IAA SPOTLIGHT: GET TO KNOW – CHICO MANOLO – MILWAUKEE’S HOTTEST STAR!

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Born on September 17, in Milwaukee, WI, Dwayne “Chico Manolo” Leslie’s future had already been destined for him. Infatuated with Hip Hop and all of its fundamentals at a young age everyone knew that Chico would be a musical star. The first time he’d ever heard himself rap was from a recording he and his cousin AJ”AJ on Deck Beats “composed from a tape recorder. In elementary school, while riding home on the school bus, Chico disbursed rhymes to his peers and grasped the attention of his bus driver. In his neighborhood, older guys went crazy over his flow. Anytime he was seen by them they never hesitated to ask him to “buss a flow”. They were so flabbergasted by him they even went to the extremities of setting up dates with Chico and their daughters. Whenever he divulged his musical talents to anyone, they were sure to be held captive by his powerful and musical persona. At a local McDonald’s restaurant, whenever Chico revealed his hip-hop talents they gave him free food. How fortunate was he for this to happen!

His childhood wasn’t the life of eating with a silver spoon. With no cable in his home Chico found joy in watching The Box, a hip-hop music video channel, on regular television. He descended from a poor family, but this didn’t detour him from chasing his dream. Chico’s big break to really express his true love for music came when he reached high school. On his third day at James Madison High School, at lunchtime the entire cafeteria gathered around to hear him M.C. The crowd was uncontrollable with excitement. After figuring out who was the cause of this musical anarchy, Chico was assigned to detention. From that day forward he received streaming requests to display his lyrical talents. Chico recorded his very first mix-tape with a group of high school friends; together they were titled “Big Bank”. As a solo artist, Chico managed to record his own demo tape of which he called “The Sample Disc”. He used this to promote himself all over the web and throughout his city. The Sample Disc consisted of seven songs; Show Out, Look at Me, Go Hard, Bitch, Psychopathic, Tonight, Cousin Subs (which he made while employed at Cousin’s Subs). These songs showed his versatility and musical talents.

His influences are Tupac Shakur, Eminem, DMX, Ludacris, and Lupe Fiasco. Chico has opened up for major artist such as Machine Gun Kelly, Tech N9ne, etc. Chico has played over hundred shows including the Hard Rock Café Chicago, Local colleges, his old high school and more. He also got a job teaching hip hop after school at his old high school. He became the number 1 CLC(after school program through the boys and girls club) teacher in the state of Wisconsin with his academic enrichment he taught. He also dropped a mix-tape entitled Black Art that’s top 100 of all time on getrightmusic.com. Chico has been featured on I Discover Stars & Got a chance to get production with platinum selling producers FKI. Chico is now looking to expand globally around the world and help his label rise.

Chico,”I know the time will come and the world will hear my story . I am an artist and Ceo of a recording label called Session 8 so it is my duty to make sure I help everyone reach there peak.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?

CHICO MANOLO: I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee is all I know. Born and raised in Milwaukee.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?

CHICO MANOLO: When I was a young boy, I would spend most of my time watching music videos and listening to music. I would envision myself as a mainstream artist, in the limelight. I would pretend that I was performing live at a sold out concert. I would use objects around the house as my microphone. When I was age ten, I wrote my first rap to “Vibrant Thing” by Q-Tip:

“Got a girl in my bed

Got a girl doing my head

Got to go work next hour

Got to catch the mayflower

So I can see the Eifel tower

So I can make a couple dollars

Its vibrant thang “

It was really novice haha, but it was my very first rhyme. As I got older my lyrics became more creative, more imaginative, and relative. I began writing heavy around 12 and 13 and started performing and recording at 14 and 15. My first show was at a festival on the outskirt of Milwaukee that I did for my uncle and I had the crowd going crazy, especially the girls. Once I got in High school I was asked to rap by a girl that knew I could rap from high school in the cafeteria and every since than my high school buzz grew tremendously from the large performance I put on. I never hesitated to rap. I use to get kicked out of the cafeteria for getting everybody so amped up, Memories. High school really helped me get a buzz around the city. After High school I dropped mixed tapes, one of my mix tapes entitled “Black Art” is top 100 of all time on Getrightmusic.com I dropped in 2013. I’ve performed at over 100’s of venues like the Hard Rock Café Chicago and Colleges shows, festivals in Wisconsin and etc. I have opened up For Tech N9ne, Machine Gun Kelly and Doughboyz Cashout. I also became a hip-hop teacher at my old high school helping the youth out by teaching and creating events.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?

