Local rapper leaves his studies behind for the stage
Rapper Alfred Banks known as "Lyriqs da Lyraciss" proved that school isn't the only path to pursue a career on the ones and twos.
Lyriqs da Lyraciss started his freshman year in 2009 and dropped out of Loyola in 2011. He has overcome adversity from being bullied as a kid, to finding himself homeless as a young adult. It's no surprise that his website is "underdogcentral.net." This underdog's rap skills and work ethic created the right formula to make his rapping dreams come true.
Hillary Chollette, biology senior, said she sometimes finds herself blasting Lyriqs' music.
"I think that he's a pretty good artist. He's hard working and does everything himself," Chollette said.
Trey Williams, pre-med psychology junior, disagrees with Chollette. Williams said he isn't a fan of Lyriqs' music.
"His lyrics are face value lyrics, if you're going to call yourself a lyricist your lyrics have to be deep," Williams said.
Shannon "Shay" Briggs, music industry senior, said it's always a joy working with Lyriqs because he's a "very sweet young man." Briggs prides herself on staying drama-free in the Loyola rap community, but said rappers probably dislike Lyriqs because of his success.
"People might be envious of the movement he created for himself," Briggs said.
Regardless of the controversy, Lyriqs said Lupe Fiasco's "Food and Liquor" album inspired him to rap professionally. He had the opportunity to perform with Lupe during a show at Xavier University. Banks said he held his composure, but squealed when he left.
Since then, Lyriqs has opened for rappers such as Rakim, Nappy Roots, Mannie Fresh and Mickey Factz. He said he especially loved being the opening act for the Wu Tang Clan because he met the entire group and preformed for 2,000 people.
"A huge chunk of the crowd in front knew all the words to 'My Style' and were going ham," Lyriqs said. "It was dope."
Lyriqs recorded "My Style" with Gerald Gillum, A'11, popularly known as G-Eazy, in 2010.
Lyriqs said he found G-Eazy broken down on the side of the road with a flat tire and helped him fix it. Thankful for the roadside assistance, G-Eazy offered Lyriqs his "My Style" track.
He said this song transformed his rap style and polished his writing skills.
"In 2011, I think 'My Style' song was my pivotal point where I learned how to write a song," Lyriqs said.
Lyriqs admits he still has trouble putting out a complete album with complete ideas, but sees his progression. Hip-hop artist Mickey Factz saw Lyriqs' potential and even cosigned his latest album entitled "D.A.L.Y.L.F.", dream as if you'll live forever.
"Lyriqs is a young guy with very raw talent. He hasn't even begun to see how good he is," Factz said. "It's always good to work with someone before they get dope."
Lyriqs said Simon Hill, A'13, a.k.a "Top Billion", was generous enough to let him stay in his dorm and record his music for free. Lyriqs said he loved Hill's work ethic.
"The dude put out like nine albums in a month," Lyriqs said.
Hill said he didn't think twice to help Lyriqs because, he was his true friend and Lyriqs was a hard worker. He said he could empathize with Lyriqs trying to balance his love for hip-hop with the heavy financial restraints of being a college student. However, Hill thought his generosity went unnoticed.
"My kindness allowed him to suck my Wolfbucks dry one semester though. I also shot two videos for him, but he never credited me," Hill said.
Lyriqs said it was fun working with Hill. He remembers doing shows with him and even helped him land first New Orleans show.
"It was cool, but everything went left field," Lyriqs said.
Hill accepts all responsibility for their falling out. Hill said he respects Banks for "pursuing his dreams and advancing his career."
"He believes in the Lyriqs da Lyraciss brand and he's determined to make the world believe too. From afar, I've watched the boy become a man," Hill said.
Diana Mirfiq may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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