Today, one of the least lucrative careers, has to arguably be that of a HipHop/Rap artist. With an abundance of individuals to weed through, who either mimic their favorite chart topping MC, or simply lack talent all together, it seems making a comfortable living in the art of "Mic Checking", is nearly impossible. Perhaps not for yester-years talent, which major labels seem to be more frequently recycling through, or the top 5, overplayed Mainstream artists, who one can't help but assume have substantial stock in FM radio waves. But, for the truly talented artists that lack multi million dollar budgets, the daily grind seems less promising than ever!
As if it weren't already difficult enough to succeed in hip hop, imagine being native to the Midwest, better known as the "black hole of the industry" and chasing that same dream. Worse off, imagine being born, in the "black hole, of black holes", aka, Indiana! What greater odds could be stacked against one? That's a question, that very few will ever be able to answer. One of those chosen few, well on his way to success, is Fetti Vegas of Slicka~Fly Recordz!
Formally known as "Money P" of Elkhart Indiana's buzz worthy underground rap group "Clik-47", Fetti Vegas has proven himself, time after time, for nearly a decade and a half! In 1999, Clik-47, who was gaining the respect and attention of the streets, recruited the addition of Fetti Vegas, known then as Dj Money P, of the cities premier teen nightclub, 112. Though the groups next release was near completion, Fetti was able to make the photo shoot for the album cover, and squeeze several verses on Elkhart Indiana's most classic street album to date, "Clik-47, Straight From The C.O.E."
Once the group began performing, it didn't take long, for fans, and critics alike to consider Fetti Vegas, as front man of Clik-47. With his superb lyricism, near perfect vocal delivery, unmistakeably unique voice, unsurpassed energy, unmatched versatility, combined with the looks and personality which clearly nominated him as the lady killer of the group, Fetti Vegas quickly catapulted the young rappers into a new tier of greatness. However, as one who has followed his career nearly from start, I can assure you that above all credentials, its Fetti's passion for his craft, and crowd control while on stage, which places him above and beyond the competition. Whether at a back yard BBQ of 10, or a sold out stadium of 10,000, Fetti Vegas gives the performance of a lifetime, making it memorable for all in attendance!
In a former interview with Mr. Vegas, I asked him, "what makes your performance so different?" He replied, "Man! I think its because, my heart is in my verses! I've always had a passion for theatre, and acting and shit. I feel like every word has an action that goes with that word, and since every line I've ever spit, is from my personal life, or my brothers, I guess I kind of relive those lyrics. When I hear the crowd scream, but all I see is the lights, and all I feel is the heat from those lights, I feel like I'm headlining a show at Madison Square Garden, I'm on ten! Like its my stage! Like all that matters is my story, and making sure that every person in the building feels my pain, or love, or aggression, whether its through my words, or my actions!"
Within the first 6 months of Fetti, joining the group, Clik-47/ Fully Loaded, which featured several solo's from Fetti, was recorded and close to being released as a second street album. That's when the group was contacted by Power Records, of Duluth GA., home of the late MC Breed, Ghetto Mafia, and Freak Nasty, the artist responsible for the multi platinum single "Da Dip." Fetti was the only artist from the group to travel just outside of Atlanta to meet with (CEO) Leroy McMath, inking his first contract, a 60/40 distribution deal, with Fully Loaded as the first release for the group.
Fetti and the group spent the next several years traveling the US, and opening for headlining acts such as Too Short, YoungBloodz, Ginuwine, Twista, Case, Digital UnderGround, Bun B, Bone, Melle Mel and the Furious 5, Sugar Hill Gang, 8Ball & MJG, Juvenille and UPT Records, and Tela, just to name a few. However, regardless the status of any given headliner, Fetti was often accused of stealing the show! With each performance he earned the group more and more recognition, but 55,000 album sales later, no royalty checks had been distributed! So though Fully Loaded helped establish a great foundation for his resume, with solo music video, "Bounce Hoes", gaining regional recognition, radio interviews, airplay, and offers from numerous labels, which were always declined by Fetti, as they wanted to separate him from his group, no pay equaled no stay! Looking back Fetti says "A lot of people say that was real loyal of me. I say it was the decision of a young naive rapper, who had no understanding of the business side of the game. A.) I separated myself from the group eventually anyway. B.) I understand now, that had I stayed with the group or not, opening the door as a solo artist, then coming back and scooping my niggaz, is also loyalty. Just a much wiser version of loyalty!"
Several years later, as stated earlier, Fetti decided to end his musical relationship with the group. Clik-47's popularity quickly dwindled, and their taste of fame, was overshadowed by new up and coming talent. Now a group who had formed a name for themselves prior to Fetti Vegas ever joining, found it nearly impossible to stay afloat, with the natural born star!
Stay tuned for part II of "Back by Popular Demand....I AM!!" as we travel to present day, and re-introduce the industry and fans, to their "Champion!"
"Dead In A Ditch" from the Nationally Distributed LP "Fully Loaded", Power Records/Cold Cash Ent. Duluth GA. A teenage Fetti can be heard on the 3rd verse of this song.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHE3WJVq5ek