Boost Mobile in association with Guerilla Union presents
Sat, Aug 18
Sun, Aug 19
2012 Rock the Bells Festival - San Bernardino - powered by Blackberry
Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Nas, J Cole, Atmosphere, Ice Cube, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Common, Method Man + Redman, DMX + EVE, Jadakiss, Wu Block, Kendrick Lamar, Hit Squad, Dipset, Tyga, 2 Chainz, Immortal Technique, Curren$y, Deltron 3030, Sean Price, Pusha T, DJ Quik, E-40, Too Short, Schoolboy Q, Prodigy, Yelawolf, Naughty by Nature, Mix Master Mike, Salt-N-Pepa, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Lance & Friends, Zion-I, Grouch, Eligh, Fashawn, Murs, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, Dom Kennedy, Watsky, RZA, Supernatural, Xzibit, KRS-One, Hieroglyphics, EL-P, Killer Mike, Casey Veggies, Machine Gun Kelly, Kid Ink, I Self Divine, Chief Keef, Slim Da Mobsta
689 South E Street
San Bernardino, CA, 92408
Doors 12:00PM / Show 12:00PM
2012 Rock the Bells Festival - San Bernardino - powered by Blackberry
Rock the Bells is an annual music festival featuring a diverse line-up of high-profile wolrd class hip-hop artists.
"Kid Cudi is a Brooklyn-based rapper from Cleveland whose debut single, "Day 'n' Nite," became an online favorite in 2008. Born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi in suburban Cleveland, his career took off after he moved to Brooklyn and became affiliated with Fool's Gold, the label of DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs. The label released the Day 'n' Nite EP in February 2008 and circulated a Crookers remix around the blogosphere, drumming up a good deal of buzz in the process. It didn't hurt that Kid Cudi began to receive increasing press attention, including a nod from Rolling Stone (which touted him among the magazine's Top Five best indie hip-hop artists of 2008). Not long after the release of "Day 'n' Nite," Kid Cudi began touring with the Fool's Gold collective, which performed at a South by Southwest showcase and subsequently joined forces with Steve Aoki and his Dim Mak collective for a North American tour. After the remixed version of "Day 'n' Nite" climbed the U.K. singles charts, Kid Cudi released his conceptual debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day in the summer of 2009. A year later he returned with a sequel, Man on the Moon, Vol. 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager." - Jason Birchmeier, AllMusicGuide
Beginning with his classic debut, Illmatic (1994), Nas stood tall for years as one of New York City's leading rap voices, outspokenly expressing a righteous, self-empowered swagger that endeared him to critics and hip-hop purists. Whether proclaiming himself "Nasty Nas" or "Nas Escobar" or "Nastradamus" or "God's Son," the self-appointed King of New York battled numerous adversaries for his position atop the epicenter of East Coast rap, none more challenging than Jay-Z, who vied with Nas for the vacated throne left in the wake of the Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 assassination. Such headline-worthy drama informed Nas' provocative rhymes, which he delivered with both a masterful flow and a wise perspective over beats by a range of producers: legends like DJ Premier, Large Professor, and Pete Rock; hitmakers like Trackmasters, Timbaland, and will.i.am; street favorites like Swizz Beatz, Megahertz, and the Alchemist; and personal favorites of his own like L.E.S., Salaam Remi, and Chucky Thompson. Nas likewise collaborated with some of the industry's leading video directors, including Hype Williams and Chris Robinson, presenting singles like "Hate Me Now," "One Mic," and "I Can" with dramatic flair. Throughout all the ups (the acclaim, popularity, and success) and downs (the expectations, adversaries, and over-reaching), Nas continually matured as an artist, evolving from a young street disciple to a vain all-knowing sage to a humbled godly teacher. Such growth made every album release an event and prolonged his increasingly storied career to epic proportions.
Born Nasir Jones, son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas dropped out of school in the eighth grade, trading classrooms for the streets of the rough Queensbridge projects, long fabled as the former stomping ground of Marley Marl and his Juice Crew as immortalized in "The Bridge." Despite dropping out of school, Nas developed a high degree of literacy that would later characterize his rhymes. At the same time, though, he delved into street culture and flirted with danger, such experiences similarly characterizing his rhymes. His synthesis of well-crafted rhetoric and street-glamorous imagery blossomed in 1991 when he connected with Main Source and laid down a fiery verse on "Live at the Barbeque" that earned him up-and-coming notice among the East Coast rap scene. Not long afterward, MC Serch of 3rd Bass approached Nas about contributing a track to the Zebrahead soundtrack. Serch was the soundtrack's executive producer and had been impressed by "Live at the Barbeque." Nas submitted "Halftime," and the song so stunned Serch that he made it the soundtrack's leadoff track.
Columbia Records meanwhile signed Nas to a major-label contract, and many of New York's finest producers offered their support. DJ Premier, Large Professor, and Pete Rock entered the studio with the young rapper and began work on Illmatic. When Columbia finally released the album in April 1994, it faced high expectations; Illmatic regardless proved just as astounding as it had been billed. It sold very well, spawned multiple hits, and earned unanimous acclaim, followed soon after by classic status. The two years leading up to Nas' follow-up, It Was Written (1996), brought another wave of enormous anticipation. The ambitious rapper, who had begun working closely with industry heavyweight Steve Stoute, responded with a significantly different approach than he had taken with Illmatic: where that album had been a straightforward hip-hop album with few pop concessions, the largely Trackmaster-produced It Was Written made numerous concessions to the pop-crossover market, most notably on the two hit singles, "Street Dreams" and "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)." These singles -- both of which drew from well-known songs, Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" and Kurtis Blow's "If I Ruled the World," respectively -- broadened Nas' appeal greatly and awarded him MTV-sanctioned crossover success. This same crossover success undermined some of his hip-hop credibility, however, and a minor backlash by purists resulted.
Nas addressed his critics on "Hate Me Now," the second single from his next album, I Am (1999). The album had originally been planned as a double-disc concept album comprised of autobiographical material, but when some of the tracks were leaked, I Am was scaled down and released as a single disc, with the DJ Premier-produced "Nas Is Like" chosen as the lead single. Besides "Nas Is Like" and "Hate Me Now," which both broke into the Billboard Hot 100, "You Won't See Me Tonight" and "K-I-S-S-I-N-G" also charted as singles. Originally scheduled by Columbia as a follow-up album comprised of the pirated material from the I Am sessions, Nastradamus (1999) -- released in time for the holiday shopping season, roughly six months after its predecessor -- was instead comprised almost entirely of new material, recorded quickly to meet the late-November release date. Nastradamus signaled a drop-off in quality as well as sales. The album failed to garner the abundance of critical praise that had become customary for Nas. Moreover, unlike its two predecessors, Nastradamus failed to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart, peaking at number seven instead, and failed to go double platinum. Though relatively disappointing on these counts, Nastradamus still went platinum and spawned two charting singles, "Nastradamus" and "You Owe Me," so the album wasn't a failure, just disappointing.
In the late-'90s wake of the Notorious B.I.G.'s assassination, Nas reigned atop the New York rap scene alongside few contemporaries of equal stature . In addition to his endless stream of hits by the industry's most successful producers -- "If I Ruled the World" (produced by the Trackmasters), "Hate Me Now" (Puff Daddy), "Nas Is Like" (DJ Premier), and "You Owe Me" (Timbaland), among others -- he popularly co-starred in the Hype Williams-directed film Belly (1998) alongside DMX and contributed to the soundtrack. Furthermore, Nas led a short-lived supergroup of New York rappers known as the Firm (also comprised of rappers Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature, with producers Dr. Dre and the Trackmasters) and assembled a broad coalition of fellow Queensbridge rappers for the QB Finest compilation (2000). Amid all of this publicity, though, criticism began to mount. For every crossover fan Nas won with his dramatic MTV-aired videos, he lost support among purists, some of whom felt he had sold out and abandoned hip-hop ideals in favor of commercial success. The relative disappointment of Nastradamus was symptomatic of this downturn.
