There’s a storm brewing up in Miami, one that can tear the roof off of any building. But the only devastation this lyrical hurricane will cause is to mics and stages. Hip hop heads won’t help but fall in love with the silky smooth way C.L. Scales puts it down. And his rhymes glide over the ear drum like water over the scales of a fish. If you don’t believe me, take a hit of his 2011 mixtape ‘The Bailout’.
The 10-track goodness starts with ‘Finally Arrived’ a slick piano-driven cut that feels like a freestyle for some cypha. In ‘Say You Will’ Scales slows it down to a crawl, barely whispering over a track stripped down to drum and bass. By the time you get to the crunky ‘Geek Monsta’ you feel like you’ve visited every city and town on the hip hop map. Simply put, The Bailout is a project that sounds like the work of an accomplished MC. One who’s rocked stages worldwide and sold millions of CDs. But it’s just Scales tasting the waters of the music industry. Maybe his mature sound can be attributed to the fact that C.L. Scales started out early. As an eight year-old kid, Scales had started making his baby steps as a rapper and by his fourteenth birthday he had acquainted himself with the inside of a studio booth. And it would not be long before he would work with renowned Miami producer Funk Boogie.
Scales doesn’t just rhyme for the sake of rhyming. He’s not just putting bars together to get famous; he has a message to relay; real drama that he’s lived through. As one of three children of a single mom who battled with drug addiction, life was a constant struggle. “[We would do] anything to be able to survive through periods of time without lights and food…” They moved house a lot, and there’s no corner of Miami that Scales doesn’t know. Scales’ dad would visit on weekends and do what he could but life remained an uphill climb for many years. One of his first musical mentors and cousin, Ralph Seays, was put behind bars and won’t be out till 2016.
But despite the mountain of personal challenges, Scales has come out on top, catching the curve balls life has thrown him and turning them into clever wordplay. Following up on his first studio effort, he dropped another mixtape, done with the help of fellow Miami MC Jack D. It features production by a raft of beatmakers, ensuring Scales’ versatility is fully exploited. This project has been well received in Miami and the artist hopes it will be a stepping stone to greater things. He is yet to release an official album and most of his shows have been within Miami. But Scales is not one to sit around and hope the stars will align on his behalf; he is out on the streets hustling, pushing his music in clubs, outside Walmart and wherever else he gets the chance to sell.
Far from being a flash in the pan, Scales has his eyes set on long term success. This is the C.L. Scales definition of success: “I believe success is longevity; being seen as good at what you do for a [long] period.” End of October, he will be dropping his third mixtape; Scalention The Mixtape. Hopefully this will be yet another step towards the lasting success Scales is working for.
Miami Based International Known