New Artists Get Inspired by Taking Steps Toward Stardom on the Mic

Self-empowering metaphors used by rap artists to awaken freedom of self-expression within their listeners became the theme of last week's Artist Showcase in Los Angeles.
"Be yourself because no one else can," said new artist Mecca Damiano.
Many artists argue that rap is a stylized form of expression through which words and phrases can powerfully express an individual's own experience.
At the May 15 Mixed Nuts Comedy Club showcase, presented by Star Strucc Entertainment, 23 acts were introduced, but only a few rose to a level to be noticed.
Hosted by notorious DJ Chipmunk from L.A. 's radio station 100.3, "The Beat," the club was more than packed. During intermission, new artists hoping to get noticed had an opportunity to meet with music industry professionals.
It was the artists' time to shine and the stage was theirs on which to display their talents to industry professionals who truly appreciate hip-hop, R&B and rap music.
Rap seemed popular among the younger artists. But there were other performers preferring soul and R&B who covered music by well-known talents as Luther Vandross.
In addition to their performances, participants distributed demos of their best pieces to those in the audience.
For most artists, rap is an inborn talent mastered throughout their lives, many believe. Starting at an early age some have grown to master their skills within only a few years. "I've been writing since I was about 11 and rapping since I was 16," said artist Ms. Joe.
Certain words of inspiration are intended to do precisely what they mean. "Believe in yourself, don't let anybody tell you it can't happen to you," said Joe. "My mom gave me more than encouragement, she inspired me."
"I'm a music lover. I've been rappin' for about 12 years," said Damiano.
In the process there were those who supported the talents of the artists, and those through whom they had been inspired.
2Pac, Ice Cube and Jay Z are just a few of the rappers some young artists acknowledged as providing inspiration.
Some artists aspired to incorporate a familiar style appealing to younger generations.
"I wanted to be as good, if not better," said Damiano.
As for artist T.L., his father mainly seemed to be a figure that encouraged his soon throughout his rap career.
"My father is such a strong man that believed I was blessed with something, and made sure I went out and pursued my talent," said T.L.
Although it may not have been easy for most artists, there was certainly family members who encouraged every individual artist.
"Coming from a rough childhood, I've learned not to point the finger and blame anybody but myself," said Joe while discussing his background and his life.