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HeatCasters Exclusive Interview w/ Eshon Burgundy: A Journey To Destiny (Part I: Shedding The Idol of Hip Hop)
HeaCasters brings you a two part exclusive interview as Imade dives deep into the man behind the mic, the ever so talented Eshon Burgundy. Salute.
Eshon Burgundy: A Journey To Destiny
Written By Imade
Part I: Shedding The Idol of Hip Hop
Anton Eshon Hairston has a childhood destined for a biopic, but without the tragic ending. He could have been a number of things: a drug dealer, a violent thug, or a self-obsessed Hip Hop addict; however, Eshon defied the odds and shed himself of the latter. In its place, a mature believer emerged. Holding on to his childhood memories and Christian faith, Eshon makes music to advance the kingdom of God. Here’s his journey.
“I started wanting to rap at 8. My neighbor asks me to go upstairs in her house and get something out of her room. And “My Philosophy” [by KRS-One] was on. It really looked like it was something out of a movie. I was an 8 year old kid sitting down and looking up at this television screen. And this guy is on there going super hard. At that very moment I was like, ‘Yo, this is what I want to do’. It just stuck. And I never forget that moment.”
Eshon held on to his Hip Hop dreams while growing up in a harsh world. “Me, and my mother, and my younger brother, we lived in shelters, projects, and [homes where] people were on drugs. I already seen a lot from my mother being abused.” Eshon faced tremendous pressures inside and outside the home. In spite of it all, Eshon’s determination never wavered. “There were dope boys, people selling drugs. People getting shot. You’re almost forced in a sense to become like the environment. I never had a desire from a little kid. I guess it was from my mother who was instilling in me to be different. I was trying to be different…whatever different was for a little kid in the projects.”
As a teenager, Eshon used his rap skills to set himself apart. “Me and my friend had a rap group called the Mad Teenagers. We did our first show at Channel 12 in Philly, which is a PBS station. I was in that place of trying to become a better artist and establish myself as a performer, but I was still living in the projects. I got into a little altercation with a drug dealer. Chaos happened.” That chaos was getting shot three times at the age of fifteen. “It was life threatening. I still have a pole in my leg. Surprisingly I recovered from the wounds pretty quick. I was out the hospital in about two weeks. I stayed in the rehab center for about a month. I had to learn how to walk again.”
Eshon also had to learn how to heal mentally and emotionally. But first, he had to recognize that the deepest wounds are often not seen. “I had a psychologist see me in the hospital. He talked to me for a little bit and he left. He never came back. In my mind, I must be fine. I didn’t even cry when it happened.” But a conversation with his former Philadelphia pastor helped him make an insightful connection. “She was telling me when you suffer a traumatic experience it can affect your memory and other things mentally. When she said that it sort of clicked because I have a hard time remembering my past. I remember key moments or key instances vividly. But the past as a whole I have to sit and think really hard in order to remember it.”
Other issues came to the surface as Eshon’s rap focus intensified. Eshon was heading down the wrong path, but two events changed Eshon’s course. “Getting married and becoming a father and a husband was the pivotal moment in my life that changed everything. I used to be obsessed with rap music. That was my king, that was my god–even after getting saved.” Eshon didn’t recognize this until his wife gave him a stunning wakeup call. “She said, you may love this music thing more than you love God. And I got offended. I hung up the phone on her. I had to call her back the next day and I said you know what, you’re absolutely right, I do love it more than I love God. I spend more time with this thing than I do with the Father. When I got the revelation I began to take the proper steps to put God on the top tier and everything else underneath. Now, I love [rap music] but it’s not an overwhelming consuming desire like it used to be.”
Read Part II here.
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