University junior combines education, music

Reporter and Reporter

Corey Bapes was an up-and-coming rapper on the Cleveland rap scene when he decided to chase a dream in the classroom.

Now a junior at the University, Bapes said education always came first in his mind, but the early success of his music career weighed heavily on his decisions for the future.

Releasing his first mixtape at 18, “In a Class of His Own,” in 2007, and his second mixtape, “Corey Bapes Hold Up Volume 1,” in 2008, Bapes gained recognition almost immediately.

“Things really took off during my first shows in high school,” Bapes said. “A lot of people were responding to my music and more and more fans would show up to each show.”

He was voted “Best New Artist” and “Best Live Performance Artist” in the 2007 Ohio Hip Hop Awards and the “Best Live Performance Artist” again in 2008.

“Bout My Dough,” a single off of Bapes’ first album, has more than 200,000 views on Youtube, Bapes said.

However, Bapes saw an opportunity to take himself more seriously by heading to college. He is currently earning a degree in an individual planned program, which allows him to choose three programs that make up a major: entrepreneurship, recording technology and video production.

“At the end of the day rapping is just rapping,” Bapes said. “Everyone knows that I can rap. I have proved that. I wanted to go to college to know more about the business side of the music world and educate myself.”

Dreski Rudolph, business partner and friend of Bapes, said Bapes made the right decision to go to college, but the decision between an education and his music career was hard at first.

“We were all just out of high school and Corey’s music was taking off,” Rudolph said. “His mother wanted him to go to college so he had something else to fall back on and he was dealing with the problem of whether he should stay or go. In the end, going to college is going to help him become a more independent artist.”

To Bapes, being a independent artist, and being able to make things happen on his own, can be rewarding.

The music industry can be complicated and the more you can do for yourself the better off you are, Bapes said. He would like to get to a place where he can make beats and videos for others, as well as himself, and become an independent artist.

“I want to understand the music and business side of things,” Bapes said. “It comes down to wanting to know what people are doing for me, and the effort they put in, and eventually being able to do it myself and brand myself as an artist.”

In the meantime, Bapes plans on keeping the music coming throughout his college career and making his presence more known on campus.

University students, like senior Chris Owens, who knew of Bapes’ music career when it was first taking off, were surprised to hear Bapes was enrolled in the University.

“Corey Bapes was a name that you heard a lot of back in Cleveland during high school,” Owens said. “I was really surprised when I heard that he is actually going to BG.”

A new mixtape, “Reloaded,” will hopefully be the first step toward getting his name and music out

to people in the community, Bapes said.

“After ‘Reloaded’ drops, I am looking forward to dropping a lot of videos and playing a lot of shows in BG,” Bapes said.

The lack of music released by Bapes in recent years does not change anything, Rudolph said, and the release of “Reloaded” is just what Bapes needs to get back in the spotlight.

“Corey has not released anything major in a few years, but his music still gets the clubs going,” Rudolph said. “He is not rushing ‘Reloaded.’ It is like his first child as an independent artist and he wants it to be right.”

“Reloaded” is scheduled to be released August 25, Bapes said.