Washington Heights bred rap artist Bernard Lewis, AKA “Real Deal” Berns is bringing the art of authentic storytelling back into hip-hop. Departing from the modern “mumble rap” craze, Berns’ vocals are clear with classic New York tonality, backed by heavy southern bass. It’s the blend of old school via the 90s Ill Al Skratch movement mixed with Florida-esque drop beats that makes a Berns track feel old school and progressive simultaneously.
With an artist pseudonym like “real deal,” Berns’ lyrical integrity is the backbone of his body of work. He only raps about what he’s actually been through. Spitting the truth of his uptown NYC upbringing, Berns carries the humility of his roots in both name and music. “Real Deal” pays homage to his friend and musical inspiration who was killed back in 2005. By carrying his friend’s legacy through his name, Berns is never too far from where he’s been to get where he’s going.
His musical themes slingshot from his days of street hustling, to his present day responsibilities as a father and entrepreneur. “Real Deal” is not only his rap persona, but is also the banner name over his business enterprises that span the barbershop and apparel industries.
Berns’ career highlights include sharing studio time with fellow New York rapper Joell Ortiz and opening up for iconic rap duo Mobb Deep in 2014.
You can catch his debut track “Million Dollar Dreams” on SoundCloud now.