When he's doing business, Cash Money Records CEO Bryan Williams uses his real name, but when he grabs the mic to spit Dirty South raps, Williams goes by the names Birdman or Baby. Williams formed Cash Money in 1991 with his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams. Releases by B.G., the Hot Boys, Juvenile, and many others built the Cash Money empire into a Dirty South powerhouse. Williams himself displayed his vocal skills on the Hot Boys albums, but it was with Cash Money's in-house producer, Mannie Fresh, that he really made his mark. The two formed the group Big Tymers in 1997 and made of series of albums that became Dirty South favorites. He broke out on his own with Baby aka the #1 Stunna in 2002. After the album's release, he oversaw an urban footwear collection for the Lugz company, narrated the video game Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition, and appeared in the 2005 movie Beauty Shop. Three years after his solo debut, Birdman released his second solo album, Fast Money. In 2006 he teamed with his "surrogate son," Lil Wayne, for Like Father, Like Son.
Ajani (uh-jon-ee) Asante (A.K.A. "AJ") has been singing professionally around the world, performing lead and background vocals, for and with some very notable artists/groups for over two decades.
His impressive work has included recent background vocal work on "Praise the Lord (Skate Mix)" featuring Rollah & Full Assurance (which appeared on John Redmon & Friends: Faith, Love & Unity, Vol 1). The project garnered a nomination for a 2009 Independent Gospel Award. He later performed on a bonus track for the re-release of the same project, performing one of Stevie Wonder's ballads, "I Can Only Be Me", which is a cover tune from the sound track to Spike Lee's movie, "School Daze".
Currently, AJ is taking center stage and is burning up the charts with his hot, new single "Can't Breathe" which has electronic, dance and R&B overtones. "Can't Breathe" is guaranteed to get dancers working up a sweat on dancefloors around the world. Track appears on John Redmon's junior album release, "S'Agapos" (which is Greek for I Love You). To be released August 2011.
AJ is a young man who is gifted and full of artistic surprises and talents. For not only is he a well-seasoned, industry vocalist, but is also an award-winning dancer/choreographer.
AJ's dance experience began in New York City, NY, in which he started out taking classes in ballet, modern, jazz, tap and african dance at the tender age of nine. His first professional job as a dancer came when he was just thirteen years old. He has since been contracted as a background dancer in music videos and in several live tours for various top hip hop artists, such as: Salt n Pepa, M.C. Shan, Finesse & Synquess, Guy, Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, Mary J. Blige and a host of others. Those experiences have taken this young man to the cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta and even as far as Tokyo, Japan. He feels that dance has been a great source of training and inspiration, allowing him to follow his dreams toward his destiny.
AJ is a strong believer in education. He holds two Bachelor of Science degrees in Elementary Education and Child Psychology from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. Failure is not an option for Mr. Asante. AJ believes, motivates and encourages all who come in his pathway that there is nothing you can not achieve if you really want it. He understands that dreams can and will come true when you learn the principle of fusing faith, hard work and patience together. His motto is: "The sky is only the beginning, but never the limit."
Influenced by the unpredictable rhymes of Missy Elliot along with the sexually charged attitudes of Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown, Queens native Nicki Minaj was discovered thanks to her MySpace page. It was there that Dirty Money Entertainment CEO Fendi first heard her ability to freestyle and first laid eyes on her steamy set of promo shots. With killer curves she was obviously proud to flaunt plus a background in the performing arts thanks to the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art the school that had inspired the movie Fame Minaj was a perfect fit for Fendi's urban DVD magazine, The Come Up. She appeared in numerous volumes, including number 11, which spotlighted her future label boss, superstar rapper Lil Wayne. Through Fendi, Wayne contacted Minaj and signed her to his Young Money label. They began to build her career through mixtapes like Lil Wayne's Dedication 3 and Minaj's own Sucka Free. Meanwhile, appearances on various remixes everything from T.I.'s "No Matter What" to Jeffree Star's club track "Cupcakes Taste Like Violence" helped spread the word. The big breakthrough came when Wayne added his rhymes to her "High as a Kite" single, a mixtape favorite in 2008. The year 2009 would see more guest appearances and mixtapes including the Beam Me up Scotty mixtape which featured the street single "I Get Crazy. In 2010, the singles Your Love and Check It Out preceded the release of her official debut album, Pink Friday.
