|Birth name Charles Misodi Njapa|
Years active 1998–present
|Name Charles Misodi Njapa|
Record labels GOOD Music, Decon
Role Record producer
|Born March 3, 1976 (age 39)New York, United States (1976-03-03) |
Occupation(s) Record producer, rapper
Albums The Death of Adam, Adam's Case Files Mixtape, Beats No More 2, Daylight EP
Genres Hip hop music, Underground hip hop
Associated acts Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Consequence
Similar People Colin Munroe, Kanye West, Mike Dean, Phonte, Bun B
Learn from legends 88 keys
Charles Misodi Njapa (born March 5, 1976), better known by his stage name 88-Keys, is an American record producer and rapper from New York City.
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Born in New York City to West African parents, he was raised in the Eastchester section of the Bronx and later in West Hempstead on Long Island, where he attended high school.
88-Keys first took an interest in hip hop after hearing Prince Paul's production on De La Soul's 1989 critically acclaimed album 3 Feet High and Rising. In the early '90's, 88-Keys met A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip, DJ-producer Pete Rock and producer Large Professor working as an intern at West Hempstead's The Music Palace recording studio. It was Large Professor who gave Charles his 88-Keys moniker after witnessing his skills on the Ensoniq ASR-10 keyboard.
However, 88-Keys's parents were strict on education and less enthusiastic about his interest in the then-newly emerging cultural phenomenon of hip hop. Both of 88-Keys's parents are registered nurses, his brother is a doctor, one of his older sisters is a nurse and another sister is on her way to becoming a doctor. Upon considering a serious career in music, 88-Keys's parents and older brother began trying to point him into the field of medicine because it was a more "professional field" and the music industry didn't seem like a lucrative move. After briefly attending Hofstra University and Queens College, 88-Keys dropped out to pursue his dreams of being a record producer. His decision was fueled by an opportunity to record some tracks with The Pharcyde who were recording in California. 88-Keys currently resides in Harlem, New York with his wife and two daughters.
In addition to his passion for music, 88-Keys has expressed his love for fashion, most notably Ralph Lauren. During an interview with Metro 88-Keys revealed that he has worn Polo Ralph Lauren every day for 16 years.
According to the article, 88-Keys began wearing Polo Ralph Lauren as a Long Island high school student in 1992 when he developed a liking for its classic, preppy style. Since then, he's worn a complete look from the brand every day, without fail. His wardrobe includes over 700 Polo pieces.
Since his days as an assistant engineer, 88-Keys has produced records for numerous artists including Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Kid Cudi, Macy Gray, Musiq Soulchild, Dejuan Lucian and Consequence. Recently, 88-Keys extended beyond his production credits to highlight his skills on the mic as MC, singer and collaborator, most notably on his solo debut album The Death of Adam released on November 11, 2008. Executively produced by 88-Keys's close friend Kanye West, the concept album tells the story of a man named Adam who has been murdered in a loft apartment in Harlem. In August 2008 a fifteen-track mixtape titled Adam's Case Files was released as a prequel to The Death of Adam. The album's first single titled "Stay Up! (Viagra)" was officially released through iTunes on September 9, 2008. In December 2008, 88-Keys was highlighted as Spin (magazine) Artist of the Day. In 2009, 88-Keys worked in Atlanta with new female duo Addictive on a track for a forthcoming album.