Jamaica rapper/songwriter, David Hamilton aka Telopath, remains inspired by and passionate about music filling his work with images, both precise and poetic, of his experiences both in Jamaica and New York. Even though he has been involved in music for most of his life, Telopath digs even deeper with each song into the depths of human nature, illuminating the good, the bad and the real. He transforms the turbulence of his own life, as well as his concerns about the hair-trigger state of the world at large, into a collection of rhymes distinguished as much by their emotional urgency as by their musical inventiveness. Lyrically, Telopath draws more from his personal experiences than anything else and aims to convey the feeling, if not the specific circumstances, of intense periods in which anyone undergoing a life of struggle, hurt and hope can relate.
Music became a serious outlet at the age of 13 for Telopath, who decided to use his restless energy to write material that mirrors the dramatically swinging moods that are a part of human nature. Needing to say something truthful, Telopath decided to first be true to himself. As a Jamaican, his first instinct was to be a part of the local Dance Hall scene. He realized however, that this would not accurately depict what he wanted his music to be about and so decided to remain faithful to his true love – hip hop.
As a result of this pursuit, Telopath became acquainted in 2005 with world-renowned producer/engineer David Kennedy, who had with top artistes such as Mary J. Blige, Rakim, Biggy Smalls and Mos Def previously. Together they created “What’s Life?” to be released on Kennedy’s indie label, Ntelek Entertainment in 2007. While performing at various underground shows and working with Kennedy in Jamaica, Telopath continued to push himself, becoming a one-man team of marketing, PR and booking agents. It was a result of this that, through his myspace page, he got his first invitation abroad to perform at Clarke University in Boston and managed to successfully gain supporters from this brief stint in Massachusetts, USA.
Upon returning to Jamaica, he created ‘Black Prophets’, an organization of locally talented Jamaicans also interested in the rap game and started to aggressively build his fan base through increased performances at live music shows staged in the island’s capital such as Mystic Urchin’s ‘Tuesday Night Live’ and Simple Chaos Entertainments’ ‘Live Up On The Roof’. Quickly garnering success as one of Jamaica’s most innovative rappers, Telopath went on to shoot his first video for the single “Real Yaadman”, in which he attempted to portray that even though he was breaking down stereotypical barriers, he was no less a Jamaican for wanting to pursue hip hop in a country loyal to Dance Hall. The song was immediately successful and got him share plays and interview at Hype Tv’s ‘Up and Live’ in January 2008, and particularly successful on the international scene in places like Germany where the singles beat was produced by Jens Schlager and was even place on a mixtape called ‘Myspace Dreams’ feat Rick Ross, T-Pain etc by Dj Zikky who both decide to promote him fulltime but unfortunately Dj Zikky would pass months later changing his whole mindstate. Telopath is now taking the the opportunity to learn and grow in the business of music and has officially migrated to the US where he works at being an integral part of the new era of Hip Hop. He continues to perform, mainly in New York all the way to Florida and has taken third place in a New York competition by 50 mics now known as Top Mics sponsored by the Source Magazine and did state to state shows for about 6 months before taking time to go back to the place he calls home- Jamaica to relax and also do some new singles. Currently he’s back in the states and as you see. Serious Entertaining Educational. Telopath is certainly a force to be reckoned with, displaying a style and versatility that is not easily forgotten.
Here are some questions and answers with Telopath:
Jk. Telopath can you tell us what’s new, What have you been up to?
TP. Well at this time I’ve just been recording new tracks and working on the finishing touches of the highly anticipated indie debut album “Menthol Telopathy”. So currently I’m in New York just doing new recording with the hottest upcoming artistes and producers in New York all the way to Europe. I’ve been also booked for a Reggae show in Australia but due to personal issues with family I have planned to reschedule appearance for next September. I’m also been working on a new solo mixtape along as being featured on various other artiste and producers projects and numerous mixtapes like “Futuristic Drop” by Dj Weedim all the way in France and the rest of the world from Germany, UK and Australia. I was featured this year also in the Jamaican Exposure and going thru numerous negotiations with management teams and labels all over the United States to Canada.
JK. I’m definitely going to take you on a journey back; with your first mixtape. I know you had a song called “What’s Life” featuring a world renowned producer David Kennedy, he has worked with such artists as Mary J. Blige, Rakim, Biggy Smalls and Mos Def. You worked with David in 07, How did that came about?
TP. Well basically I created a buzz at the time with my first demo debut mixtape that was distributed in the main cities of Jamaica to here in New York but “What’s Life” was originally created years back by myself and Endre Edwards aka Marveldust who was initially on the chorus. He had met Mr. Kennedy and played his demo for him which turned to him hearing a collaboration I did with him called “Give It to Me”. By seeing and hearing the response of Mr. Kennedy and his interest in my verse a couple days later he took me to meet him in person. From there I was tested by freestlying on the spot and screened on my type of flow. By doing so he was also playing some beats he just created and I started freestlying on them but it was when he heard the lyrics I was first really whispering to myself after Endre reminded me off the track. He was amazed and said that was it. That’s the hit and it was all history from there as we started working on it right away.
