Ye’ said it himself, “Rappers are the new rock stars.” It may seem like a bold, outlandish statement, but it actually rings true. Rock stars are spontaneous, creative rebels; they do what they want, when they want, and live according to their own rules. Emerging rapper and burgeoning businessman, Bless McFly, epitomizes this mentality.
Hailing from Newark, NJ, Bless McFly was always meant for the limelight. In person, he cuts a striking figure. He has a slender frame, distinctly handsome features, copious tattoos, and his hair - cascading dreadlocks accentuated by buzzed sides. He has the type of hip, versatile look that could easily fit in a luxury editorial feature or a Dave Meyers-directed rap video.
Growing up, Bless’ mother recognized his star quality early. She entered him into several junior talent shows to nurture and bolster his performing confidence. His first session in a recording studio came when he was 15. At that age, all his rhymes paid homage to his Hip-Hop heroes like Tupac, Nas, Jay Z and DMX.
He moved to Atlanta for high school and quickly developed a name for himself as a fresh, young rapper with a highly attuned sense of style. It was around that time that his entrepreneurial hustle started to take hold. With a generous loan from his grandmother, he launched his own clothing line called KRAWEN 418, and used his talent shows as a marketing tool for selling his apparel. The success of this venture sparked his appetite for future lucrative endeavors. But even with his myriad business aspirations, his love for music never waned.
Fast-forward to 2012, and Bless had completely seized his destiny. Along with his partner G4, the dynamic duo had launched a multifaceted, Newark-based business entity named Purple Label. Underneath this umbrella is a thriving video arcade and community center called L.I.V.E on Broadway located in Newark, NJ. He also owned a pair of popular music studios where well-known rappers like Vado, Jim Jones, TravMBB and Smoke DZA have recorded.
Ever on the quest for continuous expansion, he closed down the studios and upgraded to a 5,000 sq.ft, state- of-the-art facility in Bloomfield, NJ. Dubbed “Purple Penthouse”, managed by Bless and G4 the new location houses 3 modern recording studios, a spacious photography/podcast studio, modern workspaces, and even a dance studio/event space. The final facet of this burgeoning empire is a record label, which features a roster of upcoming music artists.
For most, all these accomplishments would be enough to take the foot off the pedal, but not Bless. Even with all the success, there was still something major missing in his life. He still had a yearning for his first passion, music. So armed with a new hunger and a deeper appreciation for his craft, Bless decided to pursue his first love with more determination than ever.
He describes his new sound as raw, hypnotic, and infectious. He’s also evolved into a more organic approach to music. Instead of the basic “16 bars and a hook” format, Bless is incorporating more melody, rock influences, and occasional live instrumentation to add more texture and personality. It’s no surprise that some of his favorite rappers now include free-form, versatile operators like Future, Ty Dolla $ign, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West.
The road to Hip-Hop stardom is not an easy one, and Bless is fully aware of the uphill battle ahead. Falling in line with todays “single driven” industry, 2018 held a handful of one-off single releases from Bless collaborating with Grammy award winning producer Wayne “Hue” Strother (Drake “March 14th” and H.E.R collaborator) and Grammy nominated 808Godz (Migos “Culture National Anthem”). Currently, Bless is building buzz and working on visuals for most of the singles and will spotlight his individual fashion sense, artistic sensibility and impressive musical growth.
He’s also burning up the tour circuit to perfect his live performing craft. He’s been playing everywhere; from NY top spots Billboard Lounge (Barclay’s Center) and SOB’s to larger music festivals like SXSW and A3C. You might have even caught a cameo of him in the DJ Khaled video, “Never Surrender,” a clip in which he notched the lead role.
For now, the building blocks are in place, his businesses are humming along, and Bless feels extremely energized for the journey ahead. “It feels great,” he proclaims. “I’m lucky to have my wife, Tracey, and my son, Ace, by my side cuz I never forget who I’m really doing this for.”
The energy and passion is palpable in his voice when he says, “I’ve been involved in music all my life, and you know what, the time is now for me to level up!”