For Tampa Bay emcees, what does it mean to be a Young Parisian?

An intimate look into a fast-moving Bay area hip hop clique

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The Young Parisians just completed a big trip to New York City where they hoped to show other regions how the South gets down. Longtime scene staples Mike Mass, Beyobe and DJ Casper brought a handful of Tampa artists along with them to The Big Apple to perform.

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The triumvirate have been putting together trips to New York City for some time now, and Mass most recently appeared on satellite radio's Sway In the Morning where he dropped some Tampa-repping bars.

Before the trip, Mass called for a rehearsal to work out the kinks of each set and give out pointers on posture and breathing techniques. By the time CL got there, the YP crew had already been rehearsing for five hours already. The practice space is located in Seminole, Florida, and was charging just $60 for 10 hours of rehearsal time. Walking through the hallways, I heard low tuned guitars and drum double bass coming from behind most doors, but a walk towards the back unveils the repetitive drum beat of a hip-hop track. Posters of Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Slayer line the hallway walls.

I walk through door number four and am met by Mass who says that everyone has rehearsed their sets already but will be staying until 2 a.m. to utilize all of their time. Beyobe started droping instrumentals, and an impromptu freestyle session would go on for two hours.

Young Parisian Mowglii freestyled for almost 20 minutes, going back and forth with Proper Jones and entertaining everyone in the room. Mowglii put down the mic for a quick smoke break outside, and I wondered what goes through his head while spitting from the top? for 20 minutes straight.

"When I’m freestyling, I feel free," he said, adding that it feels like time just stops. "I love to speak of my experiences, my whole motto is live your life in your lines and that's what I do when I freestyle."

He's invested a lot of his own money to go on the trip, but everyone on the trip is making the same sacrifice.

"I am Young Parisians and were a family," he said, "we all make investments to reassure our success and our development as businessmen and as artists."

The call from the mic was too strong at this point, and Mowglii put out his halfway smoked cigarette to return to the freestyle session. That is one commonality all YP members have; an urge to be the best on the mic.

click to enlarge The Young Parisians during a recent trip to New York City, New York. - Mikala Sophia
Mikala Sophia
The Young Parisians during a recent trip to New York City, New York.

click to enlarge The Young Parisians practice at Circle Rehearsal Studio in Seminole, Florida. - Michael M. Sinclair
Michael M. Sinclair
The Young Parisians practice at Circle Rehearsal Studio in Seminole, Florida.

click to enlarge The Young Parisians during a recent trip to New York City, New York. - Mikala Sophia
Mikala Sophia
The Young Parisians during a recent trip to New York City, New York.

click to enlarge The Young Parisians practice at Circle Rehearsal Studio in Seminole, Florida. - Michael M. Sinclair
Michael M. Sinclair
The Young Parisians practice at Circle Rehearsal Studio in Seminole, Florida.

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