Choke Has No Limit
â€œIt all started with the music,â€? growing up in the Bronxâ€™s Edenwald projects, Choke was enamored with the hip-hop explosion of the 80â€™s from break dancing and pop locking to graffiti murals and rhyming. Holding down the 5th position in a local rap group as the producer of â€œThe Naked Facesâ€? Choke took his first hand experiences of the music business home to build his own recording studio.
Choke No Joke, a.k.a Artie Alston, is a producer, director, videographer, editor, artist, actor and model. â€œI did it all,â€? he says confidently yet humbly. He considers himself the east coast version of Ice Cube.
â€œIt all started with the music,â€? growing up in the Bronxâ€™s Edenwald projects, Choke was enamored with the hip-hop explosion of the 80â€™s from break dancing and pop locking to graffiti murals and rhyming. Holding down the 5th position in a local rap group as the producer of â€œThe Naked Facesâ€? Choke took his first hand experiences of the music business home to build his own recording studio. But when his quintet didnâ€™t grasp the desired record deal Choke soon saw through the â€œglitz and glamourâ€? facade in music videos and went back to school to earn an Associateâ€™s in Business.
It was the 90â€™s and â€œI knew I had so much to offer the world,â€? he says after his quick stint to become a white-collar worker. But the allure of the entertainment business soon whispered hello. Choke suddenly did a 360 and made a successful attempt at modeling to regain a buzz. He walked the catwalk in Fashion Week, did print ads for Snoop Dogâ€™s year long campaign â€œPay the Cost to be the Bossâ€? and appeared in commercials, music videos and independent films. Self taught, with a camcorder in his hand, working with directors like Lil X and Hype Williams motivated him to sit in the directorâ€™s chair. â€œI would be shooting behind the scenes on the set and then go home and edit my version of the video,â€? he says, referring to the footage.
His first professional position as a director/videographer was in 1996 on â€œStreet Funkâ€? an entertainment show with live performances and interviews shown in NY and 6 other states. They would cover industry parties at all the hot spots like the Tunnel on 27th street and 12th avenue, that were so popular Choke still profits from volumes of â€œThe Tunnelâ€? DVDs he released to local video stores. The 4th volume featuring Jay-Z caught the eye of then Roc-A-fella Records CEO Damon Dash who was so impressed with his work he asked him to become a part of his staff. As his private videographer, Choke traveled the world capturing some of Dameâ€™s most private moments including the beginnings of the slowly crippling label.
Nearly three years passed when Choke returned to his hip-hop roots as a producer on BETâ€™s Rap City. But it is obvious that now is the time to do his own thangâ€™ with a documentary of his life story â€œI am Choke No Joke,â€? underway and the autobiographical novel â€œThe Jectsâ€? in the works, there is no turning back. â€œAll my endeavors are coming full circle,â€? he adds, â€œmusic is the gateway to help everything I do.â€? Two music videos and a soundtrack he solely produced and was a MC on will soon be released to promote the film. â€œYou plant a seed and it will grow,â€? Choke says. He is nearing production for a feature film he will direct and produce called â€œCode Blue,â€? about police corruption in the inner cities. â€œI may have to put my Actorâ€™s hat back on or my Artist hat on as well but now is my time. I know I can do it all.â€? Choke is also a journalist for SSX Black Menâ€™s magazine.
To reach Choke: firstname.lastname@example.org
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