Torae

If you reside anywhere on the planet earth it’s safe to say TORAE has rocked a venue in your city, laced three out of five albums you have in heavy rotation and all of your friends follow his lead on twitter. In this digital age where the traditional grind is almost completely lost, he continues to take it to the max as a minimalist. Why? Because he loves it, so he's gonna spit it until you all get it. For over a decade TORAE has been giving us gritty yet lyrically driven hip-hop. As the story goes a Bad Boy Records employee recognized the real dripping from his demo and included him on an independent compilation album in the late 90’s. He never looked back and soon began blessing the hottest DJs from coast to coast on their mixtapes. This Coney Island bred MC went from obscurity to customizing a track for LeBron James' signature IV shoe and recording with gold & platinum selling producers faster than a ride on The Cyclone. After dropping a pair of DJ Premier produced masterpieces alongside Skyzoo in 2007, the streets were salivating for a solo release. Fast forward to February 08’ when via his own label, Internal Affairs Entertainment, he delivered the goods with Daily Conversation. Beats by household names 9th Wonder, Black Milk and Khrysis provided the perfect backdrop and the album instantly incited him a feature on iTunes as an indie spotlight artist. You may have read about the first single "Click" in XXLmag.com’s “Banger” section or virtually every hip hop website and blog. With the success of Daily Conversation under his belt TORAE took to the stage internationally. Known to command a crowd, he joined Masta Ace on the Once More Tour; performing for tens of thousands in countries like Canada, Poland, Germany and Romania. After touring the world and building a discography that rivals the most prolific of MCs, the music kept calling him, and he joined forces with Marco Polo to crash the industry party with 2009’s Double Barrel. Newly signed to independent powerhouse Duck Down Records, the duo's dynamic chemistry concocted arguably the hardest album of the year. Double Barrel received rave reviews, earning the team an XL rating in the July 09’issue of XXL Magazine and a spot as one of BET.com's top 12 indie albums. Meeting the mainstream and still resonating at sub levels, the two were victorious at the 2009 Underground Music Awards winning Indie Album of the Year. His heavy video rotation on MTVu was telling; TORAE's traditional boom bap had us reminiscing, yet hoping that he was the future. There isn't a media outlet TORAE hasn't touched. If you’ve ever perused the pages of XXL Magazine, you know he’s been a three time Chairman's Choice pick and highlighted in the May 08' Show and Prove section. The young veteran has been noted in Hip Hop Weekly’s “Next To Blow” and The Source’s “Off the Radar” column and has also been featured in Gas Face (France), Rap Mag (France) and Juice (Germany) magazines internationally. He’s murdered the microphone on MTV2's “Sucker Freestyle” and was covered for the networks “Independence Day” show. Just down the dial you may have seen him on BET’s Rap City “Spit Your Game” segment or on their late night program “The Deal”. He’s been a MySpace Music feature and had prime real estate on the website with a homepage banner. Be it highly coveted spins on New York City’s Hot 97 and Power 105fm, national play on Sirius XM Satellite radio or on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 video game you name it, he’s got it. And not only on his own projects but his countless appearances including Statik Selektah's Stick 2 the Script, DJ Spinna's Sonic Smash and 9th Wonder's Dream Merchant Vol. 2. TORAE doesn’t just rhyme about the violent streets; he's also a force between the sheets. As he gears up for the release of his Heart Failure mixtape prepare to feel a flow that is not all timberland boots & hoodie inspired. The ten track tape shows Tor's versatility of subject matter, and travels through a relationship from the hills to the valleys. He’s comfortable embarking on this journey, and continues to prove that each time he puts his pen to paper, it increases in potency. With something for the underground, the ladies, college students and even gamers; TORAE has us hanging onto his every word, anticipating what will come next. He’s burst onto the scene and demonstrated a staying power and fluidity likened to the legends in the business. If he's not already on your top list of MCs, grab your late pass & get onboard.

