|Local rappers living their dream|
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Sep 21, 2012
Ronald ‘Flow’ Roker – one half of the local rap duo Bahama Boyz – is living his dream.
The 27-year-old and his partner Omri ‘HD’ Kelly, 25, released their latest single ‘Overcome’ earlier this month. And according to Flow, it's already looking to be a hit song.
The new single, like all the other tracks Bahama Boyz have created, details their personal experiences.
"The record is about the challenges we face every day,” Roker told Pulse yesterday. “It encourages people to overcome any obstacles they face daily.”
‘Overcome’ features international dancehall artist Bugle.
As for the challenges Bahama Boyz have faced, Roker said getting recognition and respect in an industry where international artists are more revered than Bahamian artists is among the group’s biggest challenges.
The song admonishes people to “overcome and not to complain”, which is exactly what Bahama Boyz did, Roker said.
And while the duo have only been in the game for six years, Roker said the song represents how far they have come.
"We're seasoned artists now," he said.
"Back then (in 2006) it was very hard to get recognition despite putting out quality music. But now, the DJs are endorsing our records more, they're spinning our records, and the fans have been on our music and they are starting to understand how hard we've been working and nurturing our music,” he said.
Roker added that he believes Bahama Boyz is helping to change the mold.
“Like I said, back when I first started it was hard but now Bahama Boyz is a household name. We're not artists who just popped up. In the beginning funding was one of the main challenges. We would see a lot of international artists coming down and getting paid thousands of dollars and we being Bahamian artists, we're producing the same quality music and not getting the recognition on that level. But we’re more well-received now,” he said.
Bahama Boyz was formed in 2006, after Roker and Kelly, who at the time were co-workers at a local resort, decided to follow their dreams to become artists.
“We decided to feature each other on a track. The chemistry and the musical vibe was so on point, and we had a good understanding of where we wanted to take Bahama Boyz, we decided to go forward,” said Roker who has been rapping since he was 12 years old.
Roker was inspired to become a rapper after he saw Tupac’s video ‘Keep Your Head Up’.
“I always liked the sound that music gave off to me... the feeling, the vibe,” he said.
When he was in high school, Roker said he used his break and lunch periods to practice his art.
“During school breaks my friends and I used to be bopping and freestyling at C.V. Bethel High School. We used to gather around and freestyle to see who had the hottest flow on the block,” Roker said.
When asked how he fared against his friends, Roker said, “I always had that flow. That's where I got my name from.”
“So I took that platform from school and I took it to a wider audience,” he added.
The first song the duo recorded was ‘Hold Me Close’ featuring Smooth in 2006.
“After that we followed up with a string of successful songs,” Roker said.
Among the songs they recorded are “Get Dough”, “Dreams”, and “It’s Like That”.
But the duo is perhaps most well know for “Dreams”, which was released in 2010.
The music video, which can be found on youtube.com, features areas in New Providence and the “ghetto slum” where Roker and Kelly grew up. The pair raps about the hard upbringing they had. But the song ends with a message from Bahama Boyz: Don’t sleep on your dreams.
The duo is currently promoting the new single and will soon shoot a music video for the song.
“Overcome” is available for purchase on iTunes and amazon.com.
The pair will perform live at Club Luna on West Bay Street on Saturday. Their showcase, titled "Almost Famous" begins at 10 p.m.
Roker said this will be the first time he and Kelly will perform the song live.
Asked how he was able to overcome all of his challenges, he said, “For me, it’s just bringing forth the music to the people. That's what drives me.
“When I perform it feels like I’m getting closer to where I want to be to bring the music to the fans. It's a great feeling.”
He added: “You have to be up there to have that feeling. You have to overcome.”