Raw-G (Gina Madrid) was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. She brings her own distinct cross-cultural, multi-lingual, politically charged Hip-Hop to the Bay Area music scene captivating audiences with her passionate and aggressive performances.
Raw-G left Mexico and moved to Oakland, California, in 1999, where she learned English by translating Hip-Hop lyrics from 2pac, The Fugees, and KRS-1.
Raw-G developed an engaging, insightful, social conscious flow that challenges our musical and gender preconceptions of Hip-Hop culture. She has performed with artists such as Ghostface Killah, Mobb Deep, DJ Premier, KRS-One, Ozomatli, Royce Da 5’9 and Ana Tijoux, to name a few.
Raw-G is definitely one the most exciting new MC’s to come out of Oakland and an artist to keep an eye on. Her EP ‘Esperanza’ released July 14, 2015. This project contains collaborations with Gift Of Gab of Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, Lila Rose and other Bay Area artists.
“Her work as both an artist and promoter represents the social consciousness and raw heart of both Mexico and Oakland” — Oakulture
Cosmic Homies is a collective of multi cultural creatives, diversely influenced by Funk, Hip Hop, Soul, Jazz, Tribal and beyond. Together in musical collaboration, artists TAIO, Marushka, Kiwango & Runkah, comprise the first Cosmic Homies project: Cosmic Homies O.N.E. The four met in Nairobi, Kenya, mutually excited to participate in a new wave of African artists who are unafraid to challenge both traditional & contemporary stereotypes through original music.
Each member embodies an individual sonic flavor. In a fusion of soulful melodies, urban beats and afro chill vibes, their eclectic style it self-defined as ‘Electro-Organic’ music. Their first single “Think This Thru” was independently released in 2015 to much positive reception. Meanwhile, a growing community of supporters has appointed them potential torchbearers for an Afro-futuristic, hip-hop sound… with a psychedelic twist! Artists such as Flying Lotus, Wilough & Jaden, Blinky Bill and Kato Change, are contemporary influences on their musical explorations, all united by a deep interest in the transformative power of sound.
They recently completed their first full length work together, scheduled to release in Spring 2016.
Tony Crush AKA The original DJ Tony Tone. Cold Crush Brothers founder and DJ.
The Cold Crush Brothers traced their origins to the Bronx freestyle ethos of the late 70s, when the line-up was fronted by The Original DJ Tony Tone after leaving The Brothers Disco to start his own group. He met Charlie Chase and they put The Cold Crush Brothers together. Kay Gee The All, “Eazy AD”, JDL and Grandmaster Caz.
DJ Tony Crush and Charlie Chase climbed behind the decks to provide the group with their distinctive brass and reed riffs, drawn from old Stax Records and soul classics. The Cold Crush Brothers were responsible for the “Punk Rock Rap”, “Fresh, Fly, Wild and Bold “and “Heartbreakers” on Aaron Fuchs’ Tuff City and Smokin’ label. They had formerly recorded “Weekend” for Elite , but by the end of the 80s they had moved on to B-Boy, as a duo comprised simply Kay Gee and DJ Tony Crush. The double a-side 12-inch, “Feel The Horns”/”We Can Do This”, gave them a minor hit, but it proved to be a success.
Tang Sauce was recently mentioned as a torch bearer for the direction that hip hop is going by Abiodune of the legendary Last Poets. But let’s go back to the beginning, where it all began. On the 24th day of August 1991, a club footed child was born to Leslie Manselle and Joseph Young Junior. Who would have thought that a child born with a clubbed foot would one day express through movement, I think not many. This is who he is. Tang Sauce brings a positive mentality to the table in which these types of things are possible!
When first given the opportunity to make sound in an organized manner, he would skip music class and refuse to play the cornet in the band at Hartford North End Corps, where Leslie Manselle, or Mama Tang (Again, his mother), was the band master, around this time, on a side note, Tang Sauce’s older cousin Simshindo would talk to him and introduce Tang Sauce to some of his earliest knowledge of African history and Hip-Hop, but, years later what would bring him into making sound? Fast forward to 2008, that answer would be straight ahead jazz inspiration from the Artists Collectives “Youth Jazz Ensemble” founded by Dollie and Jackie Mclean, but not before he trained for 2 years with the Manchester Salvation Army’s senior band. Rewind back to 1995 when he first took a tap dancing class at The Artists Collective. Now fast forward to 2005 after the movie that captured the phenomenon of urban dance at the time thanks to artists like Missy Elliot, “You Got Served” came and influenced Tang Sauce to make movement again after a decade of stillness. Fast forward to 2012 when United Outkast crew which Tang Sauce is a member of, took a victory at “Bboy Massacre 8” also the same year that T.O.B crew which Tang Sauce is also a member of won “Funk the politics”, both dance tournaments.
