Airlift Mike says, “Rap it Up, I’ll Take It!”

“C.I.T.Y” – aka David Baptiste – records “New Slaves” at Airlift Productions New Orleans ~ January 2017

Perhaps it’s something in the air, the river, or the centuries-long influence of the Spanish & French, but talent seems to grow wild in the fertile soil that is New Orleans.

And, as a veteran studio producer, I love to pick wildflowers.

Furthermore, having watered and nurtured many a talented wildflower through now-over-thirty years of running Airlift Productions here in NOLA, I know a wildflower when I come upon one.

All that being said, meet the latest ones.

It occurred to me years ago that all of hip-hop & rap music was really nothing more than another form of VoiceOver.

Think about it – the producer takes a beat, basically a music track (that can come sampled from anywhere) and records a solid, up-front, and in-your-face vocal track over top of it.

“C.I.T.Y.” (David Baptiste) listening to playback in the Airlift Productions Booth… gee, this could be the album jacket cover pic

So, I get this phone call a couple months back from this young turk named Jason Jones. He proceeds to tell me that he works at Louis Armstrong Airport, operates a barber shop in the 7th ward – AND he’s putting together a hip-hop label called the Real Deal Nation!

We then meet at the Airlift Studios and I find out that I really like these guys.  A lot.

Young & talented, and full of social consciousness coupled with faith-filled, church-born Christian ethics, these dudes are picking up where Motown’s Temptations & Marvin Gaye back in the day left off.

The only thing they were missing was the producer dude to help pull it all together. Think of what Rick Rubin brought to the table, er, ah… the speakers for Jay-Z.

They HAD “99 Problems”, but now the ‘producer’ ain’t one of ’em!

Enter Airlift Mike.

A poster with details on C.I.T.Y.'s gig here in NOLA across Mardi Gras 2017
A poster with details on C.I.T.Y.’s gig here in NOLA across Mardi Gras 2017

In Jason’s  Real Deal Nation posse are, among others, “Papers” (Stephen Arena from L.A.); “Staxx” (Greg Baptiste of NOLA); and cousin “C.I.T.Y.” (David Baptiste, now in Dallas).

Among our first projects together is “New Slaves” from hip-hop Superstar-to-be “C.I.T.Y.”

Sample just a taste of this Airlift-produced ode to inner-city 21st century hip-hop angst here….

*** REAL DEAL NATION’S ‘C.I.T.Y.’ ~ ‘New Slaves … for the $$$’ ***

Music & Fame have always been, and will always be, very subjective calls.

What was important musically to the reader of these words’ mom & dad, to say nothing of the reader’s grandma & grandpa, is rarely considered important to the reader today in 2017.

But subjectively or objectively, there’s no denying the drive, the passion, the talent captured here on this page.

Or, for that matter, the ability of these N’awlins-based wildflowers to blossom and grow.

Stay well. And prosper. My brothers.

And above all else – Increase the Peace!


Charlyne Fabi“Micheal is an amazing talent. We were faced with several issues on a recent project and he was incredibly proactive in finding the perfect solution. He worked tirelessly and at lightning speed to create music that not only made our client happy but also garnered industry recognition. Thanks again for your work, Micheal, and we will definitely consider you for upcoming projects—including voice over work.” ~ Charlyne Fabi, Creative Director, Right Hat, Chicago


Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from New Orleans since 1984


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