Rihanna established her dance-pop credentials in summer 2005 with her debut smash hit, "Pon de Replay," and continued to demonstrate hit potential in subsequent years (e.g., "S.O.S." in 2006; "Umbrella" in 2007; "Disturbia" in 2008). However, it was the singer's third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, that made her a full-fledged international pop star with a regular presence atop the charts. Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, she exhibited a certain star quality as a young child, often winning beauty and talent contests. Because she lived on the fairly remote island of Barbados in the West Indies, however, she never foresaw the sort of stardom that would later befall her.That stardom came courtesy of a fateful meeting with Evan Rogers. The New Yorker was vacationing in Barbados with his wife, a native of the island, when he was introduced to Rihanna. Rogers had spent years producing pop hits for such superstars as *NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, Laura Pausini, and Rod Stewart, and he offered the talented Rihanna a chance to record. Along with Rogers' production partner, Carl Sturken (the other half of Syndicated Rhythm Productions), Rihanna recorded several demos that sparked the interest of the Carter Administration that is, the newly appointed Def Jam president Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter. This led to an audition, and Rihanna both received and accepted an on-the-spot offer to sign with Def Jam.Come summer 2005, Def Jam rolled out "Pon de Replay," the lively leadoff single from Music of the Sun. Produced almost entirely by Rogers and Sturken, the song synthesized Caribbean rhythms with urban-pop songwriting. "Pon de Replay" caught fire almost immediately, climbing all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and contesting the half-summer reign of Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" atop the chart. The debut album spawned one other hit, "If It's Lovin' That You Want," which also broke the Top 40. Rihanna's follow-up effort, A Girl Like Me, saw even greater success and spawned three sizable singles: a chart-topper ("S.O.S.") and two Top Ten hits ("Unfaithful," "Break It Off").Rihanna's third album, 2007's Good Girl Gone Bad, continued her success while signaling a change of direction. Whereas her past two albums had been imbalanced often weighed down by faceless balladry and canned Caribbean-isms Good Girl Gone Bad was a first-rate dance-pop album, stacked with several chart-topping singles and boasting collaborations with Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Timbaland, and StarGate. The lead single, "Umbrella," shot to number one, as did "Take a Bow" and "Disturbia." Its success turned Rihanna into one of the planet's biggest pop stars.Rated R was released in 2009 during the wake of a physical altercation with romantic interest Chris Brown, who pleaded guilty to felony assault. The album's lead single, "Russian Roulette" written with Ne-Yo was one of the year's most controversial singles, and it set the tone for the singer's new, dark direction. Rated R peaked within the Top Five of the Billboard 200, while another one of its singles, "Rude Boy," topped the Hot 100. Rated R: Remixed was released in the spring of 2010 and featured ten tracks from the album revamped for the dancefloor by Chew Fu. Loud, Rihanna's fifth studio album, followed in November and was led by the StarGate-produced "Only Girl (In the World)."
Who is Lo Keys? If you don't know by now you have been living under a rock. The newfound rap sensation from Fayetteville, North Carolina has become a favorite in the streets and in the blog world. After appearing of major media outlets such as Smack Dvd, UrlTV, Thisis50, BooBooTV, RealTalkNY, Dj Enuff (ThatsEnuff.com), Hood Affairs DVD, having his projects pushed by major mix tape Djs such as Blackwallstreet's Dj L Gee,New York's own Dj Messiah, and Los Angeles Dj Simon Sez this is just the beginning. He has featured on records with Lord Tariq, Compton Menace, Charlie Clips, Parker (Tha Bizness), Rain, and many others on his resume and production from multiplatinum producers such as S1 and Ready Rock he certainly is making a impact. With all the buzz circulating hitting over 120,000 views on Youtube it seems that the sky is the limit. The Freshemen category as been no secret seeing how is buzz is he was also featured at #5 in the Next 2 Blow 2011 list, MajorMusicBlog on the Freshmen runner up list, Igloomediabase.com as a freshmen for 2011, TheSermonsDomain.com Freshmen 2011 and is Nominated for the 2011 New Artist of the Year award at the NCUMAS. With all this buzz there is no telling where Lo Keys will end up in the large world of Hip Hop.
