One of the most prolific and original groups in hip hop, the infamous Mobb Deep are still a very active force in today's music industry with twenty years of experience. The group has appeared on records that have sold over 40 million copies. Aiming from the Queensbridge neighborhood of NYC, the duo has been responsible for delivering some of the most popular and forever current anthems in rap music. . Tracks like "Survival Of The Fittest'" "Shook Ones Part II" and "Quiet Storm RMX" have remained significant and still move crowds from NY to Tokyo. Mobb Deep's ability to perfectly describe their gritty surroundings and lifestyle always made them a first choice for music writers and critics across the board. Mobb Deep have graduated to the role of cult group; today, they are followed by a new wave of cutting edge music listeners, as well as their original core foundation of hip hop aficionados.

The New York Times boasted: "No rap group — maybe no act in any genre — has gotten more mileage from straight talk than Mobb Deep."

Mac Lethal

My name is Mac Lethal the Conqueror.

The Alchemist

According to myth, an Alchemist has the power to transform something common into something special. So is the case with California's own, The Alchemist. His tendency to transform a common sample into audio emotion has quickly made him one to watch in the new millennium era of hip-hop. In 1993, The Alchemist was introduced via Soul Assassins as half of duo The Wooligans; the youngest of a hit-making fraction that included Cypress Hill, House Of Pain and Funkdoobiest. The duo's Muggs-produced single, "Put' Cha Hands Up", garnered underground awareness and planted the seed for what has become The Alchemist's career in hip-hop music. Under the guidance of Cypress Hill's own DJ Muggs (House of Pain, Goodie Mob, GZA), Al cranked out track after track while simultaneously paying his dues on the road with Cypress Hill. He made a notable first impression as producer with a remix for Cypress Hill's "Tequila Sunrise Rmx" featuring Fat Joe. Al then continued sharpening his skills by providing production for underground mainstays Dilated Peoples. His work with the group led to underground classics like "The Platform", "Guaranteed" and "The Platform Rmx." Just like the major influences before him (Muggs, DJ Premier and Large Professor), The Alchemist was earning himself a name synonymous with the dusty finger-esque production and found himself producing notable classics for the likes of Defari, Pharohe Monch, Royce da 5'9, and Mobb Deep. It was with Mobb Deep that The Alchemist started to be recognized for his more aggressive style of beat making when he produced two highlights on the group's platinum album gem, Murda Muzik ("The Realest", "Thug Music"). While the underground crowd was already aware of Al's tendency for hardcore tracks, artists like Fat Joe ("Bring it On"), Eminem ("Get Back") Freddy Fox ("Stock in The Game") and Capone-N-Noreaga ("Bang, Bang") soon noticed Al as a producer that could prepare the right musical background for them to capture their aggression. Press took note of this work in January 2002 when The Alchemist was named one of the top producers of the year in The Source Magazine, alongside the likes of Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, Mannie Fresh of Cash Money and Timbaland. The recognition has surged demand for Al's signature sound from a diverse set of new sources, as he has been sought out for projects with Jadakiss ("We Gone Make it"), Prodigy ("Keep It Thoro"), Nas ("Book Of Rhymes"), Snoop Dogg ("Hey Girl"), Ludacris, Ghostface Killa, Big Daddy Kane as well as alternative acts such as Linkin Park and Morcheeba. Despite the increasing attention from high profile acts, Al continues to cater to his underground audience with just as much enthusiasm. A limited-edition commemorative vinyl of his most hard to find instrumentals, The Alchemist released ALC Street Themes, is currently available. Since recently being added to the management roster of Paul Rosenberg, founder of powerhouse firm Goliath Artists (Eminem, Xzibit, Cypress Hill), The Alchemist looks forward to taking his biggest and best step forward in his work. In 2004, The Alchemist released his first opus entitled Alchemist: 1st Infantry. The album is a mixture of artists who best compliment his progressive sound, as well as those who have helped pave the way for Al up to this point. Guests on the album include Lloyd Banks, Cypress Hill, Havoc and Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Dilated Peoples, D-Block's Jadakiss, Sheek and J-Hood, Devin the Dude, Nappy Roots, Shady/Aftermath's new artist Stat Quo, the West Coast's top prospect Game, and many others. The Alchemist is also currently in the process of working as Executive Producer on the sophomore release by Dilated Peoples. If history serves us right, then this Alchemist is already taking the common take on hip-hop production and turning it into some of the most special creations heard in recent memory.

Kansas City > SAVAGE

James Christos

Though originally from the San Francisco bay area, James Christos' style does not align itself with the traditionally steady mobbin', Bay Area-Kansas City rap connection. Nor does his style align itself with the jazz-obsessed, Kansas City indie-hip hop scene. Ever since he convinced his school teachers at the age of seven to allow him time to rap at the end of class each day, Christos has stayed true to the guerilla tactics that have garnered him roughly 7,000 records sold independently in Kansas City and throughout the Midwest. In 2003, he cracked the Billboard Top 100 Independent charts with The Uprising. Christos will personally tell anyone within earshot that his live show is undoubtedly top-rank in Kansas City, regardless of genre. When promoters want an act that can throw down as hard as a mainstream act, they call Christos. But with the same token, it's understandable that less-intense, less-seasoned performers are flat-out afraid to share the stage with him, regardless of whose name reigns over the show flyer. Set to make noise on Gracie/EMI, James Christos should offer a fantastic addition to their lineup.

The Popper



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