This Week’s Featured Artist on the Feel Mason Live Show – Issa Thompson
Tweet him @issaiam tell him the Feel Mason Live Show sent you!
If Hip-Hop is a young man’s game, 17 year old Issa is an upcoming MC prepping to take it over. In 2010, at a mere 15 years old, Issa signed to RCA Records and the versatile rapper is bringing youthful exuberance, booming beats and fresh rhymes to the rap game. The Atlanta area is already buzzing about Issa’s new mixtape, titled ‘King Issa,’ which he dropped in December and is poised to place him prominently on the
national stage. “Ever since I was 2 years old, I’ve been in entertainment somehow,” says Issa (his given name; which translates to “The Messiah” in Swahili) who currently resides in Atlanta but was born in Washington, DC. He isn’t exaggerating. As a child Issa was a model, signed to the prestigious Wilhelmina agency, but he got a taste of rap when he was 8 years old and he asked his father to write him a rhyme. “My cousins when I was growing up,” says Issa of his father’s musical influence and inspiration. “My dad started writing for me when I was 8 and ever since then I’ve been doing it. He passed that down to me.”Issa’s dad had ambition of his own of becoming an MC (he was in a group called Wolf Pack) before he decided to focus on making his son the star of the family. In 2005, Issa won a Hawaiian Punch sponsored rap contest, winning the praise of Lil Bow Wow. A year later, the family moved to Atlanta figuring that the Hip-Hop bed would be a great place to showcase Issa’s talents. In April 2010, Vincent Searcy signed Issa to Crown World Entertainment, his Atlanta based production company. Issa’s diverse talents on the mic have made him one hot commodity. It’s something he credits to his family and travels. “I’m from DC, but my dad’s from New York, but I live down South,” explains Issa, who lists Lil Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross and Big Sean as some of his musical influences. “So I got all those styles in one. I just try to switch up as much as possible so I can be diverse.” One of the first songs Issa released virally last year, “What Ya Lookin’ At?,” featuring Young Money’s Lil Chuckee, caught the attention of A&R executive Wayne Williams when he spotted its video on WorldStarHipHop.com. RCA promptly flew Issa out to New York City and offered him a recording deal. Since signing on the dotted line Issa has been honing his craft, tearing down shows and dropped a mixtape called ‘Back to the Future.’ Also sure to bolster Issa’s profile is his new manager Coach K (Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane). Kevin “Coach K” Lee has already connected Issa with top notch producers including Drumma Boy (Young Jeezy, Plies), Kane Beatz (Nicki Minaj, Lupe Fiaso), and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League (Rick Ross, Drake). Issa’s as yet untitled debut album will be dropping in 2012. But for now fans will be getting a taste of his talents with the ‘King Issa’ mixtape. The first single from the project is the raucous party starter “Tag” and is already bubbling thanks to its video http://youtu.be/0gOH9hxrmX8 . The mixtape also features appearances from Travis Porter, Swizz Beats, Jawan Harris and Gucci as well as his Crown World / RCA labelmate, singer Jacob Latimore.
‘King Issa’ will showcase this multifaceted rapper’s skills. “I just want to show everybody that I can do anything,” says Issa of ‘King Issa.’ “A lot of rappers have a specific direction
they’re going to. They might be aiming towards the streets or only talking about one thing. With me, I can go to the streets, I can go to the girls, I can go all over the place.” Wherever this rising rap star chooses to go, a legion of fans are sure to be listening and following.