A series of incidents in 2001 provided a key turning point for Nas' decline. The rapper's personal life was becoming increasingly complicated, as he encountered relationship trouble with the mother of his daughter and, of greater consequence, as his mother began suffering from cancer. To make matters worse, longtime rival Jay-Z pointedly dissed Nas on "Takeover," the much-discussed leadoff song from his acclaimed Blueprint album (2001). Among other charges, Jay-Z called out Nas for not having put out a "hot" album since Illmatic, and also alluded to sleeping with the mother of Nas' daughter. It didn't help that Jay-Z had risen atop the New York rap scene, giving him ample justification to call out Nas, who had fallen from favor and receded from the public eye while he dealt with his personal issues. Nas responded strikingly in December 2001 with Stillmatic, the title a reference to his classic Illmatic album, which had been released nearly a decade earlier. Stillmatic opened with the song "Ether," a very direct response to Jay-Z, followed by the aggressive lead single "Get Ur Self A...." These two songs in particular rallied the streets while the moving video for "One Mic" received heavy support from MTV. Throughout 2002, Nas continued his comeback with a number of guest appearances, among them Brandy's "What About Us?," J-Lo's "I'm Gonna Be Alright," and Ja Rule's "The Pledge," as well as yet more news-making controversy, this time involving his no-show at popular radio station Hot 97's annual Summer Jam.
Amid all of the drama, Nas managed to salvage his esteemed reputation and reclaim his lofty status atop the New York scene. Stillmatic earned immediate acclaim from fans and critics alike and sold impressively, while Columbia furthered the comeback campaign with two archival releases, one of remixes (From Illmatic to Stillmatic [2002 released a new studio album, God's Son (2002), and Nas once again basked in widespread acclaim as the album sold well, spawned sizable hits ("Thugz Mansion," "Made You Look," "I Can"), and received rampant media support. Two years later Nas returned with Street's Disciple (2004), a sprawling double album that delved deeply into various issues, most notably politics and his impending marriage to Kelis. The two-sided "Thief's Theme"/"You Know My Style" single dropped in summer 2004, several months before the album's release, and was followed that fall by the proper lead single, "Bridging the Gap."
Street's Disciple came and went, however, without the level of commercial success that had become customary, as it struggled to go platinum. More troubling, new kid on the block 50 Cent took a swipe at Nas on "Piggy Bank," a call-out song on The Massacre (2005), further bringing the veteran rapper's status into question. In a surprising turn of events later that year, Nas made a surprise appearance at Jay-Z's much-hyped I Declare War concert in October 2005. Together the two rivals performed "Dead Presidents," Jay-Z's 1996 debut single; the classic song, produced by Ski Beatz and featured on Reasonable Doubt (1996), features a prominent sample of "The World Is Yours," a 1994 classic by Nas. The reconciliation of Jay-Z and Nas opened the door to a deal with Def Jam. The record label, overseen by Jay-Z as president at the time, signed Nas and, in turn, released Hip Hop Is Dead (2006). The album didn't sell especially well, but it did inspire a lot of commentary about the state of hip-hop and included a much-anticipated collaboration with Jay-Z, "Black Republican." Greatest Hits (2007) followed a year later, including the newly recorded single "Surviving the Times." Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide
Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985 in Frankfurt, Germany), better known simply as J. Cole, is an American rapper and producer from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He is best known for being the first artist to be signed to JAY-Z's label Roc Nation after Jay heard his single Lights Please. He released his debut mixtape The Come Up in 2007 and followed this up with 2009's The Warm Up and 2010's Friday Night Lights. Songfacts reports that he dropped his first official single, Work Out on June 15, 2011, the two-year anniversary of The Warm Up. He is now working on his highly anticipated debut album "Cole World: The Sideline Story".
Cole has appeared on the cover of The Source and Beyond Race magazines, as well as being featured as one of XXL's 2010 Freshmen. Cole appeared on Jay-Z's 2009 album The Blueprint 3, on the track A Star is Born, and is also featured on labelmate Wale's debut album, Attention Deficit. Most recently, he was touring with Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, and Trey Songz on The Blueprint 3 tour. In January 2010, along with Jay Electronica and Mos Def, he appeared on the first single from the new Reflection Eternal album, Just Begun.
The rap world is at a crossroads. In the face of shrinking budgets, music executives, resting on their laurels, search out the next YouTube sensation with a catchy hook and dance move in order to amass digital single sales. While many artists have tried to break through despite an industry melt down, few have been met with critical praise. And the applause for those that have has not been loud enough to sway the course of the current rap market. Looking to excel where his contemporaries have failed, North Carolina native J. Cole (born Jermaine Cole) brings promise of a new day in hip hop music.Raised by his mother in North Carolina, J. Cole's hometown of Fayetteville would provide much of the sights and experiences that would come to shape his sound. Cole fell into rapping at the age of 12 when his cousin from Louisiana spent the summer in Fayetteville, showing him the basics of rhyming. He was instantly hooked. From there he delved deep into the music of hip hop luminaries including Tupac Shakur, Nas and Outkast, taking from them a love for telling stories with an unbridled rigor. Seizing every opportunity to write, at age 15 J. Cole found himself with composition notebooks full of rhymes but no beats of his own to lay them on. Determined to create original songs, he begged his mother for a beat machine so he could produce music solely for himself. She granted his wish and from there, a young Cole spent all his free time creating sounds and songs that would lay the foundation for what his style has evolved to today.
Feeling the need to be heard, J. Cole used college as a tool to chase his dreams. He attended St. John's University on an academic scholarship, choosing the school so that he could be in the heart of the music industry: New York City. After polishing his sound and graduating Magna Cum Laude, J. Cole is dropping his debut mixtape, properly titled "The Come Up" hosted by DJ On Point. A mash up of dusty, soul filled sound beds, raw, energetic drums and an endless range of topics everything from the carefree days of college to the seemingly endless plight of those have-nots scrapping for change. The Come Up puts J. Cole's broad palette of lyrical and production talents on display. "All a nigga wanna do is take his momma from that, but they rather lock us up and make sure we don't come back," he vehemently spits over the cascading keys and triumphant strings of the self produced "Lil' Ghetto Nigga."
With such a diverse display, J. Cole is poised to wake up a dormant industry and cement his name in this game. But more than that, with his debut studio album currently in production, he hopes to change the tide of current rap music, swaying it in a more insightful, meaningful and passionate direction."
Atmosphere is an American hip hop group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The group is composed of rapper Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/Producer Ant (Anthony Davis).
Ice Cube, is an American rapper, actor, screenwriter, and producer. He began his career as a member of the rap group N.W.A along with group leader Eazy-E, and later launched a successful solo career in music and cinema.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is an American hip hop group from the Glenville section of Cleveland, Ohio. They are best known for their fast-paced rapping style and harmonizing vocals. In 1997, the group was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance with their song "Tha Crossroads". Since its conception in the early 1990s the group has been honored with numerous other awards. Bone Thugs are also the only artist to do acts with Eazy-E, 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., and Big Pun. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are also recognized as one of the most successful hip-hop groups selling 50 million records.
