True Endeavors Presents:
Jel, Sole, Serengeti, CRASHprez, Smiley Gatmouth
701A E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI, 53703
This event is 18 and over
Billy Freekin Dee. In the beginning… there were turntables on a hardwood floor. DJ'ing for the first six months was done on the ground with a case of beer. Eventually Abilities got a table, a mpc and better. With this betterness he was able to release 2 mixtapes, produce 4 full length albums, win 2 DMC's and play hundreds of shows. He is now combining all of these experiences together to create one performance that you can dance to or sit back and enjoy... or hate. Dj Abilities for 2011.
DJ Abilities, born Gregory Keltgen, is a Minnesota-based hip-hop DJ affiliated with Rhymesayers Entertainment. With his emcee partner, the late Eyedea, he formed the group known as Eyedea & Abilities, also known as E&A. He also serves as the DJ for Semi.Official with Minneapolis rapper I Self Devine.
DJ Abilities is well known in the Midwest for being one of the best battle DJs in the local scene, having won both the 1999 and 2001 DMC Regional championships. He is also recognized as a talented producer. He and Eyedea were noted, above all, for their ability to interact in live on stage performances, as well as on record.
On Aug 20th, JEL will release his long anticipated return to form on Anticon, entitled 'Late Pass'. Over the last
decade plus JEL has proved himself time again as the unheralded pioneer of live performance on the MPC sampler.
Trailblazing a path for the likes of Arabmuzik and more, wowing audiences across the globe time again & again with
his live-fingering of the machine. As a producer JEL has created over 30 commercially released LPs (for himself,
Themselves, Mike Patton, Subtle, 13&God, and more). Last year JEL toured the country supporting SLEIGH BELLS,
WHY? as well as extensive headline Summer run w/ DJ Abilities.
With some fairness, Sole's musical arc to this point might be described as a series of battle raps whose range of targets has gradually widened. His early work, beginning with his demo of 1992 (which included such hits as "Cops Ain't Shit") was deeply beholden to the New York rap of that era, Lord Finesse most especially. After all, his first album, self-released in 1994 when he was but sixteen, was entitled, Mad Skillz and Unpaid Billz. Though the plural "z's" were dropped from future releases, the forceful language and aura of overconfidence vital to classic battle rap remained. His proper, post-adolescent albums, Bottle of Humans (2000), Selling Live Water (2003), and Live From Rome (2005) each mixed traditional rap aesthetics with a more original and highly poetic approach with growing sophistication.
Live From Rome, the recording of which spanned a near nervous breakdown, a providential marriage, and a move to Barcelona, was a transitional record, personally searching and politically embittered. That period was epochal for Sole, particularly his alternately disturbing and exhilarating experiences touring Eastern Europe and Israel with his wife, Yasamin. They stumbled across a cache of anticon bootlegs in a tiny outdoor market in Moscow, were caught in the middle of the 2005 church and mosque-burning riots in Belgrade (while they watched the chaos on CNN, tear gas filled their hotel room), bribed crooked Serbian police for their freedom, and hosted a radio show on the Israeli Army's Radio Station, on which Sole pumped Gregory Corso's reading of his long poem, "Bomb," and Public Enemy's "Louder than a Bomb." His return to American soil after nearly two years was occasioned by his participation in Sage Francis's Knowmore.org tour of 2006. He was surprised to find that his homeland had not yet fallen to Brownshirts, and he and Yasamin decided to stay and make a home in rocky Flagstaff, Arizona.
Though Sole had spent most of his career working with celebrated producers—primarily Alias, Odd Nosdam (of cLOUDDEAD), and JEL (of subtle)—by 2005 he had for some time been looking for a working relationship with a more exclusively focused yet also uniquely talented group of musicians. His solo instrumental work, released in 2005 on Morr Music and in 2007 on anticon as mansbestfriend, and his yearlong collaboration with half of Barcelona's Tortoise-like improvational outfit Twelve were aspects of this search. On tour with Dosh, Pedestrian, and Telephone Jim Jesus in 2005, fate landed the caravan at the tropical home of Bud Berning, an electronic musician and dub drummer then recording solo work as SkyRider. Intrigued by SkyRider's sound, Sole later returned to Orlando on a short tour of the Southeast and collaborated with Berning and two musicians who had recently joined the Skyrider fold. Not naturally attracted to music born of machines, Bud had only begun tinkering with computers while immobilized after a coma resulting from a traumatic collision in Mexico City in 2002. The two instrumentalists Berning recruited, Tennessee native John Wagner and omni-instrumentalist William Ryan Fritch, not only fleshed out Berning's sample-based ideas, but also added their own distinct musical voices. As Sole and SkyRider played, sparks struck, and Sole had the quickness of mind to immediately invite SkyRider to move to Flagstaff and record an album.
