2012-06-08 / Community

Local Rapper Performs In Rockaway For First Time

By Dylan Sweeney

Beyond Belief performing “Broken”. Beyond Belief performing “Broken”. Bobby Joseph, better known by his stage name Beyond Belief, took the stage in his hometown of Rockaway for the first time on the night of June 1. Beyond Belief chose Thai Rock, located at 375 Beach 92 Street right on the water, to host his first local performance.

After a few acts warmed up the crowd, Bobby took the stage with his producer and good friend Kwamè, along with a live band called The Pains.

He started off with his 2009 single “Bigger Checks” before going into two new songs, “Let You Go” and “Hometown” from an upcoming album. The live band took a break and let Kwamè and Beyond Belief perform over the Back N’ 4th beat from his album What About Bob.

He then performed his most well-known song, “Don’t Touch,” which excited the crowd.

Beyond Belief with Kwamè and The Pains on stage. Beyond Belief with Kwamè and The Pains on stage. Once the classic house party song was over, Beyond Belief brought out singer Gia to sing the chorus to the last song of the night, “Broken,” an emotional ode to a fallen friend of Joseph’s.

Born in 1987, Beyond Belief grew up on Beach 141 Street in Belle Harbor. Legendary rapper Biggie Smalls’ 1994 album Ready to Die was what really got Bobby into hip hop, but he was also influenced by old school rappers such as Kool G Rap, Nas, Big Pun, and Run-DMC.

He attended St. Francis Prep High School where a classmate introduced him to Kwamè, a producer who has made beats to hit songs such as Will Smith’s “Switch” and Lloyd Banks’ “On Fire.” Kwamè realized Joseph’s talent and immediately signed him to his record label called Make Noise and it was all up from there. While attending the University of Miami, he released two mixtapes entitled Bobby J from Rockaway and Beyond Your Reach and an album called What About Bob, from which his “Don’t Touch” music video was featured on Music Choice on Demand and HBO Zone. The video was shot as a house party in his own house on Beach 141 Street and featured his own friends and even his own mom in the video.

Recently, he put out an 8-week music video series that he called Breaking Beyond, most of which he shot, directed and edited. These are skills he acquired while studying at the New York Film Academy.

His video “Broken” was put up against other videos from relatively unknown artists in a poll on mtvu.com for “Best Freshman Video” and won in a landslide, putting the video in rotation on MTV networks.

He is currently working on his second album, which is still untitled. His goal with his music is to bridge the gap between the conflicting worlds of commercial music and underground hip hop, proving that it is possible to make commercially accepted tracks, while still maintaining artistic integrity, and upholding the roots of hip hop: true lyricism and self expression.

When asked when the next local show will be, he said there is nothing scheduled right now, but was hopeful that another one at Thai Rock would be in the near future.

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