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Soul Khan

Soul Khan’s distinctive booming voice and personality break the stereotypical mold of an MC. He started rapping during his junior high school years and dabbled in the underground rap battles. It wasn't until November 2008 when Soul Khan started taking his rap career seriously. He moved to Brooklyn, NY, got a job at the world renowned Fat Beats and formed the underground hip hop collective Brown Bag Allstars with his co-workers.

From 2008 to 2010, Soul Khan amassed a large fan following as he quickly become one of the best battle rappers in the battle league circuits. His battles have amassed a cumulative total of over 6 million combined views on YouTube. During late 2010, Soul Khan retired from battling and focused all his energy on making music.

Since November 2010, Soul Khan has released a free album, Soul Like Khan and four EPs (Acknowledgement, Resolution, Pursuance, & Wellstone). In this short time, he has been featured on media outlets such as MTV, MTV2, BET.com, Complex, Fader, AOL, 2Dopeboyz, Gobal Grind, Allhiphop.com, The Source, XXL, & Okayplayer.

To date, Soul Khan has performed in the United Kingdom, SXSW, the Warped Tour, CMJ Music Festival, A3C Hip Hop Festival, Fun Fun Fun Festival, and NACA music festivals.

It used to be that thousands of new fans discovered Soul Khan every day from his entertaining MC battles. Now fans are discovering him by the music he continues to create

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Maffew Ragazino

Armed with pure lyrical prowess and with the hunger and talent that comes along with a Brooklyn emcee pedigree, Maffew enters Hip-Hop as an Artist on a mission. Growing up in the Brownsville Section of Brooklyn, New York, Maffew began rhyming at the age of 7, during a time in Hip-Hop when rappers and rap groups were as different from one another, as one day is to the next. Influenced by his youngest uncle who kept the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Notorious B.I.G., Brand Nubian, A Tribe Called Quest, Snoop and Dre, Slick Rick, KRS-One, and so on, in heavy rotation Maffew was both nurtured and forced to "push his pen" at an early age. Having spent a number of years in Virginia, he was able to fully focus and hone every aspect of his repertoire. His presence in the booth similar to that of a confident quarterback in the pocket, Maffew makes and arranges songs of various contents, flows, pace and purpose, that both summarize the environment as well as capture the moment.

Maffew eventually would return to BK- and with the team coming together- bubbling quietly- like the thunderous roar from the 3 train leaving Brooklyn, his talent would not go unrecognized. The young, up and coming emcee was quickly enlisted by Shakedown's very own, Bad Boy/Konvict recording artist Red Café, for his album with DJ Envy called "The Co-Op" in which Maffew featured on two tracks (Invincible, Section 8). Then under his moniker St. Maffew, he also appeared on the Boot Camp Clik General, Sean Price's mixtape "Kimbo Price"(Weed & Hoes). Since then Maffew has ventured out and collaborated with artist such as Das Racist, Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, Mr. MFN eXquire, Skyzoo, Torae, and a host of others.

“I originally met Maffew when he was 15, in a store where everyone was battling. I thought he was the best out of all of them lyrically but thought he needed to grow up because his voice wasn't there. Flash-forward, a few years later I met him again when he grew up and his voice was right, his rhymes, and his swag. He is an artist. So right from there, I started fucking with him.”- DJ Clark Kent (abcdrduson.com interview excerpt)

After gaining the respect from some of hip-hops heavyweights, Maffew and his Independent record label Cash In Cash Out Records L.L.C. are ready to make their own path. Presently Maffew has 3 critically acclaimed releases under the belt (Where I'm From The Experience E.P., Rare Gems The Collection Hosted by DJ Delz and DJ Dub Floyd and Rhyme Pays presented by Boundless and Peter Rosenberg). Those critically acclaimed projects gained Maffew national media exposure with 4 video’s in rotation on MTV Jams/MTVU, two interviews with DJ Envy on MTV2 Sucker Free and his first appearance on BET 106 and park follow Friday. Ragazino or Sr. as some may call him is a pure talent with the ability to be honest while crafting his music and will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future

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