Who Is Showtime?

Antoine Le’ Velle Lewis Harden (born April 10, 1993) , known professionally around the globe as Showtime or Tha True Showtime, is an American rapper, singer, dancer, songwriter, record producer, actor, fashion designer, marketer, architect, athlete, and owner of the corporation, Str Pwr Inc. {click link to view the companies it consists of}. Show is originally from Montgomery, Alabama but  moved to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 13, due to his mother joining the Air Force Reserve. Showtime involvement in music began during his semester at Tuskegee University in 2013, where the mixtape, [Tha Hurt] was originally created with the help of football teammate, Kevin Slayton, who recorded the sessions and picked out the beats for it and his two right-hand men at the time Carter Young and Bobby White, who influenced the title of it. Shortly after his release from jail in October of 2014 he decided to dedicate himself fully to music. Interested in signing no major record label deal, he founded the record label, Showtime Entertainment Records to house both mixtape releases [Tha Hurt] and [Tha Basics] in 2015. He wrote, recorded, engineered, and produced both projects himself. Due to his self-efficiency, he built his home-recording studio, Showtime Entertainment Studios {which is now referred to as Str Pwr Studios}. Since his junior year of high school, he has been designing his own custom Nike athletic gear. The reaction he received from his fellow classmates, teammates, and fans made it his signature. Before his first performance on December 27, 2014 at Center Stage in Atlanta, he customized a pair of solid black Converse, posted them all over his social media, and the feedback spiked his interested to design more and more. Soon enough, he started up his own shoe company and named it, Gold Carpets. Then he decided, why stop there and created a clothing line to match the variety of his many shoe designs, which has now grown into the clothing company, Show’d Up.  He figured he needed a place to sell the products he designed, so he built the online shopping store, Showtime Shopping. In the beginning of October 2015 he began the shooting of his own TV/Web series, [A Day In The Life of Showtime], which is now titled [The Showlife]. Later developed a Snapchat series titled, [Cooking With Showtime], that is now a TV/Web series also. The video blog, [Real Nigga Sessions or Real Talk Sessions], that originated during his time away from home (Atlanta) in college at the University of Alabama in 2011 – 2012 has converted to a web series also. Sometime in 2016, he took an intermission from the music scene to go forth on a business venture, when he saw that he was missing a lot of important legal matters that was hindering his progression in the Music Industry. In doing so, he founded the corporation, Str Pwr Inc. in April 2016 and immediately changed the name of his independent record label from Showtime Entertainment Records to Str Pwr Records. His voyage led him to creating and building a company for every single aspect that he felt was needed to build his music and acting career, improve the marketability of his brands, protection and security with/from all legal endeavors, and a strong foundation to generate and handle all financial affairs.

 

 

