Turn up the volume on Toledo’s thriving hip-hop scene. Jamie Baumgartner, voted Toledo’s best hip-hop artist by City Paper readers, rocking Toledo listeners with autobiographical lyrical stylings for nearly a decade, has taken flight.
Hip Hop Origins
Baumgartner has been fascinated with hip-hop for as long as he can remember, with his first introduction to the genre through his older siblings. “When I was younger, my brother was into hip-hop and DJing,” Baumgartner recalled, “I was fascinated with hip-hop.” He draws influence from the first wave of Def Jam Recordings, Run DMC, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys. “[The Beastie Boys] planted the seed that it (hip-hop) was something I could do,” Baumgartner explained.
Baumgartner’s lyrical style is influenced by densely verbal and expressive rappers. “In High School, I really got into lyricism and lyrical artists like Nas and Jay-Z,” Baumgartner explains, as their style became the template for his lyrics, “I emulated and looked up to my favorite rappers.”
Introduction to lyrics
Baumgartner has a talent for expressing himself with the written word. “I really developed a love for writing, especially poetry,” Baumgartner reminisces. Blending his love for writing and his passion for hip-hop music, and after some tragic life events, Baumgartner decided to pursue his dreams with his talent and passion. With deep conviction, he decided, “whatever was in my heart that I wanted to do, I needed to do.”
Baumgartner describes his style as aggressively introspective and autobiographical, with rhymes revealing his innermost thoughts and feelings, rooted in reality. “[My lyrics are] inspired by life on life’s terms,” Baumgartner relates, “I’m giving you a window into my world.”
Love for the Scene
Baumgartner feels gratitude and respect for the local Toledo music scene, emphasizing, “I feel fortunate to be in a music scene that’s really driving.” He credits local venues and event organizers, saying, “they’ve been a great backbone for the scene.” The Toledo music scene, supportive and gracious, according to Baumgartner, has provided him with “a tremendous amount of support from artists of all different genres”
There is nothing but optimism for the future. “The scene is really flourishing,” exclaimed Baumgartner, “some people think they have to leave Toledo to do well, but shows with all local lineups have been selling out recently.”
Baumgartner’s music is available online, including a just-released YouTube music video for his single “Illusion.” His new EP “Beyond Your Comprehension” is available through all major digital outlets. Check out soundcloud.com/jamie-baumgartner