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“Life doesn’t seem to be getting easier”, says Sonny_B. Born 1986 in Bay Area, California, Sonny_B been though much more than your average California native. Musically influenced by everything from his step-father whom was a sound engineer for MC Hammer to his Grandfather, who is a contemporary pop singer in Tel Aviv, Sonny_B takes the modern and old styles of Hip Hop to new heights.
Sonny_B grew up surrounded by music. His father, a Trinidad and Tobago native, used to lead in a variety of small town groups of various musical genres throughout the United States. He always pushed Sonny_B to open his mind and listen to a variety of genres of music, regardless of language or country.
But it was not his father’s influence that pushed him into becoming an emcee. “Music was the norm for me, whether it was Hip Hop, Jazz, Rock, Calypso, Latin, R&B, whatever… but I always favored the Hip Hop sound, but it wasn’t special to me until I played this video game.” he said, referring to the Konami DJ inspired game, Beatmania, where Sonny_B found his love for music. He heard Japanese Hip Hop though the game as he was playing and became intrigued. “To find out that other people in the world had love for Hip Hop made my appreciation for it grow more than ever.” At the age of 13 he began to analyze the music, trying hard to understand it. But it wasn’t until 2001 that he began to write his own lyrics
“I had my own lyric book and wrote in it continuously, but I had never verbally spit anything until 2005,” he explains. During 2005, he met with A.O. a fellow co-worker who was also an emcee. He forced Sonny_B to flow his rhymes. From then he began to practice his rhyme delivery, but at the same time he had been taking Japanese classes.
Due to his deep love for Hip Hop he made it a goal to learn the Japanese language. “Japanese Hip Hop was something different from the US, but it had its own vibe that was just amazing to me”. Soon, he even began to write lyrics in an English/Japanese bilingual format.
Sonny_B is always recreating his rhyme style for the better, but the content will always be something worth listening to. “My life, growing up, isn’t something that someone would be proud of. I went though many different things. Sometimes things were good, but majority of the time it was on the negative side.” Sonny_B tries his best to use his past experiences to influence those who may be facing similar things. “But not all my lyrics are about the bad times. My lyrics fluctuate just like my life has: sometimes very fun and happy and other times sad, pissed off, etc… but most important I keep it real.”
Because of his father’s diverse musical influence Sonny_B rhymes over a variety of music styles. His main style tends be one of organic Hip Hop or electronic down tempo vibes.
Sonny_B has been influenced by many artists from around the world. Verbal, from the Japanese Hip Hop unit m-flo is one of his favorite. His list also contains artist such as Immortal Technique, Mos Def, Kero One, Akrobatik, V-Zilla, Common, Nas, Gagle, and many more. “Everybody’s got their own style, lives, and experiences and I can learn from all of them”. – Sonny_B