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Tuesday, Mar 06 2012 | 13:37 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

Iron SolomonWhen Iron Solomon’s dad brought home a copy of N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, a monster was born. The album’s collage style—laden with soulful samples, rumbling bass, chunky drum machines, rock guitar hits and brash yet socially conscious wordplay—would become the blueprint for Solomon’s creativity.

Growing up in a family of musicians, Solomon spent time in smoky jazz clubs and late-night studio sessions while most kids his age were asleep. By the time he was 10, Solomon was playing lead guitar in a grunge-rock band and had already formed a rap group with two of his friends from the neighborhood. Getting kicked out of math class for rapping and beat-boxing only encouraged the young star to focus more intently on his dreams.

When it came time for Solomon to create a sound of his own, Biggie, Jimi Hendrix, Barry White, The Fugees, Nirvana and Wu-Tang were all equally inspiring. As a lyricist, Iron Solomon channeled Jay-Z and Nas—balancing his braggadocios punchlines and decadent wordplay with descriptive depictions of everyday struggle, social commentary and introspective musings. New York City’s multi-cultural patchwork provided the perfect palette to draw from.

Determined to break through a cutthroat hip-hop scene, Solomon took a leap of faith and entered the legendary Braggin’ Writes MC Battle. In front of a packed house, he tore through the competition, taking third place out of a pool of 16 hungry rappers. This marked the first (and last) time Iron Solomon would ever rank so low. With a new sense of confidence and a tireless hustle, Solomon went coast-to-coast stomping competition in every city and racking up millions of YouTube views along the way. Having dominated every major battle circuit, Solomon was now widely respected as one of the top freestyle battle artists in the world, and he had won enough prize money to build his own recording studio.

During a stop in Los Angeles to appear on the World Famous Wake-Up Show on Power 106, Solomon received back-to-back phone calls from Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes. The two hip-hop legends had spent hours watching footage of Solomon’s battles and were overwhelmed by the young upstart’s talent. They weren’t the only ones as the phone calls started pouring in. Iron Solomon has since worked with a who’s who of music mainstays, including The Trackmasters, Travie McCoy, Lil Kim, Cassidy, DMC (Run-DMC), Talib Kweli, Scram Jones, 88 Keys and many others.

Iron Solomon is now poised to release his debut album “Monster,” a personal offering that gives listeners a window into the life and mind of a kid growing up in New York City’s schizophrenic landscape. Monster touches on everything from Solomon’s personal come-up and the stresses of pursuing one’s dream to the struggle of young relationships, family drama and youthful arrogance—plus a healthy dose of party and bullshit. Produced entirely by Iron Solomon and his in-house team of producers and musicians, Monster meshes trunk-rattling 808’s with hard-hitting drums, soaring strings, lush synths and soulful horns, while remaining strongly rooted in the aggressive, witty lyricism Solomon is known for.

In an era littered with disposable music to be downloaded today and deleted tomorrow, Iron Solomon is built to last. With the release of Monster, Solomon will take one step closer to standing beside the musical greats he admired as a child—from the Jackson 5 to The Furious 5; Bob Marley to Marley Marl; Johnny Cash to The Cash Money Millionaires; Iron Maiden to Iron Solomon.

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