CHICO MANOLO: I truly believe my music is something the world desires to hear. It’s a great feeling to know that people love what I love to do. I love my music and for my fans to enjoy and want more of what I have to offer it creates a feeling of respect and warm approval like no other, It’s greater than sex haha. Music isn’t a hobby for me. It’s my passion, my gift from God, it’s my life and I just want to share it with the world. Music is my soul!

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?

CHICO MANOLO: The music I create reflects life events, personal issues, and word play. I aim to uplift my fans and give them something they each want. I write about issues that I’ve experienced because you never know who has gone through the same thing. That’s what people look for. Music they can relate to. Also I indulge in some wordplay/club scene music; fun music basically. I produce music anyone can jam to. The fans tell me what they want and I give it to them. I can hit every angle from my story to your story to our story. One song could be Trap and the other could be conscious.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who is your fan base directed towards?

CHICO MANOLO: My fan base is directed towards teenagers, my peers, and diehard music lovers. I try to keep my music fairly clean and suitable for young listeners. I make smooth and soulful, tasteful music for the older crowd; something they can groove to, something they can listen to. For my peers I have a little bit of everything; soulful, club/bangers, conscious, life experiences, and what we call today bars haha aka metaphors bka wordplay.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?

CHICO MANOLO: Artists that have had an influence on my music are: My influences are Eminem, Tupac, Lil Boosie, Jay z, Nas, Dmx, Ludacris and Lil Wayne. I love the creativity and lyrics and the content these artist bring to the universe. They inspire me to stay on my game.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?

CHICO MANOLO: I like to describe my music as for the fans. I make music for them; it’s plain and simple. I bring out a God given confidence to my fans to place in my fans. I like to make them feel good while listening to my music. I like to act on emotions and lure them in with the talent. I’m the voice of the people that don’t have a voice. Also I bring me in my music. A confident, smart, creative, smooth street dude from Milwaukee Wisconsin. I look at it, as I’m a modern day Casanova speaking on any and everything I witness and feel. One thing you will at least hear in my music is quality, Lyrics, Catchiness, Love, Metaphors, Flows, and versatility.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?

CHICO MANOLO: What makes me stand out from other artists is my God giving confidence. I would also say my performance skills is very powerful. My performance would make 99.9% a firm believer. I move different speak different and bring a different element to game. I am a product of the Milwaukee Midwest environment. Another thing is my signature ad-libs and player made agenda. Which is the fly guy smooth talker, ladies man persona I have honestly and now plan to take advantage of. On top of being a great lyricism. I would say I’m a black Hue Heffner with something to say, or a snoop dog with a conscious side with more aggressive style. Or a LL Cool J type dude that favors Lil Wayne and comes off more street haha seriously though. Basically I’m a ladies man, a charismatic, artist that’s a great performer and has something to say with a street edge, plus a wide range of versatility with sound and content. That’s not taking failure as an option

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?

CHICO MANOLO: “Charismatic” is an album I’m working on right now. It’s a collaboration of my versatility; it will show my strengths, and my sounds I love. It will show the world what they are going to be getting out of me soon. From Life issues, club songs, Personal issues, and songs that bars are being spitting with word playing just showcasing my lyrical talent, all with a Midwest “Manolo” swag layer on all of it that just defines me.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

CHICO MANOLO: My career goals are to first build up a very huge fan base to reach to the XXL freshman class that has been a dream of mine. After that I want to work on a big album that hits mainstream and of course sell out arenas on tour. After the album I want to star in a major film either a music movie or urban drama to further my career and give the fans more of me. I started writing a few ideals for different ones already. Then my goal is to have longevity in the music industry. In the next ten years I see myself as an Icon. Grammy awards and etc. should be on my shelf at home. Selling millions of records with and label of mine under an umbrella of the major record label I’m with. In the next 10 years I see myself as a vet and respected highly. Also I see me influencing the next generations.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?

CHICO MANOLO: I go by Chico Manolo if you Google the name all sources will pop up. Facebook.com/chicomanolo

Reverbnation.com/chicomanolo

Twitter.com/chico414

Instagram.com/manolo414

Also reach me through via email @chico414@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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242 COMMENTS

  1. I first seen Chico perform in 2012 I believe and I remember being blown away by his performance! This guy has all the tools to do a lot of damage in the HipHop field. I love his music and even more than that, O live the way he carries himself. He’s got it on stage,and off Stage.

