-hop music has always been a movement of the people, a lyrical art-form within the boundaries of poetry and story-telling, inspired by defiance, derived from the call and response of oppressed African slaves and later rhythm and blues. At its core, it has always been educational, all-inclusive, a voice for the oppressed, a vehicle for social change, bringing people of all creeds and ethnicities together with beats that encourage dancing and happiness, inspiring optimism about the future, taking people’s minds off of larger societal issues with tales spun at street level. In recent years, with the infusing of pop and world music, and artists like Nas, MIA, Kanye West, and Mos Def, it has moved away from violence and misogyny, from the underground to mainstream charts, and has taken over the world, from the skate parks in Paris to the dirt roads in tiny African villages. And since youth, Charles McElroy Jr., a Cape Cod native, has ridden the wave as its most dedicated disciple, from small ciphers outside local club shows, to rocking enormous beach crowds in Northeast Brazil with Marcelo D2.
McElroy has always taken the road less traveled, and while counterparts were busy sounding like society's dregs as they glorified dealing drugs and murder, from a young age, he saw the future, infusing tracks with Jamaican DJ’s as well as European and South American pop influences, keeping a socially conscious voice, insisting that people love one another, respect women, challenge unjust government policies, and seek to further educate themselves about the ways of the world, all while packaging it in something that could rock a party. In 2006, the perennial student of poetry and philosophy graduated from being a fan and started his own label, Mighty Ceej Records, and over the course of the next four years, released three wildly successful albums, a self-titled offering, “The Seeds of Change,” and his most successful release to date, “The Answer.” He began throwing packed local shows, DJing parties, taking over eastern Massachusetts, armed with a microphone and the wheels of steel, and like many of today’s living-room-made moguls he pushed thousands of copies of his own professionally produced albums via the internet, music videos, social networking, and out of the trunk of his car, all while balancing family, working full-time, and seeking a college education.
“I’ve always been myself,” McElroy told the Cape Cod Times in a 2009 interview. “Sometimes, it’s something that works against me. People can be critical of someone who dares to be different, but if it works for you then you should do it.” So far, so good, for the burgeoning emcee.
It’s all about Peace, Love, and Hip-Hop. Join the Movement…
Cape Cod Times
"a refreshing change of pace"
"an artist with a passion for hip-hop, that is committed to making music that sends a positive message"
-Cape Cod View Magazine