“Mos Def meets Woody Allen.” That’s how rapper and Emerson alum George Watsky describes himself in the song 4 AM (see below), one of his many YouTube videos that have received worldwide attention.
Watsky is a 27-year-old rapper who received early notice, according to his website, when he “won the Brave New Voices National Poetry Slam in 2006.” That honor led him to receive other opportunities but many would argue his breakthrough moment came when he posted a video entitled “Pale Kid Raps Fast” on YouTube, a video which earned him worldwide acclaim and led to a performance on The Ellen Degeneres Show.
Since then, Watsky’s career has exploded and he recently released his third studio album (All you can Do) and announced a new international tour that will bring him to France, German, the United Kingdom and a variety of other countries.
Watsky is showing off his genius in both his incredible music and in his great music videos.
Here are three fun facts about the performer:
1.) His YouTube video “Pale Kid Raps Fast” received over 24 million hits. In an interview with the Harvard Political Review, Watsky spoke about that video noting “I worked really hard on developing this 90 second rap that was immediately engaging, not that challenging in what it presented, but it showed who I was as a person and made people want to check out more due to it being a live performance video and having a grabby title. That’s why we put the video out and it succeeded beyond our wildest expectations.”
2.)Watsky has fought to maintain control over his own image, rejecting a major financial offer from a phone company several years ago. According to USA Today, “He didn’t think twice when turning down a lucrative offer a few years ago from T-Mobile to riff on their new phones. ‘With rap, the expectation your audience has of you is honesty,’ he says. ‘When a corporation hijacks your voice, you’re dead in the water.'”
3.) According to the biography on his official website, Watsky “graduated from Emerson College with a B.A. in ‘Writing and Acting for the Screen and Stage.'”
This performer is about to have his biggest moment so far and that’s why he’s earned our Monday spotlight. Check out some of his best music videos below and the rap he wrote and performed for Ellen DeGeneres.