Kevin “Kaze” Thomas (pronounced KAH-ZEE) is a versatile entertainer who captures the spirit of groundbreaking Hip Hop artists. In early 2009, Kaze was announced as one of the top two winners of Loud.com’s MC contest, which earned him a deal with Steve Rifkind’s SRC Records. With his new single “Fresh” produced by 9th Wonder, the new First in Flight mixtape hosted by DJ Whoo Kid and a street album slated for this Fall, Kaze is bringing his years of hard work to the masses.

Hailing from northern Virginia and eastern North Carolina, Kaze spent his youth memorizing lyrics of Hip Hop legends like LL Cool J and Kool Moe Dee and making karaoke-style tapes in his garage. Despite his passion for music, Kaze set out to earn a college degree to ensure his business would be in order. During his studies at the University of North Carolina, Kaze discovered his ability to freestyle and fully arrange songs.

After college, Kaze expanded his horizons by creating Hip-Hop Nation, a nationally-broadcasted television show. Still working on his musical aspirations in his free time, he began to seriously consider a career change. He released the self-produced project Spirit of ‘94 to his budding fan base in North Carolina, and the album’s success inspired him. After selling thousands of copies independently, Spirit of ‘94 was picked up by BCD Global Distribution for placement into Transworld-operated stores like FYE.

The single “50/50 Amp” received airplay on college and commercial radio stations across the country, and charted Number One in college radio. Kaze peaked at #11 on the Rap Network in March of 2004, a chart tabulated by spins from the tastemakers of college radio. By 2005, Spirit of ‘94 was picked up by Boston-based Brick Records and by Japan-based label Handcuts Records, giving the smash album worldwide distribution.

Kaze’s reputation as a dynamic performer and intensely defiant battle MC grew, and he expanded his career by performing shows with the likes of Common, G-Unit, GZA, Dead Prez, Camp Lo, Little Brother, DJ Muggs, Method Man, and The Clipse. He also worked with an array of developing artists like S.S.P, Jozeemo from East Durham, Young Flu, and North Carolina’s Princess Shelly B. Kaze created a strong following with fans from all types of ethnic backgrounds and cultures, and was able to give them diverse collaborations with artists like Nature, Royce the 5’9 and O.C. He also created an exclusive project with 9th Wonder entitled Spirit of ’94, Version 9.0.

To this day, those fans who supported Kaze early on are a big part of his inspiration, and new fans help to keep him motivated. “Doing what I love is the ultimate reward – creating that vibe, making people move and have fun,” he says. “The people I meet are the reason I do what I do. Hip Hop crosses all boundaries, and has made some of my best friends. With the internet, you never know who is listening or watching from where. The tours and shows let me reach out and touch that part of the game that is still human, and see that impact my music may have had on someone. I appreciate that my fans feel that I’m here to bring the hot sh*t back, that I’m the one.”

As fans spread the word about Kaze and mixtapes like Enemy of the State and Word on the Street garnered him more praise, Kaze signed to Rawkus Records in the spring of 2007 as one of the Rawkus 50. He released the critically-acclaimed album Block 2 the Basement. Taking a risk, Kaze entered the highly-publicized Loud.com MC contest in 2008, and ultimately landed a contract in early 2009 with SRC/Universal.

“Finally having a major label situation is the most rewarding part of my career thus far,” says Kaze. “This lets me know that all of the hard work was not in vain. All of the grind through the years, shows with no one in the crowd, open mics, passing out flyers, being told I wasn’t hot enough, times I wanted to quit… I had to persevere a lot. You do it all with no promise that it will ever happen. It’s like I’m back for the first time. To still be standing here as an artist with the opportunity of a lifetime is a blessing.”

With a strong personality and unique style, Kaze reigns as a tested mic battle champion and regularly lights up stages nationally. Ingenuity and originality characterize his rhymes, while his words promote political consciousness, address personal trials, and celebrate the passion of Hip Hop.

“Adding things I’ve learned along the way brings my style to where it is now, a combination of soul, jazz, symphony, rock, and pop, expressed as Hip Hop music,” Kaze explains. “I want to make hits, and I won’t sacrifice my creativity for the sake of ‘keeping it real’. I’m proud to have come up through the ranks of the underground. It made me understand the art of “emceeing” and the importance of lyrical content, how to rock a crowd. This sh*t sounds silly, but it’s not about the money. My goal is to make the hottest quality music out – I want people to genuinely respect me as an artist. I have grown, and I’m representing a second coming of the South – different from what the world thinks they know about us down here. I’m focused on taking it to another level, and that’s what we’re gonna do!”

