Phresh James on New Album, The Greater Good
The sun is setting as Kaleem Muhammed, AKA Phresh James, sips a glass of Cabernet at an outdoor café near Little Haiti.
Relaxing after dropping his kids home from school, the Carol City born rapper pauses to chat with two girls as they walk past. Keeping the conversation light yet engaging, he is a ladies man and has a natural way for words.
"My mom was an English teacher," explains Phresh. "I studied English at Miami-Dade College, but it wasn't for me. I still read, though. The last book I read was a wisdom book on love."
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Lyrical yet able to relate to the average listener, Phresh's rhymes reflect what goes on in his day-to-day life.
On his last album, Universal Love Period, relationships were a central theme. Tracks like "Lonely" showed him moving on from a tough breakup.
Fast-forward two years and he has matured, resulting in the upcoming album, The Greater Good.
"Transition from boy to man that's what this album represents," the rapper says. "From intro to the end, you're getting me looking myself in the mirror, coping, and telling it from then on."
Growing up, Phresh was more into his books than rapping. He favored science and English, thinking about a career in architecture or business management. It wasn't until after high school when he met up with Lil Champ, his partner on the mixtape M.i.aliens, that chose the hip-hop path.
"I got into the studio when Champ was recording," Phresh recalls. "Made a freestyle over a Young Buck beat, put it on MySpace, and Champ gave me encouragement, like, 'You should take this more seriously.' Ever since that day, rapping was something I knew I wanted to do."
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