Life and Career

1993 – 2007: Early Life

Antoine Harden was born in Montgomery, Alabama on April 10, 1993 in  Baptist Hospital at 4:18pm. At the age of four he discovered two loves…  music and sports. Once he got his first pair of drumsticks; he immediately began putting his talent to use by self-teaching himself how to play the drums by ear. Later that year after watching his father, Antoine Harden, play runningback for the semi-pro football team, Alabama Central Renegades, [Showtime] too, wanted to play football and be great just like his dad. When the age requirement of 8 years old was reached; he began playing football. He was naturally gifted at athletics. Played almost every sport! From football to basketball to baseball to tennis to track. Antoine was an all-around gifted kid. Even though he was heavily involved with sports, he still stayed in touch with music using it more as a hobby and education… for him… was a breeze. Since starting school early at 4 years old at Trinity Lutheran, he’s been a straight-A student, have had a well above-average reading level, and always been well-liked by his peers and teachers.  At age 9, his mother, Larysa Greene, got him drum lessons with  BJ, the drummer for True Divine Baptist Church, to sharpen his raw talent. He also joined and sung in his school’s and church’s choir until he began playing the drums at his grandma’s church. His first performer influence was the king of pop, Michael Jackson. In the third grade, he taught himself how to dance like Mike, including the sacred [Moonwalk]. Since then he always been the one took who took the stage, dance floor, field, or court by storm. In the fourth grade Showtime danced, marched, and played the snare drum in the Calhoun High School Marching Band, which his auntie, Kathleen Davis, directed at the “Battle of the Bands” that was hosted in his hometown during his mid childhood years. He didn’t write his first song until his fifth grade year of elementary school. He was infatuated with girls, which gave him the idea to write. He learned how to read music in the sixth grade at Southlawn Middle School. That same year he started writing his own compositions and discovered his ability to rap. His intelligence landed him in Quest, a program for “gifted students” which gave students an opportunity experience new and different cultures, languages, extracurricular activities, etc. while he was in the 6th Grade. The next year his mother placed him in the magnet school, Floyd Middle Magnet School. Here he played in the concert band and discovered several new inspirations, such as Omarion, Usher, Chris Brown. This was the time he realized the attraction that his talents brought from the young ladies; and along with his charisma, down-to-earth personality, cuteness, and suave made him the perfect womanizer for years to come. During the summer after his 8th grade year of middle school, he decided that his “dream career” or “dream job” was to play professional football and he was going to do whatever it takes. With having his whole entire high school career laid out and planned accordingly, he had to move to Kennesaw, Georgia and start completely over, as in, make the football team, form new friendships with students, build new relationships with new teachers, etc.


2007 – 2011: High School

In Fall 2007 –  Spring 2008, Showtime started his freshman year of high school at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.Throughout his football career he never played his dream position… running back. He was always told what position to play by his coaches because most felt he was too small to run the football. He knew in his heart he wasn’t and just needed an opportunity to show it. For the first time in his life he was asked what position he wanted to play by his new coaches before tryouts started. While shocked that they asked instead of appointing him one, he sawt the opportunity he was so patiently waiting for and proudly said with confidence, running back. Shortly after his number was called and he lined up in the backfield, took the hand-off, juked, spun, and evaded tackles till he high-stepped his way to the end zone. He always had a knat for running and escaping tackles. The coaches were so surprised by his skills, toughness, edge, and hunger that they all decided he was a great asset to the team and gave him the support he needed to achieve his full potential. He made the freshman football team and kept the jersey number, 12, that he wore throughout his sports career in his hometown (Montgomery, Alabama). Ended the season with 126 rushing yards on 18 carries with 1 touchdown averaging 6.8 yards per carry. He was going to try out for the basketball team after football season over because that was the secondary sport he played, but his football coach, John Bettis, talked him into trying out for wrestling because Showtime had a great low-sense of gravity and the sport would make his legs stronger, strengthen his core and balance, and increase his conditioning and endurance. He ended up enjoying it and trained to be the best wrestler he could be. Under the coaching of Roberto Rivera, he had a splendid first year of wrestling. Show even wrestled in a couple of varsity matches. After wrestling season was over, he was introduced to another unfamiliar sport by his senior football teammate, Andrew. Andrew described Rugby as football without pads. Basically backyard football, which Showtime played a lot of in his childhood. So he went to a practice and found out it really was football without pads. Excited that he could still play a sport that will tone his body for football without losing the condition for contact or game speed. Still in love with music, he decided to join the school’s concert band, where he learned to play every instrument in the percussion session, from the snare drum to the xylophone. He still was writing songs and poetry. Mostly to pick up on girls. He did find a common inetrest with fellow members of his concert band; Jeremiah Bentley, Nick Porter, Cory Mason, and Shelby Floyd. Together they formed a rap group, named Eclipse. Jeremiah as JB, Nick as Nick P, Cory as C-Money, Shelby, who was the pianist, and Showtime as A-Jay-Jay or LiL’ Pimpin. They wrote, freestyled, and recorded several different songs (not professionally) and posted them on myspace for other students to hear. The group life span was cut short as 2 of the members relocated and transferred to different schools.  He still competed on a high level with his academics. Show had to study a little bit more than usual but it was a good challenge to his intellect. His teachers all promoted him to honor classes, because his grades were outstanding and they wanted to give him a better look on his transcript when he applies to colleges.

