STREAMWOOD, Ill. — Like any other teenager, Miguel Thompson regularly fights through the stream of students as he dashes from class to class.
But at a time when most high school students are spending their free time socializing, the 16-year-old Streamwood High School junior slips through the music room and into a quiet, tiny room with a few chairs and walls lined with foam. The school’s recording studio is where Thompson creates his music.
“I come to the studio during my free time daily at school and I make music through my feelings,” says Thompson.
The freestyle rapper’s journey started one day almost 10 years ago when he was only 7 and was listening to his dad and a family friend rap. Now the Streamwood teenager admits that, at first, he wasn’t very good at rapping, but he didn’t give up.
“I kept going at it, striving at it until I became something,” Thompson says.
Thompson keeps many of his lyrics in a little red book that he carries everywhere, and says that he uses his life experiences to inspire him.
Using a specialized microphone and sound editing software called GarageBand, Thompson mixes and remixes his tracks until he gets them just how he likes, often jumping from one track to another and then back again.
Thompson credits Eminem as his inspiration, and some of his music emulates the well-known rapper’s style.
Thompson says that little red book has helped him create many of his songs, and he enjoys sharing his favorites through social media sites like Facebook and SoundCloud.
“I like the feeling of someone liking my music,” Thompson says.
Although he creates hip-hop music as his first love, his musical tastes aren’t confined to that one particular genre.
“I am a hip-hop artist. I love all music,” Thompson says, “But my favorite, what I enjoy doing is mostly hip-hop rapping.”