It’s lunch time everyone is gathered at the lunch tables. One student pulls out a speaker and goes onto Soundcloud, an app where upcoming artists can release their music for free. The student searches up “Mø Draper,” and scrolls through his many songs. They click on “MadeTheWave.” Music blasts through the speaker, and all the students sing along, “Like a magician got tricks up my sleeve, checking the clock like it’s time that you leave”.
Isaac Badilla, a junior from Great Neck, raps under the pseudonym “Mø Draper” and occasionally “Yung Isaac.” The inspiration for his rapper name comes from the Netflix show “Basketball or Nothing,” where a man tries to help other Indians on a basketball team. The man wanted to change for the better, and that aligned with what Isaac aspired to do. When asked what inspired him to start his rap career, Isaac responded that he was initially bored and that he needed to channel his energy in a healthier way. One can say that he used rap as an escape, and it is evident that his choice to pursue music has been an escape for his fans too.
With over 10,000 plays on Soundcloud, it is clear that Isaac has a fan base. What makes Isaac so wildly successful is that he is relatable and raw. His music really gives insight into his life and experiences, with topics ranging from his childhood to his struggle with depression and mental health issues. Mo is also mysterious to some extent, and his listeners never know what they are going to get with him. His song “Life of Maria” dives into his love for his mom and his appreciation for her. On the other hand, his song ”Tokyo ” is upbeat and catchy. In his song “Valentino,” he opens up about a previous relationship and heartbreak, where he says, “Don’t be sorry for what you put me through, I know what’s love and it’s all because of you…”
Isaac’s lyrics are filled with emotion and passion. His lyric writing process might be more simple than what you might expect; Isaac listens to a beat, hears the first two words that come to mind, and if he likes them and thinks that they come with the tone of the song, he will use them. The way he records his art might surprise you too. He used to record off of a laptop with a basic microphone, where you could hear his boiling room and every time someone flushed the toilet. However, he is now recording at a high-end studio for $65 an hour.
Mo has several connections in the music industry, working closely with friends and a music engineer. He says that making connections in the industry is crucial because “if you don’t then you don’t really get anywhere.” Isaac does not use his own beats, but he has people send him beats. He also occasionally finds them on youtube after making sure that using them is legal.
Mo Draper, the 16 year old rapper out of New York, is just starting to make his mark in the rap world. Known for his songs including “Psycho” and “187,” Mo is a driven artist looking to help other teens escape through music. According to Mo, music has immensely impacted his life for the better. “I would say that because making music is such a great alternative to doing all these stupid things, some people will hurt themselves or hurt others but for me, it’s just like I let all that energy out in the mic,” said Isaac. When asked how he deals with hate, he said, “I don’t believe them, I do my own thing because one way or another I’ll get there.” All I can say is, remember the name “Mo Draper” or Isaac Badilla, because he is on the rise.