Aspiring Rap artists and brothers Ed Baldonado, also known as stage name Ex-D and Joe Baldonado, stage name Twista-J are local guys that have big dreams. They have created a rap duo called Roomstyle.
The brothers have been rapping and creating music since the ‘90s. They both were raised in Oakdale and attended Oakdale High School. Oakdale is their hometown and even though they both moved away they knew that they would eventually come back to the small town they call home.
Ex-D fell in love with rap music when he was 12 listening to the lyrics and beats of Tupac Shakur. Tupac is the biggest influence and inspiration that got both the brothers into the rap scene.
“I fell in love with what he was saying and the way he was saying it,” said Ed. “I got into it from there.”
Ed and Joe write their own lyrics for the rap songs that they create. Joe creates the beats and the baselines that they rap to.
Rap music has changed, according to the Baldonado’s and they would like to change it back to the days of telling a story about family and the struggles of life.
“We just want to let people know that anybody can do it, as long as you have your passion, you can do anything you want, especially our kids,” expressed Ed.
The Baldonado brothers helped form a group called NCP around 2002 that consisted of about six to seven members. Due to strife between the members the group broke up and they all went their separate ways.
After the group parted ways the brothers focused on their families and put their music career on hold.
Eventually, Ed and Joe got back together and invested time and money into a cd called True Rhymers by Roomstyle with their original beats.
They made 1000 copies and gave them away so that people could get a taste of their music and showcase what they have to offer.
According to the brothers, they currently have another album completed; however it has not been recorded. The new album will have country, rock and roll, and rap.
“I want to make this album so tricky that it’s going to be great,” stated Ed.
“It’s never been done,” added Joe.
The brothers have been performing together for many years and neither one of them are shy or nervous about being on stage.
When the brothers were both younger they would perform together in talent shows like Park Fete in Escalon. In Arizona the brothers stated that they performed at several different venues.
They will hit a bigger stage in San Jose at the Blue Chip Bar and Grill opening for rapper San Quinn on Friday, Jan. 10.
“We aren’t afraid to get on stage,” said Joe.
“We love the thrill. We love to get into it. We love to get the crowd involved,” said Ed.
The Baldonado’s want their rap music to be positive for the youth. The brothers expressed that when they were younger they did things that they aren’t proud of and have plans for a future that is legit, leaving their bad ways behind.
“I had my first son when I was 18 and he is the one that changed my life,” stated Ed. “I would probably be dead if it wasn’t for him.”
On Thursday, Jan. 16, Roomstyle will be competing in the 2Racks Rap Contest in San Francisco. The rap duo must be prepared with five songs that are one minute and thirty seconds long. There will be a panel of judges including a celebrity judge. Each group will start with one song and if they do not get selected they will be eliminated in the first round. If they are selected then they will move on to the next round.
The winner of the rap contest will receive $2,000, which according to the Baldonado’s would really help them build their brand and get their next album going.
Eventually, the brothers plan to do shows in Oakdale, Modesto, and other venues in the surrounding area.
With support from family and friends, Roomstyle is just getting started and they see a very bright future in this New Year.
“I do want to benefit this community so everything we are doing to make this album is going to be made here,” said Ed. “We want to give back to the community.”
Roomstyle is giving away free tickets to both their upcoming events. If interested go to Facebook/roomstyle.baldonado, like their page, and comment.