LMC artist seeks new exposures

Student creating communal album

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Photo provided by Conor Cruze

Robert Pierce, rpierce@lmcexperience.com

“I’ve been making tracks for a year since I was about 17,” recalled Conor Cruze, as described on a Los Medanos College campus bulletin board poster as ‘LMC student and local amateur rapper.’

“I initially made amateur rap battle videos, that later inspired me to make original tracks. I’ve touched different topics, a few political, a few just describing my personal life.”

Cruze named dozens of musical inspirations and influences, from funk and rock icons Roger Troutman and Jimi Hendrix to immortal hip-hop superstars Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. One particular influence was local Antioch rapper Woodie, whose career gave Cruze the idea for his latest musical undertaking.

“I was actually inspired by a hip-hop album that released back in 1999, called ‘Northern Expozure Vol. 1,’” said Cruze.

“Northern Expozure” is a compilation album released by Woodie featuring different artists from Antioch and the surrounding area. Cruze’s newest project is woven from the same cloth: “New Exposures: A Compilation” will be a non-profit online album featuring songs and performances from LMC student musicians. Anyone interested can apply, and while Cruze originally wanted to make exclusively a hip-hop compilation, he changed his mind and will accept pieces from virtually any genre.

“After getting into … making amateur tracks and starting to rap myself, I was inspired by that compilation to make my own compilation,” Cruze explained. “Initially it was going to be limited to hip-hop but I am willing to extend it to pretty much any genre. Whatever other students feel … I decided if it’s going to by LMC students, I might as well include [students that perform] other genres as well.”

At the time of the interview, Cruze had only received one submission, but he hopes things pick up rapidly.

“Hopefully we will expand soon,” he said. “I’m looking for anywhere between 11 to 14 tracks, hopefully — as many as can fit.”

Cruze even stated he would be willing to go beyond 14 tracks if the project is popular enough, but it all depends on how students respond to his initiative. Multiple people are allowed to be on track as well – bands and group performances are welcome.

Don’t worry about whether or not you’re ‘good enough’ — Cruze wants the album to open to everyone, regardless of musical skill.

“Even if you’re not necessarily the most musically talented,” he stated, “as long as you can rap, sing or play an instrument … just email me and we can go from there.”

Cruze does not have a release date in mind for “New Exposures” as it depends on how fast submissions come in. However, he previous work can be found on his YouTube channel, “United California Republic Records.”

“I’ve touched different topics,” Cruze said, reflecting on his time with music. “A few political, a few just describing my personal life… I like to focus on a lot on my verses in my hip-hop tracks.”

Cruze, a Spanish major at LMC, is passionate about music, but at this stage he is unclear about his future with it.

“It’s a hobby at the moment,” he explained. “But I don’t know, I’ll see where the direction takes me.”

“At the moment, it’s just a hobby.”

If you are interested in being featured on Cruze’s album, you can reach him at conorcruze@gmail.com.