  2. Wow its amazing to see how far Chico Manolo has developed as an artist, he definitely has the respect of his city and peers here in Milwaukee and across the globe. Every song he drops Is very catchy and I instantly cling on to. I believe he can be just as great as the legends before him. He can perform like Michael Jackson and touch people with his deep story telling such as a “Hood Love” or “Domino Effect” from his Black Art mixtape which is a favorite of mine. There is absolutely no limit to this young mans talent and I cant wait to see it all unfold! Great job Industry All Access!

  3. Chcio Manolo is a terrific guy, and a outstanding performer. He’s a monster on stage, and level headed off stage. We need people like him in the industry.

  4. Great article, this boy is an amazing artist with a great stage performance. Yo time gone come baby!!! just be patient…

  5. Chico Manolo is more than a great artist and performer, he’s a great young man. We need more role models in this industry, and I believe he’d be a really good one.

    @smoothnovelist

  6. this was so dope. chicos music really inspired me to be a better person and better rapper. Im definitely buying his new cd!

  7. I’ve known Chico for two years and what I have learned about him is that he is sincere to family, friends and community. He loves to work with youth and has experience doing so. He uses his training from his mother to generate love and focus on God and place Him first in all that he do. Chico is very talented and creative and does not mind sharing his talent with others. Given the chance Chico will excel and succeed with the support of family and friends. He also needs the sincerity of the music industry. I say this because if Chico is given the opportunity he will succeed and all parties will share in the blessings of one another. Keep up the good work Chico, if your door does not open here, remember, God opens doors no one can shut and shut doors that no one can open.

  8. Very energetic with stye and charisma. He is a great performer and very sincere about his craft… you never get bored watching him perform he knows how to move a crowd..

  9. I love brah music. “CHICO MANOLO” remember that name cuz it’s go be a brand soon. I listen to yo song “Hood Love” & that Black Art Mixtape all the fuckin time! If you haven’t checked out his music yet check it out. Be the ones with me to say yall late I been listen to him lol Keep doing yo thing man. With yo flows & lyrics & great content it’s no way you won’t take over this beat driven (with no lyrics) industry. Shout out 414 Milltown For life

  10. Manolo putting in that work, I heard some of new ish he’s been holding hostage… and my god! It’s killing anything he’s put out so far. I can’t wait for it to drop. Keep grinding.

  11. I’ve know Chico Manolo for many years and nothing makes this young talented brother smile more than his music and the youth. I remember listening to him in the midst of orchestrating a new song, “monster” I think that’s the name, but I subconsciously listened to every single word and found myself singing it throughout the day. I can honestly say that he is an influential being with great vibes and intellect. He is an outstanding artist and performer. The music industry doesn’t know what they’re missing….

  12. Ayee.This boy got all the talent. Hes gonna make it big soon. And if he do, hopefully he brings me up with him.

  13. I think he’s better than a lot of these mainstream rappers(if that’s what you want to call them). I like his stage presence as well. I wish him well!

  14. I knew Chico Manolo was gone make in the industry as an artist from all the great shows he put on at my high school james madison in Milwaukee. We all are happy for him and can’t wait to see what he do. So congratulations I can’t wait to see the great things you do and always remember I’m to support you Big Bro love ….

  15. Chico gave me a mixtape about 7years ago and I fell I love with his art then he is so talented and I will definetly follow him and support in anyway I can!!!!!!! You go boy get on the map! I believer when u do u will be one to help your community give to the needy and be all around perfect business man

  16. Chico Always been a role model for so long for young people and I am one of those young people he showed me working hard for your dream is OK as long as u keep going can’t nobody stop you! Chico is a great rapper and a great poet with those to things he has the illest bars that I ever heard how do I know this because of experiencing him perform and while he is performing he give off a wonderful vibe and wonderful energy. When Chico perform he is engaging the crowd and we all will want more and see me. Chico will not waste no time in getting what he needs to get done DONE WITH NO HESITATION!!

