Archive for March 2017

MC Lyte

First female to perform hip hop in the White House and first African American female to serve as the President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Recording Academy (Grammy Organization): these are just the first of many firsts.  Lyricist, inspirational speaker, dj, pioneer, icon, veteran and entrepreneur describe one of the most prolific and well-respected female Hip Hop artists of all time: MC Lyte.  She has consistently found ways to reinvent herself musically, while expanding her resume and gaining new fans. A current member of the Board of Trustees of Dillard University and reared in Brooklyn, New York, MC Lyte always has her finger on Hip Hop’s pulse. Many are familiar with her stellar music making skills, but over the course of her extensive career, MC Lyte has ventured out to other avenues that have allowed her to show the world just how talented she truly is.

A pioneer in the industry, she opened the door for future female Hip Hop artists by daring to do what had never been done while doing something she loved. MC Lyte is the FIRST rap artist ever to perform at New York’s historic Carnegie Hall, the FIRST female rapper to ever receive a gold single, the FIRST female solo rapper ever nominated for a Grammy and in 2006, MC Lyte became the FIRST solo female rapper to be honored/inducted on VH-1’s HIP HOP HONORS.

MC Lyte has graced network television as well as the big screen and she has been the voice behind the VH1 Hip Hop Honors and national campaigns for Wherehouse Music, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike.  She is the hot of Morning Cup on Centric and recently unveiled her lyrical talent, once again, to the world with the release of her latest album, LEGEND.

A role model to women and respected by men everywhere, MC Lyte never compromises who she is and consistently displays that a woman can turn heads fully clothed! Whenever possible, MC Lyte enjoys traveling across the nation to use her expertise and story of success to motivate others to take ownership of the world around them while striving to be the best they can possibly be.  Author of “UNSTOPPABLE:  Igniting the Power Within to Achieve Your Greatest Potential,” MC Lyte provides keynote addresses at educational institutions, community centers and corporations around the globe and has also been active in many social projects, including anti-violence campaigns, HIV / AIDs prevention, and Rock the Vote.  MC Lyte is also the author of “Living in the Lyte: Lessons in Life, Love and Truth” and “Fusion: Bridging the Gap between the Civil Rights Movement and Hip Hop,” a book she co-authored with Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

MC Lyte resides in Los Angeles, California, and reigns as the CEO of Sunni Gyrl, Inc. and the Chair of Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, which has presented over $750,000 in college scholarships ( She is a past President, Trustee and Governor of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy (Grammy organization), a member of the Board of Trustees at Dillard University, and is a proud honorary member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Twitter/IG: @mclyte


Siimba Liives Long (Ethiopia/NYC)

Siimba Liives Long- nomadic warrior.

Art relies on duality. Creation happens between two extremes—light and dark, yin and yang, sad and happy, and so on and so forth. That brings us to Siimba Liives Long. Born in New York, raised in Ethiopia he’s just as familiar with the lions of the streets as he is with the lions of the jungle. His first “sonic series,” Zemenays Gemiinii, reflects a deep perspective fashioned by a life lived on opposite sides of the world.

“From an identity perspective, I’m very much African-American—in the literal sense of the term,” he declares. “Ethiopia and America are equally important to me. When you change your environment, you have to change your perspective. When you change your perspective, you’re forced to learn new things, adapt, and open your mind. My travels enabled me to not only open my mind, but my music as well.”

Siimba started rapping during grade school in Ethiopia. Inspired by the likes of everyone from Nas, 2 Pac, G Unit, The Fugees, DMX, and Outkast, he further honed his craft once back in the States at military school. He spent years silently carving out his style before officially emerging in 2015.

His introduction came with teeth—quite literally. After scraping together all the money he could, Siimba financed the production of a bi-continental music video for his debut single “Cocaine Bimbie.” Shot in South Africa, Brooklyn, and Ethiopia and starring locals and lions, it got the internet buzzing following its premiere on Noisey. Over jazz-y throwback production, he spits thought-provoking and energetic bars before a smooth, soulful refrain that will get you moving and thinking.

“I felt like I found myself as an artist, and this is the beginning,” he explains. “I wanted to come with a fully fleshed-out vision. The song is my announcement that I’m putting all my energy into music. I’m giving it my all.”

It also introduces Zemenays Gemiinii and gives a hint at what’s to come from Siimba.

“My mother’s name is Zemenay, and I am a Gemini,” he explains. “The Gemini is the twin sign, and there are two halves. I feel like I notice two sides to lots of things. I might rap about things other artists rap about but I’m not always glorifying it. It’s an accurate representation of the good and the bad. The whole project is based on true experiences.”

