Demarco Castle

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Demarco Castle aka Gemstones from Chicago, Illinois [1] is a rapper/singer formerly associated with another superstar MC out of Chicago, Lupe Fiasco.

Formerly known through the stage name of Gemini and most recently GemStones, he dropped (temporarily) that former moniker and everything associated with it and had converted into pursuing a career as a gospel music artist. Castle, through Lupe Fiasco’s 1st and 15th imprint was set to release his long awaited and delayed debut album tilted, “Troubles of the World” in the first half of 2009 but the album release is up in the air due to his venture into gospel music.[1] He has since returned to the hip hop scene but is currently signed to Xist Music.

Early Life: Aligning with Lupe Fiasco[edit]

Castle was raised in Jeffrey Manor/ South C on Chicago’s tough South Side.[1] Castle derives from a family where music was a heavy influence, sounds of R&B, Jazz and even Funk all influenced Castle’s musical development.[2] As a student in Bowen High Schools’ visual and performing and arts program, Castle excelled and learned to develop his outstanding musical talents.

After graduation from Bowen, Castle had a life changing meeting with then unknown rappers Lupe Fiasco and the late Stack Bundles. Fiasco who had his own record company, 1st and 15th Recordings, was tremendously impressed by Castle’s rapping and singing abilities and in 2001 he decided to sign Castle to this 1st and 15th Label.[1]

Career Takes Off: Food and Liquor, Mixtapes and The Cool[edit]

Castle now performing under the stage name of Gemini, he began writing and preparing for his release into the hip hop world. It finally came in 2006 when his boss and label mate released his highly anticipated debut album “Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor”. Out of the 16 tracks on the album Castle was featured on five of them, including standout tracks “He Say She Say” and “Pressure” also featuring Jay-Z.[1]

Castle was given another great opportunity by headlining the soundtrack for the MTV special “My Block: Chicago”, where Castle released and shot a video for his first buzz single “Got What You Need”. With much buzz stemming from “Food and Liquor” and his appearance on “MTV’s My Block”, it was time for Castle to demonstrate what he could do. In 2006, Castle released the fourth part of the popular mixtape series Fahrenheit 1st and 15th, which mainly had been headlined by Lupe Fiasco. “Untamed Beast” was Castle as the headliner and he demonstrated his rapping and vocal abilities. The mixtape was an internet sensation and was featured on most major download sites, even receiving 5 star ratings from many sites.[1]

In 2007 Castle released his first single from his debut album “Troubles of the World”. The single “We On” features Lupe Fiasco and generated a massive buzz, gaining Castle fans and supporters from across the globe.[3] Following the release of “We On”, Castle was featured once again and even wrote on Lupe Fiasco’s sophomore LP “Lupe Fiasco's The Cool”. Castle was featured on “Dumb it Down”, the first single from that project.[4] In support of the album Fiasco embarked on a nationwide tour, where Castle served as one of the featured artist on the sold out venture. He’s received plenty attention from the press, being featured in prominent hip hop magazines such as The Source and XXL.[4]

From Gemini to GemStones back to Demarco Castle[edit]

In 2007, Castle was forced to change his stage name from Gemini to GemStones. The change arose due to a legal technicality, but GemStones did not have a problem because many people around him were already calling him by the name of Gemtones.[2] When the stage name Gemini was gone, Castle arose as GemStones and let go everything associated with the performer known as Gemini. Castle lost weight, and cut off his trademark braids[2] and changed the issues he was addressing in his music due to personal issues he was having.

With the transformation from Gemini to GemStones, a new person came out and he was ready to give his own testimony.[5] GemStones admitted to being guilty of talking about issues that he really could not relate to, like drug pushing, materialism and women, and just said them because they went well together.[6] But now GemStones is ready to relay his true message to the masses and let the true GemStones stand up.

In 2008, in advance of his debut album, “Troubles of the World”, he released the fifth part of the mixtape series Fahrenheit 1st and 15th,“The Testimony of GemStones”.[7] The Testimony was an instant hit and demonstrated a changed artist and not the GemStones everyone knew.[5] With various popular features and two highly successful mixtapes Castle was ready to release the beast in 2009.

Being highlighted as a “Hip Hop Act to Watch”[8] GemStones and “Troubles of the World” was set to release with much anticipation. It was rumored that in early April, Castle decided to stray away from hip hop music and decided to pursue a career in gospel music. He has most recently appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show".

Return to Hip Hop and Gemstones[edit]

In 2010, Gemstones released a 21 track mixtape/album. Gemstones originally planned to commercially release the album but decided to release it for free. The album consists of hip hop with a mix of RnB and soul produced by Chicago native Kanye West.

Gemstones has confirmed that he still has hopes of releasing Troubles of the World at some point.[9]

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums[edit]

Mixtapes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]