Hip Hop Artist | Songwriter | Producer
Carlton Zeus is a San Antonio-based hip hop artist-songwriter. Zeus was born in Madrid, Spain and raised in Brownsville, Texas.
Brought up on such artists as Brian Hyland, Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly, Zeus' love for music was driven by feel good sounds, later expanding his collection into all sorts of genres, including hip hop, reggae, and R&B.
During his freshman year at James Pace High School in Brownsville, Texas, he and friends hosted freestyle battles during their lunch break, gaining the attention of fellow classmates, security and custodial staff.
Within, a few weeks, the lunch hour sessions caused such a stir, students were seen climbing trees, tables, and vending machines to get a better view. For precautionary measures, he and friends were asked by the school principal to shut it down for good.
Still needing an outlet, Zeus held recording sessions at his house with a karoake machine his mother bought him, which over time paved the way for full-length tracks. These tracks were then shared among friends and by his senior year had won the ears of many. His passion for hip hop had grown tremendously. Upon graduation, he convinced a family friend to lease a commercial office to him, intended for the use of recording himself and other artists. Excluding a series of significant missteps, he ultimately failed.
Given the recommendation to join the military, he did - honorably serving four years in the US Air Force. While serving, he played with idea of rekindling his love for hip hop, but decided against what seemed responsible for many of his past dilemmas. Near the end of his enlistment, he encountered another wave of unfortunate events that inspired his choice to give it another shot. He was reminded that life is short and feared the regret of “never knowing.”
Within just a few months, he independently launched CarltonZeus.com, released The Spread Mixtape, and Carlton Zeus ultra premium tees. In addition, he was seen, heard, and featured in magazines, radio, and countless websites across the nation. What appeared to be an overnight buzz was solidified with one-of-a-kind live performances throughout Texas in the company of Chubby Fitzwell, DJ boboglobo, and some of San Antonio's most talented live musicians.
In mid-October 2011, a controversy surrounded "Sharpie Solo" involving country singer Toby Keith's song “Red Solo Cup.” (read more) Many of Zeus’ fans claimed Keith borrowed Zeus’ concept for the song and video. Keith denied the rumor on radio station KNIX 102.5 FM saying, “It’s completely ridiculous,” and “I guarantee you we’ll get more spins than this guy will.” Keith also attempted to deflect similarities by questioning Zeus' ethnicity, suggesting an artist's relevance is dependent on the artist's ethnic origin (Toby Keith's Interview [recap version] [full version]). In an interview with Y100 FM, Zeus dismissed claims, assuring his fans it was merely coincidental and asserted Toby's response was an eye opener for many.
By the end of 2011, his perseverance paid off, making The Current's Top 10 Albums of 2011 and coined “Best local rapper” by the publication's chief editor. In an interview with a local radio station, Zeus briefly discussed multiple offers on the table, asserting his focus was not on "a deal" but rather the "right deal."
As of 2012, Zeus has teamed up with Michael (theDMG) Gomez, and an array of live musicians - specialized in all genres, in hopes of delivering a timeless album that enthusiasts of all tastes will love and share.