Seems as though the phrase, “Born to do it” has never been more appropriately used to describe the career path of an individual as when used to describe the life and journey of southern California bred Hip Hop artist, songwriter, and producer Manistylez.
A child of the 80’s, Manistylez, born in Long Beach,Ca., seemed to have a natural knack and passion for music from the start. It was at the tender age of four when he found himself captivated by the music of Pop icon, Michael Jackson, mimicking and mastering every dance move, singing every lyric
“I was the biggest Michael Jackson fan. I knew all the moves, knew all his songs, wore all the clothes, leather jacket, penny loafers and all. I had the “moon walk” down so well I probably could’ve beat Michael Jackson in a dance off! (laughs).
Throughout his childhood years, his music and dance talents had become a secondary pastime after discovering a new talent, his ability to draw and sketch practically anything he laid eyes on. As a troublesome and often outspoken kid, his interest in the arts seemed to be the only thing that could keep him calm and out of trouble both at home, and at school, where he would compete in various drawing contests, and usually win or land a prize for second place.
“Up until high school, everybody who knew me, thought I was gonna grow up to be an architect or somethin’ because all I would do was draw most of the time. If you asked me, I thought I was gonna be a NBA player ‘cause at the time, the only other thing I was real good at besides art was basketball, and I didn’t know there were careers for artists, but I knew they were paying Jordan a whole lot of money to dunk on guys and put out sneakers. So that’s what I wanted to do.
However, fate had other plans for the troublesome, yet talented kid, soon to be known to music fans across the globe as Manistylez, but not without adversity
As a young teen growing up in southern California in the mid 90’s, gang culture and violence was ever so present. Hanging with the wrong crowd, he found himself in trouble with the law on more than one occasion. Spraying graffiti on building walls, freeway overpasses, and everywhere else imaginable, along with acts of theft, and random scuffles with rival crews kept him constantly on the radar of authorities.
The turning point came after miraculously graduating to the 10th grade in high school despite skipping classes and being a regular face in the dean’s office. Manistylez had grown tired of his old ways and began focusing on the future. His GPA shot up to a 3.0. Teachers started to like and respect him, and once again, his artistic urges had resurfaced, this time, it was his undying passion for music that would call his name.
“I teamed up with a couple dudes that I met at school who had the same love for Hip Hop as I did and we formed a group called “Entertainment Ingenuity.”
We started recording and making our own mix tapes and just havin fun makin music. We would sneak a boom box on campus and play our songs at lunch and everybody would huddle around in a cipher and listen and show us love. We were like the rock stars of our campus and in our community. That’s when I knew this is what I wanted to do for a living.
Manistylez has certainly come a long way. From beat-boxing and rhyming in ciphers on campus, to reigning supreme in free-style battles up and down the west coast, to captivating crowds while performing live at venues, turning onlookers into instant fans. Simply pop in one of his cd’s in a room full of unsuspecting listeners, from the thugged out guy with the backwards cap, and baggy jeans, to the sophisticated middle aged woman who studied pre-med at Stanford, and before songs end, it will be crystal clear that Manistylez, like his childhood idols Michael Jackson, and Michael Jordan, was born to do it