2013 - Artists

Humanist (Burkina Faso/ France)

HUMANIST is a french artist from Burkina Faso who takes us on a trip from the West world to Africa by means of a sincere and thoughtful rap accompanied by a warm and melodious flow that becomes richer with digital (Dj’ing, MPC, electro…) as well as acoustic tones (Kora, Peul flute, balafon…) inviting us to dance and think, or simply arouse our senses.

HUMANIST tells us the story of his life with an African wizard’s sensitivity without choosing the casy way out of saintliness and victimization, always with a positive state of mind : the hip hop state of mind.

Baba Israel (New York/Australia)

Baba Israel was raised in New York by parents who were core members of the Living Theatre. He developed as a young artist exploring spoken word, Hip Hop, and experimental performance. He lived and worked in Australia working on major community theatre projects and Hip Hop festivals. He has toured as an emcee, beatboxer, and theatre artist across North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.

His solo show Boom Bap Meditations was supported by the Ford Foundation and The Hip Hop Theatre Festival. He has shared the stage with artists such as Outkast, The Roots, Rahzel, Lester Bowie, Afrika Bambaataa, Vernon Reid, and Bill Cosby. Previous directorial work includes the Project 2050 (New World Theatre), Countryboy Struggle (Maxwell Golden) and Sharpening SAWDS. He has worked on sound design for theatre and dance projects with Renita Martin’s It is the Seeing and Rha Goddess. He was co-founder and Artistic Director of Playback NYC Theatre Company which brought theatre to prisons, hospitals, shelters, and arts venues. As an educator he has worked internationally developing projects with a young people centered focus. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary arts from Goddard in the United States. He became Artistic Director/CEO of Contact in 2009, after several years of performing and leading workshops at the venue as a visiting artist. He has returned to New York to develop projects in theatre, music, and education.

Keur Gui (Senegal)

A first album censored in the time of the socialist regime in Senegal will not have had the upper hand over the kaolackois duo, appointed and recognized as being the most committed group of Senegal. Two albums and hundreds of concerts played to full houses, KEUR-GUI returns with “Our idiots Complaints”, a French pun of “Condolences” (Nos Connes Doléances). This was the outcome of 4 years of relentless and accurate work, a completed alchemy between an honorable and constructive contents and a colliding, educational and solid rap. The group seeks to deliver a brand of hip-hop that confronts elements of bad governance and corruption within Senegal. As a lot of artists, including those labelled under “hip-hop”, sell their services to the most generous politicians. KEUR-GUI pulverized sales in 2008 with a frank and outspoken album that spelt out the reasons responsible for the socio-political chaos which rages at the moment in Senegal, and that, without a fast awakening of the common people and the student youth, will end to finish the peace in West Africa.


Eprhyme (pronounced E-prime) is a Renaissance Rapper, representing a profound resurgence of depth and dope within an all too often formulaic, uninspired and commercialized art form. Through his collage-like and kaleidoscopic approach to Culture and Consciousness, Eprhyme is constantly and creatively crossing boundaries of substance, sound and style.

Whether rhyming about Current Events, Altered States of Consciousness, or Cutting-edge Kabbalistic Commentary, Eprhyme’s “rapid-fire word salads are a humanist vision of spirituality fused with social engagement.” (The Forward).

After spending nearly a decade in the trenches of D.I.Y. Heartland and Underground Mecca, Olympia, WA, where he independently released 4 ground-breaking albums with the ‘Saints of Everyday Failures’ while working tirelessly as an Artist, Educator, Promoter and Community Organizer, Eprhyme made the move to Brooklyn, NY where he now works and plays with some of the most exciting contemporary Jewish, World, Hip Hop, Jazz and Indie musicians.

In 2009, Eprhyme released his debut solo album ‘Waywordwonderwill’ on Brooklyn based Jewish and World music label Shemspeed. The album itself is an around the world audio tour of the Jewish Diaspora, as well as an in-depth exploration of Contemprary Jewish American experience and identity. Both fans and critics the world over were impressed and inspired by “Eprhyme’s witty wordplay and barrier-breaking idealism” as well as the “top-notch production by Smoke of Oldominion whose beats blend rubbery basslines with traditional Yiddish klezmer riffs and Middle Eastern chants.” (Wire Tap)

Dopestylevsky, Eprhyme’s sophomore solo album, is being released on the legendary Indie label K Records in April 2011. This will be the first Hip Hop album to come out on K Records in over a decade! And it picks up right where ‘Waywordwonderwill’ left off. Eprhyme’s signature blend of story­telling, social commentary, literary references and intricate wordplay are again paired up with an epic electronic orchestra conducted by Smoke of Oldominion and a host of live musicians. The result is an uncanny mix of live/acoustic instrumentation, heavily processed digital madness, and earth-bound­ cosmic lyricism that once again sharpens the cutting edge. This is bold new music that is both thought provoking and body rocking.

