Student rapper preaches positivity through rhyme

Student rapper preaches positivity through rhyme

Student rapper preaches positivity through rhyme
October 01
11:25 2013

Christina Ulsh / Senior Staff Writer

Psychedelics and bohemian attire are two age-old aspects closely associated with the lifestyle of a hippie. Honey the Hippie, however, is bringing hip-hop into the equation.

“I believe in promoting positivity,” Honey said, waving her hands much like she does in her music videos. “1960s, 1970s, that was what it was about, about promoting love, promoting happiness and I try to translate that into [my] music.”

Honey “the Hippie” Enigbokan, a 19-year-old kinesiology freshman at UNT, dreams of being an inspiration to humanity. However, she won’t be doing it by handing out hugs and protesting wars or showers. Honey plans to do this from within the rap industry.

Her most popular video, uploaded a year ago, has nearly 50,000 views. Her first official music video uploaded three months ago has nearly 28,000 views.

“My goal is to uplift people,” she said. “I like to look at other people and write from their perspectives. I can give them a voice.”

Honey said she can change rap culture. Her observations of others and her attention to their stories are a quality she doesn’t see in other female rappers yet.

Pre-arts and science sophomore Taylor Cloyd admires Honey’s confidence and empathy.

“I think she’s definitely making an impact,” said Cloyd, her close friend who is also serving as her publicist.

Honey is the most compassionate person Cloyd said she has ever met. Powerful and empowering, Honey’s music speaks not only for her gender but also for her peers.

“She has substance compared to other artists who have empty messages,” she said.

While other rappers use vulgarity as filler and to declare status, Honey uses vulgarity purposefully, Cloyd said. Honey’s poppy, vivacious and upbeat sound reflects her positive attitude.

Psychology senior Sarah Palmer recently met Honey at a party at her house and said Honey’s musical style was unique.

“The world needs more female rappers, especially ones like Honey. She can’t quite be compared to any other popular rapper,” Palmer said.

Honey said she wants to be a role model for women of her generation as well as for girls in high school and middle school. She wants parents to feel safe about what their children are listening to.

“With female rappers, it’s very competitive. There’s always bickering and arguing and stuff like that,” Honey said. “I want to be that girl who’s going to step away from that and try to bring people together.”

As much as her message seems like flowers and sunshine, Honey’s rap is not fluffy and cute. Her rap songs touch on war in the streets, drug abuse and the perception that sex appeal is what sells music.

“The hippie s–t isn’t hood enough? If I gave half a peace sign, would that be good enough?” she asks in her song “Good Vibes.”

In the intro to her song “Psychadelic,” a narrator says they are not endorsing drugs. They have a message beyond that.

“We are not above nor below the influence. We are the influence,” the narrator says.

Sweet Beginnings

Honey was given the name Oyinkansola at birth, which means sweet like honey, she said.

Through her positive outlook and her desire to spread it to others, Honey was deemed the hippie in middle school. The nickname soon stuck and she adopted it as her persona.

This past summer, she released her first compilation with the help of Eric Delegard of Reeltime Audio in Denton. The mixtape is available for free download at www.honeythehippie.com.

Delegard, who has been recording music for more than 20 years, said her music has a laid-back flow, great rhymes and an apparent “hippie” aspect.

“She’s very intense and in the zone when she’s on the mic,” Delegard said.

Additionally, Honey had her first live performances before the fall semester began.

“This summer marked the beginning of the real journey,” Honey said.

Honey’s musical career began when she showed her friends a video she made. They encouraged her to make more and created a Facebook and YouTube page for her.

In Honey’s initial videos, she freestyles to the beats of popular rap songs. While the quality of the videos is fuzzy, Honey is clear and clever with her rhymes.

At Palmer’s party, Honey said she fell in love with the backyard and chose to shoot her second official music video there.

Honey found freelancer Steven Holland on Craigslist to shoot this Woodstock-themed video for her song “Ride.” Holland, who typically shoots for the wedding industry, said he values his time and will only shoot a video he thinks is worthy of it.

“I had to listen to all of her [music] before I was going to commit myself to the job,” Holland said. “I’m not so desperate a freelancer that I will shoot just anything.”

Pre-fashion design sophomore Colton White was the creative director for this particular music video. Honey originally wanted a party theme, but White used Honey’s alias as inspiration for the Woodstock elements of it.

White said Honey’s music captures many genres.

“It’s very psychedelic, it’s very singer/songwriter, and it has a pop vibe to it,” White said. “She definitely wants every audience to come together.”

The majority of Honey’s life has been filled with music, starting with inspiration from her musical parents.

As an 8-year-old, she was the singer in her girl bands, complete with Barbie piano. Singing was Honey’s dream as a child, but she realized at 17 that rapping was her forte.

Honey’s dad was a DJ named Prince Kay, and her parents met because of music. She said the strongest connection she has with her dad is through music.

“[My family] used to have record nights. We would just sit in the living room and pick a record from my dad’s collection and just talk,” Honey said.

Honey considers her mom her manager. Both of her parents support her musical career, but emphasize the necessity of school.

“For me, school always comes first. My parents would kill me if I just completely dropped school,” she said. “This is as important as music is.”

Sticky Situations

Honey said she always knew she wanted a career that allowed her a voice in the world. She began writing poetry at a very young age and started doing poetry competitions in the seventh grade at a national level.

“Poetry was like my gateway into rapping,” Honey said.

She said writing poetry doesn’t come as organically as writing music, though.

“I was a competitive poet, so it was more forced,” Honey said. “When I write music, I don’t write it because there’s a deadline. I write it because I found inspiration.”

Poetry had become a desire to be the best. That is not the case for songwriting, she said.

“Ever since I started to write music, it was like a weight off my chest,” Honey said.

Honey was born in Michigan and she has also lived in New York and Florida. She came to Texas in 2011 and spent her last years of high school in Sugar Land, a suburb of Houston.

“When I’m in Houston, I have writer’s block. Not disrespecting Houston, but there’s not enough creative people there,” Honey said. “It’s hard for me to find inspiration to write because everything is very simple.”

Honey’s mood and inspiration is highly influenced by the people she is surrounded by, she said. She writes the most when she’s in Denton because of the diversity the town holds.

Instead of seeking advice from others to resolve issues, Honey  said she turns to songwriting to resolve her internal conflict.

“I don’t like venting to people. I don’t like putting my emotions on another person,” Honey said. “When I write, it’s like a therapy session. That’s how I release anything bottled up.”

Honey’s most prominent obstacle has been record labels and management companies, she said.

“I’m not sure whose hands I trust to put my career in. Some people are just money hungry and don’t really care about you,” Honey said. “And some people want you to change who you are as a person.”

Kinesiology freshman “Honey” Enigbokan performs poetry and rap around DFW. Her Facebook musician page “Honey the Hippie” has over 1,000 likes and her most recent music video for the song “Psychedelic” has almost 30,000 views on YouTube. -Feature photo by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

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