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Representing: New Haven, CT
Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut (USA), Akua Naru’s journey to global poet began in an early upbringing in the Pentecostal church.
Naru’s powerful poetic lyricism, talent for story telling, and ability to integrate historical narratives into her music with unmatched eloquence, have drawn the attention of scholars and activists around the globe.. Naru admits to writing “to fulfill the void she needs filled since access to female voice has been so limited in hip hop”. Due to a legacy of slavery and silence in which being black and women has meant exploitation, marginalization, and damaging stereotyping lasting right up to today, Naru defiantly declares her intention to “provide a body of knowledge”and “honor her mothers mothers voices” by centralizing black women’s experiences in her work. An approach she credits to the example of Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning author Toni Morrison.
Representing: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Def-i is an Albuquerque native, representing the Southwest’s Hip-Hop Scene as a member of New Mexico’s Foundations of Freedom Crew since 2003. As well as being part of Skull Control Records, Chief Rockers, and Definition Rare, Def-i fell into MC’ing and beat-making while growing up in the Dine reservation as a young percussionist and poet. His style is multifaceted. His stockpile is all-inclusive: Hip-Hop, Spoken Word/Acapella, Instrumental, Breakbeat, Lyrical, Beatboxing, Downtempo, Underground/Freestyle Rap, Contemporary Native-Amercian Acoustic, and everything between. He has opened for and shared the stage with top-tier artists such as KRS-ONE, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Percee P, Chali2na of Jurassic 5/Ozomatli, Blueprint, Yelawolf of Shady Records, OneBeLo of Binary Star, RA the Rugged Man, and The Chicharones to name a few. In the recent Dakota Pipeline (#NoDAPL) crises, Def-i lyrically embraced and impacted the people there from his mic while there on the front lines in Dakota not only for the benefit concert to support the cause, but in unity with the people protecting there rightful land.
Representing: Denver, CO
Ietef “Dj Cavem” Vita, is an O.G. (Organic Gardener), educator, midwife, vegan chef, emcee, producer, b-boy, Dj, and the founder of Eco HipHop and Going Green Living Bling . Recently DJ Cavem was nominated for the 2014 Music Educator Grammy Award and was featured in Oprah Magazine, and Yes! Magazine, for his award winning curriculum, which is an album called “The Produce Section ”. Also featured in Nation19 Magazine’s Food Issue along with his wife and DJ Alkemia for their unprecedented unique strategy of introducing the subjects of food justice, organic gardening, and holistic health.
Enoch 7th Prophet
Representing: Washington, DC
For over a decade, Enoch 7th Prophet has been the go-to host and musician for creative HipHop projects in the nation’s capital. The favored DC native has shared stages and packed venues with HipHop moguls such as KRS-One, Redman, Keith Murray, Erick Sermon, Goodie Mob, and many more. Described as humble, laid back, and originative; Enoch takes on the persona of his inner voice when transforming in to the instant crowd and mic controller you see on stage.
Representing: Palestine/Detroit, MI
Breaking barriers as a white female from the upscale university town of Ann Arbor, MI, Alana “Invincible” Weaver gained fame in Detroit’s underground rap scene with her intelligent rhyme style. After moving from the Middle East to Michigan in elementary school, Weaver started writing poetry, and by the age of fifteen she was battling in freestyle competitions. In 1999 she was a semifinalist in that year’s BET-televised Blaze Battle and after meeting a similar-minded artist named Helixx at a local open-mic night, she moved to New York to take Helixx’s side in the female MC-fronted group the Anomalies. By 2002, she returned to Michigan and set up shop in Detroit. Shrugging off offers from major labels looking for “the female Eminem,” Invincible chose to start up her own independent label (Emergence) with hopes of releasing her future albums without any industry marketing agendas. Her long-awaited debut ShapeShifters was released in 2008. ~ Jason Lymangrover, Rovi
Representing: Detroit, MI
Dr. Kamran Rashid Khan better known by his stage name Lazarus is a Detroit-based American rapper, songwriter and physician of Pakistani descent. He is known for his singles Drug of Choice, Open Heart Surgery, Fearless and Underdog featuring Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Bizarre, Crooked I and Royce da 5’9″ respectively
Representing: New Haven, CT
A New Age Mc/Composer born and raised within the city confines of New Haven CT. His father native to Trinidad & Tobago and mother native to the United States. “Hip Hop” crept its way into his life at the age of 19.. when he needed some form of catharsis to cope with the violence in his area while simultaneously utilizing it as a way to commune with others. He saw a flaw in society that needed doctoring and a soft introduction to this was a 2014 EP Release titled ” Brand New Eyes (Vat in Perspective)” . A project produced by himself and one individual track produced by “Fanon Beat Maker”. The cd is comprised of 8 Tracks that covers Politics, Religion, Esoteric Knowledge and a eclectic sorts of commentary on our shared world. While still growing into his own, his only hope is that his music gives the necessary tools to uplift his own people as well as all of humanity from its knees and into the further of one’s true purpose and existence here on earth.
Representing: Houston, TX / Buffalo, NY
Quadir was home schooled for the majority of his educational career. Born in Houston, Texas, and moving to Buffalo NY for HighSchool, Quadir Ibn Lateef Habeeb was always destined to make a name for himself. Lateef is a force to be reckoned with. Inspired by greats like Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, and Tupac, Lateef wants to “spread a message of peace and righteousness.” Lateef’s content is what sets him apart from most emcees, which only accentuates his exceptional lyrical competence. He was the winner of Nation19’s 4 bar freestyle contest #Bars4Justice and later featured on the film #Bars4Justice coined after the contest. He was recently signed to Ruff Ryder and has upcoming music with Jadakiss, Freeway, and Dave East.
Representing: Seattle, WA
Christian Parrish Takes the Gun, professionally known as Supaman, is a Apsáalooke rapper from Seattle, Washington. The child of struggling alcoholics, he spent part of his childhood in foster care before being raised by his mother. He began DJing in the 90s after hearing a Litefoot song (with the two touring together in 1999), taking the name ‘Supaman’ at the spur of the moment in a DJ competition. He almost signed to a label in Seattle before a religious experience led him to return to his family on the reservation and begin writing Christian-oriented hip-hop. Featured in Nation19 Magazines’ Fall of America Issue, he explained how MCs that were talking had a struggle in society that Native American can relate to. By embracing his own culture, being himself, and expressing this through hiphop, Supaman was able to gain national recognition while uplifting his people with a message of accepting your own and being yourself.
Representing: Toronto Canada
Fareed Hindawi, A.K.A. Franco, is a 22 year old Hip-Hop MC, born in North York, Ontario. In his youth, Franco lived in Egypt during the 2011 and the 2013 political revolutions. This gave him much insight into the power of collaboration amongst people working towards a united goal. Thus, Unify Toronto was born. Unify Toronto is a collaborative group of individuals working to create harmony between the people of the world. The members of the movement share this common idea; the world is set apart by race, income, gender, and faith. Yet those who understand one cardinal rule will understand the purpose of Unify Toronto. The rule is this: the progress of humanity depends upon its unity. When materialism and excessive individuality take over, humanity becomes sick. We, Unify Toronto, aim to be the physicians. We are the painters, the musicians, and the poets of the voiceless youth in the world, honoring diversity by creating a new age through art.
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