Anthony Gene Mckie who records under the name MAC is a writer, producer and recording artist. MAC defies the norm by taking on the industry with radio friendly hits (No explicit material) and head nodding beats. While a South Carolina native he gained his buzz in Fayetteville, North Carolina by doing collaborations with Def Jam Recording Artist TK-N-Cash, Rain, Lo Keys, and opening for major artist such as BG (PSC), 112, Lil Boosie, Nicki Minaj, Pastor Troy, Gucci Mane, Lloyd, Mike Jones, Gorilla Zoe, and Young Jeezy. With major records such as "Where dey do dat at" and "What I Live For" in heavy rotation in his region he looks to make a heavy impact on the game very soon.
Da Mutantz is comprised of three members; YUNG3rd Thrizzle Da Mutant (YUNG3rd), J-Swag and Swagg-out. Yung3rd and J-swag have been life long best friends since the age of 9. And when they were 16, the duo became a trio after meeting Swagg-out. Da Mutantz jumped onto the radar and got people talking and crowding the dance floors in all the hottest clubs in November 2009 when "Keep it Jerkin" was released onto YouTube. The video gained over 50,000 hits in just two weeks, even though it was unfortunately pulled for legal reasons. Since they received their first taste of their true potential, Da Mutantz have been working nonstop on creating what are bound to be chart topping singles such as; The A.D.D, Da Mutantz 's A.D.D. single was also featured On ALLHIPHOP.com 2011 MixTape Doing My Thang, and even a collaborative track, 'Get Live With It', with Dash Cadet from the group Cold Flamez. Even though Will I Am, is their biggest influence, they also pull inspiration from artists such as, Outkast, MC Hammer, Father Mc, Eminem, Kanye West and Lil John. Each member of the group discovered their passion to perform in different ways; Yung3rd for instance has known his entire life that this is the career he has to pursue. "I was hearing melodies in my mom's belly" he says, so naturally, nothing else seems to feel quite right as when he has a mic in hand.
Swagg-Out came upon his talents at a much later age, who's primary focus was basketball till his late teens, when he discovered his superior talent and passion for music. J-Swag knew that he wanted to be involved in music starting around age 13, when he and a friend began to rap for fun, and now is devoting himself to all things music. He believes that always progressing and growing as an artist and as an individual is the best way to live.
Yung3rd is like the glue of the group, and has a self proclaimed "stupid swag" that no one else could make look as good. Swagg-out is known as the goofball of the group, who is always ready to have a good time and a good laugh. J-Swag fell into the role of the groups "sex symbol" after taking off his shirt and giving out his phone number during a performance at Six Flags Magic Mountain in front of thousands of screaming Seniors for Grad-Night 2010 and 2011.
Each member adds a different flavor of swag, to create what would be none other than Da
Mutantz. Who as their name implies, are simply out of this world.
