The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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‘The New Rat Pack’ gains popularity on St. John’s campus

A phrase well known to musicians, models, actors and other entertainers is “if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.”

The New York audience is hard to please. The media in the ‘Big Apple’ is tough to win over-ask Patrick Ewing.

The same goes for the hip-hop audience in New York. The city has produced some of the sharpest lyricists to grace the microphone.

After hearing Nas, Jay-Z, and the late Notorious B.I.G., a New York hip-hop fan will not accept anything less than greatness. Upcoming rapper

Roids knows this and plans on continuing the trend of exceptional New York emcees.

The 20-year-old lyricist from Brooklyn is part of the underground rap group “The New Rat Pack,” named after the popular 1960’s Rat Pack which consisted of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop .

Roids has made a name for himself among the hip-hop fans at St. John’s University.

When asking around about unsigned talent, Roids name frequently comes up.

“I been rapping seriously for about two years” said Roids, whose real name is Ryan Lewis.

Jay-Z’s powerful performance at Madison Square Garden was all it took to persuade the young emcee to consider a serious career as a rap artist. “[My boys and I] went to Jay’s [Jay-Z’s] Fade to Black concert, and we said to one another ‘we can do this, man’.”

On “The New Rat Pack’s” mixtape Brooklyn’s Fynest, Roids provides a series of witty punch lines and a decent flow that still stands out among the other group members, highlighting Roid’s unique sound.

The mixtape is an assortment of up-tempo, club ready songs that will definitely keep you dancing or at least nodding your head.

Though Brooklyn’s Fynest has a series of songs dedicated to or addressing the female fan base, Roids, the self-proclaimed Sammy Davis of the group, insists that the music they are putting out is more versatile than what is on the CD.

“What we’re trying to bring to the table is versatility,” he said. “We’re not straight club music, or songs for the ladies, or songs for the ‘hood’-we’re all of that combined.”

Roids shows flashes of what he is talking about on his freestyle over Kanye West’s “Diamonds Are Forever” instrumental.

He raps, “every song I write every special appearance/is gonna be a classic, ‘gon be special to hear it. All I need is a chance, someone special to hear it/Ain’t no pressure, just listen it’s special, you hear it?”

The freestyle is over four minutes long and shows a tougher, more lyrical side of Roids that differs from the ladies man persona he portrays on previous tracks.

Speaking with Roids, he gives off the perception that he is very focused and dedicated to his music.

His humility is something seldom in hip-hop. There are some minor tweaks that might need fine tuning amongst the group, but considering their work ethic, there should not be anything to hold Roids and the rest of “The New Rat Pack” from achieving their goals of rap stardom and following the New York hip-hop tradition.

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