Well, he started off as Doom The Strange and he was one of several underground Latino hip-hop artists in the 90s, but as he got older he shed the rap skin and now sports an R&B coat. And he changed his name.
Several artists have gotten at Rocks Off about Milton Bradley. "Milton Bradley this." "Doom that." "He's making noise." We didn't know if they were talking about two people or one person. In fact, Doom is Milton Bradley. Milton Bradley was Doom. Today, in the Latino hip-hop circle he's one of the most sought-after feature artists. He sings really catchy hooks and elevates tracks with his voice.
But he doesn't want to talk about himself when we speak. He wants to talk about the past. He's been following Rocks Off religiously and he isn't happy with most Latino hip-hop artists not paying homage to the originators of Latino hip-hop in Houston. He wants to educate the Latino youngsters in Houston taking the mike. He feels its their responsibility to know their roots. It's important that they know who paved the road they walk on.
He's not playing around. Carry on Milton Bradley. Carry on.
Rocks Off: Why the transition from Doom to Milton? You tell me you are unbeaten in freestyle competitions. Why abandon it?
Milton Bradley: With R&B I can be me musically. I'm not the mess of a rapper I once was so many years ago. I am 31 now. I believe that with my age came wisdom. The funk soul side of me developed over time. I would say that I switched to the R&B genre because I get to be me musically. I don't want to project hate or ratify violence and negativity any longer.
I just don't love rhyming like I used to. I love being able to relate to the masses. Everyone has gone through a break up or fallen in love. I want to make music that soothes your soul and makes you feel good all over when you hear it. Maybe it's best that I stick with the jazz and the funk soul side of me. I just like being able to display my love for music again. I believe you can better hear how I feel as a singer and songwriter.
RO: Your claim is that Latino rap in Houston started in the Southeast. We're not going to argue, but tell us why your claim is legitimate.
MB: When Latino rap in Houston began, it branched from South Park Coalition. Its general was K-Rino and its soldiers were Street Military. What stemmed from that tree would go on to create a new chapter in Houston hip-hop history - the SouthEast Latin Sector, Houston's first Latino rap-based organization from the Southeast. I went to Milby High School at the time so I remember the debut of their music vividly along with thousands of Mexicanos still alive today who can vouch for Houston's Latino hip-hop origin, like Lil Villain, Lord Loco, Filero, Grimm, and Ikeman.
(Note: Rocks Off has been sitting on four hours of thrilling Latino hip-hop history given to us by Southeast veterans Sen and Lil Villain. Procrastination is not the word. Just want to express that Rocks Off hasn't forgot about you homeys.)
Hip-hop for Latinos began in Southeast so please don't hate that fact. Pay it respect and homage. The album that broke ground for us Mexicans and Latinos in Houston was Grimm's first album in 1994 Makin' a Matter Worse, featuring the SouthEast Latin Sector. Because of him we now have the avenue to be heard equally.
RO: Tell us why you have the credibility to set the record straight about Latino rap in Houston. Why you?
MB: I have the right to say what I say because I was taught by the originators. They laid out the guidelines for us to follow in the brutal world of street influenced gangsta' rap with political and positive messages. Those of us who understood them, like Aggravated, understood that they were our voice because at that time nobody cared about how Mexican youth felt about our situation in the barrio dealing with strong urban warfare. Those times were a lot different then.
The early 90s were our trials and tribulation. We lost plenty of homeboys to ignorance and violence. Anybody from any real ghetto or hood knows that it hurts to be in this situation and will never glorify its hardships but educate on how to change a deadly era to fit society in a path of peace and unity. The first Mexican unification of our great city of Houston was the group Aggravated and their self-titled album broke ground, as they were the first Mexican or Latino rap group in Houston
I guess that it's safe to say that I'm entitled to speak on the origin of Latino hip-hop in Houston because Shadow Ramirez and Grimm are some of my best friends in the whole world and I have heard the story of our history from the keepers of this knowledge directly.
RO: So history aside, what chapter are you writing? Where can we hear you?
MB: I am currently working on finishing my R&B album, Songs For California. That's my number one priority at this time. I have features on many gifted and respectable musicians albums. I am working in close proximity with my homeys The Most Hated, Uno, K-Rino, E.S.E., DJ Noble, Lil Young, Flatline Click, G.T. Garza, 2-4-5, South East, Hoodfellaz, Stooie Brothers, Every Corner Records, C-Los, Steve-O Valdez, and Dirty Deeds Entertainment to name a few.
RO: Fast! Name your top five Houston emcees right now...
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- Devin the Dude
- Bun B
- Pimp C
RO: True to history indeed.