 

Fall 2008 – Spring 2009 was the year that he made a statement. Moving up to JV/Varsity caused him to part ways with his favorite jersey number, 12. Out of a small selection of numbers to choose from, that he felt was cool for a running back to wear, he chose 25. influenced by the NFL‘s pro running back, Reggie Bush. From that day, he took the number and never looked back. He quickly began becoming a household name in the community after this run in his first career start as a running back.

Every time he was in the backfield the stadium awaited his every carry because they knew when he touches the ball something brilliant happens. Showtime stayed on the field. it seemed as if he would never come off, playing offense, defense, special teams. The only time he was getting a break was when the team was kicking a field goal. He also recorded two 200-yard games. Showtime showed his playmaker ability on a consistent basis, totaling up to 1,112 rushing yards on 74 carries averaging 15.2 yards per carry with 1 touchdown, 180 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown, 350 kick return yards averaging 30.1 per return, 410 punt return yards averaging 18.2 per return, 3 tackles and 15 pass deflections, and 1 onside kick recovery. {to see the full highlight video of his sophomore year click the following link: Antoine (Showtime) Harden Sophomore Highlight Film}. He also had a breakthrough year in wrestling. While wrestling both Varsity and JV, he accumulated a total of 23 wins and 8 losses in the weight classes of 125 – 135. he also won a starting position at fullback in rugby and helped his team to the semi-finals in the high school playoffs. Soon his classmates found out he was songwriter and poet. He did a project for his history class that consisted of him rapping. Afterwards he had girls wanting him to write them a song and his guy friends and some he did not know paid him to write poems and love letters for their girlfriends or anybody they wanted to date. Even with all the success he was still having trouble dealing with his home sickness. The success probably made it worst. It was hard to let go of all his childhood friends and the people who supported him most when all he really wanted to do was share it with them. Internally he was dealing with the absence of his biological father, because he wanted him to see him. He knew that Kennesaw was too far for his dad to travel to see him play every game like the dads of the other kids. He also had a lot of passion for his best friend who also said the distance was too long for them to be in a serious relationship. It got to the point where he said enough was enough. On one rainy night, he felt enough was enough. Show packed up a little bag and ran away from home to hitchhike back to Montgomery, Alabama, but when he got to the interstate I-75; he was seen by a cop. The policeman saw that he was Antoine Harden, a kid with extremely high potential that plays running back for Coach Jones, he graciously took him home. He persuaded Showtime that his mother loves him dearly and that she would not have moved him here if it didn’t benefit his life in a positive manner. After that to deal with the issue he started back writing. Influenced by 2 of Atlanta’s greats, Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman, he began to own and master his rapping skills. 

In Fall 2009 – Spring 2010 his junior year of high school, he was filled with so much pain, hurt, anger, and disappointment. (and) what better way to channel all the emotions than sports. He turned his negative feelings into a positive. Some how, some way he used all the things that was bothering him on the inside as motivation to be the best he could be. He trained, then trained harder. He worked, then worked harder. He studied, then studied harder. But out of nowhere, a scare came about. His mother had to save up to purchase a house and in order for that to happen, she had to move to Cartersville, Georgia, which meant that he would’ve had to transfer schools and all. Thankfully his starting quarterback at the time, William Campbellparents, Bill and Susan Campbell, took him in for the time being. They both became great mentors to him and possibly his biggest supporters yet. They made it very clear that they truly wanted to see him successful at whatever he chose to do, because Showtime had the power to be whatever he wanted to be. This was Showtime’s official breakout year in the football. He started out the season on fire. Averaging at least a 150 yards per game and 1 touchdown per game. Both a career high. 4 games into the season he suffered an injury to his right achilles tendon, but he continued to play on it and with his drive and heart he maintained the same level of production and energy throughout the football season. Totaling up to 7 games on JV and 10 games on varsity. Altogether he totaled 2,254 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns on 154 carries averaging 14.6 yards per carry, 126 receiving yards on 3 receptions, 738 kick return yards, and 421 punt return yards. {to watch the full highlight video click on the following link.} Some how and some way he didn’t miss a game that season, but he elected out of participating in that year’s wrestling season to rest his body, heal his achilles tendon, and focus on his academics so he could them back up to where they should be.

