By Aaris A. Schroeder
Chasing his dreams in Hip Hop has led Fresno, CA born, raised and bred, Michael BluEyez on a path towards success with the fall 2020 release of “Long Road Home,” an album that represents his experience; becoming the man he was meant to be during the time he was incarcerated for 21 years, seven months and six days.
The time that took him to become rehabilitated cut about four-and-a-half years off his sentence and allowing him to pursue his dreams of becoming a Hip Hop legend in his home town.
“I always loved hip hop but I really fell in love with it in the early ‘90s. It was the whole era.” Michael BluEyez remembers bumping artists like Brotha Lynch Hung, Planet Asia and Rappin’ 4Tay, to name a few.
Michael BluEyez did not start off rapping, the inspiration to emcee comes from making good decisions in life, even when nobody saw him succeed. His goal within Hip Hop is to leave a legacy for his son and community so that others do not end up in prison like he did on a gang-related shooting. While in prison, Michael BluEyez became a licensed Conflict Resolution Mediator through Prison of Peace, helping others in similar situations to make better decisions and solve problems.
“Writing rhymes in prison was therapy. I worked hard for three years and received my degree; all of that so I can be the illest independent business owner I dreamed of being. Look at me now!” Reminisces Michael BluEyez whose music career began once he paroled and started his own label, Relentless Vision Entertainment in 2020.
After his parole was completed June 2019, BluEyez stayed with the national non-profit Prison of Peace, eventually going full-time working in administration and through their Distance Learning Program founded by Laurel Kaufer and Douglas Noll and Director of Training, Benjamin Wilson. The non-profit is nation-wide and is going global with clients and offices in Greece and soon two other countries.
Eventually Michael BluEyez plans to go back into prisons to teach more of the same workshops he personally learned from while incarcerated. A lot of the work he does outside of prison is responding to inmate’s mail, grading homework for them and specialized mentoring. Part of Michael BluEyez’s healing resides within himself. The work he does within the prisons for inmates is a reminder that he still has a lot of room for improvement.
“We teach inmates how to be more effective communicators. Most problems in prison happen because of miscommunication. Once a student is taught active listening skills, he or she is later offered the chance to become a Conflict Resolution Mediator,” shares Michael BluEyez who also received his GED while in prison.
Michael BluEyez left behind his family while he was incarcerated and he wants others to understand how important these relationships are for [sic: men] so they can begin making better choices.
Before prison, Michael BluEyez was a big fan of Hip Hop but ended up getting caught up in the streets and since he never graduated from Junior High School, he was already on the wrong path. Hip Hop had a different path for him. Once he was behind bars, Michael BluEyez spent a lot of his time writing rhymes which became therapy for him which assisted in making sense of everything and begin setting goals. Upon being released from prison, Michael BluEyez went back to Fresno to build on what he left broken.
“It’s a city mixture of culture and gangs and a place where any kid can get caught up in the harshness of its life. Therefore, we have to have more responsible big homies out there helping the youth.” Michael BluEyez stands up for the youth.
Hip Hop can even be said to have persuaded Michael BluEyez through his re-found love and craft of rapping to inspire him to get an associate degree in Business Management along with being licensed as a Conflict Resolution Mediator. Not only that, Michael BluEyez became mentored by X-Raided, an American rapper and a former 24th Street Garden Blocc Crip gang member. Recording artist Mars who X-Raided mentors and works with on his label tells CBS5 KPIX SF Bay Area that it’s like, “history in the making.” He’s recording again and mentoring younger musicians.
“Like today is a historic day in hip hop. To see him [X-Raided] recording in the studio and not over the phone, it’s absolutely amazing.” Marz continues to explain to the Bay Area Affiliate.
The story of this artist is more than inspiring, Michael BluEyez is inspirational and motivating to not only those in prison but an example of how to live life fully once freedom has been found.
Once freed from the bars of prison, Michael BluEyez saw the world through new eyes and turned to his mentor, Sacramento-based rapper and producer Anerae Brown also known as X-Raided, who supported him through his prison-term along with working through his creative process with the help of Bloc Star Evolution’s main engineer David ‘Venezi’ Venesiano who helped to mix and master “Long Road Home.” X-Raided stepped in for the marketing of Michael BluEyez’s first single, “Dys-Educated” and the rest has become history.
