In an ego-driven, accessibility-centered world like today, the art of hustle is deeply praised. To do and be seen doing whatever the “do” is, is a gold medal of intellectual currency that trendier people prefer to as “clout.” And while most enjoy a visual representation of the “do,” many times it is not actually being applied. In a small, fiercely connected city like Buffalo, “to do” is not enough; you have to be.
Here in the Queen City, to hustle is to be a hustler;And that’s what James Wynn is.
The twenty-one year old rhymer and videographer who has built a larger-than-life image on social media and promoting for many urban shows in Western New York, finds his niche in networking. From creating music videos with celebrities, to hosting events, the young socialite also makes his own music. A genuine jack-of-all-trades, Wynn’s most magnifying trait is his passion for togetherness. Headlining his debut show this Friday titled “Wynn Day,” he brings much anticipation thanks to his exciting lineup of local rappers.
A Niagara-Falls native, James Wynn’s early life as a Jehovah Witness and son of a bodybuilder doesn’t sound like the foundation for a thriving rapper. A busy school kid, Wynn’s involvement with various instruments from the saxophone to piano built a strong interest in music. His love for video games and EDM also played a huge part in the early stages of learning production and entertainment. As a preteen, the local mogul was signed to a network on YouTube for video game commentary racking in two-thousand dollars a month. Moving to Buffalo as an adolescent led the energetic artist to producing music, and soon creating a label in high school called “TGE Records” with his friends.
“My Dad was like our biggest coach/cheerleader, he would drive us to our shows, support us…He would pitch us wack song ideas that he coulda’ swore would be a hit if we did it.”
With the support of his father, James Wynn Sr. – who happened to be a popular bodybuilder and nurse in the area, James Wynn’s determination in sustaining his grassroots label led to him saving money to purchase a camera and soon creating visuals for his artists.His hand in many different baskets, Wynn became a budding videographer, DJ, producer and elusive rapper while a teenager.
“I learned to be happy with what I got now.”
With the unfortunate death of his father in 2015, James Wynn soon found his label disbanded, yet also found his passion in rapping. With an eye for talent, and friendly personality, Wynn took opportunities to make music videos for Worldstar, attending high-profile shows, and talking his way backstage with some of today’s most prolific artists like Memphis Bleek and Shoreline Mafia. Beside the music, he also matured his work ethic- Collaborating with other videographers and hosting local shows.
“Me, I’m planning for my biggest concert yet, my funeral…I want my shit packed”
Recognizing the positive legacy his father left, Wynn’s passion for kindness and do-it-yourself spirit has made him a respected figure in the local rap scene. His upbeat personality online also transfers well in his music. Upon dropping many singles, the young artist released a full length album in 2017. Titled, Diamond In The Rough, the project artistically tackles the ideas of doubt, money, opportunity and loss. From the beginning track “Who Gone Stop Me,” assisted with heavy percussion and muffled vocals playing in the background to the bouncy, 808 leading “How To Live,” James Wynn keeps his scope on success and fulfilling the influence his father had on people.
“I realized the more you be yourself, the more you accomplish.”
Encompassing an interesting balance between discipline and audacity, James Wynn is someone to watch locally and nationally. With hopes of moving to L.A within the next year or so, his candid, upbeat personality look promising. But don’t wait! Be sure to check him out at his debut event, Wynn Day, this Friday at Sugar City.