Special Guests: Slick Rick: The Ruler
Richard Walters (born January 14, 1965), better known by stage names Slick Rick, MC Ricky D and The Ruler, is a rapper. Originally from South Wimbledon, London, England, he moved with his family to The Bronx in 1975 where he met B-Weezy who taught him how to rap. He has always credited "B" from St. Louis for his success with his career. Rick's characteristic eyepatch was acquired after being blinded in the right eye by broken glass as an infant. He is best known for a series of rap recordings during the 1980s, including "Children's Story" and "La Di Da Di". -Charlie Rock of Harlem World crew was instrumental in bringing Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh together when Doug requested an introduction after he had seen him win local MC battle contests. It was at an MC contest at the 369 Armory on 142nd street in Harlem, given by promotion partners Ray Chandler & Charlie Rock, that Rick & Doug were formally introduced by Rock. -As a 20-year-old in the summer of 1985 he scored his first big hits (with Doug E. Fresh), "La Di Da Di" and "The Show" and "All the Way Down" circa. 1986. -Slick Rick released the song "La Di Da Di" back in the early 1980s which features Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew. His first album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick was released in 1988 while he was living in New York City. "Children's Story", which appears on The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, is one of the most famous songs in rap and has been covered by Black Star, Black Rob, Everlast, Messy Marv, Tricky's side project Nearly God, UK rapper Ramson Badbones, Björk, Nonpoint, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Japanese rapper Zeebra. "Children's Story" was also featured on the videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Playback FM, a classic hip-hop station. The album attained platinum status, but Rick was unable to exploit this due to an arrest for attempted murder. He shot a bystander and his cousin whom he’d hired as a body guard and who later admitted to having Walters shot outside a club in 1991. Russell Simmons, head of Def Jam records, bailed him out and Rick quickly recorded The Ruler's Back before spending five years in prison, two for the second degree attempted murder charges he received for that shooting, and three while hassling with Immigrations Services over his residency in the US. "La Di Da Di", "Mona Lisa" and "Children's Story" are among his best known songs, with "La Di Da Di" being covered nearly word-for-word by Snoop Dogg on his 1993 album Doggystyle.
Born on the South Side of Chicago, Rodney “F. Stokes” Lucas was raised in the extreme conditions familiar to the millions of American’s who have experience with America’s urban ghettoes. F.Stokes, the eldest of six siblings, grew up in a single-mother household. In F.Stokes case, the term “household” is a misnomer, as his childhood was characterized by frequent address changes, and a stint at a homeless shelter.
F.Stokes music depicts the stark and brutal realities of the impoverished urban experience. However, F.Stokes chooses not to glamorize the circumstances of his upbringing. Rather than capitalizing on the misconceptions of the modern black experience that have begun to dominate the hip-hop landscape, F.Stokes provides thoughtful insight into the plight of black men in our nation’s largest cities.
Through vivid imagery and skillful wordplay F.Stokes reinterpret the thematic traditions of the soul and blues movements for a new generation of music fans. Beneath F.Stokes undeniable talent as a lyricist, he is driven by a deep sense of responsibility to promote progress and compassion with his music.
Phranchyze is The Black Larry Bird.
"Phranchyze is quite literally battling his way to national prominence. The 26-year-old local rapper, otherwise known as financial adviser J.J. Shaw, is an emerging star…" (Austin Powell of Austin Chronicle).
The Nigerian-American born Jason Herman Alan-Jamal Shaw-Ogunro, JJ, has been curating his combative inflections in Austin since junior high. At the age of 16, Phranchyze won seven local hip-hop battles in a row, and knew that he had found his craft. Today, Featured in the international "battle" spotlight, he's consistently more jarring, charismatic, funny, and witty than any competitors. Phranchyze's YouTube portfolio of rap battles is conducive to wasting work hours. Having released over five full length albums and mix-tapes, his studio work is often regarded as vivid, concise rhymes mixed with compelling, moving beats. Over the past ten years, Phranchyze's unheard of "freestyle" skill has created a unique image that evokes intelligent, affluent thought.
Whether for underground hip-hop networks like Grind Time Now, or Eminem-sanctioned Red Bull promos, Phranchyze's features are top notch, winding, eight-to-ten minute slabs of humanism. In 2007, he cruised to the finals of the World Rap Championships, instinctively touting his Austin, Texas roots with a chip on his shoulder. Placing 3rd at the international finals in New York City, Phranchyze was able to add another impressive title to his other success:
2 x Rap Olympics Champion '04
World Rap Championships Houston Division Winner '07
5 X No Hurt Feelings Freestyle Battle Champion '07, '08
Toyota Scion "Keys to the City" Freestyle Battle Champion '08
2 x Epedemiic Freestly Battle Champion '09, '10
Red Bull "Road to Eight Mile" Freestlye Champion '10
5x Voted top ten in Austin Hip-Hop: '06, '07, '08′ '09 '10.
Phranchyze's battle career has developed a unique personality for the rapper, and has differentiated his brand in the international genre.
"He'll do homework on adversaries and pen exquisite one-liners, but leave the room and you will find a man that can flip a moment and leave an album in stitches with signatures." On Flowmasters (2006, 2007), Phranchyze was smooth, crispy, and hungry to show the world his abilities. His crossover style burst on Customs (2008), and featured themes that blew the album into a behemoth regional sneaker pimp anthem he'd win you over with. Released at the SXSW festival in 2009, Errybody Hates Me, took the flow high octane. Featuring mix-tape legend DJ Rapid Ric, the work featured Phranchyzes love for Austin and annoyance with popular culture. The Black Larry Bird was Phranchyze unhinged. Featuring stalker odes to porn stars, learned hometown hero raps brimming with persona, his biggest hooks, best laid to wax stanzas, and over the top production value, the album is Phranchyze's latest work and beginning to grow esteem in the local and regional marketplace.
Explore the region and you will find that Phranchyze not only freestyles, but writes and creates unique material. With packed, sweaty, and booming shows around Texas, Phranchyze has set the table for an aggressively fruitful 2011. It'll be a banner year.