Against all odds, the band accepted the offer and before long found themselves sharing a house in Flagstaff. Nearly the moment they arrived, SkyRider began playing and recording intensely at Sole's studio, set at an eight thousand foot elevation at the foot of a mountain amid a garden of collard greens, melons, and green beans. Sole promptly scrapped the ten or so songs he'd already recorded towards an album—with a formidable line-up of producers, no less—and devoted himself fully to realizing the distinct sound he'd long heard only in his own head and further sharpening his art of battle rapping the biggest of enemies: empire, ennui, the industries of distraction, and, not least of all, himself.
Illinois native David Cohn, a.k.a. multifaceted rapper Serengeti, experienced two distinctly different childhoods growing up. Half of his time was spent in Chicago’s then all-black South Side with his mother — a secretary, atheist, and devout communist. The other half was clocked in the then all-white suburbs of Olympic Fields with his father — a stressed, middle-class business-owner. Though Serengeti is the great nephew of Sonny Cohn, Count Basie’s trumpeter of thirty years, music wasn’t passed down freely in the family. Instead, young David kept his musical obsessions in his head, and by the time he was ready to loose them, his skull had accumulated several album’s worth of left- field hip-hop detritus. Geti has since released fourteen albums in ten years. He made his first two nearly by accident, on the way to completing his so-called “debut,” Gasoline Rainbows. That triptych created a hefty rumble in the underground, showcasing stylish, heady raps intertwined with thick threads of soul, pop, rock and psychedelia. With 2006’s Dennehy — a character-based concept album loaded with Chi-town signposts and sports references — Geti established himself as the missing link between Kool Keith, Common Sense and Bill Swerski’s Superfans. Since, he’s been following a stream of consciousness through the darker corners of society and his psyche over an increasingly adventurous musical trajectory. In 2008 alone, Geti debuted two new projects: Yoome, an intimate electronic collaboration with a New Zealand chanteuse, and Friday Night, an exercise in deconstructed party rap with emcee Hi-Fidel. In 2009, Adam “doseone” Drucker (Subtle, themselves, 13& God) signed Geti and his sometimes production partner Polyphonic to Anticon. The pair released their sophomore collaboration on the label that same year, Terradactyl, which found the emcee’s bleak verbiage delivered in both rhyme and free-floating sing-song over an intricate and glitchy expanse of experimental electronics. Fifteen months later came Serengeti & Polyphonic’s double EP, Bells & A Floating World, which featured six brand new songs and as many remixes, including inspired reworkings by artists as diverse as WHY?, Bracken, Jel, Son Lux, Greetings From Tuskan and Epstein Y El Conjunto. 2011 is looking to be one of Geti’s busiest years yet, thanks to Anticon’s release of Tha Grimm Teachaz’ long-lost cassette-only classic There’s a Situation on the Homefront (Geti helped bring the formerly shelved 1993 album to the label) and his contribution to Asthmatic Kitty’s ongoing 7-inch series. His latest Anticon release is Family & Friends, a refreshingly upbeat full-length produced by WHY?’s Yoni Wolf and Advance Base, formerly known as Casiotone For The Painfully Alone.
Michael Penn II, otherwise known as CRASHprez, is a Washington, D.C.-born, P.G. County, Maryland-bred 18-year old MC, spoken word artist, producer, and audio engineer. He began recording music in the basement of his home at the age of 14 years old using a USB microphone and the family computer. Now six projects deep, CRASH has evolved into a diverse and seasoned writer who is unafraid of expressing his emotions or opinions through witty wordplay, sharpened sarcasm, and a darkened style of humor.
His subject matter is polished enough to walk the tightrope between stand-up comedy and cynical social commentary, yet rebellious enough to break hip-hop’s boundaries while pondering their existence in the first place. He is one of the founding members of the Kool Klux Klan hip-hop collective based in the DMV area and a member of the newly-founded Grammy Family hip-hop collective.
CRASH is no stranger to the spoken word scene as well. He has frequented local open mic scenes since the age of 14. He began slamming as a member of the Creative Writing Alliance which led to him becoming a member of the 2010 Maryland All-Stars Youth Slam Team at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam in Los Angeles, CA. More recently, he was a member of UW-Madison’s 2012 Slam Team at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational in La Verne, CA.
CRASH has also excelled in his personal pursuit of knowledge; he is currently on scholarship for his accomplishments in artistry and academia under the First Wave Urban Arts scholarship program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while pursuing a degree in journalism. Now a sophomore in college, CRASH is currently spending time perfecting his blend of hip-hop between study sessions and the daily grind of student life.
High Noon Saloon
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