With his multi-Grammy Award winning music career, continued work in film and television, and multiple written works, Common has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after leading men.
His numerous previous accomplishments in film and music include starring on the silver screen in films such as SMOKIN ACES, AMERICAN GANGSTER, WANTED, TERMINATOR SALVATION, DATE NIGHT and JUST WRIGHT. In 2004,... he partnered with Chicago native and rap music mega-star Kanye West to produce the album BE, which went on to garner four Grammy Award nominations. In 2007 COMMON released his critically acclaimed seventh album Finding Forever where it debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and it went on to earn a Grammy award. His eighth album, Universal Mind Control, was released in 2008 and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Rap Album.
COMMON will next be seen starring alongside Ashton Kutcher, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel and Hilary Swank in New Line's NEW YEAR'S EVE. Directed by Garry Marshall, this romantic comedy will premiere on December 9th, 2011. Also due out in 2011 is the much anticipated AMC series, "Hell on Wheels." COMMON plays the role of "Elam," a freed slave who comes west in post-Civil War America seeking work on the Transcontinental Railroad. COMMON has also recently finished filming the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture fantasy film THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN alongside Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and Ron Livingston. Next up COMMON is set to start filming alongside Danny Glover and Michael Rainey Jr. in L.U.V. as "Uncle Vincent," a troubled ex-con who finds companionship with his shy 13-year-old nephew.
Prior to acting, COMMON rose to prominence as one of hip hop's most poetic and respected lyricists having recorded over eight albums and garnering multiple Grammy Awards. COMMON'S highly anticipated ninth album, The Believer, The Dreamer, will be released by Warner Bros. Records in November, 2011. The first single from the album, "Ghetto Dreams" featuring Nas, was recently released. The single artwork features a rare photo of Common and Nas from a video shoot in the mid 90's.
COMMON also offers an even younger generation a better understanding of self respect and love, by utilizing the cultural relevance of hip hop in the children's books he has written. His first book, entitled The MIRROR and ME, teaches lessons of life, the human spirit, and human nature. His follow-up book I Like You But I Love Me was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and in 2008 he released his third book, M.E. (Mixed Emotions). COMMON will soon add to this list of accomplished written works with his revealing memoir, One Day It'll All Make Sense. Every aspect of his life's journey is unveiled in this deeply personal account of who COMMON is and the people, faith and events that have shaped and molded him into the award-winning, critically acclaimed conscious artist of today. This memoir will be on shelves beginning September 13, 2011 from Atria Books.
In addition to his music, film, and literary pursuits, COMMON has been the face, voice and inspiration behind some of the largest consumer brands in the country. COMMON was the voice of Gatorade's G Series Sports Drink commercial that was launched during Super Bowl 2010. In 2009, he was announced as the face of the new Diesel men's fragrance Only the Brave and he partnered with Microsoft as the inspiration and one of the designers to launch their Softwear clothing t-shirt line.
COMMON is a regularly requested guest speaker known to motivate and empower collegiate minds while speaking at prestigious universities across the country. In 2000, he launched the Common Ground Foundation, whose mission is dedicated to the empowerment and development of disadvantaged youth in urban communities by mentoring in three areas: character development, creative expression and healthy living.
Whether inspiring audiences through music, movies, television, books or his foundation, COMMON continues to break new ground, and remains to be one of hip-hop's most innovative, positive voices.
Method Man + Redman
Method Man & Redman are a hip hop duo, consisting of rap superstars Method Man (of Wu-Tang Clan) and Redman (of Def Squad). The duo, who were both signed to Def Jam records, met in 1993 at an industry party. In november 1994 Def jam released Redman's sophmore album Dare Iz A Dark Side as well as Method Man's Tical (his first album). Both records were advertised through a promotional campaign dubbed "month of the man", playing off the similarities they both shared, like their raw east coast styled music and the the constant marijuana references, to name a few. During the promotional tour, the two bonded while traveling through the country. It is during this run that they penned "How High", their very first collaboration that would later end up on the soundtrack of a documentary named "The Show". Since then, they have collaborated on almost every one of their respective solo albums. After much anticipation, their full length collaborative LP Blackout was released in september 1999, with sales of over one million. In 2001, Method Man and Redman starred in the stoner comedy "How High", named after the 1995 hit song. A sitcom named Method & Red featured the two rappers as nouveau riches moving into an affluent suburb. It aired on Fox in 2003 but was short lived due to creative differences. A 10 years reunion sequel, Blackout! 2 was released in 2009.
DMX + EVE
A Yonkers MC who debuted with home-town friends, the Lox, on a DJ Clue mix-tape, DMX hit the big time in 1998 when his single "Get at Me Dog" which became a club and radio smash. He instantly became known for his trademark growling and barking, that appears on almost all the tracks that he records. According to popular belief, this arises from DMX's love of dogs. He has multiple tattoos that are based on his relationship with them. He is said to believe that dogs can be a man's only loyal friends. An interesting fact is DMX received a tattoo in remembrance of one of his dogs that died after being run over by a motorist. In a music industry that often specializes in manufactured stars – neatly wrapped packages that look the right way and do and say all the right things – it is a rare event to witness the emergence of a true artist. DMX, rap's ruffestryder, is of this rare breed of artists. He has held the hip hop world spellbound with his raw, unbridled energy, unyielding passion and lyrics of fury since his explosive arrival in 1998, the year that was unquestionably the year of the dog.
After stand-out performances on tracks like: LL COOL J "4,3,2,1". The Lox's "Money, Power, Respect" and Mase's "24 Hours to Live, DMX got the worlds attention with his own, bonified street anthem "Get At Me Dog". He released his groundbreaking first effort "Its Dark And Hell is Hot" featuring the intoxicating, gritty joints "Stop Being Greedy" and "Ruff Ryders Anthen" which debuted at # 1 and quickly went multi-platinum. That summer after a headlining stint on the Survival of the Illest Tour, DMX retreated to the studio again… In December that year he released the classis Horror Film On Wax .. Flesh of My Flesh,Blood of My Blood, " Flesh," which included the Poignant, autobiographical song "Slipping" and released 6 months later after its predecessor, also held the Top spot on the charts making DMX the 1st artist to ever have two number one debuts in the same year..
After spending the 1st part of 1999 on tour with fellow Def Jam artist Jay-Z, Redman and Method Man on the most successful hip hop tour ever.. "HARD KNOCK LIFE TOUR"
DMX took off for the heat of Miami to work on his next offering. Then there was X in True DMX style…
Then there was X served up yet another feast of driving beats, ferocious rhymes flow and tales from the dark side.
DMX sums up his formula of success by saying , "I'm Real" And people like real… I haven't crossed them yet I haven't been on no fake shit yet, nor bullshit yet….they feel my shit…people like a real person ! Then Smiles…
EVERYONE LIKES A DOG THOUGH…..
Kendrick Lamar is a rapper from Compton, California. His music is influenced by Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, Nas and DMX. He released an EP in 2009 titled The Kendrick Lamar EP, an acclaimed mixtape in 2010 titled O(verly) D(edicated) and released his debut album Section 80 earlier this year.
The Hit Squad was a 1990s hip hop collective of East coast hip hop artists formed by Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith better known as EPMD. The collective separated when EPMD broke up for the first time in 1993, later reforming as Def Squad.
