dead prez is an American underground political hip hop duo composed of stic.man and M-1. They are known for their confrontational style combined with socialist and pan-Africanist lyrics. These lyrics tend to focus on revolution, veganism, institutional racism, critical pedagogy, police, capitalism, education, prison systems, religion, activism against governmental repression, and corporate control over the media, especially hip-hop record labels. Dead Prez made their stance clear on their first album, declaring on the lead song, "I'm a African" that the group is "somewhere between N.W.A. and P.E."
Spanning the genres of Hip-Hop, Electronica, Soul and Reggae, 40Love's sound is versatile, unique, and ever-expanding. Hailing from San Francisco, 40Love is the rising new group gaining critical acclaim and "breaking sonic barriers" (URB).
The group, consisting of emcee G-OFF, producer Mikos, female vocalist/emcee Haze and DJ/Producer The Whooligan have released two full length albums, "Advantage" in 2007 and more recently "BANGERANG!" in February 2009. "BANGERANG!" features hip-hop heavyweight Black Spade, The Jacka of the Mob Figaz, soul star Jesse Boykins III, Denise Wallace, Bay Area legend L*Roneous and more.
Since their second release, 40Love has been reviewed and featured in media outlets like NBC, URB, Okayplayer.com, Venus Zine, VIMBY.com and Hard Knock Radio, as well as featured locally as Amoeba Records homegrown pick and CD Baby 1 Hyphy album two years in a row. They have recently been nominated for "Best Rap/Hip-Hop" in the SF Weekly Music Awards 2009. Their discography also includes mixtapes, "Up Up and Away the spacetrumentals" (The Whooligan) in 2008 and "The Stargazers" in March 2009, as well as a feature on Om Records release "Mushroom Jazz 6" by DJ Mark Farina, which sold over 15,000 units worldwide.
At a young age, the group has already shared the stage with some of the industry's most respected names, including Mos Def, MC Supernatural, MC Lyte, Mistah F.A.B., Zion I, the Living Legends, Wale, Blu, Mark Farina and more.
40Love has many upcoming projects in the works, including a production project mikooliganziland by Mikos and The Whooligan and a mixtape collaboration featuring Haze, Denise Wallace, and DJ Shred One. However, their most anticipated new release will be a free downloadable EP releasing January 2010.
Chiddy Bang is a hip-hop/electronica duo from Philadelphia. After attending their first year of college at Drexel, where they met and began making music, they left school to become full-time musicians. They posses a musical maturity that is far superior to the teen-pop cliche. Chiddy Bang blends hard hitting lyricism from front man Chidera "Proto" Anamege, original electronica afro-beat and jazz influenced sample-based production from keyboardist/DJ Noah Beresin ("Xaphoon Jones") into modern, fun hip-hop.
Gaining notoriety for their original style and their single "Opposite of Adults" they have toured extensively in the UK and US, including playing this year's SXSW festival in Austin, TX. Chiddy Bang has shared the stage with the likes of Big Sean, Damian Marley, The Cool Kids, and Nas.
Hip-Hop, which used to be an underground artistic platform for creative expression, is now one of the most popular styles in music today. Sadly, with the rise of Hip-Hop becoming a household and popular sound, came the downfall of its essence. Lyrics and creativity have taken a backseat to dance-instructing "rappers" steering Hip-Hop into the future. Segregating and dividing many artists into sub-genres of the art, Hip-Hop has become strikingly similar to high school. Hipsters not eating with the gangsters and ballers not hanging around the conscious rappers. It's no wonder a guy that proclaims, "I don't fit in!", feels so comfortable in this setting.
Obsessed with comic books, action figures, web surfing, and roleplaying video games, "XV" (born Donavan Johnson) would classify as a "nerd". But his love for fashion, colorful sneakers, and porn disqualify him of being such a stereotype. So, the 23-year old lyricist finds himself playing the same role he played in middle school and high school, in the music industry. The nobody begging to become a somebody.
Without any industry backing or management, XV garnered attention from the masses after releasing an array of mixtape series' such as, "Royalty City", "The Definition", and "The Complex Experiment", all having 3 or more volumes. The Kansas-born MC began receiving the support from other up and coming artists such as The Game, Paul Wall, Maino, Sheek Louch and DJ's such as Whoo Kid and On Point, who hosted a volume of Royalty City. XV started to create a major buzz for himself and his record label, Royalty City, and began recording his debut, "Complex".
The debut album, "Complex", was met with adequate reviews from Okay Player, URBNet, RapReviews.com, and many more, and also peaked at 19 on the College Radio Hip-Hop charts. XV would go on to grace the pages of The Source, AllHipHop.com, and Black Beat Magazine, as well as partnering with MTV in a promotional campaign for Dell Computers and MTV's Virtual Worlds.
Now, with the rise of the digital age where anybody can wake up and become a rapper, Hip-Hop has become crowded with one-hit wonders. XV, who got his name from the roman numerals of 15, the age he says he was when he departed from Earth to his hermit homelife on a fictional planet he calls, Planet Squaria, has somehow made his mark on the internet scene. Generating a buzz and strong fanbase on some of Hip-Hop's biggest blogs such as NahRight, 2dopeboyz, HipHopDX, AllHipHop, and more, through releasing the largely conceptual project, "The Square In The Circle", which includes a guest feature from Lil' Wayne. As well as releasing a slew of music with the series, "40 Days, 40 Nights", that he began in September of 2008, in which he released a brand new song every morning and every night for 40 days straight!
Now, ready to capitalize on his growing buzz, XV is ready to share his story to the world through his new album titled, "The Kid With The Green Backpack". A concept album inspired by XV's life in middle school when he was widely known as "the kid with the green backpack" rather than his actual name. He parallels his life of being a nobody in high school to being a nobody in the music industry, as he sees the two worlds being very similar to each other. XV's close-friend and producer, Seven, arranges the entire score to the story that XV says, "is the Hip-Hop soundtrack to a John Hughes movie". Detailing every event leading to him becoming the superstar, "XV", from his talk with his school counselor about being a nobody on "Invisible", to him running away to pursue his dream on "Losing The Signal", all the way to the unforgettable prom night on "A Night To Remember".
As a huge fan of comic books and superheroes, XV has set the stage for a triumphant story to take place. Inside the jewel case of an amazing album, as well as the real world that XV plans to become one of Hip-Hop's greatest artists in. Finally finding his place amongst all the gangsters, hipsters, and ballers in Hip-Hop, as simply, "The Kid With The Green Backpack".