Friday, 28 March 2008

The FACE of Hip-Hop!

Mike Faceless has seen it all. He stands over the world looking down and laughing. His stage presence is powerful, his delivery impeccable and his production will remind of you Jesus playing the trumpets.

Mike Faceless has overcame struggles you could never imagine in his efforts to gain acceptance and respect in the Hip Hop community. As the Faceless member of the True Artist Movement he took the Section 805 Emcee Battle Title and held it for 6 months in 2002. They won many battles on the battle circuit in LA also at Club Elements, Scribble Jam, and the Basement.

Battling is not Face’s strength though. He is an avid songwriter who digs deeper than most lyricists. in 2002 he wrote the song "Passenger" produced by Johnny 5 which is still a crowd favorite in performances today.

Mike Faceless then joined Pocket Change in 2004 and helped with the lyrics and production behind the "Put your Two Cents In" Mixtape, which is available on CDbaby, Itunes, and on this very page. With Pocket Change in Hiatus Mike Faceless Launched his solo career.

He is presently finished recording his debut album "Heir to the Throne" which will be release in 2 or 3 Months and available on Itunes and other online distribution outlets through newly formed Indie Hip Hop and Punk Rock label "Gutterbomb Records".

Although the majority of the album is produced by Mike Faceless himself, it also features production from Apathy (Demigodz), and Know Talent and features acts such as Triune, (Foot Soldiers), Bjones (Pocket Change), E from the LOST (Lost Tribe Bboys), and singing from Piera Klein (Glitterbomb Records).

This album has been anticipated amongst indie Hip Hop fans for over ten years and Faceless hopes it will meet the high expectations set for him by his peers.

HipHopInformant: How long have you been involved in Hip-Hop?

Faceless: I've been doing this for over 10 years now. I started rhyming when I was living in VA but kept it to myself for the most part. Now I'm as loud and open about it as it gets.

HipHopInformant: What made you get involved in Hip-Hop?

Faceless: I got involved in hip hop cause every time I listened to some sh#t I couldn't help but nod my head. Kids and I would get in arguments in the park about who's hot like Gravediggaz or tribe called quest and stuff. I couldn't help but bang beats on the table or start spitting in the mirror.

HipHopInformant: How would you describe the way you rap?

Faceless: I sound like Jesus on the trumpets with angels in the orchestra.. Haha. I don't know man you be the judge. All I know is every word is honest.

HipHopInformant: Where are you from and does where you're from influence your music?

Faceless: I'm from VA BEACH but I moved to Ca when I was 16, first in San Diego, then 805 area of Cali. I'm all over so I guess I picked up a little bit wherever I travelled.

HipHopInformant: Are there any artists that influence you?

Faceless: Right now as we speak, Lupe Fiasco is really moving me. Dude is on a good one. Honest and expressive plus his swag is real proper.

HipHopInformant: What are your views about the current state of Hip-Hop?

Faceless: Hip hop is not dead it just sleeps a lot. I feel like a lot of these artists just don't (work) hard enough to make good music cause they are all focused on that greenery without keeping the art alive.

HipHopInformant: What goes into making an album like "Heir to the Throne"?

Faceless: Being a king in my own right. I know I'm next in line. And I'm not saying I'm the king of the world or anything, I'm just confident that I'm good at what I do and my people believe in me.

HipHopInformant: Do you think Hip-Hop is more commercialized and less about the artist and the music?

Faceless: Honestly, I don't concentrate on that much. I could sit here and hate on people who are making the millions or I could learn from them. There is nothing wrong with making money doing what you love. The underground struggles because there is no innovation, in effect its as limited as the commercial market. Some people try to hard to stand out and all they end up doing its sticking out like a sore thumb. I just want to make good music and see what happens.

HipHopInformant: If you could change one thing about the Hip-Hop Industry what would that be?

Faceless: I would stop separating "commercial" from "underground" and just call it all hip hop. Some people are lyricists, some people are entertainers. Why cant the community leave it at that? Sometimes I want to hear some Atmosphere, and sometimes I just wanna dumb out and bump Lil Jon. Does this mean I'm a sellout?

HipHopInformant: Where did the Faceless part of your name come about?

Faceless: When I first started rhyming there wasn't too many white folks I knew about that were doing it, so I chose to be faceless so people would look past my skin tone.

HipHopInformant: Are there any up-and-coming artists that you'd like to work with?