With a rangy set of friends from Fall Out Boy to Lil Wayne, it was obvious from the start that Tyga was not your everyday rapper from Compton. After recording a mixtape and promoting it around the city, Tyga ran into his cousin, Gym Class Heroes member Travis McCoy, in the Flight Club L.A. sneaker shop. Their conversation went from shoes to rappers, and as Travis' group went from unknowns to MTV stars, he would always remember that talk and his cousin's unique style. Travis signed Tyga to his Bad Squad label and then invited him along when the punk-pop group Fall Out Boy came calling. Travis and Tyga would appear on the remix to Fall Out Boy's "Arms Race," which also featured Kanye West, Paul Wall, Skinhead Rob, Lupe Fiasco, and Lil Wayne. When the remix became a hit, Tyga found himself performing the track on MTV's Video Music Awards in 2007. He soon entered the studio to do some guest shots for his new friend Lil Wayne before shifting the focus to his solo career. His first single became the hooky "Coconut Juice," a S*A*M & Sluggo production that borrowed a bit of Harry Nilsson's hit "Coconut." As the club track was climbing the charts in the spring of 2008, Tyga was hard at work on his debut album, No Introduction, which was officially released that June. He returned in 2012 with Careless World, an album that featured Game, Snoop Dogg, and Drake among its guests. David Jeffries, Rovi
With a reputation for one-upping the competition by arriving via helicopter at rooftop listening parties for his own T.R.U. (The Real University) imprint, and the kind of grandiose ambition that a rapper from southside Atlanta needs to chase down the American Dream, 2Chainz officially launches his solo career as the newest signing to Def Jam Recordings. 2Chainz was brought to the label through Sha Money XL, Senior Vice President of A&R, Island Def Jam Music Group.
"We are proud to welcome 2 Chainz to the Def Jam tradition and family of artists," said Island Def Jam President & COO Steve Bartels. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for the incredible buzz 2 Chainz has built, and it's our job to nurture and protect that. 2 Chainz has a credibility and flavor that is uniquely suited to the Def Jam lifestyle and brand. We look forward to great success together."
The signing was celebrated with a performance at downtown New York hotspot S.O.B.'s, billed as 2Chainz' first N.Y. concert. "2Chainz is a veteran who chooses being catchy over being cool," raved the New York Times the next morning. "He's an inadvertent humorist, and awe and wonderment often sneak into his verses, as if he's still surprised by every blessing his new success affords him. You hear it on his recent work with Rick Ross ('Party Heart') and Young Jeezy ('SupaFreak'), among others."
Currently mining digital downloads in the millions for T.R.U. REALigion, his latest indie mixtape sensation (released November 2011), 2Chainz is winning new fans every hour. His 'hit' tracks – signatures that include "Riot," "Boo" featuring Yo Gotti, and the Drumma Boy-produced smash single "Spend It," have helped establish a new sphere of influence for the lanky, outspoken rapper.
"I think the world is catching up to me," he reflects in a rare moment of calm, in an otherwise hectic life. "I've always been confident in what I do and had the respect of the people."
2Chainz is a product of the competitive Atlanta scene that spawned his first group, the duo Playaz Circle (in which he was known as Tity Boi). They made their mark back in '07 with the rap-R&B-pop crossover hit "Duffle Bag Boy" featuring Lil' Wayne on the hook, on the DTP (Disturbing Tha Peace)/Def Jam label. College Park native Tity Boi was a lifelong friend of Chris Bridges, aka DTP CEO/Def Jam recording artist Ludacris. But the time would come when 2Chainz would fly from the DTP nest to make it on his own.
His first step toward independence was the 2007 mixtape, Me Against The World. Proving that he could stand on his own, he vowed to "turn up" in 2009. He did exactly that with the double-disc mixtape All Ice On Me, followed by his two-part Trapavelli series. Both had cameos from the likes of fellow underground kings Bun B and Gucci Mane, as well as his 2009 street hit "Stupid" and the surprise 2010 radio smash "Boo."
Proving that he could write street anthems with crossover appeal, he capitalized on his notoriety with the back-to-back mixtape releases of Codeine Withdrawal in 2010, and Codeine Cowboy in 2011. (The graphic 25-minute Codeine Cowboy documentary film has logged over 276,000 YouTube views to date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3Lvc9eYMOE). By now, the 2Chainz buzz had reached a fever pitch with the likes of Busta Rhymes, Young Jeezy and Pusha T jumping at the chance to join what he likes to call his "campaign."
"It's The Real University, Two Gun Gang, Street Executives," 2Chainz recently told XXL. "It's not DTP no more. I'm actually behind [Ludacris], he's still my homie. I just took another route as far as running my own company and bossing up. But on the other hand, I'm still working with him. He has an album coming out this year, as well. Matter of fact, we are label mates, now, which is crazy. So, yeah, that'll be cool. I'm looking forward to that."
Curren$y's career flight plan has not come without a few layovers along his burgeoning career. Initially signed to fellow New Orleans rapper C-Murder's Tru Records in 2001, Curren$y was brought over to Master P's New No Limit Records in 2002 after the founder was sentenced to jail. From 2004-2007, Curren$y enjoyed a stint on Cash Money Records as part of Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment before venturing out on his own, releasing a series of mixtapes and focusing on his Jet Life apparell and lifestyle brand.
In 2009, the effort paid off as Curren$y, in recognition of his talent and drive, was hand-picked to grace the cover of XXL's "Top 10 Freshman" issue amongst the likes of B.O.B, Kid Cudi, Wale and others.
Later that year, the now independent rapper released his debut album This Ain't No Mixtape and the follow-up Jet Files through Amalgam Digital.
In 2010, Curren$y released his Pilot Talk and Pilot Talk II albums through Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash's BluRoc Records distributed by Def Jam Recordings. The two mixtapes moved an unprecedented 40K and 30K sold units with minimal effort and has helped the talented lyricist generate over $750K in touring on his own.
Curren$y is now gearing up to release his fifth and sixth studio albums Muscle Car Chronicles and the anticipated Pilot Talk III. Fans eager for the new music can should keep an ear out for a new mixtape produced by infamous producer Alchemist (Eminem, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Ghostface Killah) entitled Covert Coup which will be available April 19th on iTunes, just in time for the 4/20 holiday. The release of the mixtape will coincide with a promo tour that begins that night in New Orleans.
Deltron 3030 is an alternative hip hop supergroup composed of producer Dan the Automator, rapper Del the Funky Homosapien (Portraying the role of the character Deltron Zero for the project) and DJ Kid Koala. Their work features many other artists as well, all taking on various futuristic pseudonyms.
Sean Price (b. March 17, 1972) is an American rapper from Brownsville, Brooklyn, a member of the Hip Hop supergroup Boot Camp Clik. He came to fame as one-half of the duo Heltah Skeltah, performing under the name Ruck, along with partner Rock. He is currently considered to be one of the most prolific and consistent MCs in New York underground hip hop.
Terrence Thornton (born May 14, 1977) better known by his stage name Pusha T is an American recording artist, occasional actor and one half of the critically acclaimed hip hop duo Clipse. He is also the co-founder and co-chief executive officer (CEO) of Re-Up Records along with his brother Gene 'Malice' Thornton. In September 2010 he announced that he has signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music label and on March 21, 2011 released his first solo project, a mixtape titled Fear of God.
One of the premier West Coast gangsta rap artists of the early '90s, DJ Quik was a rapper as well as a producer whose career carried on well into the next decade, as he put his career aside and began working primarily as a beat-maker. Born David Martin Blake on January 18, 1970, in Compton, California, DJ Quik made a name for himself on the mixtape circuit during the late '80s, compiling tapes also featuring fellow rappers AMG, 2nd II None, and Hi-C. On the basis of these mixtapes, he was signed to Priority Records and made his album debut with Quik Is the Name (1990), on which he produced all the tracks (as he would on each of his solo albums) as well as rapper. Quik Is the Name proved quite successful, spawning two hits ("Tonite," "Born and Raised in Compton") and going platinum.
