Life can sometimes be like a boxing match. When hard times have you on the ropes and the pressures of life find you face down on the mat, the true test of a champion is one who can get up and keep on swinging. Miami-based emerging talent Whyl Chyl is such a fighter. He has seen more than his share of knock-downs on his way to achieving glory. And although the pressures of losing his loved one and musical mentor have had him seemingly out for the count, this 18-year-old survivor cannot be denied. Recently signed to multi-platinum rapper Flo Rida’s IMG/Strong Arm label, Whyl Chyl’s debut street album Born 2B Whyl will solidify his championship status in rap music. “My music has pain in it. Everybody can relate to it because we all experience pain in our lives,” says Whyl Chyl. “But it also has a crossover appeal. It’s also that hardcore Miami sound.” Born Barry Knowles 18 years ago, this down South survivor came up tough as nails. As a youngster, his family moved between various neighborhoods. And although the allure of the streets was always within reach, his parents and family made sure that young Barry would not be steered in the wrong direction. “We grew up kind of rough,” says Whyl Chyl. “We weren’t as financially blessed as other people but my people did everything they could to make sure I didn’t feel the rough side of life.” Whyl Chyl earned his nickname from his favorite uncle, Alex Harris, who first introduced him to music as a teen. Harris owned a music studio and Whyl Chyl seemed to stay in the studio. Whyl Chyl discovered his own musical talents when he teamed up with his first cousin, Alex, Jr., during his pre-teen years. Whyl Chyl was only 12 when he was first featured on his cousin’s local hit single “Jit Life.” After the song blew up around various parts of the city, Whyl Chyl knew that a career in music was in his future. Then, out of nowhere, his uncle was senselessly murdered. Saddened by his uncle’s untimely death, Whyl Chyl completely shut down and changed his wild ways forever. “That made me appreciate life more,” he said. “I wanted to chill for a minute. That’s the main reason why I calmed down.” With his musical support system gone, he wouldn’t see the inside of the studio for another five years. “When my uncle passed, I had to walk away,” he says. “He was the first person that got me started into music and he wasn’t there anymore. He continues, “It was like a big loss to me because I looked up to him. If it wasn’t for him, there is no telling where I would be. He showed me another outlet. I was lost without him so I had to find myself.” It wasn’t until last year that Whyl Chyl again felt comfortable making music. He got back into the studio and started doing what he did best. It just so happened that his father worked at the local airport in Opa Locka and saw multi-platinum artist Flo Rida looking to buy a private jet there. Whyl’s father had his music on his smart phone and let Flo hear some. His father instantly called him, saying that Flo Rida wanted to meet him in the studio. He signed with Flo’s IMG/Strong Arm label and his latest and greatest creation to date is in the form of a street album “Born 2B Whyl” which dropped on his birthday, Nov 9.