Rising Star: Alexander Ryan

Ever since hip hop culture was brought to mainstream in the early 1980s, it has become very influential in young America from the clothes they wear to the music they listen to.

The fact that these artists do not sing, may cause others to question their talent, but what many may not know is that the heart of this music comes from the talent and the creativity in the rhymes, beats and lyrics these rappers create.

Alexander Ryan, 19, music major, has become passionate and very influenced by hip hop music. So much, in fact, that he creates his own hip hop works and aspires to become a famous rapper.

His first introduction into music was in middle school when he joined the band and played saxophone. Since then, he has been an avid participant in the musical realm.

Ryan, alias C-Slash (Captain Slash), also began his interest in rapping while he was in middle school, Ryan said. After overcoming his shyness, Ryan has been actively rapping on stage for two years. He performs at the Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro where he works.

“I wrote lyrics and poetry in middle school with the actual intent of rapping. I was really shy in high school so I didn’t do any performing until I was seventeen or so,” Ryan said.

A few of his influences include Talib Kweli, Slum Village and Kanye West, Ryan said.

“I like Kanye West for his producing skills. I’d like to start producing, but I’m much better at rapping,” Ryan said.

The processes for creating and writing lyrics seems to come easy for Ryan.

“I can write for days and days on whatever. I have two notebooks in my backpack just for lyrics and stuff that I write,” Ryan said.

“I’m always trying to come up with different concepts and things that I can write about because I love it,” Ryan said.

For Ryan, a good rapper means he or she writes lyrics that fulfill his or her personal beliefs and not the expectations of others.

“The stuff I like has to do with how they say it and what they actually have to say. Usually, it is the other way around, but honestly, a rapper might be saying something incredibly smart and intelligent; it’s like an English professor telling you things that you are supposed to say,” Ryan said.

“I like a rapper’s style, but what is even better is when a rapper has something to say and says it in an awesome way,” Ryan said.

Ryan is a clean rapper; in other words, he chooses to keep the content of his works clear from any profanity, Ryan said.

“I think that deferentiates me from most rappers. I think cursing is a cop-out and a fallback on certain types of words,” Ryan said.

“Everyone wants to hear those words for some reason, but I don’t use them. I don’t fit into the same stereotype as most rappers either. The production of my music is much happier and upbeat, I’ve been told,” Ryan said.

Ryan is one of the few lucky students who gets to spend a lot of his time working on his musical talent, Ryan said.

He utilizes the equipment at the Boys and Girls Club where he works, and it offers musical programs to make the beats that support his lyrics, Ryan said.

“I’m very fortunate that I can actually spend time on working on my stuff and get paid to do it because that is my job,” Ryan said.

The Air Apparent is the name of his album and Ryan has a website for his work where this album is also featured. People may listen to his works at www.cslash.cjb.net.

“You can buy the CDs that me and my friends produce. It also has videos and contact information,” Ryan said.