New Mass Appeal Records Signee Errol Holden Releases ’85’s Astonishment” Single

Errol Holden - 85's Astonishment

Errol Holden debuts on SpitFireHipHop with his “85’s Astonishment” single.

Culture is being homogenized at warp-speed.  With so much music readily available and being released in copious amounts, even for the most informed and enthusiastic listeners, it’s become increasingly difficult and overwhelming to sift through and consume the weekly influx of new music. 

In today’s digital age were rarely unplugged.  With social media and networking platforms, it makes discovering a truly untapped and undiscovered artist that much more of a rarity.

But these anomalies do exist.  Some artists are just built differently, hard-wired with an attunement that you can’t quite put a finger on—but you know it when you hear it.  Enter, Errol Holden.  Errol is one of those rare unicorns who is about to put the industry on notice.

“Nobody knew my real name until I started rapping,” shares Errol Holden. “I didn’t want to bring that to this.” Now, the emerging New York City artist is making an impression with his identity. After years of hustling on rooftops and navigating the badlands of his concrete and steel universe, Errol creates art that shares vivid imagery and grim humanity.

Raised between Harlem and The Bronx in a Panamanian-American household, Errol has only had two jobs in his life.  One, working for famed Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan, the other in the Harlem River Houses library, ended with the adolescent taking paychecks. Even before then, the teen known as “H-O” in the streets, hustled hard. After he dropped out of high school he took to making money on 123rd, 111th Street, and other corridors within the boroughs, as well as in Pittsburgh, South Carolina, and upstate. That lifestyle lasted decades, complete with incarceration, fractured family dynamics, and a myriad of valleys and peaks.

Refusing to glamorize his past, Errol offers stark accounts. “The war on drugs is over, and the junkies won.  Because at the end of the day, the junkies are the only ones left standing. We hustlers come and go; typically after short bursts of glory and lifelong consequences, while the customer remains. “They’re the ultimate narrators. The drugs are killing them slowly, but the money we get is gonna have us outta here eons before them.”  In recalling chapters of his life, Errol insists on portraying the user with complexity—and a kind of dignity reserved for David Simon series and Richard Price novels. “I give a face to people that are faceless,” he says. “These are human beings identified by the drug they’re using. I choose to expose the human being, not the addiction. Why’d they get high? Why’d someone like me get into the street and do what I was doing? The difference is the intimacy, level of detail, and humanity of this.”

In 2019, Errol Holden transitioned from the roof to the booth. The artist side of Errol found solace in writing his life in verse. Those thoughts and accounts of life eventually resulted in a handful of self-released projects, presented to customers directly through social media outreach, only to discover people valued the work to the point of paying sizable sums. “I put four projects out in less than a year, and I found a way to get money off music,” he explains.

“I am a lifelong criminal in transformation, and music has shown me that you don’t have to do bad.” Bringing his dreams to reality, Errol Holden has aligned with Nas’ Mass Appeal Records to deliver a brilliant example of his deeply personal and highly potent art. Errol’s forthcoming Mass Appeal debut project, Joe Frog, titled after Holden’s father examines family, addiction and consequences.

Now, Errol has shared the first single from his forthcoming project.   “85’s Astonishment” is an urgent, haunting, beautiful record with undeniably memorable bars; “what’s between the prologue and epilogue was a bit of a sleeper/ being your brother’s keeper/ only implies that he needs one…I write poems for prisoners that don’t get visitors.”

Errol Holden is now putting life into one-of-a-kind music and building a legacy with his name.  The beginning of that legacy occurs with the release of Joe Frog on 11-18-22. 

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