With hard-hitting beats, politically aware rhymes, deft lyricism and strong song concepts, dead prez emerged in 2000 as one of rap’s most politically strident outfits. Stic.man and M-1’s music provided a voice for the voiceless, a sobering look at the global power structure that was crippling billions of people internationally and millions of Americans domestically. The duo’s first two studio albums, 2000’s Lets Get Free and 2004’s RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta, were accompanied by four acclaimed Turn Off The Radio mixtapes and solo albums.
Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef is a 27-year-old seasoned Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, producer, and emcee. She received a Grammy nomination for her contribution on the 2007 Roots hit, “Don’t Feel Right”, in the category of best rap song. She has swapped musical licks with artists such as Angelique Kidjo, Common, Nas, Dead Prez, Wilco, Zap Mama, Cody Chesnutt, Martin Luther, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli to name a few. As a collaborator and band member, Maimouna has rocked the stages of many renowned venues such as Denver Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, New York City’s Legendary Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Music Hall. Youssef’s musical endeavors with Grammy Award winning producer James Poyser were a springboard for her to make her big screen debut in Dave Chappelle’s hip hop documentary “Block Party.”
Martin Luther McCoy aka Martin Luther, was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. His love for soul and rock and roll music was enlivened by his peers as the tsunamic wave of hip hop began to take form. He writes his own words and plays his guitar. Former member of the Roots touring ensemble and star of Julie Taymor's Across The Universe (Sony Pictures 2007) Martin fearlessly shares his new music.
Formed in 2004, Gods’Illa’s journey began well before the brothers banded to collectively embark on this dream. Acem, the eldest of the three, was first to display his love of music as part of the group S.C.A.N; a group created by international rap artist Substantial under the Unlimited Vinyl Ink umbrella. Not long after, Truth followed suit and began performing at local talent shows throughout the Washington, DC metro area, developing his musical craft while shadowing his older brothers’ movements. So, it comes at no surprise that 300 miles away in Brooklyn, NY, Powerful, the youngest of the brotherly trio, began experimenting with writing and effortlessly became the missing piece to the group.
Since their debut on Unlimited Vinyl’s, “Make Da Face” mixtape in 2005, Gods’Illa has performed throughout the Washington, DC area and Mid-Atlantic Region opening for legendary acts like Brand Nubian in addition to several other performances including but not limited to: Capital Hip Hop Soulfest, Hip-Hop on the Hill (McDaniel College), CMJ Showcase and the world renown “End of the Weak” Mic Series. In 2009, the group garnered a great deal of notable achievements including placing #1 in MTV’s VMA Best Breakout DC Competition followed by the release of the critically-acclaimed “Pre-Lease EP” which attracted the attention of legendary DJ/producer DJ Scratch as well as 9th Wonder. Gods’Illa has been featured on sites such as Okayplayer, DJBooth.net and even Peter Rosenberg has begun including their music on his “Late Night with Peter Rosenberg” show on NYC’s Hot 97.
Farafina Kan literally translates to the sound of Africa. We are a professional performing arts company dedicated to maintaining the history and integrity of traditional African drumming and dancing. Under the tutelage of international performing arts legends, Farafina Kan seeks to sustain the work initiated by these legends through professionalism, artistry, continual learning and proactive intergenerational transmission of African culture through music and movement. Farafina Kan is a family! We are comprised of young African-American artists who have been reared in various other dance companies including but not limited to Memory of African Culture, Sankofa Dance Theatre, Kankouran West African Dance Company, Dono Drum and Dance Ensemble, Maimouna Keita West African Dance Company, and Wose Dance Theatre. We are eternally grateful to our parents for having the foresight to search for the traditions of our ancestors and the many elders who have and continue to pave the way for us to do what we do today.