    #TEAMCHICO

  17. Chico is very talented and a great person. His music is one of da hottest. I am very proud of him for all his accomplishment now and in the future. One of my kids favorite song is “Cousin Subs.” He’s an inspiration regardless of how his life end up because he works hard to reach his goals. #muchluv

  18. A very inspiring artist he is. Been a listener a fan and a supporter since rhyme number one. His music has always in many ways created an imaginative playground for the mind body and soul. His messages and storytelling in his lyricsare bold and very moving!!!! Can’t wait to hear what new moving music he has in store love you Chico Manolo from your biggest fan !!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Chico is one the most inspirational rappers I have ever met he’s like a big brother to me he’s the best choice of music to listen to and I love his music much love big bro

  20. Chico Is By Far One Of the Hottest Artists Here .He’s very Versatile in his Music .He Also Has a Gift Working Wit Children he’s Going to Make it Far With his Music.I Wish Him the Best !

  21. This artist what Hip Hop can benefit from today. I can listen to Chico Manolo when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when me and my girl fighting. Really whenever.
    I appreciate the the difference he Brings to Hip Hop and His city. He very active in his community, and is a positive influence on the youngsters that look up to him. He a difference maker on and off the mic. That’s what Hip Hop needs the most, especially in today’s hip hop culture.
    I support you 100% Manolo.
    -JaeeThaBarber

  22. My life as an artist wouldn’t be anything without this man. This man could do no harm to his fans, family, & friends, everything raps is from the heart, and is people are always of a fan of his replay button. #ChicoManolo

  23. I have known Chico since he was a young boy and my brother and him were always rapping on the porch or just freestyling and playing around..We always told them to chase their dream cuz he had potential..And from what i hear and see today i m very proud of what he has become and is becoming in the future…Keep pusshing yourself and job well done

  24. I’ve been a fan of Chico Music for a lCongrats time he also inspired me to become more into music and I really enjoy listening. He:s great at doing what he do I hope he really takes this to A bigger level in life.

  25. He is one of the realest rappers out here , always keep it’s real , someone needs to get him a record deal , seriously ! I’m his biggest fan

  26. Watching Chico grow as an artist is amazing seeing an increase in his talent , his knowledge for music , and his passion for music is inspiring. His lyrics has so much truth and good vibe that you can never regret having his music stuck in your head . Continue to be the individual you are and continue your growth #love

  27. By far one of the best performers I’ve seen, his stage presence is amazing and his songs are hellllla catchy I love him!

  28. Chico has been and always will be one of my favorite artists! He’s an all around awesome talent. His diversity is incredible, he can make a song about anything, and he can spit it in any style! Lyrics and flows from this guy never disappoint. If you don’t fuck with chico you’re losing!

  29. Chico being doing this music for a long time goin. Back to 2007 as far I know he’s very consistant and persisant he has his down style Chico and Faze suppose to be coming be coming out with A banging track I cant wait until the release date

  30. I have watched Chico’s talent develop since he was in high school. Now, his refined talent consistently produces a complex interplay of rhythms and effects, with lyrics that go from superficial to profound within the same track. He has much in store for him and, moreover, is an admirable contributor to finding and developing new talent in Milwaukee.

  31. Love this article!!! Hard work & talent pays off. Chico has alot of love for what he does, & he has great music. I’m glad I have the opportunity to know him. I got to see his work take place when he was leading talent at the CLC boys & girls club as I’m a student at JMAC H.S… with the work of him wanting other students to succeed & bring out their talent, as a musician he is, he’s full of life & energy. He’s definitely made for the music industry.

  32. To be brief, Chico is more than a rapper he is a authentic poet. Speaks on what goes on in the world we live in and not one of those materialistic rappers, he’s a humble individual that can relate to the struggle. Been rocking with him since Big Bank, been trying to get the throw back cd’s from him

  33. Chico has came along way I remember him rapping at the kitchen table. Now he is making appearances on stages. Chico is not just a artist he gives back to the kids in the community also. He is lyrical and could rap about anything my friends and I could throw at him.

  34. He has a good head on his shoulders when it comes to music and he has great work ethic… Hes gonna make it big.

  35. I’ve been following his career from the beginning. As a teenager, he was clearly talented. I witnessed him upstage his adult competition at local performances. Chico Manolo established himself as an entertainer the moment he hit the stage. Even so, I am still blown away with how much he has developed as an artist. His name will definitely be added to the exclusive list of Milwaukee’s most talented.

  36. Nothing but hits. I actually chico before i ever heard his music. I then met him as an entertainer where he performed as a result i believe chico is an elite performer an he will most definitely be a regular in the industry

  37. Been listening to Manolo since somebody at Custer tried to claim his tracks was theirs and that they was Chico…….. Mannnnooolllllloooooo biiiiiiitttttch 414 love #HomeCitySupport #TimeToBlowUp

  38. Chico Has inspired me In More Ways Than one ? Not only id is A Dope performance performer he Is An Awesome Mentor . I support chico one hundred percent . One of His NIGGEST BIGGEST FANS .

