New Breed Entertainment nurtures local hip-hop artists
by Jazz Clark
Three diverse artists make up New Breed Entertainment, an underground record label created by Berkeley Springs youth to spread their hip-hop passion.
Stephen Timothy Arlan Smith, better known by his stage name Legend, created the label LGD Entertainment in 2011 and it became New Breed in 2012.
“I come from a musically inclined family, and I’ve always used music to express myself,” Legend said. “New Breed is something different, a group of artists who express emotions and tell the truth about life.”
The meaning behind Legend’s lyrics are different from the mainstream as well.
“Most hip-hop artists talk about money, parties and women,” he said. “But we don’t have money. Money is just a necessity, so why not talk about what people want instead of what they need?”
Legend records the tracks and presses the CDs at his house, as well as recording other projects for a fee. Their next move is making downloads available online.
The label’s artists have had trouble finding places to perform live.
“It’s the kids who want to listen to hip-hop and R&B,” Legend said. “But it’s the adults in this town who listen to country and rock who make the decisions.”
One of New Breed’s performers, Dequan Burnside (or Day-Day), has been looking forward to joining the group for a while.
“It’s fun. I just started with New Breed, but I’ve been rapping for two years,” Burnside said. “We have a lot of music we’ve made, and I can’t wait until we release it.”
Legend is proud of rapper Joey Ferrell (or J Swag) as well, and feels they both show potential.
“When you know you’re good, you’re cocky, but in a good way,” Legend said. “You’re cocky with poise, and that makes you always ready to perform in front of people.”
Legend himself started rapping in high school when two classmates would place bets on who could write the best lyrics, and the others would judge.
He didn’t win often, but he kept trying.
While he will be leaving for college in August to pursue his dreams in music, he hopes to get the label off the ground this summer.
“We may just be young adults doing this for fun, but this is our dream. And one day, it will be our business,” Legend said.