It’s a New York State of mind.
From Ithaca in upstate NY, Anthony Kannon is a remarkable young man.
The highly talented rapper draws on hip hop’s traditional elements of real life storytelling, and has used traumatic episodes in his own journey to both inspire him and provide focus as an artist.
At the tender age of 6, his mother was incarcerated due to drug dependency issues which led to the split up of his family home with siblings being sent to live elsewhere across America. This motivated him to pick up the pen for the first time, and encouraged by his musician father, wrote his first verses. Learning to play musical instruments he progressed on to developing his skills as a remixer before a harrowing event which was by his own admission “the life changing incident”.
Armed intruders to the family home left the young man shot as he attempted to wrestle a gun from one of the perpetrators. Initially unaware that he had been shot, the realisation soon dawned of the severity and as friends rushed for an ambulance to arrive, he asked that he be allowed to listen to his favourite rapper Royce da 5’9” on the way to hospital so it would be the last thing he heard in case he didn’t pull through. Thankfully he did pull through, and while those responsible remain at large, Anthony showed a maturity beyond his years in processing and using the experience.
Understandably such an event focuses the mind on priorities, but that instead of seeking a violent revenge, in his own words “Success will be the best revenge. Whoever did this is ruining their own lives, not mine”.
With this linear motivation, he released the “Colorblind” EP in 2019 deemed a local classic as he addressed various relatable issues including his own light skinned appearance broadened out to the theme of seeing people for what they are instead of the irrelevance of how they look. A passionate supporter of the entire Upstate scene, his belief in cross collaboration is articulated as “a form of activism, we are stronger together than we are apart.” At the height of the George Floyd story, he released the video “Cartel” with many local artists appearing to send a united message against the injustices of police brutality they have experienced first hand.
However his spectrum of knowledge and understanding of personal and social issues is reflected in wide ranging subject matter through a prolific period of writing as presented in a series of albums in EP’s throughout 2021 and 2022.
It is in keeping then with his clear passion for his home State that he should team up with a veteran producer from the area, Binghamton’s Frost Gamble.
Now relocated to Manitoba, Canada, Frost actually began in the 90’s as a rap battler before switching attention to the desk. His earliest productions included work with Young Bleed, Sadat X, J-Ro, Doc Ice and Rakim’s son Tahmell, while in 2013 he contributed to Fresh I.E.’s “Red Letterz 13” which duly won “Album of the Year” at the Canadian Gospel Music Awards.
He re-united with his long time Binghamton sparring partner Tone Chop, and those familiar with our in house promotional division UrbanElite PR’s activity over the years may well remember the impressive international reception the pair received first of all in 2016 for their “Veteran” EP and the following year with the release of the album “Respect is Earned Not Given” which also culminated in a guest appearance on DJ Eclipse’s ‘Rap Is Outta Control’ show on Sirius XM.
To say the duo’s output since then has been prolific would be an understatement resulting in a quite phenomenal body of work over the years. Frost has also released projects with Tragedy Khadafi, KXNG Crooked, Horseshoe Gang and Craig G among others, as well as producing his “Sixteens” series of instrumentals. Not just a beatmaker, but a producer – writing, mixing, mastering, arranging – Frost is the genuine article who in a similar vein has a long track record of working with and helping to develop new emerging artists both from his original home State and in Canada.
Destiny resonates as Anthony and Frost team up to release their debut collaborative album “Cautionary Tales” through New Dawn Records in the latter half of 2023. As with our entire back catalogue, it is just the latest example of the motive behind re-launching the label in the first place, the opportunity to work with talented artists who have unique and interesting stories to tell.
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