Fredro Starr Biography
Last updated: 12/24/2009 11:00:00 AM
When members of famous groups start releasing solo albums, it becomes clear who the real stars of the group are.
Fredro Starr, a founding member of the revolutionary rap group Onyx and an accomplished actor, shows his brilliance on his debut album, Firestarr, which is being released on his own Other People's Money imprint through Koch Records.
One listen to this powerful collection and it's clear that Starr is set to reclaim his status as a premier hip-hop artist. In fact, Starr has adopted "Firestarr" as an alias, one that he says sums up his explosive album.
"For me coming out as a solo artist, I wanted something that was going to be electric, something that was catchy," Starr explains. "Fredro Starr, to me, wasn't an easy name. Firestarr is a different me. I say the name with a lot more confidence. The image is of a superstar. Once you turn the album on, you're turning on to Firestarr, which is a new dimension. It's like the second coming."
Starr shows his polish by rapping with authority about all topics, from his love of rap, to his status in the hip-hop community, to intricate stories about life on the streets, to his relationships with women. It is the confidence he displays and the insight that he provides in his lyrics that make Firestarr a must-have.
Take "Dyin' For Rap," for example. On this fiery cut, Starr explains that his love for rap runs to the core of his existence. It's not a fad for him, even though he doesn't expect the song to be taken literally. "When I say I'm dying for rap, that doesn't mean, 'Come Kill Me'," Starr explains. "That means that I live for it. If you live for something, you've got to die for it."
The song's remix, which features Capone-N-Noreaga, Outlawz and Cuban Linx brings added perspective to the topics, as Starr's vision remains strong. Starr stands out among these hip-hop titans, which helps explain the motive behind "Dat B Dem." It seems as though everywhere he goes, Starr is the center of attention.
"When I heard the beat, the chorus just came to me," he says. "We're the cats that you see in Hollywood chilling on Sunset Boulevard. We're the cats that are uptown. That's how we came with the concept. We're the ones who take the attention when we step in the room."
Persona aside, it's Starr's music that will really have people taking notice. One of the album's most clever songs is "What If," which presents a number of intriguing questions for the listeners to ponder.
"I'm talking about what if biggie was still around," Starr reveals. "Would all these rappers claim to be kings? Who would wear the crown? What if Pac was still thugging? What if he was alive? Would all of these cats be talking ride or die? What if the Milli Vanilli record never skipped on stage? They'd be the illest con people in the game today. I go all the way down to what if Jordan never had Scottie."
From there, Starr heads into more solid ground, addressing the sometimes
precarious relationships between men and women. He gives a model for his
perfect woman on "Perfect Bitch," says that he isn't looking for commitment on "One Night" and provides an option to women with men problems on "Who Fuck Betta."
On the rougher side of things, Starr teams with Onyx partner Sticky Fingaz. On "Soldiers," a charged cut where they pledge allegiance to hip-hip. In order to provide beats for his musical mission, Starr worked with up-and-coming producer Davinci. The beatsmith contributed most of the sound beds for the album, which also features for from the Alchemist and Al Boogie.
Starr will also be contributing a song to the movie soundtrack of "Save The Last Dance," which he also stars. His cut on the soundtrack is entitled "Theme From Save The Last Dance," and is called "Shining Through" on Firestarr. Other artists on the soundtrack include: K-Ci & JoJo and Lucy Pearl. In the film, Starr portrays the friend of boy who is involved with an aspiring dancer. Although Starr plays a traditional thug part in the movie, he brings rich depth to the character.
Starr's acting resume is almost as impressive as his recording one. He was one of the stars of the critically acclaimed "Sunset Park," and had a supported role in the cult favorite "The Addiction." Starr has also appeared on "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order" and "Moesha." On the latter, he appears as the title character's fiance. He will also have a more prominent role on the series, as he has a full-season commitment.
Because Starr is accomplished in both television and firm, he takes pride in working with some of the fields best performers.
"it was cool to work with these actors," Starr says of his work on some of televisions most popular programs. "You see them on TV for years and when you're acting with them, it's a test that you've got to put yourself up to. You can't be intimidated and you've got to do your thing."
Starr has been doing his thing for the past decade. Born in Brooklyn, Star moved to Jamaica, Queens when he was 13. With some of his friends from school, as well as his cousin from Brooklyn, Starr formed Onyx, the revolutionary rap group that introduced most pits to hip-hop.
"We took the energy that Leaders of The New School had and took it to a grimier level," Starr explains. "Instead of talking about 'P.T.A.', we were talking about 'Fuck School. Lets go outside and rob somebody.' Then you had groups like M.O.P. and Wu-Tang Clan that came behind us. When they were writing their albums, they were watching us."
After taking some time off from the group to pursue their solo projects, Onyx will reconvene in 2001 to record its fourth album, one that Starr says will have a rock-n-roll edge. Starr also promises to make Other People's Money into one of hip-hop's strongest imprints. In addition to Sticky Fingaz and Starr himself, the company has signed Begetz and X-1.
"I want to have a successful label with Other People's Money," Starr stays. "I have a lot of artists that are talented. Hopefully, I'll be able to sit back and let them do their thing. I'd like to be the producer behind them. I want to take a back seat and let the talent do their thing."
As someone who has blazed trails in music, movies and business, Fredro Starr knows what it takes to succeed. With Firestarr, he's delivering another landmark album.
"God have us everything," Starr says. "He took it all away and then he gave it back to us. I'm not trying to let it go again."
Thanks to SFGossipQueen01@aol.com for submitting the biography.