Senior Alex Granata takes a break from skateboarding. When he skates, he often comes up with a lot of his rhymes and song ideas. He also uses skating as a method to escape writer's block. Photo courtesy of Alex Granata/Facebook
Senior Alex Granata hasn’t always been serious about rapping. He has been freestyling and breaking out rhymes since elementary school, but actually began to write down his verses only about a year and a half ago.
Originally from Darien, Conn., the communications major has always loved the intricacy and art behind rapping. Close family and friends immediately encouraged Granata to pursue his passion as a career. From there, it was only a matter of ambition.
“I was so bad when I started, but now I’m starting to use the imagination side of things. Whatever you can think of, I try to capture it and write it down, almost like a painting,” Granata said.
He tries his best to make sure that his songs depict no one but himself. The chorus in “Childish Musician” off his sophomore mixtape So Far So Good chants, “I’m a child/I rip it hard/I’m loud/I’m livin’ large.” Granata and his friends are a laid back group of guys that like to rap, skateboard and have a good time, and this song certainly portrays that. Many college students could relate to these party anthem lyrics, which is part of the appeal.
SFSG also features songs like: “Coolin Out,” “Summer Wine” and “I Want It All,” which all have been influenced by some of his favorite rappers.
“I grew up on the 90s hip-hop. I don’t want to mimic other rappers, although some of them motivate me to do what I want to do,” Granata said. He describes his music as a throwback to old school hip-hop but with a modern twist.
“Childish Musician” has received nearly 5,000 views on YouTube thus far, and the numbers are still growing. Sophomore film major Miles Cable and his indie film company Fresh View Films directed the music video. Their collaboration mutually benefitted both of them, but also created a strong friendship.
“Music videos generate a whole new audience in the sense that people love visuals. His music videos boosted his fan base,” Cable said.
Granata claims that his music is so much more than frat rap, though. In “So Far So Good” off the SFSG mix tape, he raps about the insecurities and frustration that comes along with chasing a dream. “F— it, though/This music is all I f—ing care about/24-7 starting to pull my f—ing hair out/No life/I’m scared/What if this plan never pans out/I won’t give in and never accept a f—ing handout” he spits fiercely.
Granata is currently working on his new mixtape titled Thrift Shops and Hip Hop, which is set to come out soon. He feels that it expresses his growth as a person and as an artist. He also explained that the songs will “play through like a movie,” which he hopes will resonate with his listeners.
Instead of putting out an album with just a string of catchy songs, Granata would rather spend quality time making quality music that will make people feel something. This focus toward the recording process is also why he is taking a brief hiatus from performing.
“I want my whole style to be really natural [for Thrift Shops and Hip Hop]. I always thought there was a beauty in that,” Granata said.
Natalie Hicks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.