DFW Music News

How a Denton Rapper is Touring the World Teaching Kids to Rap

Bryan "Infidelix" Rodecker runs through the streets of Ireland trying to find some place to hide. He knows his assailant is getting closer. The clapping of the little man's heels echoes through the streets of Dublin like the chiming of church bells. He doesn't know what he'd done to piss off the little man, but the large hip-hop artist wasn't about to wait around to find out. He runs faster, turns the corner of a building and stops in front of the blue-green waters of the River Liffey that runs through the center of Ireland's capital city. He has no place left to run.

His assailant steps from the shadows, his features looking more demonic illuminated by the street lights. He resembles the great Irish boxer Dean Bryne with short dark hair and eyes that warn people not to screw with the little man's treasure. A tight green vest and shiny black top hat adorns his head, and the words "Lucky Charms" echo like a horrible drum beat, an anthem for the leprechaun slowly circling the Denton hip-hop artist like a tiger preparing to pounce.

Infidelix shrugs his shoulders, steps forward and kicks the leprechaun like a soccer ball across the river.

"I guess the nightmare turned out good for me in the end," he says.

Part of the reason Infidelix had the nightmare is because he's returning to Europe on April 18 to spend a year spreading his knowledge of hip hop to kids at several youth facilities from Spain to Scotland, including the Hi-Rez Youth Center in Bray, Ireland.

"I wouldn't say I'm teaching them to rap," he says. "They can already do that. What I'm teaching them is how to lay out particular rhyme schemes, make words flow and, most importantly, that it's OK to express feelings."

Infidelix has been to Ireland several times before. On his first trip to the Emerald Isle, he was focusing on just promoting his music, booking clubs and playing live shows. He got hold of people he met through his YouTube videos and Facebook page and organized everything. He was blown away by the response and the hip-hop music scene.

Talking with people on Facebook also gave him the idea to visit the youth centers in the dangerous parts of Dublin and teach them the art of hip-hop performing. Most artists who travel to Europe play either at huge festivals or at local pubs, he says, but they don't travel to youth centers to connect with the kids.

"I didn't know what I was doing back then," Infidelix says, "and I still don't know what I'm doing now. A lot of positive stuff has come from just hitting people up, just taking a step forward and thinking 'I can do this.' I didn't know how they were going to accept me coming into their youth centers. But they were open arms."

In 2009, Infidelix moved to Denton from his native Houston and fell into the music scene. He started playing at places like Andy's and festivals like Oaktopia, promoting his music around the scene, but like many struggling artists in the DFW area, he couldn't secure an audience.

"I've rocked so many shows in this city that I don't really rock them anymore."

In 2012, Infidelix traveled to Ireland and offered hip-hop classes at the youth centers like Hi Rez Youth Centre where more than 200 teenagers struggle to find a positive outlet. Dozens of kids signed up for the music workshop. He taught them how to write and record songs while preparing them to play a live show at the end of the week. Some of the youths wrote happy things, while others wrote about how they were abused and wanted to kill their fathers.

"Music was the outlet they chose to do instead of taking their anger out on others."

This time around, Infidelix bought a one-way ticket to Madrid. Armed with just his backpack, a camera and his new album Nomadic, he plans to travel across the country, earning money for his bus and train trips by panhandling his CDs. He'll be offering his hip-hop music workshops at youth centers across Europe, including Ireland, Norway and Romania. He's also purchased a one-way ticket to Scotland to stay with a rapper friend named Jed McNeil, who lives in Fife.

"Hip-hop to me is like a lifestyle," he says. "It's far more than just making your music and putting it out there. It's about going and showing it to people in different countries and learning about their hip-hop. They think people in America don't want to hear it, but when somebody comes over there and says, 'I've heard your stuff and I love it.' It makes them feel like they're doing something for a purpose. They're not forgotten. They're not under the radar."

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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.