Faceless: I'd like to work with Lupe Fiasco of course. Apathy would be nice to do a track with. He did some production for Heir to the Throne and the man makes some bangers. I'm looking to collab with rock groups also. I'm feeling Hassahn Phenomenon right now too. Sh#t, theres too many now that I think about it.

HipHopInformant: What does the future hold for Mike Faceless?

Faceless: The future? Heir to the Throne will be on ITUNES in May or June. I'm also working on some mixtapes, and I'm really trying to get my production more well known. You can hear the production @ and check my myspace out on Also I think there's another Pocket Change project coming soon. Until then, cop the Pocket Change - Put your two cents in Mixtape, off my page. Its got some crazy joints from my people in the camp. I produced a few of the tracks too. Until then, see you on stage! -Faceless.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Pimping in Pittsburgh!

The Pimps Of Thieves have come a long way. A decade in the making, the Pimps Of Thieves Have Developed from boys, into men. At an early age, Pimps Of Thieves saw success when the music they began making out of a Pittsburgh basement became well received by the Hip-Hop community in Pittsburgh. They come forceful, with a sound that combines classic Hip-Hop...with classic ballads of Jazz, Funk and Soul. A sound is created that is distinguishable, energising and fresh. The Pimps Of Thieves create lyrics that come unique, forceful and political and combine them with pounding beats and funky samples. The Pimps Of Thieves are working on an album that will bring powerful hooks and shed light on relevant issues we face today. Along with the album, a 12 stop tour of the United States...with 2 planned international stops at festivals in Shanghai and Belgium. Get ready for the PIMPS OF THIEVES.

HipHopInformant: How long have you been involved in Hip-Hop?

Pimps Of Thieves: For about ten years we have been making music. In the beginning it was much more relaxed though. Just a drum set, a microphone, and a basement to play in. We were still in middle school when it all started, so we have developed a lot.

HipHopInformant: How would you describe your music?

Pimps Of Thieves: True. Distinct. Relevant... It revolves around a mutual love for hip-hop, but with respect to all great music. You will hear elements of rock, funk, and soul in many of our songs. Most importantly is our lyrical content that is socially relevant, as well as other tracks that stay true to who we are. There will not be one track on our upcoming album where we don't remain true to ourselves.

HipHopInformant: What got you involved with Hip-Hop?

Pimps Of Thieves: A combination of things. Growing up in the inner city, being raised in the public school system, hip-hop was very evident in our environment. Plus we had parents and teachers who encouraged us to follow our musical interests from a very young age.

HipHopInformant: Are there any artists that influence you and your music?

Pimps Of Thieves: Yes, and there are way too many to list. Bottom line though, what got us into making music to begin with... was great music. Anyone making music and doing a great job at it has probably inspired us, and a lot of other people, to make some great music. It starts with hip-hop influences but goes decades before hip-hop was even born yet.

HipHopInformant: “The Establishment” is a strong song and has a very strong message. Does your other music in general have a message?

Pimps Of Thieves:Yes, "The Establishment" certainly has seemed to have struck a nerve within Myspace and some of our other internet sources. We will have one or two more politically/socially influenced tracks on the album. We think that people are frustrated with the lies and misjudgments of our government and "The Establishment" in particular, came with forceful lyrics in such an intelligent way. Not all of our topics revolve around those issues though. You will hear everything from songs about the sold-out music industry, to life growing up, to sunny days, to representing ourselves and our city. If we had to some up our music in general... we would say it's simply "us". It's what we are, who we've become, what we've seen, and what we are thinking.

HipHopInformant: How did the name Pimps of Thieves come about?

Pimps Of Thieves: It's basically a play-on-words derived from the name "Prince of Thieves", from the classic tale of Robin Hood. Coincidentally, similar to Robin Hood's tale... we think the popular music of today is too much in the hands of the rich and greedy executives, who don't care about the quality of what they are putting out. We intend to give some quality music back to the people who have been patiently waiting.
Let's just say we came up with the name in a basement... most likely with a box of phillies, some funky smelling substance, a karaoke machine, a bunch of VHS tapes, and a good case of the laughs.

HipHopInformant: What is your view on the state of Hip-Hop at this moment?

Pimps Of Thieves: Overall, pathetic. A lack of real musical thought going into the instrumentals. And a complete lack of lyrical skill and content in the songs now. This isn't said to discredit those still doing their thing.... they are still out there. They are just becoming a minority now in hip-hop.

HipHopInformant: What is the most enjoyable thing about performing?

