Marquette Wire

Senior profiles underground artists online

Group highlights up-and-coming talents on website

The+Ghetto+Flower+launched+in+January+this+year.+Photo+courtesy+of+Michael+Tayo.
The Ghetto Flower launched in January this year. Photo courtesy of Michael Tayo.

The Ghetto Flower launched in January this year. Photo courtesy of Michael Tayo.

The Ghetto Flower launched in January this year. Photo courtesy of Michael Tayo.

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Michael Tayo had been molding an idea in his head for a while. Tayo came to Marquette from Plainfield, Illinois in 2013 for school after living in London until 2008. The entire time, he had music on his mind.

Finally, on Jan. 2 of this year, his 21st birthday, the senior in the College of Business Administration dove into his idea.

Using his music taste and knowledge of site creation, he started a blog called The Ghetto Flower. Tayo described it as a hub he oversees for underground hip-hop music.

The website also has lifestyle posts, other art forms and merchandise, but the music has always been the blog’s lifeblood.

The name, The Ghetto Flower, came from a Lil Uzi Vert lyric. Tayo said, “It’s about coming from tough roots, but not being consumed by your environment, pushing all of that aside and emerging.”

He said he hopes his website can shine a spotlight on under-the-radar artists pushing to make a name for themselves.

At first, Tayo contacted a couple of artists, asking if they would be interested in promotion on his website. Ever since then, artists have reached out to Tayo.

“A lot of these artists I had never heard of until they got in touch with me, and now I’m a big fan of theirs,” he said. “I want people to come to my site, find out about a new artist, refer them to a friend and get people listening to their stuff.”

Tayo does not run the site alone. He enlisted the help of two high school friends, Josue Roman and Quinton Coleman. Together, they created a three-person team that has brought the blog to fruition.

Coleman, a senior at Aurora University, helps run content. He is responsible for writing blog posts and discovering new artists.

Coleman was drawn to the idea of the blog because it provides a platform for young, underground artists.

“I love to see these young kids who are talented artists or photographers. Why not showcase them instead of having people just getting connected to the mainstream when we’ve got these youth that are doing even better than them?” Coleman said.

Roman is in charge of the merchandise, networking and outside aspects of the blog. Currently working in Chicago, he reaches out to local stores regarding possible collaborations.

Recently, he had The Ghetto Flower stickers and shirts created. Roman said he is excited by the unique perspective and creativity the site has.

“I feel like we have a lot to offer that a lot of sites don’t. We really try to communicate with and get to know the people we’re trying to put out there, rather than them just coming to us,” Roman said.

To anyone thinking about pursuing their own dream or hobby, Tayo said his advice is to “just to do it.”

“I turned 21, and just said, ‘Why not make my own website and get everybody to look at it?'”

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