My name is Edward Allen Hall aka Eddie Rap Life. I was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the home of the first X Games. Growing up in Newport certainly had it benefits, but was by no means as glamorous as the surroundings dictated. My parents were separated when I was seven and the effects of drug use and alcoholism consistently plagued my family, creating an unstable household. I was fortunate enough however, to find my escape at a very young age. I turned to skateboarding to positively channel my anger and aggression. I began skateboarding everyday downtown Newport at Perotti Park, summer of 1995. It wasn’t long before I began to get noticed and became sponsored by a local skate shop, Water Brothers. Traveling from state to state for competitions and demonstrations became the norm and I was quickly gaining experience. I had found my passion and realized that skateboarding was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Newport is a very old and historic city, so there weren’t very many spots to skate. Perotti Park was demolished and local law enforcement made it almost impossible to skate downtown. It was then the idea of opening up a skate park in Newport was beginning to take shape. My mother Mary and my stepfather Doug approached the owner of Water Brothers, Sid Abruzzi about opening up this new skate park and Skater Island was born summer of 1998. Skater Island was a breeding ground for east coast talent to showcase, and it quickly became the hub for the community skate life. My dreams as a young skater had come true, we had one of the nicest indoor parks in the country and it attracted some of the greatest talent and pros in the world. This was all short lived however, as tragic events would soon awake me from this surreal dream.
On June 11, 2001 an event occurred that would forever change my life. My father and best friend, Kyle Hall, passed away from cancer at the age of forty. I was fifteen years old and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. It was in these dark times that I developed a “you can’t tell me anything,” type of attitude and I began to make bad decisions. I found myself amerced in a lifestyle of drugs and negativity that would soon catch up with me. Eventually, I was set up by a police informant and arrested in a drug raid, a year later Skater Island closed. It seemed like everything in my world was caving in on me and it was during these hardships when my passion for music truly blossomed.
Music has always been a major part of my life. My uncle Joe was the lead singer of a rock band and as a child he would put me on his shoulders during his shows giving me my first real taste of the limelight. My Auntie Von was constantly playing various genres of music from Jazz to Soul. Her two sons, Kevin and Earl where the first to introduce me to the culture of Hip Hop and Rap music, quite a difference from the Heavy Metal and Punk Rock that was being played with my skateboard friends. I was fifteen when I first started writing rhymes and rapping. Some of my first rhymes I ever wrote were about my skateboard and it was evident that this was a great way to express myself. It was all of these various elements that have influenced my musical palette and helped me develop my sound as an artist.
My Story was authentic, and I wanted to share it with other people who could relate or possibly learn from the mistakes that I’ve made. So fresh off probation and drug court I wanted to make a change that would better my life. I decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of eighteen to pursue a music career. Atlanta is the Mecca of Hip Hop and it was there where I received my stage name Eddie Rap Life. I quickly found what I was looking for when I met a producer by the name of Wes Green. Wes embraced my skills on the microphone and we recorded my first solo project. Upon completion of the new album I realized that it was time to go back to my skateboard roots and market my music to the people who related most to me. I pressed up a thousand copies of my new CD and decided to move to Los Angeles.
Staying with east coast producer Rob “Spliftout” Durato, I was eager to showcase my new project and my skills both on the board and the microphone. It wasn’t long before I landed a production deal with Doug “Dougie Dee” Gipson, Darius “Dmac” Rodgers, and Baron Davis of Too Easy Entertainment. There I recorded and released a mixtape with Hip Hop ambassador DJ Skee. I was attending meetings with top music business executives like Tom Whaley, Jimmy Iovine, Jay-z, P. Diddy, and Steve Rifkin. I was getting a great taste of how the industry operated and the life of a recording artist. While shopping distributions deals, Warner Brothers proposed a prominent record deal and we thought surely Eddie Rap Life would be the next big thing to invade the music industry.
Once again I was brought back to reality when the Warner Brothers deal folded, and the contract with Too Easy Entertainment expired. There was a lot of finger pointing and questions that needed answering, but ultimately there were no more contracts and no more deals. I was determined to not let these events get me down, so I continued to look for different avenues to get my music heard. One day at a DC skate event I formally met professional skate boarder Danny Way. Known for his innovative contributions to skateboarding, Danny also had a great passion for music. We exchanged contact information and a few weeks later we began recording everyday. We formed a band called “Go Big” with Spliftout, Stevie J, and Renee Renee. The band released a song called “Tear Down the Walls” which was dedicated to the fall that Jake Brown experienced in the X Games summer of 2007. The band recorded a collection of other records in a studio underneath the DC ramp that have yet to be released.
Having my first taste of band dealings, I felt that it was time to get back to my solo career. I moved back to Atlanta and linked up with Wes once again and we recorded another album together. With potential hit songs like Skateboard, Unbelievable, 24/7 Endless Summer, and Space Man, this album would eventually land me a production deal and an advance from Travis Barker. Being signed to Travis was incredible experience for me. Witnessing Blink 182 sell out arenas and stadiums was more than inspiring. It was evident to me that it was time to show everyone that I had what it took to be on that level. I was eager to get in the studio and start recording my new project under Travis. As the tour ended my time had finally come to lock in the studio and record my debut LP.
With no manager or anyone really looking out for my best interest I decided to call upon my musical ace Stevie Jordan. I contacted Travis and asked him if Stevie and I could get in the studio and start recording as soon as possible. Travis wasn’t enthused to say the least and he told me I could give him his money back and terminate the contract. After that day I felt alienated from the team of people who had gotten me to that point in my career. The flakey Hollywood façade began taking its toll on me and I felt absolutely no chemistry with the people around me.
I decided to head back to Rhode Island summer of 2010 to find the true artist in myself that had been so distant. I remember right before leaving California sitting at a Denny’s as Travis Barker and Tommy Lee were calling my phone simultaneously. I didn’t have a dollar in my pocket to pay for the food yet two of the worlds most well know drummers were calling my phone wanting to work with me. All I could think at the time was that “I must be doing something right.” Overall, I cherish my experiences with Travis, I have learned valuable lessons and there are no hard feelings.
Now I am currently working on releasing my new material to the universe independently. I want to show the people the struggles and joys of this musical roller coaster. The message is to create positive outcomes no matter what adversity you are put up against. No matter how big your dreams, there is hope and promise for a new generation of leaders. I am truly blessed to be doing what I love, and I will not take my talents or my time for granted. Learning proper business tactics and the importance of creative control has transformed me into a well-groomed professional recording artist.