Eprhyme has performed in major clubs, colleges and conferences worldwide with Hip Hop legends like KRS-ONE, Funkmaster Flex, Immortal Technique, Brother Ali and countless others- not too mention the myriad basements, protests, simchas and house parties that he’s rocked. Eprhyme has also shared the stage with many award-winning Jewish artists such as Matisyahu, Frank London and Pharoah’s Daughter- to name a few.

And aside from all of his work as a solo artist, Eprhyme is also one-half of the Musical Midrash Project Darshan, which combines Hip Hop with Hebrew Chant, Folk-Rock with Electro-Pop and Love Poetry with Kabbalistic Psychology in a unique and organic weave of world wisdom traditions and modern musical styles.

As an MC, Poet, Author and Cultural Critic Eprhyme is a well-versed tour guide who owes as much to Rebbe Nachman and Robert Anton Wilson as he does to John Coltrane and KRS-ONE.

The lines have been blurred, genres forgotten, stereotypes seen through. The music speaks for itself. All you gotta do is listen.

Bideew Bou Bess (Senegal)

Composed of three brothers: Moctar, Beydi and Ibrahim – Bou Bess Bideew was born in 1994 in the suburbs of Dakar.

In 1996, after winning a contest organized by the Ministry of Education, these young artists were identified by the label Youssou Ndour (Jololi) who decided to produce the band’s first album in Senegal in 1999 (with Wyclef Jean’s participation on the track “Ndékété yo”). It is therefore no surprise that the album was a total success and exploded on record sales this year. Bideew Boubess revealed themselves to the Senegalese public before the first part of the Youssou Ndour world tour (Jokko Tour) in 2000.

2001 was the meeting with Passi who fell under the spell of these young prodigies. He invited the group to participate on two tracks (“Ex nihilo”, “Family and Friends”) on his album (“Genesis”) to be awarded a double gold disc in France. The group then signed with his label (ISSAP Production) who produced their first international album (“Original”) in 2003.

With these experiences, Bideew Bou Bess decided to create their own production. With this new structure, this young group of talent continues to lead confirmed his boat to the way of success.

Kama (Kenya)

Kama is most widely known for his role in the critically acclaimed hip hop group Kalamashaaka.  Formed in 1995 and known throughout Kenya as the RUN DMC of Kenya, the group consists of Kama, Oteraw and Johny from the Dandora ghetto of Nairobi. For over ten years Kalamashaka, and its affiliate Ukoo Flani Mau Mau, have been on the forefront of socially conscious hip hop in East Africa. The group received international recognition with its hit song ‘Fanya Mambo’ from its first album Ni Wakati (2001).  This led the group to sharing the stage with the likes of the Lost Boyz, Coolio and Dead Prez, to perform in several countries including Sweden, Holland, South Africa, Nigeria and Norway and to be featured in the award winning documentary film Hip Hop Colony.  Kam’s lyrics address crime, drug abuse, police brutality, and government corruption with a strong sense of social realism and lyrical creativity. In 2009, he released his first solo album Kamaa and is currently working on a second one titled, Hakuna Case.  Just recently, Kama delivered a lecture at the University of San Francisco taught by hip hop journalist and media activist Davey D on the history of anti-colonial struggle in Kenya and how it serves as source of inspiration for contemporary Kenyan hip hop artists.

Aisha Fukushima (United States/Japan)

Aisha Fukushima is a singer, public speaker, educator, writer & self-proclaimed ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist).  As leader of the ‘RAPtivism’ (rap activism) project, Aisha raises social awareness through connections between global hip hop & social justice. Since 2007 she has engaged in hip hop communities from France to Morocco, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark & beyond.

Growing up behind the scenes of the music industry, Aisha was exposed first hand to legendary artists who inspired the birth of hip hop such as James Brown, Funkadelic and The Stylistics. This eventually lead Aisha to create her own unparalleled vocal style blending soulful melodies, poetic lyricism and beatboxing. Fans compare Aisha’s music to the likes of renowned artists such as Lauryn Hill, Adele, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Jill Scott. Her influences also include Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Mos Def, and countless international hip hop acts.

