Fuego Haze grew up in an area where most call “Kentuckiana”. The Kennedy bridge that connects Jeffersonville, Indiana to Louisville, Kentucky makes it easy for commuters to live, work, and make names for themselves. This upcoming artist beginnings were a humble and encouraging one. Living in a single parent household, his mother was constantly working to be able to do a two person job by herself and provide for two small children. In her down time, she’d stay up in the early hours of the night basking in what she called “Club Toya” (Toya is Fuego’s mother’s name). With a glass of whatever in her hand, Toya’s Boom Boom room played a variety of Jay-z, Eazy-E, Carlos Santana, UGK, Twista, G-Unit, Outkast, and other artists’ that sounds echoed into the bedrooms of her children, and ultimately inspired her son.
Fuego has come a long way from recording himself on his sister’s boombox. “I always knew I would make it,” he said. “There wasn’t a doubt in my mind.” On his first mixtape that dropped on soundcloud July 28, 2016 “I Speak the Lingo: Episode One, he makes it known from the intro who he is and how fast he’ll come up and at you and the girl who’s allegedly in love with you:
“ I’m riding the Lexus
I’m strapped with the nina
Pull up to your crib like I’m serving subpoenas
These niggas can’t stand me I know they can’t stand me
And after I’m done fucking her she can’t stand either WOO”
His flow is similar to that of nursery rhyme style. Fuego is the ball that bounces over the subtitles that kindergartners follow when learning a new song about the color red. Giving an insane amount of energy to any track he sets on fire. Making it almost impossible for listeners to not bounce their heads along or forget his name. His second released single “Had Too” gained more frequency when the video was featured on World Star Hip Hop’s Heat Seeker Youtube page. Upcoming rappers in today’s game are constantly being berated by old heads for “rapping about the same thing” or trying to flex too hard so that that can cover up their barz are lack thereof. When in all honestly, I’m with Fuego on this one. Trap music tells the story of those who came from nothing. These people come from places where making it to 21 is a grand achievement. If you busted your ass your entire life, making money (dirty or clean), jumping over every odd that was stacked against you, you flex cause you have to…it’s only right.
“I hit them licks cause I had to.
That’s what being down and bad do.
And all these hating ass niggas still broke?
That’s what all that being mad do.”
When you put the coldness of Chicago and pair it with Fuego you get Hazy’s “Flip It” with Chicago’s very own G Herbo. This was a switch up for the young artist because not only was it his first time working with another major artist, but the piano backed, smooth beat was something listeners never heard with Haze. It showcases his ability to flow on any beat and versatility is something that is necessary if you plan on staying the music business long. The track, I believe demonstrates the roots of Hip Hop: storytelling. You can almost imagine a smoke session in a Chicago studio with these two going back and forth about their lifelong marathons and seeing each other at the finish line.
Kentucky is one of the poorest states in this country and the majority’s lack of knowledge or interest makes the state almost invisible to the people who have never been there. With names like Static Major, Bryson Tiller, and Nappy Roots being some of the only known groups coming out of the Bluegrass, it’s refreshing to hear more sounds coming from the Derby City music scene. It’s been a cold winter, but if you follow the smoke and ear bleeding bass, you’ll find Fuego Haze.
In today’s lesson of “Thank a Black Person”, we will analyze a brief history of how Black Americans are responsible for the slang your child uses, tweets, and text on a daily basis. Ebonics is Black-American English or, black slang or street English. However Ebonics didn’t come from the streets of Black-America. Black English existed three hundred years before the ghettos and the street life. Ebonics came from Black slaves whom had to learn English so they could communicate with their white slave masters and some linguist believe that Caribbean creole has influenced the way Black Americans speak today. A variety of everyday Black Americans create slang that is used across the globe. Kayla Newman, a 19 year old Chicagoan, invented “on fleek” (which means to be on point or fly) and if you plug in your headphones you’ll hear that word used in many rap and R&B bangers (Newman hasn’t received any kind of checks by the way but that’s for another article).
One of my favorite newly coined terms is a “L”. A “L” can stand for a weed filled blunt, something Fuego Haze takes to the face at least 8-10 times a day. Or a “L” can stand for a loss…something Fuego Haze never takes.