Real Name.- Lazaro Rafael Martinez
Artist Name - Lazaris The Top Don
The South Bronx is known as the birthplace and spawning ground for many of Hip Hop's artistic pioneers, innovators and trend setters, which is an artistic tradition that continues to this day. One could argue that such artistry is considered "Royalty" amongst peers, audiences and consumers alike. Garnering a respect that would usually be reserved for a type of person that would be categorized as... a "Don”.
But there is another chapter to the overall story of the South Bronx that also has its royal and "don-like" lineage. Though not steeped in the Hip Hop tradition, its roots stem from the same urban creative landscape that spawned such artists as Afrika Bambataa, Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers, KRS-ONE, BIG PUN and others. Names such as Eddie Palmieri, Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colon and the most important and significant figure of Afro-Cuban dance music in the 20th Century... ARSENIO RODRIGUEZ, are the legends and musical "dons" who created and innovated their musical traditions to a higher level. All the while honing and furthering their craft as members of the South Bronx community. These figures make up a part of the South Bronx tale that has no ending and, as time goes by, continues to have new pages being written.
It is from both of these legacies and musical traditions, the culture of "Hip Hop" and what is identified as "Salsa", that a new chapter is being added to the story of the South Bronx. Where "the game" is introducing both a young and uniquely savvy player to the world.
The time for a new South Bronx Hip Hop movement is at hand. It is the time of... The TOP DON.
Born Lazaro Rafael Martinez, aka Lazaris The Top Don, the family history of this half Cuban, half Boricua artist is legendary and one that is considered a musical dynasty. His grandfather was a highly respected Afro-Cuban percussionist affectionately known as "Kiki" who recorded and performed for many years. His uncles were Raul, another percussionist, and Arsenio, who played both percussion and a 6 stringed guitar known as the Tres. His uncle Arsenio, an internationally famous bandleader who was blind, is regarded as the "Godfather of 'Salsa'" due to his many musical innovations and prolific compositions that have been re-interpreted and re-recorded. Lazaris recently had the privilege of representing the family during a historic street re-naming dedication where the street between Dawson and Intervale in the area of the South Bronx. Lazaris, named after his uncle, also resided in the area. An area that is key to Lazaris’ development as an artist. Another family member, a cousin, who goes by the stage name of "Triple Seis," is a rapper and one time member of Big Puns Full A Clips Crew & Fat Joe's "Terror Squad".
Lazaris The Top Don is Puerto Rican & Cuban from The Hunts Point Section Of The Bronx Where Only The Strong Survive the Fort Apache area of The South Bronx where he still resides to this day. Lazaris Can Rhyme with The Elite Of the Elite even the top spitters know He is super lyrical Diverse & Very Versatile he has many styles , Flows He Also Ghost writes Songs for him self & Others In the music induatry Lazaris Can Rhyme In English & Spanish He Has a rapid fire freestyle that sounds like he wrote everything from.punchlines witty styles smooth delivery hard core bars & Voice that reminds you Big Pun & Jadakiss Fused in Ones sponsored by SVCCESS Clothing NYC by the owner named Guerilla Tone aka Anthony Delgado, Lazaris Owns His Own Label.Top Don Empire & Is Mentored & Sponsored By Da Inphamaus Amadeus Shade 45 & IGetatems own. Lazaris Is Working on his new mixtape album. titled Svccess In my path Vol. 1
Lazaris’ story begins when his mother used to play the music of his uncle Arsenio all throughout his childhood and young teenage years. He was also personally being exposed to local Hip Hop pioneers such as DJ Kool Herc and Kurtis Blow. It was the "beats" provided by these men that helped develop a desire for creative musical expression within Lazaris. It eventually manifested itself via his own freestlye capabilities. At the tender age of 9, Lazaro began to make his way around the local "battling" circuit. This is the ultimate litmus test for any bonafide serious "rapper", as it is a no holds barred musical duel of lyrical improvisation where, after the dust settles, only one person is usually left standing. A scenario Lazaris usually found himself in due to this skill he was successful in mastering.
After several years of perfecting his craft, Lazaris’ very first endorsement by one of Hip Hop's rising stars came at the age of 16. A mutual acquaintance named Capone Douglas whose known as "Al Capone" invited him to a BBQ/Release Party that was located between Longwood and Beck Street. It was there that Capone introduced Lazaris to the artist known as "Cuban Link”, a founding member of the “Terror Squad”. Lazaris took the opportunity to freestyle at the BBQ and "Cuban Link" loved what he heard. So much so, that he responded by stating that Lazaris "...was a breath of fresh air in South Bronx Hip Hop.
