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It was three years ago that Robyn Zeldin’s then-10-year-old son came home from summer camp and declared he wanted to be a rapper. It’s a path that might make some protective parents feel a bit uneasy, but it was music to Zeldin’s ears.
That’s because Robyn’s son, Jake, suffers from a stutter so severe that it can be a struggle to get through more than a few words at a time. The transformative discovery of that summer-camp stint, however, was that Jake’s speech impediment fades entirely when he raps.
In the intervening years, Jake has cultivated both his rap skills and an impressive array of contacts in the hip-hop world eager to see him succeed. But beyond the Toronto native’s burgeoning career, his mom is thrilled by the drastic change she’s seen in his overall demeanor.
Jake — who raps as Lil JaXe, the switched-up letter representing his “X-factor” — is uncommonly ebullient and upbeat for a teen, never mind a teen enduring a difficult speech disability. Fresh-faced with short blond hair that swoops across his forehead and stylishly dressed in high-end streetwear, he certainly has the look of an aspiring teen-pop star. http://www.liljaxe.com/
But he’s been dogged by severe speech problems as long as he’s been able to talk. The condition has long made him a target of bullies at his Toronto school.
“Kids at school have teased me, even teachers have teased me about it,” he says, still barely letting his eager smile fade from his face.
He loves freestyling, but comes back to common themes often, particularly one of resilience in the face of doubt.
When he cheerfully agrees to toss off some raps in person — and it’s truly amazing to watch someone who has such trouble speaking immediately segue into smooth, rapid-fire rhyming — he intersperses fun, frivolous material with lines hinting at his struggle, such as: “I’ve been bullied all my life, even by teachers once or twice/ Hard to live life to the fullest when you’re hit by haters’ bullets.”
YouTube videos of his rapping have combined for well over a one million views, including a collaboration with Montreal pop-R&B crooner Karl Wolf that has drawn more than 230,000 clicks. He’s also going to be featured on a children’s compilation called “Pacha’s Pajamas,” an environmentalism-themed hip-hop record that features contributions from rap luminaries Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
And Jake has a talent beyond rapping — he’s shown a knack for getting behind the scenes to meet the legends he looks up to. Over the years, he’s managed to charm his way to meeting the likes of Busta Rhymes, Katy Perry, Far East Movement and 25-year-old Toronto hip-hop superstar Drake, who has become a friend (a video of Jake rapping for his hero backstage after a concert in December has been viewed more than 200,000 times, too).
Pascal van Lieshout, a professor in the department of speech-language pathology at the University of Toronto, says several factors could explain why Jake is so fluid when rapping but not speaking.
The rhythmic nature of the music helps. So does the predictable quality of the words, as stutterers can find reading aloud easier than spontaneous speech. And the breathing patterns in rapping or singing are different than in speech, which also helps.
“Whenever a person who stutters takes on activities that help them regain some fluency and confidence, I think that’s always a good thing to do,” he said.
“I wanna get my story out there and get the message out that we can do it. Anything we want. And we can’t let one small thing, like a disability, get in between our dreams.”
I first saw Savannah Re perform at Intimate & Interactive last year, and fell in love with her voice, and THIS SONG, and now there’s a video!! The Canadian songstress just release the official video for her highly anticipated single, “Paranormal”, from her mixalbum “The RelationTape” which will be released some time this year.
So what do you think? Do you love it? I looooove this song!
ps: Thanks to Tika for sharing this with us 🙂
“If you don’t know who you are, nobody can ever take you as you… and you will never be respected the way that you should be respected, cause you can’t even respect yourself, not knowing who you are”- JellyTooFly
In part two of my one on one interview with JellyTooFly, we talk more music, how she feels about the attention she’s getting, how she’s not willing to compromise who she is for ANYTHING, her work with the community, why there’s no L-O-V-E in her music and so much more!
peace and love
♥Bella♥** Two more days till the #TellEmItsJellyB*tch Mixtape release! Get you some. **
I love this video, song, the clothes and the big hair. This is such a catchy song and has been my anthem lately. Recently dealing with a breakup this song just makes me want to go out and dance and really keep a positive outlook on everything, I LOVE IT!!!! Let’s DANCE EVERYONE!!!!
And any tips or ideas on how I could get all those natural curls and big hair tell me!! Leave a comment or tweet at me @itstanyag ….
Ever since seeing 88 Days Of Fortune perform at Droppin’ Knowledge, I’ve been hooked. They had another event at loft 404- the ambrosia hub; featuring Bahia Watson, and it was F-AWESOME! I didn’t know who Bahia Watson was before Friday night, but after her performance; I will never ever forget her.
Thank you so much to the 88DOF family for sharing their incredible talents with us, and for treating us to another wonderful evening.
peace and love
♥Bella♥If you don’t know about 88 Days Of Fortune, you better ask somebody and get familiar!**update** At the artists’ request, the videos have been taken down, as it takes away from the value of the life performance. Sorry guys 🙁