Throughout the remainder of the '90s, DJ Quik released three further albums -- Way 2 Fonky (1992), Safe & Sound (1995), Rhythm-al-ism (1998) -- that were fairly successful, each going gold, yet none proved as popular as his debut. When his fifth album, Balance & Options (2000), failed to show a substantial improvement in sales, he was dropped by Arista (which had taken over Profile). His next album, Under tha Influence (2002), distributed by Universal, failed to resurrect his commercial standing. Again without a major-label deal, DJ Quik proceeded to form his own label, Mad Science Recordings, via which he released Trauma (2005) and Greatest Hits Live at the House of Blues (2006), and also, in 2005, re-released Under tha Influence. A collaborative album with Kurupt, BlaQKout, appeared in 2009 with the solo album The Book of David following in 2011.
Todd Anthony Shaw, better known by the stage name Too $hort, is an American rapper who started his career at the age of fourteen in East Oakland, Oakland, California. Too $hort has sold about 11 million albums in the US alone with 18 albums released and an average of 600,000 copies per album.
Quincy Matthew Hanley (born October 26, 1986), better known by his stage name ScHoolboy Q is an American hip hop recording artist. Hanley is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment and is a member of 'Black Hippy' along with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul. His album Setbacks reached #100 on the Billboard 200 in 2011, selling close to 1,000 digital copies in the first week. In a 2011 interview when asked about what encouraged him to start rapping, Hanley explained that it was something he was "born to do": "I was just chillin' man, but rapping's just something I was born to do. I don't know when I started rapping. I don't know how I started rapping, but I know I wrote a verse and I was stuck ever since," he explained.
Albert Johnson, (born November 2, 1974), better known by his stage name Prodigy, is an American rapper and one half of the hip-hop and rap duo Mobb Deep. He was born to parents of Ethiopian-American decent, and is the great-great-grandson of the founder of Morehouse College. Born in Hempstead, New York, Prodigy became a member of the duo Mobb Deep. He comes from a musical family—his grandfather, Budd Johnson, and his uncle Keg Johnson are remembered for their contributions to the Bebop era of jazz. His mother, Fatima Frances Collins, sang in The Crystals and recorded such hits as "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me". Propelled to awareness partially by fellow rapper Nas, who took a similar approach lyrically on his Illmatic album from 1994, as well as with the aid of a successful single, "Shook Ones Pt. 2," Mobb Deep released The Infamous. A year later, in 1996, Prodigy and Havoc released Hell on Earth; debuting at number six on SoundScan the album was composed with both evocative beats and cinematic rhymes that communicated the dark side of New York's urban landscape. Due to a grim video for "Hell on Earth (Front Lines)" and theatrical Scarface-like photos inside the CD booklet picturing the duo with guns and a mound of cocaine, Mobb Deep had created an elaborate image for themselves that took hardcore gangsta rap to a new level for East Coast hip hop. Its next release, Murda Muzik, was heavily bootlegged while still in its demo stage, leaking, onto the streets and over the internet, rough versions of the nearly 30 songs the duo had recorded
Naughty by Nature
Naughty By Nature pulled off the neat trick of landing big, instantly catchy anthems on the pop charts while maintaining their street-level credibility among the hardcore rap faithful; one of the first groups to successfully perform such a balancing act. The group was formed in East Orange, NJ, in 1986, while all three members -- MCs Treach (born Anthony Criss) and Vinnie (born Vincent Brown), and DJ Kay Gee (born Keir Gist) -- were attending the same high school. Initially called New Style, they began performing at talent shows and were discovered by Queen Latifah a few years later; she signed the group to her management company and helped them land a deal with Tommy Boy Records. Naughty By Nature's self-titled debut was released in 1991 and produced an inescapable Top Ten hit in "O.P.P." (which supposedly stood for "other people's property," though a close listen to the lyrics revealed that the second P represented male or female genitals). "O.P.P." made Naughty By Nature crossover stars, yet their ghetto sensibility and gritty street funk (not to mention Treach's nimble rhyming technique) made them popular in the hip-hop underground as well. Treach began a secondary acting career in 1992, appearing in Juice; he would go on to supporting roles in The Meteor Man, Who's the Man?, and Jason's Lyric, among others.
Naughty By Nature repeated their success with the 1993 follow-up album, 19 Naughty III, which produced another ubiquitous crossover smash in the "hey! ho!" chant of "Hip Hop Hooray"; the album hit the Top Five and, like its predecessor, went platinum. 1995's Poverty's Paradise was the group's final album for Tommy Boy; though it didn't spawn any major hits, it went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap Album. A recording hiatus of several years followed; during that time, Treach pursued his acting career, most notably landing a recurring role on the HBO prison drama Oz; and Kay Gee greatly expanded his outside production work, helming records for Zhan
Mix Master Mike
One of the premier scratch artists of the day, Mixmaster Mike got his initial itch for vinyl while growing up in San Francisco listening to his uncle's extensive record collection. As a kid, Mike was constantly welcomed when coming home from school with the sounds of his uncle's extensive collection. Years later, the moment that had the most impact on him was catching Grandmixer DST on stage with Herbie Hancock.
With his newfound love of hip-hop and his foray into scratching, Mike got involved in the mobile DJ business playing house parties, weddings and all those other "cutting the chops" types of gigs some for experience and the exposure.
It was at one of those parties that he met Richard Quitevis, better known as Q-Bert. Q-Bert wasn't a DJ at the time, but was so impressed with Mike's scratching technique that it had the same effect on him as watching Grandmixer DST had for Mike. The following day, Richard went over to Mike's to watch him practice and it was there that the two quickly became friends.
In 1992, Mike was the first West Coast DJ to become World Champion by winning the New Music Seminar DJ Battle for World Supremacy in New York City. That same year, Mike, DJ Apollo and Q-Bert, known as the first ever scratch band, won the DMC World title.
In 1993, Mike and Q-Bert decided to take the competition to the next level by teaming up as a scratch duo known as "The Dream Team" and won the title once again.
In 1994, after winning three consecutive world titles and consistently coming out on top, Mike and Q-Bert were asked to step down from further competition as their domination was too much for the rest of the pack. The two performed an amazing "farewell" set and were honored to become DMC judges.
Shortly thereafter, friends and fellow turn tablists Triple Threat - Apollo (Apollo Novicio), D-Styles (Dave Cuasito)and Shortkut (Jonathan Cruz) - joined Mike and Q-Bert to form the Invisible Skratch Picklz (ISP), the most influential and recognizable turntablist crew in history. Though the ISP no longer exists, the five founders still remain close to this day.
It was a chance meeting at the Rock Steady Anniversary Jam in NYC in 1994 with Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys that would propel Mike to the next level. The two exchanged numbers and Mike often left crazy scratch messages on Adam's answering service. Fellow Beasties Mario C and Mike D caught on to his scratch message craze and in 1997 requested Mike's studio work for their multi-platinum album Hello Nasty. Soon after completion of Hello Nasty's recording, the Beastie Boys offered Mike to become their resident DJ.
In the summer of 1999, the International Turntablist Federation honored Mike with a lifetime achievement award for the advancement of the turntable as a musical instrument. The new millennium brought more amazing things from Mike. In March 2000 the Eye of the Cyclops EP (Asphodel) dropped to brilliant reviews winning the California Music Awards as "Best New Electronic Album," with his first-ever mix CD Spin Cycle (Moonshine) following in 2001. Also check: Return Of The Cyclops(Asphodel), a special anthology of Mike's works recorded before and after his seminal album, Anti-Theft Device (Asphodel, 1999).