JK. How have you evolved, in the sense of working independent ? Is a major deal something that you may be interested in at this point in your career ?
TP. Honestly I have evolved tremendously from being hardly known even locally to being internationally known in months and booked for my first show internationally in Worcester Massachusetts where I created a great fan base. I have been featured on numerous mixtapes and done major collaboration with producers and artistes all over the United States to Europe. Since the first debut mixtape “What The Streets Taught Me” and the second one “I Gotta Be Remembered In The Game” I have done numerous state to state shows and interviews from Jamaica to America and has done state to state shows for over 6 months since then I can personally say I have grown both as an artiste and a business man. My songs have become more and more universal, futuristic and commercial and my performances has become more natural and soothing to myself and the listeners as I have created much more confidence and has gained my respect. Yes I’m currently willing to accept a major deal but I’m in no rush as I love being creative without having to be thinking about doing songs just for airplay and so I’m taking time out also to prepare and make all my clerical errors from early so I can be a success with no regrets when I do get on a major level.
JK. Your first video and single “Real Yaadman” Do you feel like you portrayed Jamaican Hip hop to the masses?
TP. To tell you the truth I gotta say yes to an extent because Jamaican Hip Hop is still influenced by Dancehall so what I have done is coincide the two to depict and portray the lifestyle of artiste like myself looking a way out the street life. So even though it can be seen as negative it is also the truth of people like myself who are diamonds in the ruff trying to find their way out of the struggles and pressures of life and expressing the mentality of most young people in this new day and age here in this new world.
JK. If your album came out today, how would it reflect your career or state of mind today?
TP. Well if my album was to be released today it would reflected as a more mature and discipline telopath with a positive, realistic and futuristic message for the upcoming youths of today which will touch all topics from life, misunderstanding, confusion, strife’s and pain which we all go thru in a fusion of all genres of music that compliments my upbringing and universal intelligence from travelling and living in so many different walk of life from Jamaica all the way to the United States. So most definitely it will be universally captivating with real life stories of myself and the environment around me
JK. Do you think there’s one song you did that encapsulates your personality?
TP. I would say the one that most encapsulates me is “What’s Life” as it is a real life story that has created numerous fans for me from the young to the old in all different races as it portrays a lost young boy at the time with an innovative mind state asking a question that many needed answers to like myself with a powerful message and storyline
JK. I’ve seen you perform live twice in Kingston, Jamaica, and the live show was crazy. How long did it take you to get that routine down and to get into your groove for the live performances?
TP. Actually my performances are really naturally as I have been performing since ever since I can remember but I can honestly say that after my first professional show it took me three to six months to really master my breath control on stage and interacting with the crowd individually
JK. Do you have any memorable performances or crowd reactions that sticks to you ?
TP. My most memorable moment will have to be my performance in West Virginia when a female ran on stage and started whining (dancing) on me and seeing white people get out of there seats jumping around singing and vibing along to my single “Real Yaadman” and receiving third place in New York after performing just one song.
JK. Is rapping was something you wanted to do since you were young.
TP. Actually I can say yes! Ever since the days of Kris Kross and watching even Raven Simone as a kid like myself rapping I was inspired to know that young people could make a difference and create good music that the world could enjoy
JK. Do you feel like you get the respect you deserve as a rapper or do you still feel underrated?
TP. Actually I feel I have gotten the respect from Americans more than my fellow Jamaicans but I can honestly say that even though I’m underrated to alot of people especially in Jamaica where I was born. I have also gained great respect internationally by renowned producers, managers and artistes so I cant be all sour about it.
JK. Before we close it down, is there anything you’d like to say to the readers?
TP. Well to the readers I just wanna say free your mind from mental slavery and lets start supporting our new and upcoming artistes regardless of how different they seem to the eyes of bigots and how unorthodox there style is. As long as its good music from the soul we should all respect and support it to the fullest
JK. How can people contact you?
TP. For contact u can reach me at (631) 920-5375, (876) 431-9919, (876) 398-6951, or (876) 469-0098. To contact online you can reach me @ Telopath@gmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and visit me on other websites like http://www.twitter.com/telopath, http://www/. myspace.com/telopath, http://www.reverbnation.com/telopath, http://www.showcaseyourmusic.com/, http://www.bebo.com/telopath, http://www/. facebook.com/telopath and many more.
Interview By : Shiquita Woodyard TJKS STAFF EDITOR