When you think of hip-hop, some of the biggest names in the game should come to mind: Notorious B.I.G, 2 Pac, Big L, AZ, Nas and Jay-Z to name a few. All of these rappers have made a place for themselves amidst the best in the industry. Despite whatever unexceptional backgrounds through which they evolved, these artists put in the necessary sweat, blood, and tears to make a name for their selves. Maryland’s own Cell Spitfire is following in these legendary footsteps as he plans to pave a way for himself and build his own throne among the icons.
Cell Spitfire was born in Maryland’s capital, Annapolis, on October 21, 1986. In middle school, a fellow student had trouble pronouncing his name. So, the kid gave Comacell the nickname “Cell”, which would stick with him for the rest of his life. Brown was raised primarily by his grandparents. At the age of 8, he became aware of his mother’s drug addiction, forcing him into manhood much earlier than most boys his age. During elementary school, Brown attended the Salvation Army’s after school program. It was here that he was given the opportunity to experiment with art. He quickly developed a passion for it and was well on his way to becoming a talented artist. He developed a knack for customizing shirts as a result of his experimentation with fabric paints. This hobby would eventually materialize into a local business, bringing him money and publicity.
Brown’s next venture would catapult him to his current success. His childhood friend, Montre “Tre” Seay, had access to a recording studio owned by his father. Brown’s cousin, Derrick “Mouse” Wallace, had already been working in the studio with Seay. Together, Seay and Wallace taught Brown how to “rap”. The tightly knitted trio formed the group Keep It Raw (aka The Raw). When they had worn out their welcome in Seay’s studio (his father finally demanded that they cut the racket out), they continued to write songs. Once Brown got his first computer, however, the group was back in business and they set up a small digital audio workstation. As their songs spread locally, the group began to gain popularity. There was much interest in joining the group, but the guys limited inclusion to only the seriously committed.
By the time Brown had reached high school, he was all over the local circuit as a rapper, painter, and athlete (playing football, basketball, and baseball). He and a couple others created their own clothing line, Banco Pop. They specialized in painting custom shirts with abstract designs. Banco Pop proved infectious, and the demand for custom apparel skyrocketed throughout school and, eventually, the state. Brown’s merchandise drew the attention of several prominent rappers, including Free Way and the Ice City Click, Memphis Bleak, and Backland. With clever punch lines and superior delivery, Brown gained respect as a rapper. Whenever he would rap, listeners would often say, “He spit dat fire!” The comment gave birth to his stage name—Cell Spitfire. Between mixtape sales and his clothing line, Cell Spitfire had become a young entrepreneur.
With the official Keep It Raw roster assembled (Cell Spitfire, Tre Da Kid, Mouse Milli, Black Da Gorilla, Nem, Young H, Greeny, Kojo, and Big Freeze), Cell Spitfire continued to garner musical success, taking his hustle to the budding Mecca of Hip-Hop, Atlanta, GA, as he pursued post-secondary education at the Art Institute there. He majored in Graphic Design and continued his musical endeavors, finding access to a small studio. Not long after completing the program, and after heavy networking in the city, Cell Spitfire returned to his hometown to continue the work he started with Keep It Raw and to rejuvenate his community. Currently, the group is performing before packed crowds and making major headway into the next level of the industry.