theLAnd Release Party & Fundraiser
Open Mike Eagle
With eyes refocusing on the Los Angeles underground hip-hop scene, Open Mike Eagle is poised to become the latest in an illustrious line of MCs to step out of the Los Angeles underground and onto the national stage. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Open Mike cut his teeth rapping with fellow broad shoulder underground MCs before moving to Los Angeles in 2004. He has since settled in with LA's Project Blowed, co-founding the crews Thirsty Fish and the Swim Team, while earning a rep as both an intelligent rhyme writer and a formidable battle MC. Gifted with a facile style, knack for droll wordplay, and penchant for penning memorable hooks that recalls fellow Blowed alums Mikah-9 and Abstract Rude, Open Mike Eagle presents art rap for the masses.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Brandon had a very musical brother, Marcus Coleman who taught him how to play piano and organ. He attended the Colburn School of Performing arts, or as we would say... The Juilliard of the west, where he studied jazz concepts and practical theory under the Tutelage of Saxophonist Mr. Lee Secard and Trumpeter Mr. Clay Jenkins. Being an L.A. native, Brandon has very quickly surrounded himself around entertainments finest. Brandon is a consummate professional in the music industry, with a list of accomplishments and credits that spans decades.
Brandon has had the privilege of performing with the industries most sought after musicians including the likes of Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds, Alicia Keys, Mr. Stanley Clark, Kenny Garret, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Miller, Nicholas Payton, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, Robin Thicke, Sheila E., Ledisi, Rachelle Ferrell, Brain Mcknight, The Coors, Will-I- Am, SHUGGIE OTIS, Ludacris, Angie Stone, Betty Wright, Tina Marie, Jamie Foxx, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Jonathan Buttler, Patrice Rushen, Esperanza Spaulding and many more.
Three years ago, Baths dropped his startlingly beautiful debut, Cerulean. Released on Anticon, the record blurred the line between post-modern pop and the LA beat scene with devastating emotional clarity. Its tone was as celestial as its album title, taken from a shade of blue typically used to describe the sky.
Cerulean earned year-end “Best Of” recognition from Pitchfork and The Onion’s A.V. Club and established Chatsworth-raised Will Wiesenfeld as one of the finest young composers (and falsettos) in Los Angeles. His sophomore album, Obsidian finds him emerging as one of the most complete artists of his generation. As you might expect, the name hints at darker overtones. The mood is shimmering and pitch-black, the lovely blood flow has turned into lava.
“I’ve always been inspired by really dark material and from the beginning I knew I wanted the songs to be much darker, both musically and lyrically,” Baths says.
Following the success of his first album, Baths spent much of the next year touring to progressively larger audiences. He also released an ethereal ambient project under the Goetic name. When he returned home in July of 2011 to record his sophomore effort, he was bedridden for months because of the E. Coli bacterial virus, barely able to digest solid food and bereft of creative energy.
Obsidian understandably has these scars etched into its imprint. The first song is called “Worsening,” subsequent cuts include “Ossuary,” “No Past Lives” and “Earth Death.” While the mood is often bleak, it’s never bloated. “Miasma Sky” balances being “swallowed alive by the sky” with a gorgeous piano groove and levitative croon that could detonate a disco club night. The album is unusually cohesive, suffused with heavenly choirs, head-nodding percussion, erotic lyrics, and wry humor
“The songs and lyrics all came out of a pretty fucked and arduous process of trial and error,” Baths says. ”But I hope people understand that I’m not the depressed, suicidal, and death-obsessed person the record may paint me as being. These are just darker areas that I wanted to explore.”
The areas of exploration include reading and research into the Dark Ages and the black plague, different versions of Hell as spied through Dante’s Inferno, the Bible, and old world illuminated manuscripts and paintings. These noirish fascinations met the virtuosic chops of a 24-year old who has been playing piano for 20 years.
“Anything I found that felt like a unique vision of darker emotions or atmospheres, I tried to absorb,” Baths says. “Being a positive and outgoing guy made it that much more difficult getting into that mindset. It was a matter of tapping into that and returning with songs that felt genuine and somehow from my own personal experience.”
This is the power of Obsidian. It combines universal questions with personal pain. On just his second album, Baths exhibits what only a few artists are capable of: painting in any shade they desire.
The L.A. underground has many voices, some covered in grit and dirt, some slapping the halt, some hitting high and brassy -- but none ring truer than that of Nocando. A seasoned member of the hip-hop community who isn't content to count his battle scars by the dozens, Nocando brings fresh rhymes week after week at the world-renowned club night Low End Theory where he is the resident host, as well as to a variety of steazy joints all around the West Coast... .. With a witty style and open voice, Nocando's raps are unpredictable, funny and lean towards social commentary, although this MC is just as likely to tell you about a wild night on the streets of L.A. as to make a point about the fallacies of the music industry. Brash and confident while also being laid back, Nocando's lyrical delivery is an apt representative of the California attitude. Winner of the MC Battle at the 2007 Scribble Jam, the largest hip-hop festival in the nation, Nocando's mouth often seems to have a life of its own, throwing an excited energy onto any crowd he meets and providing an important connection between the music and the dance floor... .. Nocando's debut album, ..Jimmy the Lock.., drops on Alpha Pup Records January 26th, 2010; the initial single "Hurry Up and Wait" has garnered raving reviews from widespread locales and boasts beats from the top of the Los Angeles underground: Nosaj Thing, Nobody, Daedelus, Thavius Beck, Free the Robots, Maestroe, Th' Corn Gang and with scratching by Gaslamp Killer. The MC has also released a myriad of collaborations with artists such as Subtitle, Aceyalone, Murs, Luckyiam, Busdriver, Abstract Rude, 2mex, and many others... .. Never afraid to get dirty, Nocando has won (and lost) numerous rap battles. Countless Thursday nights spent spitting freestyle in Leimert Park in the Crenshaw District of South Central L.A. established him as Project Blowed's new school poster boy and a Customer Service hard hitter. The tireless MC has traveled to New York City, Boston, Canada, France, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Japan and many other locations giving international music fans a taste of Los Angeles' main exports: blue collars, brown skies, bright lights, and bullshit... .. With almost a decade of active duty in the L.A. beat scene and plenty of battle trophies under his belt, Nocando has earned the respect of peers, veterans and newcomers alike. Unpredictable and vivacious, Nocando will light any night and every crowd with his clever words and dynamic delivery style. With the continued convergence of the hip hop and electronic music communities in Los Angeles and around the world, Nocando is poised to shout his drops from the peak of the movement all the way to the vibrating dance floor of the underground...
DJ Rhettmatic x Melo-D of the Beat Junkies
DJ Rhettmatic (born Nazareth Rhett Nirza) is a member of the Beat Junkies DJ crew. Rhettmatic began his DJ career in 1983 with the DJ group Double Platinum, and was one of the founding members of Beat Junkie crew.
In 1995, Rhettmatic released an album with partner, KeyKool (MC/Producer), Kozmonautz. Key-Kool & Rhettmatic's album is regarded as one of the first nationally recognized hip-hop albums by an Asian-American group, and received critical acclaim by notable hip-hop publications such as the Source Magazine, Rappages, Rap Sheet, URB Magazine.
In 1996, Rhettmatic claimed the title of DMC (Disco Mix Club) West Coast Champion, and in 1997 along with fellow Beat Junkies DJ Babu, DJ Melo-D and DJ J-Rocc, claimed the title of ITF (International Turntablist Federation) Team World Champions.
spoken word by Amde Hamilton of the Watts Prophets