Keeping a song in his heart

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  • Jim Franz/Beloit Daily News DB Broakeen Sheffield (10) picked off a pair of passes for Beloit College last fall.

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    Photo by @Shotbylee Beloit College junior Broakeen Sheffield uses the stage name Keen Cortex as a rap performer.

  • Jim Franz/Beloit Daily News DB Broakeen Sheffield (10) picked off a pair of passes for Beloit College last fall.

  • 1

    Photo by @Shotbylee Beloit College junior Broakeen Sheffield uses the stage name Keen Cortex as a rap performer.

Bucs' Sheffield juggles athletics with passion for music

By ERICK MITCHELL

Daily News correspondent

Children huddle around the teacher at Harmony Elementary School in Dallas, Texas. They await their favorite part of the day, singing the lyrics to their favorite song ... a song which teaches them a lesson.

"I'm having fun, so why would I fight you!"

The lyrics help children love instead of bicker amongst each other. The song is titled "One Night" and is an original from Dallas native Broakeen Sheffield, a Beloit College junior whose passion is rap music doesn't prevent him from playing football and competing in track and field for the Buccaneers.

Sheffield goes by the stage name Keen Cortex. Despite being Dallas born, it has been Beloit keeping his rap music career on the rise.

The dreams of making music and producing mix tapes didn't pop up when Sheffield arrived in Beloit. Ever since he saw 6-year-old rapping sensation Bentley Green awhen he was a youngster, Sheffield has also wanted to perform.

"I told my momma 'I wanna do that, I wanna do that,"' Sheffield said. "I would like to start rapping and I asked her and she was like 'no that isn't for you' so I was like alright. As years came by, actually my 7th grade year I made a song and went to the studio and recorded it. I performed it for my talent show and everybody liked it."

Despite that early middle school success, Sheffield put rap to the side in high school. His decision to head north and attend Beloit College helped bring back his passion for music long with his new persona, Keen Cortex.

"Being in the studio gave me everything I needed." Sheffield said. "I was at the Maple Tree studio over there at CELEB ( Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education) and it was the best thing. It brought the talent out of me."

With the tight-knit community at Beloit College, it wasn't long before Sheffield was introduced to other students with similar interests. One of those was Jaren Holden, founder of Digital J Photography.

"I have given him guidance." Holden said. " A lot of people are scared to criticize people, so I'm not a yes man. I give him the advice and he takes it. He needs to continue to branch out and meet people, I know it's hard to be an up and coming artist, you can't be dependent on yourself.

"It is fun working with Keen, he's a fun person to be around. I like working with him because he is serious about his craft. He's always working and has a lot of songs, I think he records everyday."

While others use free time to play Fortnite or binge Netflix, Sheffield claims to spend up to 5 hours each day working on his music and entertainment product.

"I don't record everyday, but sometimes I may get on my computer and I may edit some songs that I may need to edit better." Sheffield said. "Even when I'm not sitting in front of my camera or not recording, when I'm just walking around, I'm still listening to my music to see what I can perfect. Anything can happen to make a song blow."

Sheffield's hard work has led to success. Last summer he had a show in Los Angeles and he has also performed in the Beloit and Dallas areas.

"My career has shot up as far as views and people interaction," Sheffield said. "As time evolves you have to change and get better and better every year. I released a couple mixtapes and visuals and a lot of singles so I have a lot of music out there. I have all my music available on Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, and Google Music. You can find me anywhere by typing in Keen Cortex."

In the fall, Sheffield also juggled duties for the Buccaneers in their defensive secondary. The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder was tied for first on the team with two interceptions last season. He also is a current member of the Bucs indoor track team.

"Beloit College helped me with confidence," Sheffield said. "Beloit gave me the confidence to get Dallas to rock with me. They say you have to move to a different city to get your own city with you and Beloit was that for me."

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