The versatile, self-proclaimed ‘revolutionary gangsta’ is set to release his debut EP Audio VeVe Part 1 on July 12 on SoundVise/Fontana/ Universal Music Group Distribution. From community organizing to gang violence, Unity charges unification as the path to freedom. Produced by Bay Area production crew Organized Elements, Audio VeVe Pt.1 is a sonic onslaught aimed at societal ills, and appropriately features Stic.Man of Dead Prez, Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets, and Sacramento emcee Ms. Marvaless.
It’s no surprise that Unity hails from the Bay, a region known for its heightened consciousness. More, Unity comes from a long line of freedom fighters and educators. His grandmother is Dr Samella Lewis, revered author, professor, and activist. His mom is a yogi shaman and a jazz and soul singer. His father is a Rastafarian and a Reggae artist. Both raised Unity with a deep knowledge of self.
“They schooled me on societal traps—and how to avoid them,” explains Unity. “From a young age music was a means of protest.” Plus, he adds growing up in both Los Angles and Sacramento, he was surrounded by gangs, but he was the kid that people protected because he could rap better than any of the others. Unity became known for his quick and clear rhymes and was given the name Young Precise. “I’m very meticulous with my rhyming and everything I say,” Unity said, “so whether it’s freestyle or it’s written, it’s on point.”
Unity rejects the political label, however, “because I think that the political system is a flawed and an oppressive one. It’s bigger than politics. I see myself more as conscious and aware, and active in making change for the upliftment of humanity on all levels.”
Unity began recording music when he was 13 with two friends who decided to join forces and formed a group called The Napalm Clique. When Unity moved to the bay area in 2000 an Oakland chapter of The Napalm Clique was formed and in 2007 they released they’re first mixtape called The Napalm Clique Classique Mixtape.
In 1999, Unity was propelled onto the national spotlight when PBS asked the teenager to document his senior year in high school. The television series, called “Senior Year” ran on PBS stations across America and his music was featured on the soundtrack. Also in 99, he released his first solo LP, Fight and moved to Oakland to attend California College of the Arts. While in Oakland, Unity began working with various other music and visual arts crews like Street Scholars, Organized Elements, The Collectiv and Eklectyk Creative Media.
Unity made a strong impact on YouTube last year with 75k views of his Michael Jackson Tribute video “Shining”. His “Revolution” music video—created by Eklectyk Creative Media for the Napalm Clique and featuring Fred Hampton Jr.—was awarded Best Music Video at the 2008 Hollywood Black Film Festival, beating out the ‘Give It To Me’ video by Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and Nelly Furtado. In 2004 he released a handmade box set with 58 tracks of recordings from ages 13 through 21. The collection includes tracks with Oscar Brown Jr. and various members of The Napalm Clique.
Currently recording his sophomore album Heat, Unity is also readying a Reggae hip-hop album with his father. The album features a stable of some of the best reggae musicians, including Ronnie ‘Stepper’ McQueen (base player of Steel Pulse) and Santa Davis (one of the most prominent drummers in reggae history) to name a few.
Days after the release of Dancehall/Hip-Hop artist Winstrong’s single “Rude Boy” comes the stunning video! The Bay Area based by way of South American is in the studio finishing his Fall 2011 LP, Ghetto Hymns, which features Jah Dan, Abtract Rude, M1 of Dead Prez, Haiku De Tat and more.
Winstrong has been delivering his brand of “singjay” (a combination of singer and deejay) for a minute. After migrating to the US in his late teens in 94, he started recording at Conscious Sound Productions (Ursa Minor) with Benjamin Grand Depaux and later recorded a Jazz-fusion album Noble Nature.
It was his 2008 debut album, Eye of the Storm, that propelled Winstrong, a devout Rastafarian, onto the national music scene. The single “Sounds of the Gun” (aka “Boom Boom Blah Blah”) solidified his place in Reggae history. He has performed with and is featured on compilations with some of the industry’s best, from Capleton, Sizzla, Prince Malachi, Tony Rebel and Black Uhuru’s Mikal Rose to Hip-Hop artists Wu Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, Warren G and the bay area’s own Delinquents.
Born Winston van Ewyk in 1971 in Paramaribo, Surinam, Winstrong was raised in a family of musicians. His mother was a schoolteacher who always took the time to sing falsetto around family and friends. It was her influence that encouraged Winstrong’s love of music. “My moms used to tell everyone, “Dis kid has something…watch dis…and I’d come up with songs and performances for dem…”
Armed only with his guitar and his voice, Winstrong’s music will inspire and entertain. Ghetto Hymns coming this Fall.
Lord Jamar (born Lorenzo Dechalus, September 17, 1968 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American emcee and actor. He is a member of the hip-hop group Brand Nubian, which formed in 1989. As an actor, he is best known for his role of Supreme Allah on the TV series Oz. He has appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Third Watch, and The Sopranos. He has also done production work for artists such as Dead Prez, Buckshot, Shaka Amazulu The 7th and Tom Browne. He released his debut solo album The 5% Album (an album dedicated to the Nation of Gods and Earths) on June 27, 2006. He also appeared in a much talked about episode of The (White) Rapper Show in which he criticized contestant John Brown for naming his company Ghetto Revival. Like his onscreen character on Oz, Jamar is a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths. He is married to New Orleans native Andrea Marie and they have one son, Jamar Allah. While keeping busy acting, rapping, and engaging in faith based organizations, he shares homes with his wife and son between New Orleans, New York, and Los Angeles. Jamar now lives Staten Island, New York with his son Jamar.
“Supreme Mathematics (Knowledge Mix):”
“Deep Space (Feat RZA):”
“Supreme Mathematics (Born Mix):”
“Same Ole Girl (Feat Prodigal Sun):”
A Tribe Called Quest – “Show Business (Feat. Lord Jamar, Sadat X & Diamond D):”
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