LUMBERTON — Members of the local rap group ANuHigh are not big believers in safety-nets.
The Lumberton group, which consists of seven members, none older than 20, has invested their hopes in their artistic talent, as they seem incapable of imagining a future outside of the often difficult and unforgiving music industry.
“To be honest, I feel like, all I want to do is be a rapper,” said Malik Arrington, who performs under the stage-name MalikBrodie. “If you have a back-up plan, more than likely your main plan is going to end up falling through. Especially with this kind of business.”
Eighteen-year-old Malik Arrington is joined by his brothers, Sterling Arrington, 20, and Noot Arrington, 16, who go under the stage names SkyGodQwan and IGnoot, respectively. Also in the group are Mari Brown, known as MariJ; Challen Fulmore, aka SuperMC Challen; beatmaker Cameron Fields, aka Cameron Luxury, each of whom is 18. The youngest member is 13-year-old Zearus Townsend, who the group refers to as simply “Ze.”
Since the summer of 2012 the septet says that they have been writing new songs almost daily with the goal of releasing their debut mixtape, titled “The Alpha Tape,” in February. Currently the group has 13 songs available for free online.
“(SkyGodQwan), my brother, was rapping first, and he used to always say that ‘if I am going to get famous, I’m going to need a group,’” said MalicBrodie. “We were always under his nose, but we weren’t rapping. We had our heads stuck in video games, watching anime and stuff like that. Then one day, we’re hanging out and it just happened like, everyone went upstairs and we wrote our first rap together over the beat for ‘Tonight is da Night’ by Redman.”
Part of SkyGodQwan’s reasoning was that he felt it important that he be surrounded by people whom he saw as genuine friends when entering into an industry filled with what he sees as phonies.
“I wanted us to get out the hood, really,” SkyGodQwan said. “I wanted to see us have a better life and I wanted to really get paid for my rap. It isn’t really a matter of money, I just love to rap and I want to be the best.”
Part of achieving that goal, believes SkyGodQwan, is focusing on the quality of lyrics and creating something that is both reminiscent of southern hip hop’s recent history and original enough to stand on its own.
“A lot of local artists around here, rap artists anyway, are really bad,” IGNoot said. “They just aren’t original. They try to sound like whatever artist is hot, some artist that is already in the rap game, but if everyone else is doing that then how are you any different? You can’t be someone else in the rap game, you have to be yourself, you have to be original, because that is all rap is. All art is. It is being original.”
To listen to ANuHigh or for information, go to http://www.reverbnation.com/AnuBeins.