Honesty is essential to an artist’s credibility. Hailing from Chicago, it is the truth in HARDCHARLiE’s music that sets him apart from so many other artists. There is much more here than empty lines about cars, women, and money. There is a connection to be made with every listener; a way of liberating oneself from the constant pummeling of daily existence. HARDCHARLiE personifies hardship, and defines a path to overcoming it with songs that are known to be drenched in sincerity and rumbling with vigor. Each track has been given a dynamic glow with impressive production from Alex Bork (Teen Heat). HARDCHARLiE brings new talent to both the hip hop and acoustic emo genres, composing his tracks with a delicious blend of heart, head, and gut.
Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, HARDCHARLiE, otherwise known as Charles Goldberg, braved the challenges of teenage life armed with a pen and paper. A classically trained pianist, guitarist, and drummer, Goldberg grew tired of playing other people’s music, and recognized his need to create something raw and accessible for the masses. Throughout his high school career, Goldberg invested efforts into girls rather than academic endeavors, instilling discomfort in his parents’ chests as they worried about his professional development. Yet Goldberg was growing and learning from every failed romance, taking the lessons gained from each and displaying them with stunning guitar riffs and articulate hooks; these accounts became the essence of his first release “to forgive myself…”
The guitar might have become Goldberg’s therapist, supporting him emotionally, but the song-writer, more stable and focused than ever, turned to the drums as his boxing coach. While at the University of Kansas, Goldberg met a Rabbi, Zalman Tiechtel, who placed a yarmulke on his head and tzitzit at his sides. Discovering his heritage in a brand new dimension, Goldberg dove head first into teachings of Chassidic mysticism, and surfaced with hip hop masterworks. On the mic, Goldberg creates percussive bliss through lyrics brimming with five thousand year old tradition mixed with coping strategies against modern day demands. After spending a year working in a Delaware state penitentiary, the artist was granted an insider’s look into what life was really like on the streets, something most privileged, white, Jewish kids from the suburbs never take the time to seek out. “I saw parallels between the inmates’ lives and the lives of the Jewish people, most notably, the struggle to push forward and thrive,” Goldberg relates, “I’d rap with many of the individuals I worked with, and it was always funny to me that despite our differences, we were really saying the same things.”
HARDCHARLiE has far more than just the nerve to inspire and advise; he has the credentials to back him up as well. More than a musician, teacher, and devout Jew, Goldberg is currently completing his Master's in counseling. Such a unique blend of ability is an especially rare find in an over-saturated musical arena. As Chicago awaits his newest release “DiViDED,” Goldberg hopes that he will make an impact on not only the hip-hop game at large, but on each and every one of his listeners, personally. As audiences around the country begin to nod their heads in approval, HARDCHARLiE is sure to be taking a stage near you.