More so than any other music since the blues, hip-hop is all about stories, some fiction some not but the music Erie Ave makes is all based upon the harsh realities of his life. A life which many people never have to see due to the privileged position they were born into and many others are just too afraid to see. Without a record deal how far can an artist from the street really get? That is the million dollar question facing Erie Ave and the answer to that question will unfold along with Erie’s rise from Hell Bottom. Welcome to the legacy, the deception of an unsigned artist with caviar dreams.
Erie was born in a place that was so dangerous that, when there’s trouble, the government can’t really do too much about it. Street wars, poverty, crime in all it’s forms and anything else that has to do with violence, is the life in Africa. On September 14, 1988 a soulja named Malik (Erie Ave) was born in the heart of the gutters and ghettos in the Congo. His parents wanted he and his brothers to grow up in a safer, better environment and so they moved to America when Erie was 4 or 5 years old and settled in Washington DC in a section that (as it turned out) was very similar to the place they had come from. ”I remember practically learning how to count by listening to the gunshots every night when we first got there” says Erie.
Years flew by and Erie started to adapt to those surroundings and as a result, became a problem child. Even though he grew up in a big family he always felt lonely so he isolated himself and did whatever he wanted and didn’t care about anything. ”I believe that feeling of loneliness came from not really getting along with my brothers and sisters or my parents or anyone else not understanding me” says Erie.
As Erie grew up his parents moved frequently until they ended up in Maryland where, at the age of 11, Erie started running the streets and kicking it with two of his home boys named Keino (Klutch) and Dialo (D). They formed a small click together and started rapping, never serious about it, so they just freestyled all the time on the corner or anywhere they could. ”I never got the love at home that I felt as though I needed, so I ran the streets, where I felt as though I was home” says Erie.
Growing up in a broken home with a lot of financial problems lead Erie to become a hustla making money by any means necessary and school was nowhere near his mind. He stared to live a dangerous life but it didn’t matter too much to him. ”As long as I can survive” was his motto. He was stabbed and shot at the age of 14 and faced many more potentially deadly situations while living the thug life.
As a result he has been to several juvenile facilities. The last one that he was in really got him thinking about this rap game and his future. With that in his mind he started to get serious about writing lyrics day and night and got out and started revealing the talent that he possess on stage in local venues in the greater Washington DC area. Now he is determined to show the world what he can do as a rapper and an entertainer.