In 2012 Aisha released her global “RAPtivism” (rap activism) album featuring more than 20 leading political hip hop acts from around the world including Black Noise (South Africa), Positive Black Soul (Senegal) & DJ Noize (Denmark). Additionally she has been featured on a number of albums including MAD lines’ “MAD Habits” (2012), Street Poet Inc.’s “Origins” (2012), Ras K’dee’s “Cloudwriter” (2011) & Emile YX?’s“Conscious Rhymes for Unconscious Times” (2010).

Political Animals (Connecticut)

Political Animals means to be human. Hip Hop is our culture. It is our way of life. Our Philosophy. The music that we make reflects our opinions, experiences, and views as one human or, as a collective ranging locally to globally. Through our music we promote everything from peace, love, unity, partying, social and self awareness. We also display the negative parts of life such as crime, abuse, oppression, violence, corruption and cruelty without glorifying it. We believe in balance instead of being a one trick pony. Hip Hop music does not actually have its own sound. It uses every style past, present, or future. Political Animals brings you just that. Hip Hop never died. You just can’t find too much of it on the television or the radio. True Hip Hop music is played in the small clubs, lounges, parks, basements, attics, school auditoriums, in the backyards of small towns, right to its birthplace, the streets of the inner-city.

Brown Rice Family (The World)

Brown Rice Family is today’s freshest world roots band jamming towards global solidarity and organic happiness. Guided by a strong belief in the natural flow of things, BRF provides the masses with a distinctively organic World Roots Music, which encompasses jazz stylings, afrobeat, reggae, rock, Latin rhythms, hip-hop, and funk.

The band was formed while its members were attending the City College of New York. Initially, BRF started off with two members, Yuichi and former member Joe Jang, who both met while taking the same music class. Both shared many things in common, among them were music and healthy eating and living. Both shared the belief that one should live in a healthy environment and eat naturally grown food. While flirting with their organic approach to living and music, they came across brown rice—one of the healthiest foods for human consumption. This led them to envision molding a band deeply rooted in a strong foundation, a band that not only creates great music but also creates music that makes its listeners feel alive. To make this connection between healthy living and music, they decided to name the band Brown Rice Family.

The band began to grow and is presently comprised of eight members hailing from all over the world—Japan, Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria, South Africa and USA. The members’ diverse national backgrounds set the stage for their unique coexistence, their musical creativity and dance. The BRF sound is in the truest sense of the words, World Roots Music. The Brown Rice Family vibe is similar to Fela Kuti’s, but if Bob Marley and Antonio Carlos wanted to get on board for a gig, they would. BRF’s colorful sound waves will carry rhythm surfers on a musical journey that straddles ancient and contemporary global sounds. BRF takes a workshop approach when crafting their music. Each member’s input is examined with an open mind by all members before it’s placed in a musical frame for display.

BRF firmly believes in self-improvement and environmental improvement, and so the collective is perpetually seeking out healthier ways of living, grooving, and eating. And this belief is not only in their music, it stretches out into the crafting of the band-made “Brown Rice Family soap”. This soap is made of the most natural ingredients available from organic farmers and suppliers.

This “family” creates world rhythm driven music and dance that is nutritious for every age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, group, and occasion.

DJ Boo (USA/Philippines)

The exceptional DJ Boo has held down the 1s and 2s for EVERY Trinity festival!

Born and raised in New York, the youngest of four children, Boo was exposed to everything from Mozart, Kiss and Donna Summer to Led Zeppelin, Beethoven and Brand Nubian. He had a strong affinity to all things rhythmic, and when he was given the choice of musical instruments to learn he quickly chose the drums. Throughout his middle and high school years the drums were his means of musical expression. During this time he was introduced to the sounds of Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, and a daily dose of Hip-hop from Yo! MTV Raps. It was also during this time that his brother got his first set of turntables and Boo was then introduced to DJ’ing. Throughout his college years he DJ’ed school events, house parties, and small events in Manhattan. Although he greatly enjoyed DJ’ing, the use of the turntable as a viable means of musical expression never crossed his mind until he saw Roli Rho of The 5th Platoon performing a routine using duplicates of the 45 Kings “900 Number”. It was that performance that enabled him to see the turntables in a brand new light, and he spent countless hours relearning the craft. The time spent practicing and listening to music paid off and has led him down a path that has allowed him to share the stage with the likes of Kool G. Rap, Ghostface Killah, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Talib Kweli, Common, Uberzone, DJ Shortkut , and DJ Big Wiz to name a few. It has also allowed him to be involved with artists like Super Natural, Adagio, Consequence (of A Tribe Called Quest fame), Sharmaji and Quannum recording artists ApSci (Applied Science). Boo is currently working with The Juggaknots, Koba, Eternia and Nomadic Wax’s Global Underground All-Stars.

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