James Monroe High School

Freestyle rapper

When you walk past the lunch tables and look over at S hall, at first glance it appears to be just some kids goofing around, but if you pay a little more attention you may notice some students freestyling and participating in cyphers. Freestyling is a style of rap music where one or more emcees rap over a beat or acapella without having prior thought of what they were going to say or without reading the verse (from paper or a Blackberry), and a cypher is a series of freestyles one after the other.

These freestyle rappers include senior Brian “Beestro” Claros, junior Juan “Proel” Benito, junior Thomas “Mhotas (pronounced as modest)” Kenny, and junior Christopher “Chrisdafunk” Castillo.

Kenny and Claros have known each other since elementary school. Castillo and Benito met in the 10th grade. Claros began making music with Kenny; Castillo started making music with Benito then, Benito started making music with Claros, and then in August 2014 they all came together.

Several things make the unnamed quartet stand out but the main one is that they are in high school making music that contains lyrical content with actual meaning and substance rather than hype beats and nursery rhymes. Their music contains topics ranging from what they are feeling to odes to their dead friends and to “Pro Era” remixes.

In “The limit” Kenny raps, “The sky’s the limit that’s what they told the fool I disguise the limit I’m reaching for the stars and moon.” This is just one of the many lines from the group’s music that helps carry the group’s purpose of motivating others through positivity.

The reality in their music definitely influences their peers.

Sophomore Nalleli Muñoz says, “Their music is enlightening.”

Sophomore Annette Avanessian thinks, “Their music is inspiring,” and junior Brandon Hermiz says, “It makes me want to find something I am not only good at, but also something I enjoy doing.”

Each member of the group has a different style. Castillo is laid back, Benito is full of emotion, Kenny is spiritual, and Claros is lyrical, but they unify quite nicely. The different styles come from their inspirations and musical preferences. Benito is inspired by his inner being, whereas Claros looks externally to life for inspiration, stating, “Everyone has something good; I find inspiration everywhere.”

Recently the group has begun to transition from kids writing rhymes for their middle school word of the day and rapping over the band at football games to young men recording using a microphone and semi-professionally releasing music on soundcloud.com.  The group has released several songs, many of which have surpassed a thousand plays, and recently two members of the group have taken the larger step of performing “Score” on stage in front of a live crowd at the Monroe Show.

As for what’s to come next for the group, Benito plans to release his solo mixtape “Change” in the beginning of June, Claros plans to learn more about business, and Castillo and Kenny are just riding the wave waiting to see what comes along.

You can find their music at soundcloud.com/proelmusic and soundcloud.com/beestrovw.