Live in The Atrium
Chino XL, Poison Pen, Gina Madrid
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
"Born Felipe Coronel in a military hospital in Lima, Peru, in 1978, Immortal Technique moved to Harlem with his parents when he was two years old. At age nine he started rapping, though he didn't start to take it more seriously until he was in high school. Despite the fact he was in and out of trouble throughout his teenage years, Tech was accepted at Penn State University, but before he could get through much of college, he was arrested and eventually ended up spending a year in prison. It was there that he began to study the lives and teachings of black and Latino revolutionaries like Che Guevara and Malcolm X, as well as to devote himself to writing songs. Out in 1999, on parole, he moved back to New York, where he spent his days working various jobs and his nights battling other rappers, a forum that allowed him the opportunity to show off his aggressive, vituperative style.
Concerned that he was being pigeonholed as a one-trick pony, Tech set about writing complete tracks, finding beats to accompany them, and eventually releasing his debut, Revolutionary, Vol. 1, in 2001 (an album that was later re-released by his own company, Viper Records, in 2004 and Babygrande in 2005). The record, plus his indefatigable work ethic, earned him local recognition and a spot as The Source's "unsigned hype" in November 2002, and the following year he issued his second album, Revolutionary, Vol. 2. Although he promised his third release would see the light of day in 2005, it wasn't until the summer of 2007 that -- besides a few singles and mixtapes -- fans got any new material from Immortal Technique, coming in the form of the full-length The Middle Passage." - Marisa Brown, AllMusicGuide
Chino XL. He's a 6'2", 230lb lyrical beast, and one of the most widely recognized names in the rap game. His nickname; "The Puerto Rican Superhero." But the road to recognition was not easy; it was a struggle from birth. Chino's father left before he was born, leaving his mother to raise her only child. Living in the projects, Chino had to hustle to survive. His only escape was music. As a youth, he traveled alongside some of Hip Hop's most celebrated artists, including Afrika Bambaataa and Ice-T.
At 12, Chino began performing at local talent shows in New Jersey and quickly emerged as one of the best lyricists in his neighborhood. His demos eventually caught the ear of Def Jam founder Rick Rubin, who immediately signed Chino to Def American Records.
His first album on Def American, "Here To Save You All" had an instant impact on the Hip Hop charts. Chino had found his audience. His premiere single, "Kreep" peaked at the ..2 slot on MTV. Tracks from the album regularly featured on the internationally syndicated Wake Up Show, and his lyrics were placed in the "Source Quotables."
"…with equal amounts of style and substance, Chino incorporates elements of both coasts' sounds...." The Source
"…Chino is riveting precisely because he doesn't pull punches…." NME Magazine
It wasn't long before Chino was recognized and beckoned into the studio by some of the most respected artists in the Hip Hop community. From Paul Wall to Ras Kass, from Bun B to Common, from Canibus to the RZA, Chino XL has collaborated with some of the greatest names in the game.
After this transforming experience, Chino withdrew from the rap game. Chino explained, "I just felt that it was time to move on…I wanted to expand my skills, just get out and do something new." Chino began acting. His natural talent for acting quickly put him on the map. He starred in films alongside Kate Hudson, Luke Wilson, and Rob Reiner. In addition to this, he had a recent solo project debut at Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival. Nevertheless, even with a successful acting career, Chino never lost his love for music.
He began writing new lyrics, with a renewed sense of passion and inspiration. Chino described why he came back: "I wanted to add something new to music. It felt as if the same ideas and topics were being used over and over. So I got to work." He added, "It seems like the stars lined up for me because, I've gotten better, Latin's are getting more love in Hip Hop, and the music game needs a new voice with a different flavor."
Sway from MTV discusses Chino's new music: "Chino turned hardship and tragedy into triumph, and expresses it with his new music. It immediately connected with me in a major way. He's a seasoned artist now, and one of the best lyricists of all time, period. It's unbelievable how the man keeps getting better and better..."
Chino XL is currently working on a new project, MACHETE/UNIVERSAL.
Rhyming is an art form. Just like painting, dancing and hustling. If you don't know the techniques of the genre you can easily be swept off your feet. Enter Hip Hop staple, Poison Pen, a battle MC turned street prophet. The Brooklynite started in 1996 at the first online radio station 88HipHop.com, before tearing through the streets as the undefeated champ of the NYC MC battle circuit. After participating in the Blaze Battle, Pen decided to retire in 1999 and later host the most popular lyricist competition to date, Da Cypha Emcee Battles featured throughout NYC including special showcases at Kevin Powell & Russell Simmons' Hip Hop Speaks.
It was hunger, not chance, that brought Poison Pen to the forefront. Founder of indie rap clique Stronghold, members including Breez Evaflowin' C Rayz Walz, Immortal Technique and DJ Static before the group released the acclaimed mixtape Stronghold Volume 1. The result was a classic collaboration. "As far as the recording, I don't do Pro Tools rap. I don't do that record & send it out to a nigga I don't know have him email me a verse back... Naw, I don't make music like that."
Good music has always been his focus. His first appearance on wax "On the Mic" floated off the shelves in '98 just two years before receiving his own distribution through Landspeed Records for his debut single "Top of the Food Chain". But the microphone monster didn't stop there. He lifted Rainmakerz Records with his second solo joint "Fall Back" before slaying the video game industry lyrically. Lending his voice to high selling vids The Warriors and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Pen's rhyme schemer duality would keep fans thirsting for his own album. "I been on everybody's else's shit – but never my own", says Pen, with more fervor and honesty than agitation. "I did MF Doom's "Bloody Chain", the Beatminerz album, Apathy's "Eastern Philosphy" album and both of Immortal Technique's Revolutionary Volume 1 and 2." He smiles that wicked wattage unusual for a grimy street survivor. "We helped the whole NYC come up.... Now NYC needs to let me do the same".
He makes it look easy. Making records, appearing in Dave Chapelle's Block Party, VH1 Hip Hop Honors and MTV's The Shop, & DFX, spitting countless bars on albums not your own. Pen has a way of keeping his name on the tongues of Hip Hop heads without breaking a sweat. Poison Pen continues to tour Hungary, Amsterdam and Norway with the gutter mentality and linguistics that fans have grown to love, and has completed his unofficial first solo album, titled "Pick Your Poison: The Mark Of The East" available in the spring on Fontana/Universal records. "The Money Shot" album will be available soon after . This rhyming life is definitely an art form.