Never one to take a break, Mike's credits also include his weekly "Spin Psycle" radio show on KROQ-FM Los Angeles, as well as working with EA Sports on the "SSX 1" and "SSX 2" video games and on "Jet Grind Radio" for Sony Dreamcast. He also produced music for the motion picture soundtrack for Jail, Hospitals & Hip Hop, hosted the ESPN Action Awards and is also prominently featured in the indie film Scratch.
Mike's latest effort, Bangzilla, is nothing short of the titles reference. It's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Mike vs.. Mecha Mike. Action packed, kick drums to the chest, hard bass for the booty, and all that scratchin' is bound to put a hurtin' on them. The battle is on.
They are, undoubtedly, the group that changed the face of hip-hop as we know it. They also gave females across the globe a voice within their communities and the music industry as a whole. They are Salt-N-Pepa.
Legends, icons, trailblazers, pioneers, innovators and trendsetters are just a few words often used to describe this group. From Grammys to MTV Video Awards, they have won them all. Whether it's the top of the charts or on stages at sold out coliseums across the country, they have done it all. They are Grammy Award winning group, Salt-N-Pepa, which consists of Cheryl James and Sandy Denton ("Salt" and "Pepa", respectively), and Deidre "Dee Dee" Roper (DJ Spinderella).
Big Daddy Kane
In today's super-crowded rap game, it's not too hard to forget who paved the way for the "players" of today, but in order to really "keep it real," the truth must be told. Before the rise of the Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z, there was only one Brooklyn baller. Before all the wannabe players, there was only one Smooth Operator. Before rappers-cum-actors were easy to find, there was only one. Before it was fashionable to add "Daddy" to one stage name, there was only one, and there is still only one. Big Daddy Kane. The Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, native became on of rap music's most sought after artist shortly after his first release on Cold Chillin' Records.
His resume is nothing short of Hip-Hop history. Kane's longtime friend Biz Markie brought him to the attention of pioneering Producer/DJ Marley Marl. While performing with the Biz, Big Daddy Kane also proved himself by working as a DJ and penning rhymes for Roxanne Shante. After the release of his smash single "Raw", Cold Chillin' released Kane's debut album in 1988. Long Live The Kane is one of the most renowned rap albums ever recorded, certified platinum by the RIAA shortly after its release. Kane quickly rose to fame as both a superior lyricist and a heartthrob. The hits from Long Live The Kane are still party anthems: "Raw", "Set It Off", and the now classic "Ain't No Half Steppin." More hits came one year later with the release of It's a Big Daddy Thing (also certified platinum), where Kane worked with another young producer named Teddy Riley. That album produced the show-stoppers "I Get The Job Done," "The Wrath of Kane" and self produced "Smooth Operator." His performance on Marley Marl's The Symphony with Master Ace, Craig G., and Kool G. Rap, was unforgettable, and he went with legends Blue Magic, the late Barry White, Patti Labelle, and Quincy Jones.
The rap superstar also contributed soundtrack selections to the major motion pictures Lean On Me, Juice, and Mo' Money. Kane's clever delivery on Quincy Jones' Back On The Block full-length won him a Grammy Award. Additionally, Kane was featured alongside Ice Cube on Public Enemy's, "Burn Hollywood Burn." He also turns up on "Don't Curse" from Heavy D.'s Peaceful Journey. Big Daddy Kane released his 3rd Cold Chillin' album Taste of Chocolate in 1990.
It didn't take long for Big Daddy Kane's popularity to transcend music. His artistry expanded to film, paving the way for Will Smith, Ice Cube, and DMX who enjoy success in Hollywood today. Big Daddy Kane's acting credits include a slick gambler in the western Posse, a villain in Robert Townsend's Meteor Man, and one of Mario Peebles' Gunmen.
Corey Scoffern, better known by his stage name The Grouch, is an American rapper and producer based in Maui, Hawaii. He is a founding member of Living Legends, an underground hip hop collective based in Los Angeles, California.
In first grade, at a friend's birthday party, Eligh and the rest of the kids watched a movie called "Beat Street." The movie made quite an impression and inspired Eligh to make a trip to his local record store where he picked up LL Cool J's "I'm Bad." After one listen, he knew what he wanted to do. The year was 1985. Eligh's first official step into the hip-hop world was under the name lower m.c. and his first crew was the Boogalu Badboys with his friend Scarub. At the time, they were both attending Hamilton High School in L.A. They changed their name to Urban Instinct and then they met Murs, a fellow Hamilton student. The three of them became known as 3 Melancholy Gypsys (3MG). Eligh was living with his aunt and uncle, but was kicked out of the house. This would end up being the event that led to him becoming part of the Living Legends. After being kicked out, Eligh moved up to the bay area and began staying on a friend's couch. The friends he was staying with had a house party one night and one of the partygoers was The Grouch. Through a mutual friend they were introduced and ended up hooking up to record a song together. While they were working on the song, Sunspot came by and met Eligh and brought Eligh into the crew. From there, the rest is Legends history. Eligh credits a wide range of musical influences including Michael Jackson, Freestyle Fellowship, and Bob Dylan. Under his beat-making alter ego, Gandalf, Eligh has helped provide the backbone of the Legends sound and is responsible for many of the Legends classic songs. Eligh's latest project, The Grouch & Eligh "No More Greener Grasses," is available now. The release date of Eligh's new solo album, "Enigma", is April 5.
The Living Legends crew is a family of independent hip-hop creators. From primary earth bases in Los Angeles and Oakland, the Legends extend worldwide and beyond.
It all started with BFAP (now known as Sunspot Jonz) and PSC (Luckyiam), who laid claim to the name of Mystik Journeymen in the early 1990s. By '94 they were locally legendary for throwing Underground Survivors shows, houseparty style at their loft - 4001 San Leandro Street in East Oakland. That's where the Grouch hooked up with the Journeymen in 1995, just before they took off on their renowned first European tour.
Around the same time in the southern part of the state, Mid-city Los Angeles to be exact, 3 Melancholy Gypsys (Murs, Scarub & Eligh) were part of the almost mythic Log Cabin crew going back to 1993. Log Cabin later broke up and the Gypsys wandered separately. As it turned out, the 3 would cross paths again in the Bay Area and became Living Legends.
Aesop came to Oakland from Fresno, Arata from Osaka, and Bicasso from various points, East, West and elsewhere...
In 1999 the Legends shifted their center of gravity to Los Angeles, but their presence has definitely not diminished in Oakland and the Bay. You know it makes no difference where they stay because the universe revolves around them anyway. Over the years, the Journeymen and the Legends have rocked Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada numerous times, plus they've toured the USA, north and south, east coast, west coast and beyond ...
In the years since the Legends have continued releasing solo and crew projects and now have a catalog of over 50 full-length albums and numerous singles. All in all, this crew of motivated do-it-yourselfers has sold over 200,000 albums collectively. The latest crew album "Creative Differences" has turned in to their best selling album to date, (with Soundscan numbers just under 23,000 so far) and continues to sell. Other recent releases are from CMA (Grouch & Luckyiam), Scarub, and Sunspot Jonz. New projects by Eligh, 3MG, Bicasso and Aesop are expected in 2005. March 8, 2005, will see the release of the Legends highly anticipated new album "Classic," a project the crew got together to record earlier this year. That was the first time in recent memory all 8 members were together with the purpose of recording a new project and what came out of those sessions is definitely their strongest material yet. Expect to see them spring 2005 coming to a city near you on tour promoting the new project. The group has no plans to let up, they're only turning up the fire, see if you can keep up. Legends Baby!!!!
