Making it big in the music industry is usually a long shot. But one Opa-locka group is hedging its bet early: At just 11-years old, the rapper duo known as The Beat Gods are producing and performing their own music in hopes making their dreams come true.
“My dad inspired me to rap,” said Antoine Jones, who goes by the stage name AJ The God. “Because I saw him rapping, I wanted to rap, too, and I started making beats. I write a lot of music and I will go back and change it if I do not like it. I also see myself cutting hair, having my own business and not working for anyone else.”
Said his brother, Cassius Gomez — who goes by the name Cash The God: “Ever since we were little we would watch him [our father] making beats. He would just ask us ‘Are you all ready for beats?’
“But we did not really understand until we got [older], like 7 or 8, and he said ‘OK, it is time for you all to start making beats.’ He just took us to the computer, turned it on, started practicing and that is how we got started.”
Antoine and Cassius both say they look up to their father as a parent and mentor in the music business, but that they’ve learned lessons from him far beyond making music.
“It makes me feel good, I mean the fact that they are working hard like they are because at first when I put them on it [music], there was really no guarantee that they were going to pick it up, but they progressed really fast,” said their father, songwriter-producer William “Will The God” Gomez.
“I know that there is more to the music,” Gomez continued. “It is education behind it. I want them to go to school and be able to open a studio. So, it makes me feel good. There are a lot of ways to get money in music and it is an independent market now so it is not like they have to be signed to a major label. If you know how to run your business correctly you can be successful on your own.”
The Beat Gods have been rapping and producing since about the age of 8. Having careers at such an early age is almost unheard of, even to veterans in the music business.
“I started producing when I was in the 11th or 12th grade and I thought I was young,” said Mike Sound, a South Florida producer. “That is great that they know what they want. Earlier is better.”
Antoine attends Arts Academy of Excellence in Opa-locka and Cassius goes to Palmetto Middle School. It’s no secret what the brothers do after school Some of the other students are even fans of their music. And that seems to make them work even harder.
Their father also started young in the music business, writing music since his early teen years. He began seriously producing music the past decade.
Gomez, who also lives in Opa-locka, said his sons are surpassing his expectations, attributing that in part to the support he has given them as a parent — something he didn’t have when he started out in the business.
“I liked writing but I had no father figure,” Gomez said. “There was really no hope for me to really do music unless I had somebody to really help me out financially so they are on another level. I cannot even compare it to be honest with you.”