I've never written a blog before so Im not exactly sure how to start this off. I guess I'll just begin with the basics. My name is Michael "FiO Baby" Fiore and Im a Long Island, New York rap artist. I was born and raised on Long Island and am proud of it. The first time I met hip hop its name was Coolio. When I first heard the song "Gangstas Paradise" I was hooked. I was always into music as a child. My mother would play a plethora of music ranging from Frank Sinatra and Mob Hits to anything Motown. My father...Jimi Hendrix. As a child I must of lost some sense of hearing because my dad would play Hendrix as loud as our Chrysler speakers would allow him to.
My father is a retired rock and roll musician and still sings around the house. We've always shared some sort of musical bond but my mother on the other hand was a little bit more conservative. She hated all the loud noise my father would blast as he washed his car in our driveway or when he would sing in the house. My mother is very Italian and enjoyed her music at a more healthy volume, this is probably why she still has her hearing and my father doesn't. HA!
I grew up in a world filled with athletics, choirs, and theater. Mom loved taking us to shows on Broadway and eventually I was acting myself. I didn't live in a rough neighborhood but that doesn't mean my childhood wasn't rough. I lived on a block with 16 other boys around my age so fighting took place often (both verbally and physically). My sweat, tears, and blood still lye on the streets in my neighborhood. As kids we were mean. I learned how to play football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and every other sport you can think of on those streets. We were all best friends but tended to fight, instigate, and make fun of each other constantly.
When I began high school I decided to do away with theater. I didn't know the teacher or the other actors. I had a real high ego and felt like I was cooler than the rest of them. Eventually some of the actresses convinced me to audition for the play "Grease" and I made the cut. During every rehearsal I felt more and more uncomfortable. I would say to myself "Jesus Christ these kids are really out there. They're corny, not funny but tend to make a lot of jokes, weird, and don't seem to care what everyone else thinks". This was new to me, because coming from a neighborhood where you needed to be somewhat tough and cool, I never wore my heart on my sleeve or let my guard down. I ended up quitting and went on with life. Eventually I saw the show and wished I stayed in it, I was pissed that I dropped out and angry with myself because I knew I could of made a difference. The next year I auditioned again and like the year before I made the cut but rarely showed up. The director had a strict 2 absent policy but for some reason she never kicked me out like she did the others. I still wonder why. Was it something she saw in me? If it was, I never showed it to her because by the time Senior year rolled around I landed a roll no where near the star. Out of anger, once again I dropped out. I respected the actors I had worked with the past 2 years and admired their work but knew I couldn't play another crappy role. It was too embarrassing because I knew I had creativity up the ass but never proved it.
I was a great singer back then but never felt like it fit me quite right. A gym teacher who saw me sing once told me that I looked like I was really enjoying myself during a concert and knew I would go places. I took the compliment with lying eyes. I wrote my first song when I was 10 years old about a girl, to me she was a goddess surrounded by preteen bimbos. I was mocked in school for the song years later and decided to stop writing but when the towers were hit on 9/11/2001 I began to write again. I wrote a song mocking the terrorists and pretty much saying Osama was a bitch. I shared with few but not many of my peers. Those who heard it complimented me and I appreciated it.
As hip hop grew stronger in the suburbs, my friends began to start rapping themselves with foolish flows and boring uncreative lines. I was called out my a kid who would later became my friend but did not retaliate because I felt it was unnecessary. After a stupid diss track was released on a group of kids, the same kid who once made fun of me came up to me and asked me if I still knew how to spit. I felt like a superhero and responded with a cocky yes. I wrote and recorded my track using a cheap microphone and what might of been the first version of Garageband. This kid who I dissed was a lot bigger and stronger than I was so when I posted it to Myspace I sent him messages explaining that if it was too harsh he could get back to me and I would take it down. He never said a thing nor replied. Whatever amateur lines I wrote at the time were enough to end this childlike feud.
After this ridiculous feud I realized that I had gotten better lyrically compared to the first two raps I wrote so I decided to keep writing. The more I wrote the more complex my rhymes became as well as my flow. Before I knew it I was right back to where I started a few years before but this time with respect. When I began college I kept writing and especially would write in between papers and homework. It was more entertaining. I began to write songs about what I heard on the radio, songs about fame and fortune. Unfortunately I had neither so my cousin sat me down and told me that I had potential but I had to write about my life and not some fairytale one that didn't exist. That one conversation changed my aspect of writing completely. I began to write about my life instead of 50 Cents or Eminems. I began to self reflect and expressed a lot of emotions that I normally wouldn't have.
Eventually I recorded a few songs and created what I called an album. Looking back it was the farthest thing from an album the industry has every laughed about but a few songs actually caught the ear of friends and other kids on campus. They began to play them here and there and that gave me confidence so I continued. Fast forward a bunch of shitty songs, I created my first mixtape "Lost in Time" which contains some of my best work to date. It may not have contained as many punchlines as other songs did at the time, but my lyrics were deep, witty, clever, and well thought out. I have no regrets towards this mixtape.
Eventually after I gained attention from listeners I was practically begged to perform for Adelphis CALIBER show. It took some convincing but I agreed. I got so comfortable on stage that they litterly had to cut me off because I wouldn't stop rapping. I ended up winning this show along with $500.00 which I used to buy my family christmas gifts. After the show I was recognized on the internet through facebook, myspace, a local radio show, and was eventually picked up by an entertainment company who toured the local area. I quickly accepted the offer and was given a shot at a club about 10 minutes from my neighborhood. They wanted to see if I could bring 5 maybe even 10 people out to a dead beat club. I brought about 30 and made some dough. They were convinced and asked me to do a show with them on Staten Island. I was extremely excited and agreed. I only brought out about 12 people to that show, but I had no fans on Staten yet and those 12 fans who were willing to take the drive from Long Island to Staten impressed them even more.
After all these little bullshit performances I was told about a showcase taking place in the city and my friend forced me to go and try out. I was unemployed and it was the summer so I said fuck it and tried out. I waited 7 hours to tryout and when I did I gave it my all. At the end of the audition I felt that I could of done better and was upset but when I looked up at which seemed to be the head of this audition I was lectured. I couldn't tell you what that man actually lectured to me that day because the only thing going through my head was "well ya came out and gave it a shot" but when I looked back up he put out his hand, looked me straight in the eyes, and said "Congratulations you made the show". I looked at him like he had ten heads. What I thought was a showcase was actually the beginning of my career. It was the beginning of "Hip Hop 16 Bars".