Posted by The Zodiac | | Wednesday 15 September 2010 4:22 am

The Zodiac has been a staple in underground hip-hop since the 1990’s when challenged by college buddies to display his skills. At the time, his styles were developing and sharpening into metaphoric-laced verses on top of a rapid flow many deem hard to miss on the first listen but once understood, reach a different level of understanding. This combination has been The Zodiac’s weapon against a lost art in hip-hop where emcees challenged each other with razor sharp verses compared to today’s watered-down versions which rely heavily on n-words, simple elementary lyrics, catchy hooks, and a heavy bassline for audiences to enjoy.

Born Brent Whiting in the mid-west, The Zodiac moved to New Jersey at a young age where his suburban upbringing and love of the English language influenced his desire to play in the rap game and utilize the skills developed by listening to his favorites, Rakim, Run-DMC, Kool G. Rap, Ice-T, Public Enemy, and the Geto Boys. Mimicking some of their rap styles and rewriting their lyrics into a darker tone by replacing the words, The Zodiac, would secretly write lyrics for fun. As all things, the seriousness of these lyrics turned into more than a hobby by the time he was in college where he met up with other peers and emcces alike who pushed The Zodiac out of his shell and perform. It wasn’t until summer of 1992 when Brent adopted The Zodiac as his name; an adaptation of The Zodiac Killer: a serial killer he learned and read about back in 8th grade. The trademarks of The Zodiac Killer adapted were the ability to write in code and kill off emcees deemed weaker than himself. The code would be deciphered later after another slaying and The Zodiac figured his metaphoric lyrics were that code and by the time the listener understood, he would’ve rapped another song.

In the late 90’s, The Zodiac helped found the group Black InQ, which included Manchild, Verbal Chemist, and Merlin. The foursome recruited other rappers, poets, and models online to help build a foundation of art and artistic abilities; nothing less than the Artistic Superfriends of the internet world. The Zodiac honed his skills with such creative minds surrounding him and for years, helped influence others and put out his first solo album, Sixense. Online, it sold well for a test release for Black InQ’s collaborative release, 12 Disciples Divided By 3. Since then, Black InQ broke up after his release of Sides of a Gemini. Now, a solo artist, The Zodiac had pushed out albums after albums executing a new mission each time. But the basics will always be the same: Stay lyrical and never sacrifice your skills for the listener. As he states “an artist has the ability to uplift his or her audience. One shouldn’t stoop down for them to understand his artwork.”

His latest project will be out in 2017.Save

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