A Commercial Fisherman in the Rap Game

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eli mix final

Today we hear what happens when you combine fishing with rap music. Eli Fields was born and raised in Kodiak, and he discovered his love for music early.

Fields is just 17 years old, but he already has a proper studio album in the bag. His debut, Paper and Crayons was released earlier this month.

“I started rapping as early as 10 years old. I have poems from way back in my childhood,” Fields says.

A few things stand out when listening to the album, but the most surprising is that among the 17 tracks on Paper and Crayons there isn’t a single profanity. Fields says that wasn’t always the case in his music.

Eli's album "Paper and Crayons" is available on iTunes.
Eli’s album “Paper and Crayons” is available on iTunes.

“When I first started rapping I didn’t have a positive message at all. That was when I was doing quite a bit of drugs and was into all sorts of stuff. I kind of realized ‘this music isn’t really helping anybody,’ so I decided I wanted to have a more positive message with my music and just share something that helps people or inspires them or just gives them a positive message and is not just tearing people down or anything,” says Fields.

Another major theme in the album is Alaska, and specifically Fields hometown of Kodiak. There is no shortage of rhymes about mountains, hiking and salmon.

“It’s just a family business that I’ve been doing ever since I was born. So when I started rapping, naturally I kind of merged the two together and made quite a few rapping songs about fishing,” Fields says.

Fields even produced a video for one of his songs that features him and his fishing crew rapping, pulling nets and sling shotting rubber gloves. The majority of the video takes place on a fishing skiff.

“The video is called Uyak, and it’s named after the bay we fish in. I knew that summer I wanted to make a music video that had to do with fishing, and a song that had to do with fishing. I talked to our crewman about it and they were all for it and thought it would be awesome. I actually got one of them to write a verse for me – Taylor Made who’s featured in that video,”

Fields might not fit the typical mold, and he might never become famous, but he plans on making more music regardless. No matter where his career takes him, he is serious about staying true to himself. After all, how many rappers use their real name as their stage name?

“I love rap music and if I can somehow make a career out of writing and making music that would be great, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to try to be someone I’m not. At the end of the day I’m just a kid that grew up in Kodiak and really loves music, and I just try to bring those two things together,” Fields says.

I, for one, wish him luck.

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David Waldron began his radio career in 2000 as a volunteer DJ at UAA’s radio station KRUA 88.1, where he hosted a weekend music show. In 2004 he was hired as the station’s Music Director, and held the position until his graduation in 2007. After a few radio odd jobs, he was hired by Alaska Public Media in 2008 as an operator and audio engineer. He currently engineers the statewide programs Alaska News Nightly and Talk of Alaska for APRN, as well as KSKA's Hometown Alaska and Line One: Your Health Connection. He also hosts and produces AK, a weekly news program that airs at the end of Alaska News Nightly on Fridays. dwaldron (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8425 | About Dave

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