Sheefy McFly hosts hip hop showcase
The Air Up There,
Feb. 23 at Bob’s Classic Kicks
By Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Sheefy McFly has become one of Detroit’s most recognizable artists. He is part of the new generation of hip hop talent rising throughout the city. His music is both irreverent and soulful, born out of the experiences of his generation with a sense of humor and plenty of bass to spare. Perhaps you could criticize McFly for his raw lyrics, but he has become a master at reaching listeners on their level and his love for creating music and commitment to Detroit is never in question.
On Feb. 23, Sheefy McFly will host The Air Up There, a monthly hip hop showcase at Bob’s Classic Kicks on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Scheduled to perform are Jahshua Smith, Red Pill, Yung Snazz, Ella and Rosie, Macs the Realest, Juan Got Bars, Zamar, Mikey Microphone, Mahd, Mike Todd, Kash Flo Phresh and Adam Reverie.
The Air Up There will also be an album release party for “Living Legends,” a project McFly put together in collaboration with CrackKillz, another young up-and-coming Detroit hip hop artist.
In December, McFly hosted the three-year anniversary of The Air Up There, a great accomplishment in a city where there are so many challenges to creating a regular evening of entertainment for audiences. He hand draws the flyer for every show, which have become a big part of the presentation of the event, with his recognizable cartoon-style characters promoting the artists scheduled to perform.
“It’s been getting bigger every time, the last three years,” says McFly. “Just trying to keep up that momentum.”
“Do Not Call Me A F–ing Rapper” reads a poster McFly drew for the wall in his apartment. Indeed, he has worked hard to become a diverse artist who cannot be boxed into being called just another rapper. He is a music producer, painter, party promoter, teacher and mentor for youth, giving more energy to creating his art at the young age of 23 than most people will commit to over their lifetime.
Over the past year, he has released several music projects independently through his Web pages, including an instrumental album and a four-song EP with the rock group Sheefy McFly and the Delorians. His passion for painting has helped him grow that business for himself, where he can sell his art to help him continue all his projects.
Sheefy McFly is a great example of a young artist learning to become an entrepreneur, working day to day for himself.
“I can say just the last few years from trial and error,” says McFly, “I’ve found a certain flow for it, where I can live off of it, you feel me? I’m actually selling paintings and making unique CDs.
“That’s the best way to get bread. You can’t make bread trying to wait for a check, get a cut from somebody else. You’ve got to cut your own check. It’s too many different ways, especially if you’re making what people want to hear.”
As the city of Detroit continues to change dramatically, it is more important than ever that young people are taking the opportunity to learn how to create businesses for themselves says McFly. The community of young artists he works with is conscious of this, and they are all doing their best to stick together and help each other out.
“The entrepreneur lane, especially here in Detroit, is open,” says McFly. “Detroit is just a big canvas right now. That’s why if it’s your hometown you’ve got to stick your roots in right now. ‘Cause they’re trying to make it seem like, ‘Oh, there’s nothing going on out here,’ but you look up and down every hood out here, new people are coming in. That’s how Detroit gets money, hometown people making hometown business.”
Sheefy is assuming a leadership position amongst artists his age, but he is also conscious to work with acts that have been established. Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Danny Brown and Miz Korona are some of the artists who have come performed at The Air Up There in the past, helping to close the gap between different generations of performers and their audiences..
“That’s just needed for real. There’s a lot of people ignorant to each other.”
McFly’s performances and his businesses have come a long way over the past few years, and he is looking forward to building a larger audience for both his music and his artwork.
“I’m trying to focus on getting more new faces to the shows,” says McFly. “We try to make progress every year.”
Bob’s Classic Kicks is located at 4717 Woodward Ave., Detroit.