'Hip-Hop & Opera Meet in Memphis, TN'
Tauheed Rahim II, is a Memphis native and East High School graduate. Now age 25, Rahim is involved in several renovation projects here in the city. He attended Volentine Elementary School, in North Memphis, where he and his friends would bang on the table and freestyle to the beats they created. This was his first memory of rapping.
Later on, he attended Cypress Middle School where he won his school's talent show. He was shocked that the older kids, which to him seemed "big and scary", even liked his performance.
After his high school teachers and peers had positive reactions to his music in high school, he began to take himself and his music more seriously. When asked what his content contained back then he says his music content started off "SUPER ratchet". He was somewhat your typical 'gangsta rapper'; He spoke negatively about women, he promoted materialism, etc.
Rahim feels that now he is more aware of his platform and influence and that shows in his recent projects. He is now more in-tune with his message and the way that it effects the "culture". Rahim says that Kanye West is the one artist that let hm know that he could be a "rapper without being a gangster rapper". After hearing 'Through the Wire' he began to open his ears and his mind.
Tauheed believes that Kanye is responsible for the acceptance and success of artsts such as, Drake, Kid Cudi, and J. Cole. He also recieves motivation on the "hustle side" from Jay-Z and Rick Ross.
He says that those who can't find meaning and inspiration in hip-hop simply need to take a deeper look! A more recent example Rahim used was Jay Z's '4:44' album. He elaborates on how Jay-Z speaks on the economy and passing on wealth and education throughout the generations. He says Jay-Z has been speaking on topics such as these, but has been being willfully ignored.
Rahim was a panelist in two Ted Talks, one of those being held on the University of Memphis campus. In 2015, Ned Canty happened to be in the audience at this particular Ted Talk. He introduced himself to Tauheed and months later they coincidentally met again at a meeting together dealing with things taking place in the city of Memphis. Canty invited Rahim to write the production, reluctantly, but anxiously Rahim accepted. He began researching for about two months, but did not find inspiration until 4 months before the show date. He wanted to take time to "understand the art in order to transform it".
Be sure to check out his music and most definitely his Opera! The show will be on April 7th (7:30p) and April 14th (5 pm) at Play House on the Square. Tickets start at $9.99, this is a must see performance!