There's a white mansion off Alton Road in Miami Beach with a circular driveway, a balcony, and landscaping the neighborhood kid with a lawnmower wouldn't dare mess with. A lot of millennials work at home, but this is something special.
The manse belongs to Eskeerdo, a 29-year-old Hialeah-born rapper and songwriter, who opens the door while holding a huge gray and white pit bull from running into the street.
“This is the studio?” he's asked.
“Yeah, why?” he grins as he closes the door, lets the dog go, and flips his long, shiny dark hair to the side. The walls are covered with glistening plaques ranging from Rihanna’s Unapologetic to Big Sean, Kanye West, and-Jay Z’s "Clique" to, appropriately, Fifth Harmony’s "Work From Home."
Eskeerdo dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to pursue a career in music. Since then, he has spent years writing music for some of the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B. But he also makes time to work on music of his own. His debut single, “For the City,” perfectly represents his hometown of Hialeah. It quickly became a staple Miami record and garnered the recognition and cash flow to land him a huge home in South Beach.
His studio is a small, cozy room at the front of the house, fully equipped with a microphone, keyboard, computer, couch, half-pound of weed in a jar, and Ziggy, his dog, rolling around on the carpet begging to be petted. Eskeerdo sits down at his desk with a cup of Cuban coffee in one hand and his computer mouse in the other and then starts shuffling through beats.
“What do you think of this one?” he says as Ziggy continues to roll. “It’s from [the producers] the Agency. I really fuck with them,” he says as he loads the beat onto ProTools. He turns the volume all the way up and starts to hum and mumble on the beat. He may be speaking Spanish or looking for a melody, but he finds the tune. “I always start with the hook or the chorus. The hook is the catchiest part of the song. It makes or breaks it,” he says, still speaking into the mike.
“No chance/No chance/No chance,” Eskeerdo sings as he records the hook, followed by more mumbles of lyrics that aren’t yet formed. He smiles at his unrecognizable wavelengths on the computer, proud of the hook he has created.
“What’s next?” he's asked.
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“Weed,” he replies as he snatches some marijuana to roll up while the beat plays in the background. Smoke wafts through the room as the rest of the lyrics come through the microphone.
He doesn’t write anything down but continues to switch up the lyrics to fit the message of the song. “With this, I want people to know not to be afraid to walk away from a bad situation, whether it’s a job, a relationship, or a friendship. Fuck that. Know when to leave,” he says as he continues to talk to the microphone. “Oh, that’s good.”
Hours pass while he works on lyrics on the computer. The weed dwindles as his manager and random others walk in, roll up, and leave. “That’s it,” he says as he bounces the record down and reaches for his coffee. The world now knows there’s no chance Eskeerdo will let anyone fuck him over.