Life isn’t simple. It isn’t all a sparkling bling-bling fantasy of ostentatious gems, flowing champagne, and easy women. Nor is life all an endless collage of dishwater gray street corners, survival wounds, and exhaustive toil for blood money or indebted checks of servitude. Life is more because men are more than a fantasy or a nightmare, but few contemporary rap griots have presented a 360 world of full-bodied flesh and blood men whose lives may be of their circumstances, but are also more than their circumstances. Neither one-dimensional devils nor saints, one of the best kept secrets in hip hop are that men are more. For hip hop storytellers who represent the real lives of men beyond menacing phantoms or Peter Pan high-lifers, DJ Revolution Presents Malcolm and Martin. Together, DJ Revolution, Styliztik Jones, and KB Imean represent one of the first genuine new rap groups to emerge in a generation. Not just another disparate crew, but a true collective of teachers and learners working to lead a people, a movement. These are men who arenï¿½t afraid to party with a purpose.
Remember when hip hop represented grown men? Remember when hip hop was a movement for the people by the people? The New York-born, Massachusetts bred DJ Revolution certainly does. Now one of the world’s premier DJs, a young Revolution was present during the ï¿½golden ageï¿½ of hip hop when his heroes DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Public Enemy, and Grandmaster Melle Mel were speaking the lives of a generation. Revolution was there when SoHo critics first called graffiti true art, B-Boys were more than swag and guns, and back-bending break dancers were revolutionizing modern dance. Revolution was there when ï¿½Fear of a Black Planetï¿½ was a political statement, X branded Black caps ruled the hood, and white boys like Revolution, those with an honest appreciation for Black culture, were exceptions not the rule. Revolution remembers the proud spirit and uplifting energy that formed hip hop culture, before the money came and the game changed.
As an internationally respected DJ and producer, Revolutionï¿½s skills have privileged the tracks of such hip hop luminaries as Canibus, Mystic, Chino XL, Dilated Peoples, The Alkaholiks and many more. Those skills were optimally displayed on his three critically-acclaimed solo and collaborative projects with King Tech and MTVï¿½s Sway, including R2K, King of The Decks, and In 12s We Trust.As one of the renowned spin doctors hosting, producing and editing the longest-running internationally syndicated commercial hip hop show, ï¿½The Wake Up Showï¿½ with Tech and Sway, Revolution has also gained the esteem of fans from around the globe. Through more than two decades of success as a DJ, producer, and TV and film scorer for networks like MTV and films like Jet Liï¿½s Black Mask, DJ Revolution never forgot those early years and the promise of hip hop.
Wordsmiths Styliztik Jones and KB iMean represent the fulfillment of that promise, the bridging of East and West Coast, of street and conscious. KB hailing from Queens and Styliztik repping LA, the voices of Malcolm & Martin harken back to an era before Tupac and Biggie, a time when NWA dominated the boombox and Native Tongues rode the airwaves. The boy from Queensbridge and his counterpart in South Central learned about rap before conscious was a synonym for self-righteous and when gangstas sewed lessons in tales. At his Black Panther fatherï¿½s knee, KB studied Huey Newtonï¿½s Revolutionary Suicide and Mobb Deep battle raps. Overlooking the Pacific, Styliztik poured over the Autobiography of Malcolm X while listening to the astral sounds of John Coltrane. Fate would have a teenage Styliztik move to the San Fernando Valley, where he joined up with The Liquid Crew and met his future partner in art and survival, KB, while still in high school. It wasnï¿½t long before the writing partners and fellow crate diggers were making music, struggling to find legal means for survival, and dazzling fans up and down the Pacific Coast Highway with their smooth style and intelligent rhymes. From record store gigs to near homelessness, each brother became a source of encouragement for the other, openly assuming responsibility for the otherï¿½s walk to hip hop royalty, helping one another avoid the missteps of family in lock-up or friends devoid of hope.
KB and Styliztikï¿½s brotherhood and relentless grind eventually gained the attention of DJ Revolution at the legendary Wake Up show. Recognizing the dynamic duoï¿½s rare lyrical wit and throwback flows of butter cool masculinity, the producer in Revolution could already hear tracks awash with the wah-wah guitar of ï¿½70s soul and urban sophistication of hard bop jazz. After hearing the intricate rhyme schemes of his muses, it wasnï¿½t long before the trio was huddled in the studio crafting the kind of political teachings, comedic tales, and street symphonies absent from much of hip hop in recent years.
With the DJ Revolution produced Malcolm and Martin: Movement Musicmixtape, KB and Styliztikï¿½s debut illustrates a return to fun, funk, and politics in hip hop, a return to men beyond caricatures and rap beyond destruction. Fueled on an unquenchable desire to be a part of music that inspires and sets the party ablaze, the Renaissance men infused their painstakingly arranged introduction with their collective love of art, love, lust, justice, friendship, revolutionary teachings and an unyielding respect for the untold story. Those who shared the groupï¿½s unvarnished vision of a new state in hip hop lent their voices and sounds, including slam poet Saul Williams and Bambu from Native Gunz. Encouraged by the iconic men who fought for the everyman during a different time using different tools, the trio reverentially took on the moniker Malcolm & Martin as a siren call announcing new leaders armed with new tools to fight for modern-day liberation.
Following the critical success of their foundation-laying mixtape, Movement Music, Malcolm & Martin engaged in hard labor for their follow-up, DJ Revolution Presents Malcolm and Martin “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me”, the teamï¿½s first full-length commercial release and SoulSpazm Records debut. Fans can expect more aggressive funk, progressive jazz, nourishing knowledge for the head and plenty of bangers to relieve the tension of hard times and hard love. From the infectious single ï¿½Win or Loseï¿½ to the introspections of ï¿½Against The Wallï¿½ the team brings more thoughtful social commentary and grimy urban tales from the ashes of broken promises and eternal dreamers. The Casanovas also deliver just enough loverï¿½s rock and sweat-worthy club anthems to make your back burn and fists pound the air. DJ Revolution Presents Malcolm and Martin will rock the block and inspire the young to think, to dream. No sermons, no stereotypes, just life in 360.