Before she could utilize her talents for her own solo endeavors, R&B singer, vocal arranger, and songwriter Keri Hilson wrote a slew of songs, many of them chart-toppers, for several popular artists in the mid-2000s as part of the five-person production/songwriting team known as the Clutch. The dynamic songwriter was born in Decatur, GA, only a few miles outside of Atlanta. Addicted to TV talent shows like Star Search and Showtime at the Apollo, she was already plotting out her career in music at age 12. Even though her mother hired a piano teacher to encourage those talents, she mainly wanted to sing; therefore, Hilson converted those sessions into vocal lessons, accompanying the teacher on piano. In her mid- to late teens, she jump-started her career as a songwriter and background vocalist, working under producer Anthony Dent (Destiny's Child, Diddy). Born out of that relationship were two failed girl groups (named Pretty Toni and D'Sign) and, more importantly, a host of connections within the industry for whom she wrote or did backup vocals, including Usher, Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, Ciara, and up-and-coming Southern rap producer Polow da Don.After Hilson graduated from high school, she managed to continue juggling all these tasks when she enrolled at Emory University in Atlanta. She eventually moved on from Dent and began working more with Polow da Don. Attending school while actively advancing her music career put a great demand on her, especially from being a member of the extremely versatile Clutch team. But as luck would have it, Polow introduced her to superproducer Timbaland, who wasted no time in signing the multi-talented songbird to his growing Mosley Music imprint in 2006. Over the next couple years, Hilson's songwriting was practically ubiquitous, responsible for numerous hit singles, including Mary J. Blige's "Take Me as I Am," Omarion's "Ice Box," the Pussycat Dolls' "Wait a Minute," and Britney Spears' "Gimme More." She was also featured prominently on Timbaland Presents Shock Value, including the number three Billboard Hot 100 hit "The Way I Are."With Timbaland and Polow in her corner, Hilson relied on the vast pool of recording artists and producers who needed (and wanted) to return the favor for her Mosley Music/Interscope debut. After a couple pre-release singles and numerous delays, In a Perfect World... was issued in March 2009, shortly after one of its tracks, "Turnin' Me On," had reached the Top 20 of the Hot 100. The album eventually reached gold status, selling over 500,000 copies, and earned Hilson a pair of Grammy nominations. She made another string of guest appearances on Nas' "Hero," Trina's "Million Dollar Girl," and T.I.'s "Got Your Back," to name only a few of many prior to issuing her second album, No Boys Allowed, before the end of 2010.
Whoever said Hip Hop is Dead obliviously hasnt heard the spoken words of the 22 year old fresh out of Mississippis womb, a constant movement of innovative beats and hypnotizing lyrics that keeps your ears fiendin for the next track. Meridian, MS native Big K.R.I.T. has done more than established his place in the game, he's letting all MCs overstand that fact that he's not going anywhere anytime soon. K.R.I.T. is young enough to be ahead of his time and old enough to be just in time to resuscitate the corpse of hip hop. Quoting the young talent you like me shawty, I like me too gives the young Krizzle the confidence to place hip hop on his back and demand the attention of his predecessors. See Me on Top III has hit the streets and A&Rs are listening underground artists are trying to step up He is ahead of the movement. Early in age, K.R.I.T. discovered his musical inclination. At the ripe age of twelve, Young Krizzle followed in the steps of the late Tupac Shakur writing poems and turning them into raps. He then began free-styling in the hallways of Kate Griffin Jr. High School perfecting his craft. At the tender age of fourteen, he began producing and arranging music for local artists. Soon after he began producing and writing his own music, with the finesse of a veteran. Immersing himself in the talents of the late greats: Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur and the southern influences of Andre 3000 and Cee-lo Goodie; Big K.R.I.T. has developed himself into a living legend that's unknown to the popular circuit but adorned by the true underground hip hop heads. His soul is young but his roots are deeply planted in southern soil growing up to the sounds of Willie Hutch, Bobby Womack and the Manhattans, whose music has sincerely influenced his works.Since 2005, he has dropped four mix tapes: See Me on Top I, II featuring DJ Folk, III featuring DJ Infamous and Hood Fame with DJ Wally Sparks: King of the Queen. He signed himself to his label Multi Records, manages his own production, creates and sells his own beats. He's worked with established DJs in the industry without dropping a cent, such as DJ Folk, DJ O.K. out of Oklahoma, Black Bill Gates, Big Mike out of NYC, DJ Chuck T, Chief Rocka, DJ Papa Smirf, DJ Certified Kingpin, Governor Kush: Live From MLK, DJ Break Em Off, DJ Sweat, DJ MLK, Bigga Rankins and the list goes on. He's been featured on tracks with Donnie Cross, Collective Efforts and Mike Hartnett. He's produced tracks for many established artists such as Max Minelli, Ya Boy, Cheeto Gamine, Alfa Mega from Grand Hustle and Big Floaty.The young talent also has accumulated/developed a catalog of unsurpassed sounds and lyrics calmly waiting to take the rap game by storm. Big K.R.I.T. has consistently presented his scope and depth as he eagerly waits at mainstreams door knocking no, banging to be let in. Who's going to open the door?