Seeing him live is the real experience. With kinetic and unforgettable presence, he “eats fire and tells stories.” Now, that fire is about to spread.

“My art is experienced on all levels,” he leaves off. “It’s not just sonic or visual. It’s everything. When you see me, I hope you feel that energy. That connection is the most important thing. I want to inspire people to be themselves and overcome fears. That’s my entire existence. I make the most of my time because time is the most valuable currency available. If you lose that shit, you’re not getting it back. I hope to share that.”


Escuadron Patriota (Cuba)

Raudel Collazo Pedroso (A.K.A. Escuadron Patriota or S4dron) is a leader of the Cuban Hip Hop movement and known throughout Cuba and Latin America as a representative of true hip hop and Afro-Cuban rights. Raudel manages a music studio in Mayabeque, Cuba.  Raudel is known for his socially critical lyrics and commitment to push Afro-Cuban rights and pro-democratic ideals in his music. In response to Raudel’s positive message and perspective, the Cuban Government censors him and he is not allowed to perform in any state venue in all of Cuba. Raudel is one of the most censored artists in Cuba. Raudel rose to fame with his hit song “Decadencia” which translates to “Decadence” in English.

MC Shooog Ray (Russia)

Shooog Ray (aka Shug) started his career in 97-98 as a b-boy and was a dedicated rap fan as a new culture appeared in Russia. In 2003, he started to participate in freestyle battles in the War and Peace club. he continues performing as a rap artist and also as a DJ and beat maker. He is an active member of the Hip Hop Union movement in Moscow, a collective that fosters the knowledge and development of hip hop traditions through events, music, dance and more.

DJ Kool Flash

DJ Kool Flash is a 10-year old DJ and B-Girl. She has been chosen by Ma Dukes herself to represent the James Dewitt Yancey (J.Dilla) Foundation as the foundation’s youngest DJ. Flash has been DJing for several years already and released her latest mixtape Underground Playground (download here) hosted by M1 of Dead Prez and featuring Sadat x (who declared her “youngest in charge!”). Kool Flash has opened for Lauren Hill, Smif N Wesson, Heltah Skeltah, Redman, Method Man, Masta Ace and performed at the 39th annual rock Steady Crew Anniversary.  Every Thursday Night “GLOBAL HEADPHONES” From 7-9PM (EST)

Bwette Daniel (Uganda)

Bwette (Gilbert) Daniel is a Hip Hop Archivist, a community youth activist and team leader at the Bavubuka Foundation. His eight years of working and volunteering in indigenous youth communities has attracted both national and international opportunities in the fields of photography, graphic design and community journalism. As a community focused photographer Bwette has had collaborative exhibitions internationally at MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts) New York in 2011, Self Identities Photography & Art Exhibition (Washington DC) 2015 and locally at Uganda National Cultural Theatre during the Bayimba Cultural Festival 2011, Breda International Photo Festival 2012, B-Global Hiphop Exhibition in Uganda 2012, Hague International Institute of Social
Studies (ISS) 2013, Visionary Africa : ART at WORK (European union /African Union International Photo Exhibition)2012. Bwette has also presented personal exhibitions at the Arcus Centre for Social Justice and Leadership in Michigan Kalamazoo 2015 and recently in Power Of HipHop Exhibition in London organized by In Place Of War 2016. Bwette’s work as the UG HIPHOP ARCHIVIST has attracted international attention and earned him an opportunity to represent the Uganda Youth Hip Hop Community at the International Hip Hop Teach-in Remixing the Art of Social Change organised by Words Beats & Life in Washington DC. He has also participated in the Hip Hop
Think Tank for International Hip Hop Scholars in New York which is organised by Hip Hop Education Centre at New YorkUniversity, his online exhibition by Praxis Centre for activists by the Arcus Centre for Transformative Social Justice and Leadership Kalamazoo, Michigan earned him a place in a Artist In Resident program (Critical Mass 2016) for East African artists to work with a renowned UK audio visual artist Gary Stewart.

Marvalyss (Hartford)

Marvalyss’ flow, delivery, cadence and charisma are the reasons Mc’s have to prepare to go hard or go home. Scripting verses since a very young age, Marvalyss emerges bringing back that lost era of hip-hop true music fans yearn for. Honing his skills to diversify rap as a true MC, he has also added definitive r&b writing, vocal arranging and production to his already impressive catalogue and credit. Marvalyss is one of the most underrated, insightful and innovative platforms to showcase some of the greatest talent on earth! One listen and you too shall understand that this kid is what the world has definitely been missing and waiting on!

Leandra & The Dream

Leandra is a Queer Gender Non-Binary Ecuadorian/Dominican Rapper from Brooklyn, New York.

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