10k: Collegiate’s Newest Rapper
By Aadam Samee
“They wanna’ turn around and put they name on it first, how the hell they get my credit when I did all the work?”
This line is from burgeoning rapper Azzuri Fleming (‘19), better known by her stage name 10k, in her song “Traces.” 10k has gained popularity in the Collegiate community throughout the last three years. Her features on Tyler “Pr1met1me” Tunstall’s (’18) self-titled album, which he released in March 2017, and singles with Teonne “Frost” Smith, have propelled her into the ears of Collegiate students. 10k began taking her rapping more seriously in her sophomore year after hearing Frost and Pr1met1me.
10k grew up in the heart of Richmond and has always enjoyed rap as an art form, ever since Lower School. She has been at Collegiate since Kindergarten and is “trying to stay in touch with black culture.” This year, Fleming has helped organize a resource group for black students at Collegiate. The purpose is to “address issues in the black community with her schoolmates.” Like the song lyric above suggests, 10k feels like she is not treated like she should be. 10k felt like she was not noticed initially as a rapper “because I’m a girl.” Despite setbacks, 10k has decided to prove herself.
She is most significantly influenced by hip-hop and R’n’B. Artists such as J. Cole have influenced her “to be more relatable,” and she also listens to Tupac Shakur as an inspiration. She says he “has a wide variety of music.” Tupac’s wide selection of music has inspired 10k to use variety in her own music. “You’ll see hear those styles when the album comes out,” she says. When asked about her goals as a rapper, she explains, “I’m just trying to make my name big and rep for Richmond.” 10k says she is currently working on an album with Frost, and the release date is to be determined. Their duo is called The RVA Trxck Team. Although she has not done much self-promotion, 10k is an artist whose name is known throughout Collegiate’s campus. “I don’t like talking,” she says, “I just write songs and express myself through my music.” For a rapper with only two released songs and little self-promotion, 10k has gained a significant following.
Her lyrics are known to flow well with the beat, and I asked her about her flow: “I usually just find a beat, freestyle over it, and then use that freestyle to write the rest,” she says. 10k does most of her recording in Collegiate’s studio, located in the Saunders Family Library. She also says, “I just likes to hang out in there, it’s where I am most comfortable. When I make music, it’s the best way for me to release stress or chill with friends or by myself. I don’t have to be in a specific mood to drop some bars, I am always in the mood.” 10k’s passion translates to her relentless work ethic. She spends “at least three to five hours making music per week.”
Classmate Nathan West (’19) is a fan of her music and is anticipating her upcoming album. He says, “I have supported her since the first time I heard her rap.” West is not the only one with strong support for the rapper. Her most popular song, “No Watchin’,” has almost 1000 listens on soundcloud. West continues by saying, “the speed of her rapping makes it so fun to listen to and it really gets me hype.” So far, all of 10k’s songs include her signature quick style of rapping. Her upcoming album may show some of her other stylistic talents. “She freestyled in Anatomy class once, and it made me even more hype for the album. I need it to come out now,” says West.
You can check out 10k and Pr1met1me performing with Con Brio at the Upper School’s opening assembly on Aug. 29 HERE (performance starts around 20:30).
You can also check her out on soundcloud: look for 10k.zuri.
All photos by Aadam Samee.