  39. I really enjoy lisening to his music. And i love to watch him perform. His passion for his music really comes out during his performance. He has inspired me to go after my dreams.

  40. Yesssss All of the things mentioned in this article truly depicts the man Chico Was and is today. He continued to do great in the community and even when his music wasn’t booming like he wanted at the time he never gave up. I can’t wait until he blows up big.

    ~Signed your fan BriNimox

  41. MWUAAAAAAAHHHH! ITS MANOLO!!! I went to high school with Chico “MADHOUSE” They used to beat on the lunch tables at lunch and had the whole lunch room jumpin! Keep it up bro and let the haters and doubters motivate you! -kev

  42. haha u on yo way to the top my nigga! I remember that one show u did when u jumped off the stage and the girls went crazy. that was mad dope man keep up the hard work.

  43. Keep grinding homie!! I remember watching you perform at the high school talent shows now look at you. You opening up shows for major artist and doing your thing. Pretty soon it’s gonna be you headlining shows and selling out concerts bro. Stay humble and stay hungry even when you have it all you should grind like you have nothing.

  44. I’ve known Dwayne aka Chico for over 12 Years, this young man has always had talent,when I first heard him rap I knew back then that he had a very distinctive sound and very strong lyrical skills. I’m very proud of his accomplishments, as well as his upcoming success in the industry. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.
    God Bless 🙂

  45. Shout out the 414 homie doing his thang. I knew this cat from high school so when I see him being interviewed on the breakfast club 105.1 radio station, I can shoutout Manolo Bitch! LoL

  46. well hearing others speak high of his music made me curious and then i heard him for myself and decided i would support

  47. I remember being in 6th grade with Wayne and all he ever did was rap in the lunchroom and was GOOD AT IT!! He’s definitely made for THIS!!! Good luck on everything “Chico”

  48. I am so very proud of the young man that is Chico and even more proud to be his cousin his style and charisma is so unique, he is very talented and unselfish with his talent by giving of his time and talent to others I have no doubt he will have a long and successful music career.

  49. Chico is not only a humbling individual, he is a great entertainer. He has a new sound and he connects with his audience. I support his movement !

  50. Chico is extremely creative and very energetic. He has a great performance. Well spoken and definitely knows how to capture the crowd!

  51. I haven’t known chico for long but when i listen to him flow its like I’ve known him for years … As an aspiring rap artist myself he give me confidence tongo harder. He is very talented and I know he has a calling coming his way. LOVE YOU CHICO

  52. This guy is an exellent performer he has amazing energy. I see star quality writting all over him.. best of luck

  53. Chico was my former student at Madison H.S. He often performed on stage during school events. Chico was popular with the students-he was a great artist the school loved him

  54. He is one of the best artist that I’ve heard locally. When the time comes He will be the best rapper globally.

  55. I seen him perform at my school and alll the girls went crazy like he was already a superstar. He got what it takes…

  56. I like the article bro. Questions well answered plus you know I think you are one of the dopest MC’s in the state of Wisconsin.

  57. Chico has an outstanding stage presence. He has so much potential to be huge. I’m counting on him to make it.

  58. Before I met chico I remember my friend listening to his music and I thought he was established already. My friend said he was from our city and I did not believe her. Keep pushing you’re gonna be famous soon.

  59. Chico Manolo invests a lot of time in his craft. I’ve never met anyone who was so dedicated and determined to make his vision become reality!

  60. Listen to his cd called black art he be rapping about some deep stuff. the world need to hear chico he dope and spit from the heart

  61. chico has been instrumental in motivating students to participate in the school talent show. He puts alot of successful effort into these shows!

  62. he is a great inspiration to the young kids in madison CLC. He is respectful and very cool person to meet in general. He influenced me to be a clc constructor and I think he motivates us kids to make something better for themselves and is a great motivation. Chico is going to make it up there and very few people do. I believe so.

  63. Just earned another fan. Every song I heard so far is killing .Im digging your punchlines. You can make it just stay focus

  64. I support the Chico movement. His work ethic is on pointe and he is a humble dude.But most importantly his music is good

  65. When you see the good in people, you just have to stand out for ’em in times like this… Appreciate your unending efforts towards making your music go viral and into the minds of people..

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