Sieging the Rap Game

Music provides student hobby, possible career after high school

Kyle Elmendorf, Staff Writer

This year’s senior class president at Blue Valley is C.J. Swimmer. However, Swimmer is not just your typical class president. When he is not helping run BV’s Student Council, he can be found recording raps in his home studio.

When Swimmer is rapping, his name is Lil Siege, and he said he hopes one day he will be able to rap for a living. Swimmer said he typically writes verses during school and usually finishes the day with five pages of material.

Swimmer said his inspiration came from his love for music.

“I’ve just always loved music — I thought it was fun and me and some friends just did and some people liked it,” Swimmer said. “I get my inspiration from Ugly God, another rapper. He is why I started rapping.”

Swimmer said he got his stage name from a nickname his friends gave him.

“I go by C.J.,” he said. “So one of my friends started combining the C and the J together, and it made ‘Siege.’”

Although Swimmer isn’t in a rap group, he creates raps with other local rappers. Swimmer said while he does enjoy collaborations, he eventually wants to move on and record with someone else.

“I like working with other people until they just start annoying me,” he said. “Then I just tell them to leave — then I work by myself.”

Swimmer said there are other rappers who go to BV, but he said most aren’t very serious about furthering their rap careers.

“There are [other rappers at BV] but none of them are ‘real,’” Swimmer said. “Alex Wang did one with me. [Others] have their little rap thing, but it’s whatever. They’re just kind of fake. They’re not ‘professional.’”

Swimmer said he gets mixed reactions from his family and peers.

“[My family] supports me in whatever I do, but they think it’s interesting,” he said. “My friends like it, I guess. Some people [at school] are positive — some people are negative.”

Swimmer had his first live performance Dec. 10 at Club 906 in Liberty, Missouri. He performed with Wang and had another performance there on Saturday, Jan. 14.

“[Performing at Club 906] was a good experience. It wasn’t a huge venue — just a small club — but had around 40-50 people and [it] was a fun time. It was good practice.” Swimmer said. “I met with some other local rappers there, and I’ve been talking to a producer that works for The Grammys, as well as working on some opening acts at the Midland [and] Granada.”

Becoming a professional rapper is a goal of Swimmer’s, but he said he does have a backup plan if his career doesn’t take off.

“I’m planning to go to KU, but I’ve been talking to people like agents and record labels, and I’m trying to see what I can do,” Swimmer said. “If I could do it for a living, that would be cool. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen, so I guess we’ll see. Hopefully everything goes well.”

Before his first performance at Club 906, Swimmer (middle) poses with his friends, seniors Alex Wang, Connor Holmes, Remi Dunlap and Braxton Beal. “[When I perform,] I get a little of the cut, but it’s really just to get my name out and see what people think,” Swimmer said. “I hope it’s fun and the crowd likes it. I hope it’s a good time.” Photo submitted by C.J. Swimmer.