Student artist strives for musical success as rapper, entrepreneur
By Andrew Osegi
Charles M. Inim considers himself a musician, an artist, a promoter, an MC and an entertainer. Also know as Charlie, CB or Prince Charles, Inim is a Texas State University student realizing his dream as a local, aspiring rapper with no intent of stopping.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Inim started rapping when he was in high school. Deeply involved with football at the time, Inim found that rhyming during his free time relieved him of the everyday stresses of high school and football. Rapping was a valve through which Inim could channel his inward thoughts and emotions.
Naturally, Inim continued his passion into his freshman year of college at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), where his talent found the means to grow through support from his friends. As time passed, what started out as a common interest between friends developed into the record label and music group 203.
“203 was my dorm number at UTEP,” said Inim. “As a freshman, students would visit my dorm and encourage the music I was making in my room. It was at UTEP where I met my colleague and business partner from Finland, K.O., and since then 203 has grown exponentially. ”
K.O., also known as Konsta, is the CEO of 203 and manages the business aspect of the record label. Inim and K.O. consider each other brothers, and together they share the genuine musical spark that makes 203 one of kind.
When Inim came to Texas State as a sophomore in 2011, 203 gained more members, including two rappers, two DJs and a vocalist. Members Nweke, EG, Mase, Mersh and Greg compose the list of Texas State associates of 203. Inim says that 203 isn’t just a music crew; it’s an assembly of close friends who enjoy each other’s talents and company.
“203 is a collection of artist who work together,” Inim said. “The group’s cohesiveness serves its members well, and resembles the role that a student organization would represent by providing support and camaraderie amongst its members.”
That’s not to say Inim has been too busy for Texas State extracurricular involvement. As a psychology major minoring in mass communications, Inim is an active member of Texas State’s student-run radio station, KTSW 88.9 FM, which he says has been helpful in and out of the studio. Last April, he performed at KTSW’s annual MR Fest, a weekend-long music festival in San Marcos.
“Texas State has connected me with so many great people and opportunities,” Inim said. “The classes I’ve taken here have helped me become a more creative, inspired person. I feel like I’ve grown tremendously as a student, and as a learner, during my time here.”
As of today, Inim and K.O. have released two mixtapes and — with the help of the rest of 203 — have gone on to release two albums as well. Aesthetics of an A******(2011) was the group’s first album and has acquired approximately more than 2,500 digital downloads. Their recently released second album, Charles (2012), also is projected to do well.
Inim hopes to continue his musical endeavors with 203 by promoting his music and supporting his crew member’s projects. He says 203 shows no sign of slowing down and the group intends to grow bigger in the public spotlight.
“Our ultimate goal at 203 is to entertain our listeners,” Inim said. “We are fueled by the support from our fans, family and friends.”
Inim has his own advice for aspiring artists: “A lot of kids give up on their dreams. They settle for the mundane and the easy. If you are passionate about something, don’t give up on it. A passion never dies, so I say go out there and live your dream.”