Young Gay & Proud
Captain Magik "Let me hear it loud, 'Young, Gay and Proud,' Stand up for our rights everybody get down. Let me hear it loud, 'Young, Gay and Proud,' Stand up for our rights as we march to the sound." -- Young, Gay & Proud Captain Magik brings a new voice to the Homo Hop family. Unlike many of his fellow gay rappers, Magik has been developing his skills as an Emcee for over thirteen years. "Young, Gay & Proud," Captain Magik's first Homo Hop album, showcases his fully developed skills and strong story telling ability. Magik creates songs that run the gamut from memorable gay anthems to thought-provoking story songs including political, issue-driven and comical subject matter. His music is marked by complex rhyme schemes, clear vocals and powerful lyrics. When asked to describe his style in five words or less, Magik says "Midwest, thought-provoking, original, powerful, thorough." Magik started free styling when he was 13 when "it wasn't about being gay or straight; it's just what kids in the neighborhood did for fun." It wasn't long until he was crafting lyrics and creating stories. At age 18, Magik was thrust into the spotlight, literally, when he performed on the Sally Jessy Raphael Show as part of her "Uncontrollable Teens Go To Boot Camp" series. With fellow rapper Tone, they were the first ever rap act to perform on the Sally show. Encouraged by how much he enjoyed performing, Magik began his first professional recording project at Closer Look Studio when he was 20. After completing the solo project, Magik began to collaborate with other artists in Cleveland and formed "4XWasted." Four Times Wasted brought together 4 young rappers who challenged one another to improve their skills and stretch their artistic vision. The group soon began to record and book shows, opening for national acts including ICP, Tech N9ne, Cotton Mouth Kings and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. After two years of collaboration and the completion of a self-titled album, Magik felt the need to be true to himself and his community. Not seeing a way to continue his involvement with 4XWasted and not sure of his future in hip hop, Magik decided to give up. Throughout his career, he had not been able to see how being a hip hop artist and being gay could fit together. The next year was a dark period for Magik; as he struggled to be true to himself, he felt rejected by the community where he had found his meaning. After a near-death experience and the worst year of his life, Magik decided that accepting himself as a gay man was his only hope for happiness. The community welcomed him and he quickly found himself immersed in a warm and caring group of friends. His family also accepted him with open arms. The next year, he was happier than ever, finally able to live openly as a gay man. "I need to be me, I need to be free And I really don't care who you want me to be" -- No More Secrets As Magik found happiness in accepting himself, he also began to feel that something was missing. Hip hop had been such an important part of his life - the way in which he expressed himself and shared his artistic voice. He had to figure out how to integrate his identity with his art. Spoken word was such an integral part of who he was; now he had to put the pieces together. "Young, Gay & Proud" is the resulting collection of songs from Magik's successful integration of his strong hip hop skills and passion to share his story. Some songs are more autobiographical... "I'm sorry dad if you can't understand Don't be mad I'm in love with a man How can something so wrong feel so right It's been so long, my whole damn life Listen to the song that I write tonight This is a love that I just can't fight" -- Dilemma Others showcase Magik's comic streak... "Just released from the FDA This CD might make you gay This ain't fable, fiction, it's fact Didn't you read the warning label on the back?" -- Side Effects He also takes on difficult issues facing our community... "Every single day I'm losing my friends The same ones that said it couldn't happen to them So much depression, sorrow and pain To know your infected, it's in your veins" "Protect yourself before you wreck yourself Don't be a fool, it can happen to you" -- Protect Yourself "This is for the boys who never had a choice This is for the soldiers who never had a voice Don't ask, don't tell, too bad, I'm tellin' We asked nicely but now we're yellin'" -- Freedom Fighters And, of course, he includes hot dance anthems... "Y'all came to party, we came to play Who rocks the spot and makes the club hot When I say jump, all you homo's hop" -- P-n-P "Young, Gay & Proud" includes something for everyone in the gay community and resonates with gay allies. Magik's 13-year history in hip hop makes him a strong performer and, even as he releases his first homo hop album, his voice is strong and his passion clear... "I've got a strong hunger to feed And I have to teach the kids who's younger than me The ones who wonder what it's like to be Out in the open, out the closet and free." --Dilemma.