Beyond being a Verzuz winner, Jadakiss is a motivator and inspiration to many New York artists. When Ray Medixi attended a Jadakiss event back in 2018 he didn’t know how big of an impact the Hip Hop lyricist would have on his career.
Long after this encounter, the verzuz battle between Jadakiss LOX and Dipset would have a jousting effect on New York’s hip hop culture, bringing back the nostalgia to a time where the New York music scene thrived. The excitement leading up to Tuesday’s verzuz battle shows that New York is still a hub for hip-hop culture.
In 2018, up-and-coming New York artist Ray Medixi was struggling with the dilemma that most artists face when it comes to taking that leap of faith to become a full-time artist. While streaming platforms offer artists direct access to their audiences, the payout for artists makes it nearly impossible for artists to make a living wage from their craft.
Ray Medixi still recalls the day like it was yesterday. One summer afternoon, while hanging with friends, he got an invitation to a Jadakiss event which happily obliged as a fan of the artist’s candid lyrics. Ray Medixi had no idea he would later get the chance to have a conversation with Jadakiss which would change the trajectory of his whole career. This meeting with Jadakiss was just the confirmation he needed to take that leap of faith to quit his 9-5 job and pursue his dreams as a full-time artist.
After watching Jadakiss’ performance, Ray Medixi stuck around, not for a selfie with the NY artists but for a chance to have a real talk with the rapper. Ray Medixi remembers second-guessing the decision to speak to Jadakiss “I didn’t want to look like another artist looking for a selfie, I really wanted to talk to him about some real shit.” In the end, he decided to just go for it, a decision that would change him forever.
Ray Medixi recalls the Jadakiss advice very vividly “He was straight up and kept it one hundred. He said I gotta Hustle, I gotta be consistent but patient. Most importantly, he said that I need to believe. He let me know that the industry can be tough but I have to stay true to myself.” It was at this moment that the rising NY artists made the decision to become a full-time artist.
After that meeting, Ray Medixi quit his job and dedicated himself to his career as an artist & songwriter. Today, Ray Medixi, also known as the Duke of RnB has amassed over 5 Million streams across platforms and thousands of monthly listeners.
He released a new record called “Summertime” an upbeat, alternative track with a Lofi essence about creating summer memories with loved ones. This track comes after a rough year where the world was on hold and many loved ones were lost. The song explores the idea of being cuffed in the summertime — very different from the usual calls to being single in the summer.
This Verzuz show reinvigorated New York’s music scene and shows how important rappers like Jadakiss and groups like Dipset are to the music scene. Ray Medixi hopes that this energy will continue to revive the New York music scene and inspire other up-and-coming artists like himself.
Listen to Ray Medixi’s new single “Summertime” here
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