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BILL RAY
BILL RAY

BILL RAY

When Jurmell Hart began his musical journey, he was an unnamed lyrical monster destroying

every freestyle session that presented itself. Winning rap battles continued to increase his ambitions despite how dramatic his life seemingly was. A product of a broken home built character for young Hart as well as gave him an opportunity to run in circles that would story his success. Jurmell was raised in Harlem by way of Spring Valley, NY by his grandmother. As a child he had two recognized loves; music and the 1983 movie Trading Places with Eddie Murphy. Being able to recite every word from the movie he began claiming the name Billy Ray which would later become his stage name. As a preteen, he made a life changing move to California to live with his mother. Sadly, it would turn into a short stay after she lost patience with Billy’s behavior. However, instead of sending him back to his grandmother, she kicked him out leaving the twelve year old hustling to survive on the streets. Out on his own, he didn’t let homelessness get the best of him. Eventually, Billy Ray’s menacing in the streets grew to a level of fear for his life,
which resulted in a ticket back to New York. At 19 he finally placed value on his gift for rhyming and took a creative plunge with two local emcees to create the group Triple Beam. Billy Ray coached his rhyming
partners on the mechanics of the art to ensre they would meet their shared goal for success. The group reached moments of promise from a light tour to rubbing elbows with major producers. But it would be the individual achievements for the other members that would leave Billy Ray once again, out on his own and considering a solo career path. Little known to Billy Ray he had a buzz of his own. A month after his colleagues were signed, he received a call from DJ Maseo of the legendary group DeLa Soul. After receiving praises for his talent, DJ Maseo let it be known that he wanted Billy Ray to sign to his newly formed record label, Bear Mountain Entertainment. Although Billy Ray received several flattering offers to be signed on major labels; however, he kept his word to Maseo and signed to his label years later. Without qualifications, Billy Ray suddenly was recording songs with several named artists like OG Bumpy Knuckles, KRS One, Sadat X and Black Rob; backed by major producers like Premier and 9th Wonder. A decade in the making, Billy Ray never stayed out of action. He reentered the studio, formulated a sound drawing on the influenced styles of artists such as Pimp C, Big L, KRS One and of course DeLa Soul. Diligently, he recorded 18 songs under a week, churning out a 26 tracked mixtape billed DJ Maseo Presents Hip Hop AKA Billy Ray, followed by an extensive world tour opening up for DeLa Soul’s 20th Anniversary for 3ft High & Rising. Developing a wealth of attention from fans and music critics alike and backed by an unyielding pursuit to be heard, Billy Ray continues to write and perform his music worldwide.

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