With a new found boost of confidence and a desire to impact the scene, Lazaris adopted the name he continues to use to this day. "Lazaris The Top Don." This alias was inspired by both the legacy of his uncle Arsenio and other figures, were considered "Dons" of their time. This particular aspect of regarding himself as “The Top Don” stems from a unique desire to unify everyone in the Hip Hop community, something that many who are in the “game” are unwilling or incapable of doing. And not due to any sort of boastful grandeur.
His talent and ambition would lead him to his first professional performance at the Rhumbas Nightclub, owned by party promoter and music impresario John "Gungie" Rivera, where Lazaris successfully "debuted" his skills and was embraced by the audience at hand.
This experience would then lead Lazaris to further his artistic inclinations and organize himself properly. He began to ghostwrite for and collaborate with many other independent artists and established his name. Lazaris The Top Don under the auspices of BMI to protect and document his work. Eventually, more performance opportunities would follow. Lazaris Has His Own Imprint Top Don Empire .
Lazaris Later Hooked Up With Angel Nieves AKA DJ Executioner. Growing up together, former DJ for bachata greats Aventura, DJ Executioner and Lazaris had a bond as both mentor and friends. DJ Executioner was an ever greater influence to a young Lazaris by keeping him off of the streets and having him focus on his talent, music. Their love and passion for music lead to an even tighter bond that still carries over to this day.
In 2008, BOOST MOBILE, a giant in the field of communications technology, sponsored a "rap" competition which Lazaris entered and won. He was awarded 2 tickets to that years’ Summer Jam held in the Bronx. As a result of this, he managed to perform at that particular Summer Jam making even more people aware of his musical prowess.
The following year, Lazaris would retun to an arena he was most successful and familiar with. Battling other MCs. "The Fight Club" is an underground scene only a select hardcore few are even aware of. Taking place inside of a building in mid town Manhattan, MCs from all over would congregate and face off with one another for bragging rights. During Lazaris’ lyrical 'bout' with another rapper, judges DJ Big Mike Shells and the now legendary rap artist who originally hailed from Detroit, Michigan whose real name was Marshall Mathers, but whom the world knows as "Eminem", where all in attendance to witness Lazaris’ craft.
To date, he is a “jack of all trades’’ as a writer/composer, performer, entrepreneur, clothing designer and club promoter. He is also branching out into other areas of media such as artist development, fashion , model management and developing his overall brand. Two years worth of collaborations and features with other artists and their projects to bolster his brand and create that 'buzz on the street' has been the strategy he's adhered to. One of his productions is called "Street Famous," which was inspired by his uncle Arsenio who fell in this category and touches on that very strategy. The logic being you can't be 'famous' in the mainstream conciousness unless you're 'street famous' first.
Lazaris currently has a mixtape out titled "Streetz Of The South Bronx Vol 1", which can be heard on www.datpiff.com.
Lazaris The Top Don does his own marketing Lazaris is still a independent CEO Of His Own Label & Imprint. Top Don Empire. He.Seeks a Joint Venture With The Majors
The nature of Lazaris The Top Don isn't just to climb the ladder of success until reaching the top. His inclination is to "uplift" others, as he climbs himself. In other words, putting others 'on' who are as hungry and as ambitious to rise in their artistic professions and help guide them. Also, to blaze a trail for them to follow, as many of Lazaris mentors and influences had done for him. He is currently working on his new Mix tape Album titled
Svccess In My Path Vol 1. His New singles swerve, Cross fire , Street famous & Trappin it up feat moneyboy banxxs has had multiple spins online, DTF Radio, U Stream Hot 97, Stream, Sirius XM Shade 45 , Wazzup Latino , 96.5 tampa radio , radiopushers as well and texas Radio and multiple clubs all over the New york city
Lazaris can freestyle right off the head to any beat or acapella, a wolf coming up around heavy weight “spitters”. Lazaris is used to the heat & make song, hooks and catchy lines right on the spot. His third single titled “Cross Fire”, is a street anthem warm up record for The South Bronx.
Lazaris has performed at Heavens Gentlemen Club, Sobs, Club Lust , Club Secrets , Club Angels , The Trap House , Starlets , Cocina Boriqua , Savana Lounge, Park Billiards and Salsa Con Fuego , Shade 45 , Sugar daddys , and many other venues just to name a few
Lazaris is partners with Lord Sear & Da Inphamaus Amadeuz At Shade 45 Sirius XM
Lazaris still seeks reconginition with more break through hits. He seeks to prove Hip Hop isn’t dead by bringing Hip Hop back to its original birth place, The Bronx. As the Top Don Of The Bronx & A Legend in New York he’s coming for the crown. Lazaris is also currently being spun overseas by Dj Tekwun on the Boom Bap 2020 Tour.