Musical Independence in Hip-Hop

Floco Torres

He stands on the stage of his first sold out show in front of 1,000 people. He cues the music and listens as the first notes of the hip-hop song reverberate throughout the building. He pulls his microphone up to his mouth, turns and says “No, the next track.”

“I had no intention of being an artist. Then I would rap things with my cousin for fun and it turned into something I could actually do, or at least I could try,” said Floco Torres, a hip-hop artist from Macon, Georgia who has achieved success throughout the country.

Torres has been named Macon’s “Best Hip-Hop Artist” three times and has been a recipient of “Best Local Album” twice, but his favorite show is still his first where the music was played with an old CD player and the wrong track came on.

“[I’m] just trying to find a way to be independent,” Torres said. “I want to be able to do whatever I want, but there are layers to it after that.”Torres did not always dream about being a musician, and as a child he hated the instruments his mother forced him to play.

“[My mom] always wanted me to be busy,” Torres said. “Looking back on it, it was cool. I was always doing something [while] a lot of my friends were doing things, getting into trouble. I had to practice violin for an hour. I hated it though, I hated all of it.”

Torres studied journalism in college instead of music and still does some freelance work along with a column at The Telegraph.

“My college professor told me the dumbest thing I could do was actually pursue journalism,” Torres said. “He was saying that blogs were the future and everyone thought he was crazy. He told me ‘You are going to have to find your own way to write if that’s really what you want to do.'”

He followed his professor’s advice and started a blog, but he soon turned towards music as a different kind of writing profession.

“[To me] Hip hop is about words just as much [as] it is with the music, so I think that kind of drew me in. I thought maybe I could write for other people,” Torres said.

However, he doesn’t indicate that the success will change his artistic process in the future.

“I am 100 percent in house, and I plan to keep it that way until the right opportunity comes along.”