What did you do the year you turned 21? Hip Hop prodigy Fashawn
earned a spot on the cover of XXL magazine, toured the world, and built a
rep as one of rap's new rising stars.
Fashawn's debut album Boys Meets World was heralded by critics and
fans alike as one of the best albums of 2009 for its gritty, street-wise and
intelligent rhymes. Some even compared his introductory opus to Nas'
brilliant Illmatic. It was enough for XXL to name Fashawn to its list of Hip
Hop's best freshman.
Not content to just collect praise for his recorded work, Fash lived up to his
"Samsonite Man" raps and hit the road hard. He toured with Wu-Tang's
ironman Ghostface Killah, underground hero Brother Ali, and fellow rising
newcomer Wiz Khalifa. From coast to coast, and from continent to
continent, everyone agreed -- they weren't seeing some fly-by-night
novelty act, they were seeing one of hip-hop's freshest new voices.
Many took notice: He worked with Grammy-winning producers Dr. Dre, DJ
Khalil, The Alchemist, and of course mentor Evidence of Dilated Peoples.
Skateboard apparel company Etnies and urban clothing line Orisue both
turned to him for endorsements. Camp Woodward, the biggest extreme
sports camp in the world, recruited him to create a song and his
hometown’s Fresno Grizzlies (AAA baseball) have made custom Fashawn
gear. So that's legendary hip-hop producers, international clothing lines
and a pro sports franchise all wanting to be part of Team Fashawn.
With a strong hip-hop pedigree (think Rakim's merciless rhymes plus
2pac's outlaw spirit plus Nas' effortless flow) and a loyal
California up-and-comer Ab-Soul has created a street album chronicling his life as a hip-hop buzzmaker on the verge of his big break. As member of the west coast supergroup Black Hippy, Ab-Soul is regularly cited as one of LA's top underground rappers.
For a rapper to command your attention, it all comes down to the voice. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Public Enemy's Chuck D had millions of fans hanging on to every word of his booming baritone. In the mid-1990s, The Notorious B.I.G.'s steely poise and vocal precision led many critics and fans to proclaim him the best rapper of all time. Now, in 2009, get ready for the next rapper with a magnetic voice, someone whose pristine raps demand attention. His name: Jay Rock.
Born and raised in Watts, California's notorious Nickerson Gardens Projects, Jay Rock got his first encouragement from his music-making relatives, who noticed the impact his deep, melodic voice made on song after song. "They were like, 'you're hard. And you've got a voice for it, too," Jay Rock recalls. "A lot of people started hearing me and they would tell me that my voice catches them. So, I started working it, working on my craft and got more and more confidence."
Jay Rock's confidence led to a string of heated appearances on neighborhood mixtapes. The gifted rhymer's clever phrasing, gritty realism, storytelling swagger and powerful voice grabbed the attention of Top Dawg Entertainment boss Dude Dawg. Once in the studio with an independent company backing him, Jay Rock's output increased and improved.
After shopping his demo to a number of major labels, Jay Rock and Top Dawg earned a deal with industry powerhouse Warner Bros. Records, also home to E-40, Murs and Talib Kweli, among others. The Warner Bros. executives were impressed with Jay Rock's distinctive flow, his vivid lyrics and, of course, his "voice".
Dominic Hunn (born August 22, 1984), better known by his stage name Dom Kennedy, is an American rapper from Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Since 2008, Kennedy has released 5 Independent record label mixtapes, most notably his 2010 "critically acclaimed mixtape" From the Westside with Love. His first commercial studio album From the Westside with Love II was released on iTunes June 28, 2011. Despite it being his iTunes debut, FTWSWL2 received "a top 10 spot on Hip Hop/Rap albums chart during its release week" and was Kennedy's first album associated with The OpM Company, Kennedy's self established record label.
George Watsky is a rapper, writer and performer from San Francisco now living in Los Angeles. A versatile lyricist who switches between silly and serious, technically complex and simply heartfelt, George won the Brave New Voices National Poetry Slam in 2006. Immediate after, George appeared on the final season of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry in 2007 while a himself college Freshman and subsequently performed at over 150 universities across the country. Rapping all the while under the name 'Watsky,' George self-released the barely-heard jazz-hip hop record 'Invisible Inc' in 2007 and the self-titled 'Watsky' in 2010, which peaked at #7 on the iTunes hip hop charts. In January 2011 George's fast rapping went viral and led to two appearances on the Ellen Show, a slot on Last Call with Carson Daly, and an exploding online profile. George has performed at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, the NAACP Image Awards on FOX, three times at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and has been featured in XXL, Billboard Magazine, the New York Times Magazine. Watsky's social media presence made him one of only 23 artists dubbed by 'The Next Big Sound' as a 'Big Sound of 2011,' alongside Mac Miller, Kreayshawn and Skrillex.
RZA is the Wu-Tang Clan's chief producer. Also known as the Abbott, Prince Rakeem, Rzarector, Bobby Steels and Bobby Digital he was born as Robert Diggs. RZA first surfaced in the rap game during the early '90s as a member of the rap group All In Together Now, a group from Staten Island, New York which also contained fellow Wu-Tang members such as GZA/Genius and Ol' Dirty Bastard.
Throughout the mid to late '90s, Xzibit remained one of the most admired underground rappers on the West Coast before finally crossing over to mainstream success in 2000 after being taken under the wings of Dr. Dre. Xzibit's first two albums--At the Speed of Life, 40 Dayz and 40 Nightz--weren't overwhelmingly popular albums, but they did win tons of acclaim from critics and critical hip-hop fans, who both were quick to champion the West Coast rapper's delivery--few rappers can balance hardcore aggression with such fluidity and dexterity. When Restless finally appeared in late 2000, it met its high expectations, both commercially and critically, solidifying the once underground rapper's position among the West Coast's most elite rappers.
Hieroglyphics, also known as the Hieroglyphics Crew and Hiero, are an American underground hip hop collective based in Oakland, California. The collective was founded in the early-1990s by rapper Del tha Funkee Homosapien. The collective is currently composed of rappers Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Casual, Pep Love, Musab, Knobody, Chosen Few, Prince Ali, producer/manager Domino, DJ Toure, and the four individual members of the rap group Souls of Mischief, Phesto D, A-Plus, Opio, and Tajai.
The Hieroglyphics combine fundamentally sound deliveries and lyrical content with original and sometimes jazzy or funky beats and samples. Since their inception, Hieroglyphics have found a following largely through their live concerts, podcasts ("Hierocasts"), and promotion through their website.
The collective uses a three-eyed, straight-lipped face logo that figures prominently on their albums, website, stickers, and clothing.
El-P is a rapper and producer from Brooklyn, New York. He used to be in a group called Company Flow which put out some records that people liked. He started a record label called Definitive Jux which put out a bunch of other records people liked. He has released two solo rap albums, a jazz album, five instrumental albums, and more. He has produced records for many people. He has performed for many people all over the world. His new studio album "CANCER4CURE" drops May 22nd.
Killer Mike got his formal introduction to the industry when he first appeared on the Outkast single "The Whole World" for which he won a Grammy. Mike then signed to Outkast's Aquemini label, which was distributed by Columbia Records, and in 2003 released his debut album, "Monster" which went Gold. After a short stay at Big Boi's label, Purple Ribbon/Virgin, Mike decided it was time for him to make moves on his own and in 2004 he established his own label, Grind Time Official. With no distribution, Grind Time still made an impact with Killer Mike releases including, "Dec Crack" in 2004, "The Killer" which won the SEA Mixtape of the Year Award in 2005, and "I Pledge Allegiance to The Grind I", which won Best Street Album at the 2007 Ozone Awards.
