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Swing''s style is a blend of deep hard bodied lyrics similar to eric b. and rockem with a slight touch of Mobb Deep/ all this over well articulated beats that range from mellow emotional tunes to hard deep rooted classical hip hop fundamentals.

10 MP3 Songs
HIP HOP/RAP: Hip Hop, HIP HOP/RAP: Hardcore Rap

The Biography Of Swing

Jose E. Santiago Jr. a.k.a. Swing was born in Perth Amboy, NJ in 1977. He is the only child to Carmen Santiago and Jose Santiago Sr. He quickly learned at an early age that money would be an essential factor in his life. His parents divorced at the age of 5 over financial issues leaving him to be raised by his mother. With a very similar upbringing to Tre Style’s in the film “boyz in the hood” Swing was trying to uphold his morals and values while his friends where getting into drugs, jail, and violence. At the age of 11 he wrote a 3 page rhyme about the civil war in his history class. His teacher snatched it out of his hands because she thought he was doodling. When she read what a vivid picture he painted of the war she made him get up and recite it to the class. He was terribly embarrassed, but something about that incident stood within him for years to come.

When he reached his teen years he was completely headed in the wrong direction. He cut school, drank and smoked excessively, and had no regards for the people in his life. This was in the early 90’s and Hip-Hop was in its glory days with such artist as Nas, Biggie and Jay-Z releasing their freshman albums. It was at this time that he discovered hustling was not in his cards. He didn’t like the fact that he was hurting the only person that was ever there for him. His mother. He gave it up completely. He started memorizing and reciting rhymes over instrumentals he would buy from local record shops. It was also at this time that he was introduced to his life long friend and producer Keman Bell a.k.a. Theory. Swing would recite his rhymes to theory in secret at first. Then as time went on he built up enough confidence to enter his first playground battle against one of the best unsigned MC’s of that era. He lost. And thus our story begins.

That loss played in his head hundreds and hundreds of times. He remembered every word his opponent used, the style in which he said his lines and the complexities of the metaphors. He re-evaluated every thing he thought was standard rap procedure and started writing more consciously. He fell in love with wordplay, grammar, metaphors and simile’s. He read dictionaries and thesaurus’s to expand his vocabulary and replaced repetitive words with vibrant ones. He discovered his god given talent. Swing began writing rhymes that upon his return to the playground would redeem him as a reckonable force. He won many battles from that day on and laid the foundation for the long journey that awaited him.

By the mid 90’s the first and only MC to ever get a record deal out of Perth Amboy, NJ was signed. His name was Miilkbone. He was making a definite impression on the Hip-Hop community. He was getting radio play, video play, and honorable mentions. This was one of Swings first true inspirations and role models. At this time Swing and Theory formed a group called P.H.D. (Poor Hungry Dirty). They were recording songs on Theory’s Fosgate 4 track while sampling beats with an 8 second Gemini mixer. They made dozens of tapes and were striving to be the first signed group out of “The city by the bay”. At this time P.H.D. was doing plenty of local showcases and had their name on every flyer for every party. They were performing at festivals, lounges, nightclubs and even a vast majority of venues in NYC. They were asked to be on a record by K-Banger entitled “The Article” which Theory produced. K-banger was the MC that swing lost his first battle to. They did the song and got such a strong buzz from it that they recorded a video for it the month after. It was played on a few late night hip-hop TV shows. They had a definite buzz circulating and were just looking for that one streak of good luck. But it never came.

In the early 2000’s P.H.D. Started experiencing growing pains, both financially and artistically. Swing was paying more attention to the show sector while theory was more prone to the production side. It was at this time that Swing decided to record his first solo album entitled “Reality”. It sold about 1,000 hand to hand copies. Even though Theory was featured on a vast majority of the songs, it was the first time Swing had a solo project. It was also the first sign that Theory would be more involved in the beat mechanics and Swing was going to handle the lyricism and Imagery. Even though P.H.D. was dwindling as a name the group remained together in a different aspect. At this time Swing was running with a close friend of his named Benito Torres a.k.a. Bone. Bone was a local college radio host and had a strong faith in Swing as an artist. He was encouraging Swing to do show’s and record another strong album. Thus, “Operation Terror” was born. This album was released around the 9/11 attacks and the title alone sparked enough curiosity to move 3,000 hand to hand units. Bone and Swing were everywhere together. They embraced the nightlife handing out CD’s to all the famous radio station personalities. They would purposely show up at venues that famous Artist were performing just to hand out demos. Bone was playing Swings music every week on the radio show and they were truly on their grind. They had a strong run as far as getting the music into the right hands but still nobody was willing to invest in Swing.

By this time the frustration was building and had its impact on Swing. He recorded a small EP entitled Pain is Progress and then gave up altogether. He began saying he wasn’t a rapper anymore, and he wanted no part of the game. Everyone was asking about his retreat for a solid two years. In this period he partied a lot, began the excessive drinking again, and studied any type of music that was being played on the radio. Then one morning Swing and Bone were swimming at a public pool reflecting on the sour situation. Bone inspired Swing to write a song entitled the “Amboy Anthem” One month later the song had 3,000 spins on myspace and Swing began recording a video for it which was recorded and directed by no other than Theory himself. In less than two weeks of it’s release the “Amboy Anthem” video clocked in at over 1,000 views on the internet. Swing was getting a definite buzz again and is currently recording his 4th album. He began doing show’s in a variety of city’s and working with different producers as well.

Currently Swing is in the process of recording his 4th album working alongside many well known producers. His music has many musical influences and accents. He grew up listening to Ozzy Osbourne and Iron maiden. He then began listening to Michael Jackson and heard his first hip hop album around the age of 7. He considers himself more of a musician than a rapper. He tries to incorporate all of the different attributes that he has studied within his musical style. Just the way he holds the mic, says certain phrases, or addresses the crowd, separates him from the typical hip-hop artist. He plans on working with all different types of bands, singers, and musicians to bring a different sound to hip hop that has not been ventured. His stage show’s are very powerful and his delivery ferocious at times. Nonetheless the crowds keep coming back to see what cat he will pull out of his hat next. He has built a strong following and fan base and plans to keep performing and recording till he reaches the next plateau in his musical career.

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