The road to redemption is seldom an easy one, but if the dedication on display by local hip-hop artist Anthraxx, 24, is any indication of success, he has big things ahead of him.
Establishing his reputation in the Philadelphia music scene in 2005, the West Philly raised artist reached his professional pinnacle in 2006 while working with local producer Billy D. Money. It was during that time that Anthraxx’s vocals landed into the hands of Lil Wayne who, after hearing his raw talent, had him added to the hugely successful mixtape that featured the single,“Lollipop.”
Opportunities continued to present themselves, and in 2007, Anthraxx was making plans to fly out to L.A. and sign with Young Money Entertainment. That meeting, however, would never take place. Instead, the artist found himself convicted of robbery in a charge that had been looming in the background.
Sentenced to 2 – 4 years, Anthraxx spent a total of 18 months behind bars. And during that time, not only did he lose his opportunity at professional success; he also lost his sister.“My sister passed on November 30th, I was paroled on December 2nd,” Anthraxx tells me as we sit around the conference table at 3BG Marketing Solutions.
At the age of 21, and just coming back from prison, Anthraxx found himself struggling to maintain.“After the passing of my Grandmother, it was a real breaking point,” he tells me.“My responsibilities seriously made me question if I was going to get back into it.” It was his cousin that ultimately convinced him to return.“He told me to use my struggles; to show my fans what I had been through.”
Moving on that advice, Anthraxx began writing and recording his 2010 release,“The General’s Return.” From this point on, his approach was focused,“I didn’t want to be another rapper with a CD in his hand; I needed a game plan.” Keeping good on his word, Anthraxx went on to found Hardpress Records, and in 2011, he released his latest album,“MVP.”
With his game plan in mind, Anthraxx is currently running a full-court-press on his return into music. What has he learned most?“Music doesn’t stop at recording,” he tells me referring to the background business of music.“I have now surrounded myself with people who know the business and will keep me on track.”
While in the midst of working to reestablish his connections with Lil Wayne and Young Money Entertainment, Athraxx is also in talks to premiere his work on MTV2. The dedication to his craft is clear. And when asked who in the music game today inspires him,“I am really attracted to the drive that Lil Wayne has. Everybody has something to say about him, but he is successful. I believe I have that drive. If you want it, you have to get it.”