In 2007, the Atlanta native signed with SMC, in hopes of doing with the label what Dipset did with Koch. "I've done as much as I could do individually, slinging records and selling distribution," says Mike. "I got a goal, man. I literally have a goal of earning a raw, uncut, after taxes a million dollars with SMC and I know it's possible, ultimately I went with SMC because they believed in me."
Mike has established a crew, the Grind Time Rap Gang, who he plans to release through his label, Grind Time Official. With similar views on music as Mike, the crew is made up of like-minded artists from different backgrounds, who share the same passion and vigor for making dope music the hood can relate to.
Many artists have waxed poetic about telling the streets story but few have succeeded with the effectiveness that Mike displayed on his first album release with SMC, "I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II." Mike's next release with SMC will be "Underground Atlanta," which will feature some of Atlanta's most notable hip hop artists including Gucci Mane, OJ da Juice Man, Pastor Troy, Princess of Crime Mob, Yung Ralph, Big Kuntry King, Young Dro, T.I., Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater, Da Bill Collector, and Dem Getaway Boyz.
Underground Atlanta precedes Killer Mike's as-yet-untitled Grand Hustle debut, which he is currently recording. Mike sees this album as a way to give back to the Atlanta hip hop scene that gave birth to him and made him the artist he is today. Be on the lookout.
Machine Gun Kelly
Despite a year where new youngsters took over, there was only one who could be named MTV's "Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011." That emcee is ... Bad Boy signee, Machine Gun Kelly.
Since dropping his 2010 mixtape Lace Up, the Cleveland-bred rapper has built a cult-following that eventually helped him attract all the major labels, all of which were courting MGK. In the end, it was Diddy and Bad Boy that landed the buzzing young artist.
MGK beat out the likes of Lil Twist and Mac Miller, as well as A$AP Rocky, Future, French Montana, Freddie Gibbs, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill and Roscoe Dash.
"He has just such a movement, just hundreds and thousands of loyal fans that came from the place he came from, in different parts of the country," Diddy gushed during a "RapFix Live" appearance. "He wasn't always the coolest kid in school, and just the process of growing up and the problems that they all encounter, they relate to him in such a way."
MTV said that Lil Twist, who finished in the #2 spot with 39 percent of the vote, was MGK's most formidable competition, thanks to his die-hard fans, Young Money team and best friend Justin Bieber, who all tweeted in support.
After earning the honor, MGK Skyped with MTV, graciously accepting the title.
"I can't explain how grateful I am for all those kids who sat there and got in voting circles and sat there for hours and hours and did votes upon votes," MGK said of his fans, who voted for him in the week-long poll. "I know that we have probably the least amount of fans, but like I told my fans: Heart is always gonna prevail over connections and who these people know and who tweets what."
Next thing on MGK's list is his upcoming Lace Up album, which has yet to receive a release date. For more info, keep it locked to MGKLaceUp.com.
Covered from head to toe in tattoos, 24 year-old Los Angeles-based rapper Kid Ink is wrecking havoc on the streets and in cyber world. The Rapper/Producer/Songwriter/ Tattoo Aficionado has over 25 Million hits on YouTube with lyrical gems like, "Tat It Up" "La La La," and "Keep It Rollin'."
Having spent the majority of the early part of his career behind the control board and not the mic, Kid Ink crafting his production skills working with multi-platinum artists like Sean "Diddy" Combs and Sean Kingston as well Yung Berg and Nipsey Hussle. Production came natural for Kid Ink, "I started making the beats because I already had several artists trying the rap thing out, so I thought I would be more useful supplying the production." But sitting behind the board was not enough for Kid Ink. Just a few short years ago, Kid Ink picked up the mic and a new contender in the Hip-Hop game was born.
Honing his skills as a songwriter creating hooks for his beats, Kid Ink stepped up his lyrical repertoire with full length and completed songs.
2010 was a breakout year in the young rapper's career. Teaming up with world-renowned DJ ill Will and DJ Rockstar's newly formed Tha Alumni Music Group; Kid Ink became more focused in his grind and began working on the underground hit, Crash Landing Mixtape. His hard work paid off and the music industry began to take notice. Within 10 days of its release, Crash Landing garnered critical acclaim, a position at the top of Datpiff.com's 'Top Mixtapes of the Week' section and amassed an astonishing 50 thousand downloads.
After Crash Landings' debut, national and international request to perform rolled in. Kid Ink has toured the states with stops in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver, Kansas City and Buffalo; and internationally in Toronto, Canada, Zurich, Switzerland, Melbourne, Australia and Krasnador, Russia.
Solidifying himself as a real MC, Kid Ink garnered career-defining features from Hip-Hop and R&B stars including Young Money's Gudda Gudda, Roscoe Dash, Sterling Simms, Bei Maejor, Meek Mill and many more. Kid Ink's uncompromising work ethic would not allow him to rest on his more than impressive laurels; there needed to be a 'visual' movement to showcase his innovative style and unique persona.
Lensed by Director Alex Nazari, Kid Ink released an astounding 8 cutting-edge music videos in 2010 alone. Tearing the Net to shreds, to date his now 19 released videos have garnered a very impressive 25 plus million views.
2011 continued to be phenomenal for the young MC. Having released his (free to the public) sophomore album Daydreamer on June 21st via the internet, the lyrical juggernaut accumulated over 150 thousand downloads in its first week. Fans went ballistic over the album that featured all original production from the likes of The Runners, Lex Luger, Jahlil Beats, Cardiak & Tha Bizness as well as major features from the Cory Gunz, Meek Mill, Ray J, Sean Kingston, Dorrough, Bei Maejor and more.
Bucking the norm of waiting for a major label deal to kick off his career, the rapper has taken his fate in to his own hands and crafted an internet campaign that rivals many of the acts resting high on the Billboard charts. With videos under his belt including Internet sensations "Lowkey Poppin," "Please" and "Cali Dreamin,'" Kid Ink is definitely rockin' to his own beat.
Kid Ink continued his 2011 tear by releasing "Wheels Up," yet another all original Mixtape on October 10th to an overwhelming response. Once again outdoing the numbers his previous project accumulated. Following the release of "Wheels Up," Ink has been on a mini "Wheels Up" tour including stops in the Bay Area, Denmark, New York, Boston, Toronto, Denver & Chicago to name a few, performing to packed crowds of 600-2,000.
His Internet game is just as tight as his rap game. His website, www.kidinkmusic.com gets between 90,000 and 150,000 hits a month, his Facebook page has over a 200,000 Likes, his Twitter game is continually growing with 110k plus Followers and via HotNewHipHop.com Kid Ink has a staggering 8 million + digital downloads.
Even the fashion community has also taken notice of the Hip-Hop star. Ink has Brand Relations with companies ranging from Crooks N Castles, Young & Reckless, Dope Couture, LRG, Adidas, DGK, Neff, Pink Dolphin and most recently Puma, clothing him for his many video and photo shoots.
$184.00 - $984.00
Included in Ticket Price; Parking, Facility Fee and Charity.
No Re-Entry, Rain or Shine, Line-up Subject to Change.
Parking is first come, first serve and is subject to availability.
All passes are 2-day passes, and will grant entry for 8/18 and 8/19. You must hold on to your ticket for both days of the festival. Customers without tickets on either day of the festival will not be granted entry.
NOS Event Center
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