The Real Laww

Marine, Singer, Rapper, Song Writer and Producer, “The Real Laww was born to entertain…”. Winner of the 2012 Carolina Music Awards for Video of Year with “International Laww” and 2012 CMA nominee for Best Male Hip Hop Artist The Real Laww has been a force to be reckon with in the NC hip hop scene.

Born in Trenton NJ, The Real Laww has graced the cover of Tribes Magazine, hosted benefit concerts for The Wounded Warriors Project and for the victims of domestic violence for The Durham Rescue mission. This was as of August 2011 after returning from another successful toward in Afghanistan as a US Marine.

No matter the type of show and genre performed, The Real Laww manages to make a heavenly blend and transition, performing alongside punk rock bands, to jazz and spoken word artists. From opening to headlining, The Real Laww cannot be denied and the energy he gives to the fans is shown when everyone is drenched in sweat after one of his performances.

Mario Farrow grew up in Alabama. Most of his neighborhoods were polluted with drugs, gangs, and violence. Surrounded by negativity and transitioning into various foster homes, he could have easily chosen the wrong path. Rather than succumbing to his environment and dire circumstances, Mario chose to rise above them and use music to soothe his soul and escape. He would freestyle and rhyme to himself, eventually penning his lyrics under the name, "Young Millionaire," in 2004.

In 2008 Mario relocated and acclimated to Chapel Hill, NC. During this transitional period, he delved deeply into his craft, linking up with local emcees and producers like ACee, Shoton, and KdotMills. Taking his lyricism to the next level, Mario decided to change his handle to "SkyBlew." His music is proving to be unique with an uplifting, powerful, and positive message in Hip-Hop. Most say, SkyBlew is a breath of fresh air! He pushes the boundaries with his music and brings a new/unique flavor to the music world. In addition to his solo career, SkyBlew is also half of the dynamic duo known as Blaze the Sky, with fellow emcee, Azon Blaze.

SkyBlew also dabbles in Nerdcore. He creatively incorporates video game and anime references/themes into his repertoire in a very unique way. It's all about having fun, being yourself & enjoying life! His Nerdcore performances includes: The Carolina Gaming Summit, Hoshicon & more! His distinctive sound is attributed to the diversity of his idols. His musical influences include: Lupe Fiasco, Nujabes, 2Pac, Blu & Exile, Scapegoat Wax, Common, Blue Scholars, Common Market, Amy Winehouse and a host of other artists from all genres. His studies have taken him full circle in the history of Hip-Hop.

SkyBlew is featured on some of the most notable blogs in cyberspace such as: 2DopeBoyz, DJBooth, MTV, KevinNottingham, and more. He has shared the stage with some of the finest artists in the business, including: Kendrick Lamar, Slick Rick, Lupe Fiasco, Flobots, Slum Village, The Cool Kids, Jedi Mind Tricks, Watsky, Chris Webby, Kirko Bangz, Grieves, Jean Grae, J-Live, Aer, Wax, Yonas, Camp Lo, David Dallas and more. He has also worked with clothing companies through sponsorship such as: Tilteed (www.tilteed.com ), Acropolis (www.acropolisapparel.com ) and Team Thesis (www.theteamthesis.com ). He is currently working with: Bitmap'd Video Game Tees (http://bitmapd.com/ ), Fresh Toast Clothing (http://www.freshtoastclothing.com/ ), & Bluu Dreams Clothing (http://bluudreams.com/ ).

SkyBlew is destined for great things. His exposure is growing exponentially on the regional, national, and international levels. With over 1M (million) views on MySpace and a rapidly growing Facebook page, he is painting the sky an elevated shade of BLEW! He has over 600,000 downloads of his free LP's & Mixtapes. SkyBlew was also nominated for The NCUMAS (North Carolina Underground Music Awards) 2012 Lyricist Award! He recently, released his DEBUT ALBUM (Window Seat On That Midnight Train) which proved to be his BEST work up to date! Legendary performances are in the making...Appointed times appear, and with the state of Hip-Hop today, we need more from SkyBlew. This ColorfulDreamer lives by the slogan, "I DON'T Rap, I Paint The Sky,Blew!!!"



IMPORTANT: In accordance with NC Law, membership is required to attend shows at Local 506. For more info, click here

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Kaze with The Real Laww, SkyBlew

Thursday, June 27 · Doors 9:00 PM / Show 10:00 PM at Local 506