Baker grad pursues hip-hop dream

Nick Case is an award winning hip-hop artist who hails from Baldwinsville.

With three albums under his belt, Paper Haters EP (2004), International Currency (2006) and Exchange Rate (2007), the 2000 Baker High School graduate has performed with nationally recognized artists including Gym Class Heroes, Joey Driscoll and Ashley Cox, and has received regular airplay on local station HOT107.9.

Case, a.k.a. DeCoy, also co-founded the United Italian American Alliance, an organization that strives to preserve and educate others about the culture and heritage of Italian Americans.

The Baldwinsville Messenger recently interviewed DeCoy to learn more about his influence, inspiration and his take on the hip-hop scene in Central New York.

Did your experience in Baldwinsville/Baker High School influence your decision to pursue hip-hop?

That's funny, because in school I use to record over industry (Eminem, etc.) tapes with my own songs and sell them for $2 for extra lunch money, but it wasn't really until I got out of Baldwinsville and started seeing the world when I began gaining stronger influences.

How did you become involved in your profession?

I've always loved all sorts of music, and hip-hop was my favorite. I started doing small mix tapes and giving them to friends and people I'd meet on the streets for free and I received some positive feedback. That motivated me to push harder and contact a local studio (Red Brick Studios) to make some good connections. I began to create original pieces of work with various producers. I turned those songs into collections (albums), wrapped and bar coded the CDs, gained distribution and then promoted the music. It actually was a great deal of work.

When did you break out into the music scene?

My first break came when I was given permission to sample and remake Benny Mardones' hit single "Into the Night" back in 2003. It gave me a lot of notoriety and sold over 5,000 copies in one year on iTunes.

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