Rewind back to the 90’s where Tang Sauce was selected to be a published author through a program at his elementary school “Annie Fisher”. Fast forward to early 2013 where Tang Sauce was casted the lead role of Joseph Asagai in the MaPeach production of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Rasin in the Sun”. Rewind back to 2012 where he was casted as a dancer in Sidney Lumet’s “The Wiz”, another MaPeach production. Rewind back to 2008 where he performed with Manchester High School’s jazz ensemble and pit orchestra in Frank Oz’s “Little Shop of Horrors”. Rewind even further back to 2006 when he was asked to speak his thoughts on a panel with his peers regarding the topic of the achievement gap of different races and income levels.
Currently, Tang Sauce is focused on releasing his album Maturity, along with building himself creatively, artistically, and maturely, looking forward to a bright future of peace, positivity, wisdom, understanding, friends, sound, words, movements, thoughts and love.
Sofía Snow is an artist, educator, and community organizer who has the ability to see where there is lacking, and to create. In 2006, Sofía was titled the Spoken Word Artist of the Year by the Massachusetts Industry Committee Hip Hop Awards. This was just the beginning for Sofía, who at age 16, began teaching spoken word workshops for her peers as a tool to spread consciousness.
In the following two short years, Sofía has shared stages with Rakim to Willie Colón to Raheem DeVaughn, in front of audiences of thousands, and was honored with a full page spread in the Boston Globe. By 18, Sofía was accepted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a First Wave Scholar – a ground-breaking program that recruits and awards young artists from across the U.S. with full-tuition scholarships as members of the First Wave Hip Hop Theatre Ensemble. In 2011, she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Work, and was named Top 15 Inspiring Young Female Activists by Generation Progress.
Sofía has taken her passions (youth work, arts, and social justice) across the US, UK and Carribean – performing and using Hip Hop to make change. In 2013, the City of Boston officially resolved February 28th as Sofía Snow Day; Snow was acknowledged as Cosmopolitan Magazine‘s Fun Fearless Female for April 2013; and Muzzle Magazine listed her as top 30 writers under 30. Sofía is the co-founder of the Not Enough Mics Collaborative, a nationwide network of womyn artists. She is currently the Associate Program Director of Urban Word NYC.
Sofía is looking forward to premiering her work in progress, for women who stay, for men who leave in Poetic Theater Productions’ 5th annual festival of new poetic theater Poetic License 2016: A Kind Of Now.
DJ NEB, simply Neb (Never Ending Breakbeats) is a DJ/Producer based out of Middletown, CT. NEB DJs and produced Hip Hop and EDM (Downtempo/Trip Hop to be exact). Neb’s roots go back to the mid 80’s Hip Hop culture (Bboyin’, Graff and Turntablism). Neb mostly DJs for live bands, Bboy battles, Hip Hop showcases and parties! Neb performs at festivals and shows as the DJ for Political Animals (Live Hip Hop band). In the past, Neb was part of the Hip Hop production duo Boileroom aka Boiler Room Productions, who had releases on East West/Atlantic, Warner Brothers and the late great Cold Chillin’ records (see discogs for more info). Since 2001, Neb represents Connectbeats Productions with the goal of further promoting original music, other artist’s music as long as it’s quality and other artistic life pursuits.
Aside from DJn’, Neb works full time as a special education teacher. Neb is a college graduate but would still prefer to spend his life doing music.
DJ Stealth is the DJ moniker of Asaad Jakson, who also performs as rapper MC Lion. DJ Stealth has been in the game for several years as a DJ. He began learning the craft while in high school training in a radio broadcast program in the schools station, WQTQ 89.9 Qute FM. He is most known for rocking at legendary house parties to spinning at open mics, fashion shows, weddings, community events, dance battles and college parties all over CT and beyond. Known locally in CT for the freshest mixes at the infamous Wednesday open mic night in Downtown Hartford at the former Tapas restaurant, also for numerous dance battles and multiple appearances at Hartford’s Mighty 4 festival and Hartford Hip Hop festival. He approaches the art of DJing the same way one would approach a conventional musical instrument. Stealth has also made appearances in Brooklyn NY, Washington D.C. and Jersey City NJ.
Photo by Urban Eye Candi Photography
Kool Herc (Clive Cambell, born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1955) emigrated to the Bronx in 1967 when he was 12 years old. While attending Alfred E. Smith High School he spent a lot of time in the weight room. That fact coupled with his height spurned the other kids to call him Hercules.
His first deejay gig was as his sister’s birthday party. It was the start of an industry.
1520 Sedgwick Avenue. The address of Herc’s family and the location of the recreation room where he would throw many of his first parties as the DJ.
Herc became aware that although he knew which records would keep the crowd moving, he was more interested in the break section of the song. At this point in a song, the vocals would stop and the beat would just ride for short period. His desire to capture this moment for a longer period of time would be a very important one for hip hop.
Herc would purchase two copies of the same record and play them on separate turntables next to each other. He would play the break beat on one record then throw it over to the other turntable and play the same part. Doing this over and over, he could rock any house in NY. (Not to mention it being an early form of looping that would be made easier through electronic sampling.)
He would dig in crates and look everywhere to find the perfect break beat for his parties. He didn’t care what type of music, because he only needed a small section of a song for his purposes.
His first professional DJ job was at the Twilight Zone in 1973. He wanted to get into another place called the Hevalo, but wasn’t allowed…yet.
