The most prolific and productive record-maker in the Wu-Tang Clan pantheon.
Ghostface Killah’s prominence in hip hop has grown steadily over his 20-plus year career including recent high-profile appearances on Kanye West’s Cruel Summer, the critically-acclaimed soundtrack to RZA’s film The Man With The Iron Fists and the new Wu-Block album. Twelve Reasons To Die catches the gifted MC at the height of his lyrical prowess, and to celebrate this album announcement, Soul Temple is offering a free download of the first single, “The Rise of the Ghostface Killah.”
Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn
The story begins in 1998 as budding hip-hop producer Adrian Younge finds himself confined by the limitations of the MPC. He begins teaching himself how to play various instruments so he can fully realize his vision. First it was keyboards, then drums, sax, guitar, and bass. Fascinated with the sounds of Italian soundtracks by the likes of Ennio Morricone, Younge begins work on the soundtrack to the fictional film Venice Dawn, recording the album intermittently over the course of the next year. What developed was a sound equal parts Morricone and Air. Self-released, the entire album was composed, arranged, and played by Younge. Only a thousand CDs were pressed, replete with faux soundtrack album art designed by Younge himself. Sold mostly in the L.A. area, the CD became collectable among those in the know.
Fast forward to 2008, and Younge finds himself at the center of the Black Dynamite zeitgeist. Instrumental in the film's development, Younge not only edited the film, but composed the original score as well. Hailed as a modern blaxploitation masterpiece, the Black Dynamite score solidified Younge's position as a force to be reckoned with on the new worldwide soul and funk scene.
Taking some time off after the success of Black Dynamite, Younge began revisiting some of his earlier work from Venice Dawn and envisioned a new sound that would take the blaxploitation of Black Dynamite and mesh it with the more left-field sounds of Venice Dawn, eventually deciding to bring everything full circle by releasing the material under the Venice Dawn moniker. This new LP, titled Something About April, will be released this fall on Wax Poetics Records, with the first single, "It's Me," coming in August.
In correlation with the release of the new LP, Wax Poetics Records is reissuing a digital-only EP version of the original Venice Dawn album for free. Its rerelease eleven years later connects the dots between Black Dynamite, Younge's early work, and his newest album, Something About April.
James Bishop aka Bishop is a veteran in the Baltimore Hip-Hop Scene. As a kid Bishop moved around a lot. At the age of 16 Bishop moved to Irvington, where he began rapping. Bishop sites C-Rayz Walz, 2-pac, Biggie, and Wu-Tang Clan as his biggest influences. In the beginning Bishop was making music for the fun of it until his friends pushed him to take it more serious. After graduating high school and moving away from the neighborhood, Bishop started Scavenge Productions with a few of his closest friends. Raf, Defwish, & P Muh Fucka were the original members of the group. In 2001 the group released their first album the Perfect Aim. The Perfect Aim helped the group gain a buzz throughout the city, leading to Bishop releasing his first solo album Lighting Strikes Twice in 2002. It was after the release of the album Bishop took his talents to the stage finishing in the top 3 of the Baltimore Blaze Battle at the 5 Seasons. Scavenge Productions stayed together for another two years working on new material that has never been released due to differences within the group. Bishop however wasn't ready to give up on music. In 2004 he release his 2nd solo album, First Man of Scavage, features the single Baltimore Flood Gates. The success of the single helped Bishop gain notoriety throughout the city. During that year Bishop was featured on several hip hop showcases as well as the Vans Warped Tour at Nissan Pavillion and the Virginia Ampatheater. In the summer of 2005 Bishop was invited back to both the Nissan Pavillion & Virginia Ampatheater to perform at his 2nd consecutive Warped Tour. Following his performance Bishop took some time away from the scene to work on his next album. The beginning of 2006 saw the release of Bishop's 1st mixtape, Baltimores Own Underground. The mixtape was a free cd he gave away to help promote his upcoming album The Day of Reckoning. As 2006 came and went Bishop was hard at work in the studio preparing for the release of the album. In the spring of 2007 Bishop joined forces with his friends at Steez Promo to Present The Day of Reckoning Album release. The album featured the singles Holy Grail featuring hip hop great C-Rayz Walz and Man Wit No Name. At the release party Bishop co-headlined the show with C-Rayz Walz. Day of Reckoning is available for purchase through CD Baby, ITunes and from Bishop. The Day of Reckoning helped Bishop gain a name throughout the world. Tracks from the album were sold in Japan, Europe and throughout the United States. Following the success of the album Bishop was asked to come to Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York and many other east coast states to perform. To end his 2007 year, Bishop was invited to perform at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan alongside C-Rayz Walz & Immortal Technique. In 2011, Bishop was inducted into The Baltimore Crown's Hall of Fame. Bishop continues to do shows up and down the east coast, most recently at Ram’s Head Live in February 2013.