Fontaine, self-proclaimed "narrator for the streets," lays down all of his vocals to tracks produced by E (also his manager) and Benz of the Queen Boyz, in a studio inside of Bennett's Record Shop, on a small side street in West Jackson. His new album features other rap vocalists such as Jody Breeze of Boyz in Da Hood and D-Boy. "We slummin' it over here," says Fontaine, forcing me to take notice of his humble surroundings.
As a native from the Mississippi Delta, specifically Cleveland, Fontaine went into the military in 1996 and put out his first mix-tape in 1998. After experimenting with his own lyrical talents, Fontaine says he then realized he wanted to take his career in hip-hop seriously. "I didn't think it was a chance to actually do it as a business until I actually got outside of Mississippi and realized how many people were actually making money using their talent."
Fontaine says that after selling copies of his own material he decided to use his voice in hip-hop to let others know exactly where he was coming from.
"My style is diverse. I consider myself mainly like a narrator for the streets. I'm a narrator of what's actually going on, not just with me but with a lot of people. And I classify it as 'gangsta rap,' but I think it's a little bit deeper than that. It's really dealing with the struggles we just going through in the 'hood," says Fontaine.
Still, even though Fontaine believes that his style of lyrical delivery is much "deeper" than its typical "gangsta rap" classification, his candid and explicit rhymes make that a difficult point to prove. The brand new mix-tape entitled "It's Just That Serious," released under Sucka Free Records, does not shy away from calling out anyone or any situation whether it is national, local, known, or unknown, making such references to the likes of Mississippi native and 2001 Washington Redskins draft pick Fred Smoot.
But those interested will have to check out Fontaine for themselves to get an earful of his lyrical tirades, and although the listener will have to deal with some unnecessary chatter by Fontaine as well as other guests stopping in to give their shout-outs in between songs, the album still makes for a very entertaining listen. In the meantime, Fontaine continues to work on his goals of attaining as much exposure as possible, with the hope of one day putting out a full-length commercial album. Like others in the music business, Fontaine's goals far surpass that of settling for local fame, but he does feel as though the support for artists from Mississippi could be greater within the state. "I do get love from Jackson, and the city, and the Delta as well, but I think the support in Mississippi could be better for all artists," he says.
But it doesn't matter; like it or not, Fontaine continues to do what he knows and loves best—laying down vocals in the studio, creating mix-tapes and blowing minds with some very serious lyrical ammunition. Fontaine says he can be seen at The Birdland in downtown Jackson about once a month and that present and potential fans can log on to www.causin-drama-entertainment.com
"We're not hard to find," he says. "We everywhere all the time." Fontaine can also be seen at the Upper Level, Hal & Mal's and Hamps.
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- c a webb