CFHS grads take rapping dreams to stage

By Ben Boezinger

Sitting backstage, legs shaking and phones vibrating, CFHS graduates Aaron Heimbuck and Jackson Skiles know that this moment is the start of a new life.

A final phone check and final breaths are taken, and the duo strides onto the stage to start what might develop into a new career. Lyrics are run over again and again, not forgetting a final prayer before stepping into the fray. As soon as they step out onto that stage, they lock on and feel at home.

At the University of Iowa, Heimbuck and Skiles are part-time students and full-time performing artists. From sun up to sundown, the partners in rhyme are constantly trying to improve their music. It’s something they constantly strive for. “We strive to be better each and every time we rap. We have a dedication to our craft,” Jackson said.

New lyrics, new beats, whatever it may be, Heimbuck and Skiles are always trying to get their skill and ability to the next level. “I want to produce the best art I possibly can and never stop improving. If we never lose that mindset, I know Jack and I can do something really special,” Heimbuck said.

Even though the duo’s career is young, they’ve already seen some promising success. Friday, Nov. 11, they opened for Dizzy Wright, an artist who acts as a stepping stone for young performers. His works with current A-list artists like Kid Ink and Logic give him a catalyst for himself and his company to propel others to the mainstream.

The duo definitely has the goods to get from the bottom to the top. Like his idol, Chance the Rapper, Heimbuck has the smooth style and sound in the studio to produce popular and superior music. As for Skiles, it’s the lyrics, driving from his idol, Big L.

Both display a forward thinking that is necessary for the business. “Chase your passions with everything you have,” Heimbuck said. “I’ve seen too many extremely talented people settle for average. Just don’t let anyone or anything keep you from making the thing you love most your career.”

Most mainstream today, excluding a few rappers, keys on arrogance and drug-oriented lyrics. Peace and positivity aren’t preached by the ringleaders and idols anymore, but for Heimbuck and Skiles, two things propel them more than any others: pride and Cedar Falls.

“That’s home. That’s where our friends and family are who are the most important asset to our success. That’s the community that molded us,” Heimbuck said.

While perfoming may be the present for the duo, it might not be the future. Heimbuck is really is looking toward the future. He wants to continue to improve and continue to travel and meet the people of the world. “I just want to continue to master my craft, meet a ton of new people and continue to find new ways to make my music great. Jack and I definitely have some pretty unique ideas in the works, and I have no doubt we’ll be able to accomplish them,” he said.

Skiles, however, said he wants to eventually ease up on the mic. During his senior year, Skiles was awarded videographer of the year by the IHSPA. “I plan on really getting into my videography. I want to use every platform I have to create videos.”

But no matter what changes lie ahead, Heimbuck said one thing will be constant for both. “My passion and positivity is something we want CF to remember us by. To be someone that Cedar Falls is proud to call one of their own.”

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