If nothing else, Williamsport's rap scene is busy. Local artists like Steve Morse, aka C-Kwal, and Anthony Parsons, aka AP Tha Don, are hosting radio shows, overseeing album-art production and promoting other artists, in addition to writing and recording their own work. Both men consider themselves equal parts producer and performer, Parsons starting and running the production company and label "Smoked Out Entertainment" and Morse heading up "C-Kwal Productions."
Morse, 28, has been recording and producing his latest offering, "Top of Tha Globe," for nearly six months. Considering most recording projects' duration are measured in weeks and even days in some instances, anything more is usually indicative of problems, perfectionism or both.
When asked, Morse leaned toward perfectionism.
Local rapper C-Kwal, aka Steve Morse, has released his new album, “Top of Tha Globe,” which he had been working on for nearly six months.
"It's just been a matter of putting it together, I guess, making sure everything's right this time," he said. "I've put out mixtapes before, but I wanted to make sure this time it was a quality product."
Also adding to the length of the production time had to be the number of artists involved. Rappers AP Tha Don, LEAF-YOLA, VIN-YOLA, Sheaven (pronounced seven)-Kacy and Don Michaels are all featured on Morse's "Top of Tha Globe." "I tried to bring five different artists together so that there's a little something for everyone," Morse said, adding, "Instead of each of us putting out our own mixtapes, I figured everybody can help everybody. Each artist has his own style."
Morse's style was influenced early on by rappers like Tupac Shakur and Eminem, "like just about every other white kid who raps," he said with a laugh.
Now, however, his focus seems to be more on developing not only his own style, but that of the younger artists he promotes and produces.
Writing is something that Morse said he simply has to make time for and that he's been making more and more time leading up to the release of "Top of Tha Globe."
He's had to work hard on his positive outlook and plans for success - Morse himself being the first to admit that his path has had more than its fair share of bumps and obstacles.
"I used to get into quite a bit of trouble," he said, "but now that I've really turned my life around, I'm putting it all out there in hopes that it will be motivation for people."
As a promoter and producer, Morse uses his experience to help younger artists in the area who are just getting started. "I'm learning from my mistakes," he said," and it really makes a difference that I'm a little bit older and have been doing all of this for a long time."
More than anything else, Morse wants to help local artists who feel unsure of where to go or overwhelmed by the whole process.
"There are a lot of rappers in Williamsport who don't think they can do it, or maybe they don't know how ... I want to show them it can be done and I want to show them how to do it," he said.
When asked about the inspiration for the title ("Top of Tha Globe"), Morse didn't hesitate to answer.
"It's where I want to be," he said.
He considers his lyrics motivational, saying that "if you put the time and energy in, you can do whatever you want; I believe in that."
For more information about C-Kwal and his music, performance dates and contact information, find him online at www.reverbnation.com/ckwalproductions or on Facebook. AP Tha Don can be found at www.reverbnation.com/apthadon and also on Facebook.
All tracks from "Top of Tha Globe" are currently available for listening on ReverbNation and select tracks can be purchased directly from C-Kwal's page. Music fans also can hear C-Kwal's "On the Air with C-Kwal" from 9 to 11 p.m. each Wednesday on 88.5 FM or stream it live at www.wxpiradio.org. Artists can submit edited, profanity-free tracks to ckwalproductions @gmail.com to have their music played live Wednesday nights.