Pimps Of Thieves: Watching people sing along to songs you wrote. The crowd’s reaction. Meeting the fans. Adrenaline rush!

HipHopInformant: What does the future hold for Pimps of Thieves?

Pimps Of Thieves: The near future holds an album. We have been working on it for a while now, and are really pleased with the tracks we have done so far. We have about 8 finished, and only about five more to go before we are ready to release it. The plan is to have it available through all major CD stores and internet stores. Details will be announced soon. After that we hope to tour, but nothing is set in stone yet. For any information, the best place to always check is New songs are being posted every couple of weeks.

Friday, 14 March 2008

REKing the Mic!

As a youngster, REKS was into break dancing and was a part of the Funk Town Connection(FTC) dancing crew that competed around the city of
Lawrence. Soon after he would begin to experiment with the rhyming element of the culture, first by mimicking the styles of some of his early heroes, then by penning lyrics of his own.

As the years passed, REKS began to gain notoriety around his hometown as an impressive emcee through cypher battles and stage performances. Upon entering college at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, REKS' thirst for the microphone continued to progress. After a year at the university, REKS would venture off to a flourishing Boston underground scene where he would begin penning his classic debut "Along Came the Chosen" under the guidance of his Generation X team formed with Soul Searchers production, manager Shay Boogs, and group members Lucky Dice, Chi Knox and Kiki Breevlife.

Countless other members were affiliated to form a solid foundation. Brick Records would release his critically acclaimed LP which would see him nominated for best Boston Hip-Hop Album & Artist of the Year. REKS would go on to be featured in the Source, XXL, VIBE and URBS next 100 to blow up all while charting at the top of college radios play list and placing 45 on Billboards hot new singles chart with Skills 101.

HipHopInformant: How long have you been involved in Hip-Hop?

REKS: Seems like all my life but I grew up listening to the likes of KRS One, Rakim, Slick Rick, Kane and LL so I began in a Golden Era where the art form was pure and raw...I feel like out the incubator there was hip-hop flowing in my veins, lol....its deep!

HipHopInformant: What made you get involved in Hip-Hop?

REKS: I started out learning how to break-dance with my cousins as a young'n and when I first saw Beat Street I would spit Kool Moe Dees rhymes from the Christmas Rap.....from there I began penning my own lyrics and the rest is Reks.

HipHopInformant: Where are you from and do you think where you’re from influences your music?

I was born in
Lawrence, MA and I spent later years in Boston and I def think there are influences in my styles bred by the area I am from. I grew up in a very poor city which was small in comparison to your typical surroundings I use everything I have seen in my travels as material to write about for people to digest....

HipHopInformant: How would you describe the way you rap as?

REKS: I feel it passionate and soulful as well as raw and uncut....

HipHopInformant: What are your views on the state of Hip-Hop at this present moment in time?

Majority of rap sucks and we to blame so I don’t wanna dwell on it but I am taking full responsibility for the lack of creativity and imagination with my new album “Grey Hairs”....Statik Selektah and I are releasing my third solo album soon and we plan to elevate sh*t to where it is supposed to be...

HipHopInformant: If there was one thing you could change about Hip-Hop what would it be?

REKS: The lack of attention to good artists.

HipHopInformant: Does your music have a message? If so, what is the message?

REKS: I don’t have an exact theme that resonates but I will say this, when someone opens my CD, I’m talking two fans or two million, I want them to feel like they heard something timeless, where they can comeback years later and dig my records....and want them to be able to relate.

HipHopInformant: What is the most enjoyable thing about performing?

REKS: The rush...the energy between me and the crowd.

HipHopInformant: How did the name REKS come about?

REKS: It’s an acronym.....Rhythmatic Eternal King Suspense or Supreme.....reks is king and I wanted to just connect with the idea of something elite.....

HipHopInformant: Are there any artists that influence you?

Too many to taste is eclectic...I love Stevie Wonder and Biggie Smalls, Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd...Scarface, Outkast, Nas, Common the Wu....John

HipHopInformant: What does the future hold for REKS?

REKS: Hopefully alot and I just want to remain blessed....I appreciate the time you took with me big up and much success to you.....Grey Hairs album coming soon....Statik Selektahs SPELL MY NAME RIGHT in stores now.....peace boss.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

ADDing something new 2 Hip-Hop!