Once he was fully healed up from the injury. He quickly jumped into track and rugby. This was his first official year running track since elementary school. He ran purely just to build his speed, running technique, and endurance. Showtime ran and participated in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, long jump, and high jump. Lettering Varsity his first season. Coach Washington, the track coach, gave the consent for Showtime to do both track and rugby because they were both were at the same time. He went to track practice on Mondays and Wednesdays; rugby practice on Tuesdays and Thursday. When he had track meets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, he would participate in the run-throughs with the track team before rugby practice on Tuesdays and before rugby games on Fridays. True did an amazing job on joggling between the two sports and his academics, earning a 3.75 GPA for that semester along with the requirements and credits for college. In rugby, he didn’t miss a beat coming off the injury. Show proved that an injury could and will not affect his play, averaging 2 tries a game and leading his team to the semi-finals during the playoffs that year.  His influence grew incredibly fast in the rugby world as it has been since his first start of his freshman year. It wasn’t just his talent and style of play, but the way he brought the football swagger to the rugby pitch made him a memorable hot commodity. The people who’s ever watched him play fell in love with his personality on and off the field. Most would tell you he’s one of the most personable, humble guy they’ve ever met. Some would tell you the way he ran the ball and played the game was like a work of art. It was natural.. exhilarating! You could tell that he truly enjoyed it and played the sport with a great amount of passion.

At the end of the year, his high school does a Honor’s Day Program. It’s a program where they give out academic achievement awards, special recognitions, and the changing of the chairs. The Class of 2010 knew that he could dance and asked him to do a dance performance. He gladly accepted the request, even with it being on a short notice. Due to the time limitations, he didn’t have time to put a new routine together so he decided to perform Micheal Jackson’s Billie Jean Performance. He mixed 2 versions of the routine while practicing only 2 days. He was excited because they did not know what to expect. This was the first time Showtime had performed on stage since the seventh grade. The butterflies were on and it was showtime! Once the song started p.laying it the nervousness went away. True started off kind of jittery and stiff, but grew more and more comfortable as the performance when on captivating the audience with move after move just like his idol, Michael Jackson, often did. Show shocked the building with the most electrifying, exciting, thrilling move in the entertainment industry: the ‘Moonwalk“.

and then later added the icing with a freestyle and topped it off with a split to put the cherry on top on a great tribute to the late-great pop star, Michael Jackson.

Showtime’s stellar ending boosted his popularity ten-fold. All the teachers and students wanted to see him moonwalk going from classroom to classroom, from hall to hall. They already couldn’t get enough of Showtime. Now they really couldn’t get enough of Showtime. {to watch the full performance click on the following link.} 

Fall 2010 – Spring 2011 was Antoine’s last year of high school at Kennesaw Mountain High. He wanted so bad to earn a scholarship to play football at the University of Alabama. He trained and worked hard to achieve his goal. He went to the Nick Saban Football Camp and won the Best RB award there. The offensive coordinator took down his information and everything. Showtime only asked one thing,”Do y’all care about size? Because my whole life I have been told I was too small to run the football.” and the coordinator replied, “We don’t care about that. If you can ball, then you can ball.” That’s all he needed to hear. That’s the momentum he needed to continue to pursue his dream. 

TO BE CONTINUED…