His fame grew. In addition to his break beats, Herc also became known as the man with the loudest system around. When he decided to hold a party in one of the parks, it was a crazy event. And a loud one. At this time Afrika Bambaataa and other competing DJ’s began trying to take Herc’s crown. Jazzy Jay of the Zulu Nation recalls one momentous meeting between Herc and Bam.
Herc was late setting up and Bam continued to play longer than he should have. Once Herc was set up he got on the microphone and said “Bambaataa, could you please turn your system down?” Bam’s crew was pumped and told Bam not to do it. So Herc said louder, “Yo, Bambaataa, turn your system down-down-down.” Bam’s crew started cursing Herc until Herc put the full weight of his system up and said, “Bambaataa-baataa -baataa, TURN YOUR SYSTEM DOWN!” And you couldn’t even hear Bam’s set at all. The Zulu crew tried to turn up the juice but it was no use. Everybody just looked at them like, “You should’ve listened to Kool Herc.”
Finally his fame peaked and at last, in 1975, he began working at the Hevalo in the Bronx. He helped coin the phrase b-boy (break boy) and was recently quoted as saying he was “the oldest living b-boy.”
The official ITUNES Music Award winner 2012 Oddisee, the son of Sudanese and American parents, Amir Mohamed, was born and raised in the United States capital city of Washington DC, spending hot summers in Khartoum learning Arabic and swimming in the Nile. Growing up amidst the sounds of New York hip hop, his father playing Oud, Go-Go, and gospel, Amir took his first steps as an MC producer in the analog basement studio of his legendary neighbor, Garry Shider (Parliament Funkadelic).
Though Oddisee has gone on to perform with The Roots, produce for Freeway, Jazzy Jeff, Little Brother, De La Soul & Nikki Jean, and has MC’d on production from Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and Kev Brown, his proudest moment was the birth of his critically acclaimed group The Diamond District with fellow Washingtonians X.O. and yU.
Oddisee’s debut album “People Hear What They See” (released 12 June 2012) is a culmination of the duality of his life experiences, from DC internal politics to third world struggles, the line between love and selfishness, and the personal conflict between self-sabotage and progress, set to a backdrop of intricate drums, lush instrumentation, and soul-stirring harmonies.
‘The Good Fight’
Oddisee makes music that rattles in your bone marrow. It’s imbued with love, honesty, and selflessness. It’s virtuosic in its musicality, direct in its language, and infinitely relatable.
In a landscape overrun with abstract indulgence and shallow trend-chasers, the Prince George’s County, Maryland artist has created ‘The Good Fight’, a record that reminds you that it’s music before it’s hip-hop. Released on Mello Music Group, it’s for the fans and for himself. It finds the musical heavyweight balancing between craft, career, and successfully growing into the world around him.
For Oddisee, ‘The Good Fight’ is about living fully as a musician without succumbing to the traps of hedonism, avarice, and materialism. It’s about not selling out and shilling for a paycheck, while still being aware that this is a business requiring compromise and collaboration.
It’s music that yields an intangible feeling: the sacral sound of an organ whine, brass horns, or a cymbal crash. It’s not necessarily the syllables, but rather what they evoke. A song like “That’s Love” is more than a declaration; it’s a meditation on our capacity to love and the bonds binding us together. Ambition and greed war with our sense of propriety. “Contradiction’s Maze” offers a list of paradoxes we all face (“I want to tell the truth when it hurts/but when it comes to me, I want the blow softened.”)
Oddisee’s production simmers in its own orchestral gumbo. You sense he’s really a jazzman in different form, inhabiting the spirit of Roy Ayers and other past greats. The Fader’s compared him to a musical MC Escher, calling hailing his “grandiose and symphonic sound” and “relevant relatable messages.” Pitchfork praised his “eclectic soulful boom-bap.”
‘The Good Fight’ acknowledges the stacked odds, but refuses to submit.
It’s both universal and personal. The child of a Sudanese immigrant highlights the rigors of his own upbringing: his pregnant mother working the register until she was about to burst, his pops’ shuttered diner that couldn’t survive Reaganomics—the one that Oddisee drives past every time he returns home, just to remind him how quickly the world can turn bad.
It’s these minor details that add into something major. It’s testament to the indelible nature of art: when you can turn what you love into something that lasts.
Oddisee’s new album, The Good Fight, will be available May 5th.
Jeff Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music.
His first book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, garnered many honors, including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He edited the book, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop.
His new book, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, was released on St. Martin’s Press in October 2014. He is currently at work on two other book projects: Youth (Picador Big Ideas/Small Books series), and a biography of Bruce Lee (Little, Brown).
Jeff has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and a winner of the North Star News Prize. He was named by The Utne Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World”. With H. Samy Alim, he was the 2014 winner of the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award at Stanford University.
Jeff co-founded CultureStr/ke and ColorLines. He has written for The Nation, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, Foreign Policy, N+1, Mother Jones, Salon, Slate, Buzzfeed, and Medium, among many others.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i, he is a graduate of ‘Iolani School, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Los Angeles.
He serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.