Add-2 has managed to introduce his fresh brand of hip hop mixed with jazz and live instrumentation to the public which has been easily embraced by people of all walks of life. Citing influences from not only hip hop legends such as Nas and Jay-Z but also prolific artist such as John Coltrane, John Mayer and Terence Blanchard explains his ability to dive head first into different subject matters ranging from the upbeat good vibes (Get Down, This Ain't Funny and Declaration) down to the heart felt touching songs (How Can I, Break It Down and Walk With Me) all while effortlessly taking you on a lyrical high.

Add-2 has gained respect from both mainstream and underground artist, poets, DJ's and A&R's such as Marsha Ambrosius (Floetry), Teedra Moses (TVT), Nalege (of Kidz In The Hall), Dj Mike Love, Dj Envy, Red Storm (Def Poet), Dan Sully (Def Poet) and featured on as apart of their DXNext Artist spotlight. This
Chicago bred emcee & radio show host shows no signs of slowing down on introducing the rest of the world to his music for "everyday people".

HipHopInformant: What made you get involved with Hip-hop?

Add-2: I got involved with Hip Hop thanks to my cousins and my friends, it was still being looked at as a fad but they showed me groups like Kris Kross and Naughty By Nature and from then on I was hooked. I was born in the mid 80's and raised in the 90's so we're like the 1st generation raised in Hip Hop and a lot of kids my age are a part of Hip Hop in some form or fashion.

HipHopInformant: How long have you been involved with Hip-Hop?

Add-2: I've always been into the Hip Hop culture ever since I was little. I never really seen myself rapping until about Jr high school when my friend told me to rap. Everyday he would tell me to freestyle, so we would rap on the bus, at the lunch table, in the gym, mall, the car and everywhere else in between. I started getting better and people was constantly encouraging me to pursue it.

HipHopInformant: Are there any artists that influence you?

Add-2: One of my biggest influences is Stevie Wonder, he amazes me. He writes very poetic and layered meaning you can always find something new in it. A lot of the work he's done for himself and other people is considered classic and timeless. One day I hope to be the rap Stevie Wonder haha. I listen to Lupe, Kanye, Common, Bone, Jay-Z, Nas, John Coltrane and too many others to name. I'm starting to get into George Winston who did all the Charlie Brown cartoon songs too, homey was a genius.

HipHopInformant: Is there a message to your music?

Add-2: Yes, I believe that if you are given the opportunity to talk to the people you should give them something that will help them better themselves. Even though I know a lot of artists don’t want to be looked at as role models I think we all, including everyday people, have to be just that. The message I want my listeners to gain from Add-2 is to never let your location determine become your limitation; strive for as much as you can while you're living and to start trying to live better. All this senseless killing has to stop.

HipHopInformant: What do you find most enjoyable about performing?

Add-2: Interacting with the fans cause its just as much fun for me as it is for them, especially when I travel. It’s amazing to see different places and party with different people. I love to have fun and entertain and once I step on that stage its like this indescribable feeling that I get and anyone who's an entertainer will tell you that its a beautiful feeling.

HipHopInformant: What is your view on the Hip-Hop industry at the moment? Do you think that Hip-Hop is becoming more commercial?

Add-2: Hip Hop has become a market, at first it wasn’t because mainstream
America didn't know how to market it nor did it want to. Now that they see there's a lot of money to make from it, they've embraced it. There's a good and bad side to it because I don't care for some the formulated garbage they have been releasing lately but I think it’s good that we are in a position where a company will even back us. A lot of our rap fore-fathers fought for us to get the type contracts we're capable of getting but its up to us to do our homework and take advantage of this system cause we have more tools.

HipHopInformant: Do you think that Hip-Hop has the same impact as it did when say, Public Enemy were in their prime?

Add-2: It has to be because it has people throwing rolls of money in the air for the sake of looking fly and that’s one of the dumbest things ever associated with Hip Hop. The impact can be just as effective but at this point and time no one who's in the higher ranking wants to say anything worthwhile. I feel the people mind state has changed since then, we're too focused on ourselves to even think about the welfare of others.

HipHopInformant: How did the name Add-2 come about?

Add-2: It came from my initials A-D-D and I was the 2nd child, my father always told me whatever you have don't take anything away from it, just Add to it. I took that as my own personal model for my own growth.

HipHopInformant: What does the future hold for Add-2?

Add-2: A lot bigger things in the works so definitely stayed tuned. I'm finishing up a mixtape entitled 'Tale Of Two's City Vol.2', then I'm working on an EP with Slot-A called 'Project 94' and two more projects following those two. Go to for updates.