He is giving back by being there for the young people. Recently, with the video shoot for “Struggling Youth” at Melody Park in Fresno. Relentless Visions Entertainment promoted the video shoot as a socially distanced event and asked locals to bring their kids to participate in the video. Also present and featured in the video shoot was Hip Hop Seen TV On-Air Personality Sofia Ruby who is also a talented R&B singer, YGNeggz (Tukaveli Recording Artist), Ryant Grice (rapper), Nanners559 (Artist Management) who came out to support Michael BluEyez and represent their own. Skateboarders nearby even came through to participate.
Being able to include young people and kids is very important to Michael BluEyez, something he lacked when he was a kid. Michael BluEyez believes that his life would have been very different if he had role models growing up.
“For me, I reached an age where I no longer had anyone else to blame for the mistakes I made. I needed to learn how to be a responsible man not only for my wife but just as important, for my community. It’s time to give back.” Michael BluEyez believes and holds strong in these ideas.
Even though the long-awaited freedom was inviting, the hardest part of his journey was facing those who he hurt and those who could not be in his life anymore because of what he had done. Michael BluEyez had let down not only his family but his son also when he was still so young; he has let down the entire community.
“I had lost so many friendships and loved ones along the way and some of them cannot be here today to see who I truly have become. The way that I make amends the most is by always remaining humble and operating with positive change.” Michael BluEyez relates.
Because of Michael BluEyez’s passion to succeed and gratitude towards the Most High and what he has been given while acknowledging the family he had harmed in the first place has allowed Michael BluEyez the opportunity to get his priorities in gear. Years of hard work reprogramming himself has allowed Michael BluEyez the chance to show his son and wife what kind of family man he can be. He also stays in touch with several guys from prison who may never come home and are serving life sentences. Michael BluEyez shares that every person’s journey home is different.
All of this has led Michael BluEyez in conjunction with his mentor Anerae Brown AKA X-Raided; known for his Prison Rap Albums during the 90s and more recently. Coincidently, not only was Michael BluEyez a major fan of his early on, they both served time in prison. X-Raided beginning March 1992 with a 26-year-term and is now on parole has continued to drop heat like “California Dreamin;’” a take and tribute from “California Love” by Tupac and working with artists like Michael BluEyez, assisting with his assimilation out of prison and working on music production.
Michael BluEyez released “Long Road Home” October 2020 and plans to release more music in 2021 while continuing to follow his dreams with Relentless Vision Entertainment and X-Raided along for the ride. The two have put together the blueprints for Michael BluEyez to set their own goals and standards in the industry.
“Anerae (X-Raided) has had tremendous amounts of patience with me as I figured out how to set realistic expectations and goals in the industry. Our plan has always been to own my own business. He is the one who pointed out that I needed to focus on writing about my life. My life has been nothing but growth and replacing old values with new ones. My rhymes reflect that.” Michael BluEyez shares who is not just an emcee but also a certified audio engineer and uses Pro-Tools for himself and artists he produces on Relentless Vision Entertainment.
Getting to where he is now is just the start for Michael BluEyez who began writing poetry when he first entered prison even though he could barely read or write since dropping out of school in the eighth grade. Through a desire to express himself and the relief he received from it; Michael BluEyez eventually found himself in prison rap cyphers. Years later, in prison, he realized he is an entertainer. He always was a fan of music growing up, especially hip hop and infatuated with what music can do to someone who listens to it as well as the creator during the process.
Once Michael BluEyez learned how to write his own rhymes and was able to see the reaction from his fans, he fell in love with Hip Hop all over again. This time, he wants to create a legacy and walk the walk of a music producer and emcee who gives back.
“If you’re still about that life carrying guns, then be prepared to either get killed or spend an obscene amount of your life in prison. But if you are trying to be an entrepreneur and [want] to leave a legacy that helps build humankind, don’t budge from your mindset. If you are gonna talk about it, then be about it.” Michael BluEyez explains the game which includes taking criticism.
Everything is a learning experience, a phrase that Michael BluEyez takes to heart and wants other to learn from. Already out of prison for a year and Michael BluEyez is already creating the very platform he envisioned when he was incarcerated. He plans on taking care of his family and those who are aligned with him on his path to helping those to have a better start in the industry and to mentor which will help to create a new generation in Hip Hop that does not get lost and helps to create memories together that are priceless.
For more information about Michael BluEyez and Relentless Vision Entertainment, check out the links below by listening on your favorite platform and stay in touch on Social Media where you can get involved and keep up with new releases and news.
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