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Hip-Hop Spotlight: Papoose Taking On The Next Generation of Hip Hop



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In commemorating Hip-hop’s 50 years of excellence, FM Hip Hop is spotlighting one of the most enterprising, talented, and authentic representations of hip-hop, Papoose.


Papoose (Shamale Mackie) is a self-made hip-hop/rap artist born in bred in Brooklyn, New York. As an artist, he has parlayed and collaborated with some of the greatest and early contributors to hip-hop.

In fact, his debut on a collaborative project, “Home Sweet Funeral Home,” with Kool G Rap, was the first marker of the path he would set.

However, his trajectory wouldn’t take him along the traditional path. Fundamentally, he would cement his success through hustle.

Hustling Pays Off

Papoose built his career brick by brick or, more appropriately, mix tape by mixtape. As All Music notes,

“Papoose went full bore into releasing his music as independently pressed and distributed mixtapes and would release nearly a dozen collections of his high-energy songs between 2004 and 2005 alone.”

Throughout his career, he continued to maintain a presence through the steady release of mix tapes as an independent artist. The inevitability of his success has never been a topic for debate. His hustle is unmatched. He did as an independent artist what many artists do with full backing. And that is only one reason Papoose is a legend in the industry. Despite the obstacles that mainstream industry politics would pose for the aspirant and talented artist, he kept it moving. That spirit of endurance and assurance has earned him the respect of his peers and, in January of this year, landed him as TuneCore’s Head of Hip Hop.

What is TuneCore?

TuneCore is a platform geared toward the growth, development, and promotion of Independent Artists. As defined explicitly on the corporate site, “TuneCore, owned by Believe, is the global platform for independent musicians to build audiences and careers — with technology and services across distribution, publishing administration, and a range of promotional services.”

Why did TuneCore choose Papoose?


Image Source: YouTube

It is a no-brainer. Papoose’s ability to carve out a successful career as an independent artist made him the perfect candidate. His tenacity and success spoke well of his acumen and wisdom in the particular niche TuneCore specializes in. As Andreea Gleeson, the CEO eloquently said in a January issue of Revolt,

“Papoose’s years of hustling and success in the industry made him uniquely qualified to advise hip-hop artists because he’s been in their shoes, he understands what they’re going through, and he knows first-hand what works.”

That is good business sense.

How is Papoose the Embodiment of Hip hop

Hip-hop is multi-faceted and composed of many elements, but hip-hop’s fifth element is classically defined as “knowledge.” In reference to the fifth element, an article entitled “Hip Hop: A Culture of Vision and Voice, states.”

“Hip Hop believes that people can take control of their lives through self-knowledge and self-expression. And it allows for a shared experience against an uncertain world.”

Papoose’s undeniable success, prominence, and status are due not only to the knowledge he’s ascertained through a self-directed course but the use of that knowledge to build a lasting career. He took control of his destiny, navigated the industry on his terms, and succeeded. Now he has a more incredible platform to share with others and take part in the shepherding of artists on their path to success via TuneCore. That perfectly exemplifies what lies at the heart of the fifth element of hip-hop.

Wrapping Things Up

When people under the umbrella of hip-hop have done something noteworthy, it is our duty as torchbearers of hip-hop to make it known. This is as great a day as any to give Papoose a Hip-hop salute. So, Hip-Hop, Hooray to Papoose for showing what happens when one believes in their talent and bets everything on it because they believe in it that much. May he continue to keep the spirit of hip-hop alive through all his future endeavors.

Written by: Renae Richardson

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