THE LAST EMPEROR
Who is Jamal Gray, some may inquire? Is he socio-political thinker, who as an artist obtained three major recording contracts, yet managed to sustain a support base comprised of colleges, writers and deejays? Again, who is he? Jamal, is a writer who posses an amazing ability to compose lyrics, with great detail, from his experiences, combining both fiction and reality. And when describing The Last Emperor, he starts with candor that he is atypical in comparison to many of his peers.
Armed with a degree in Political Science/International Relations, from Lincoln University, Pa., The Last Emperor narrates stories of his musical journey; the plight of a young boy who created stories out of his bedroom. He would one day become a protégé of Dr. Dre, Co-founder of Death Row Records and the infamous producer of artists such as, Snoop Dog, Tupac Shakur, and Eminem.
Jamal has, in the past, won several talent shows in the Philadelphia area, and has opened for such artist as KRS 1 and the former Hit Squad [Redman, EPMD, Das EFX and K-Solo]. He has performed at the well-respected Lyricist Lounge on several occasions (This was a showcase created o assist A&R in discovering the next big star. Artists such as Notorious B.I.G., Mos Def , Foxy Brown are just some of the talent showcased at the Lyricist Lounge). He’s traveled abroad to over several countries; most notably, Denmark [Roskile Festival], London [Jam in the park], and Norway [ Quart Festival]. These were the largest crowds he’d ever performed in front of up until March of 2002, when he toured North America as the Guest MC for the popular rock group, the Gorillaz.
He’s recorded a song titled “CIA” with “Mr. Hip-Hop” himself, KRS 1 and Zach De La Rocha, former lead vocalist of the two Grammy Award winning rock group, Rage Against the Machine. He has also appeared on Mumia 911 with artist such as, Black Thought [The Roots], Chuck D. [Public Enemy], and Dead Prez to speak our against the wrongful imprisonment of Mumia Abu Jamal. The Last Emperor is a much-needed element in Hip-Hop. His consciousness and love for the culture can only better those who come in contact with him. The Last Emperor is indeed the “Last” and when given the opportunity he will ultimately be revered.
MADSOL DESAR ( Artist, Producer & DJ)
Madsol, is poised to make his mark worldwide! In 1997 Madsol, a native of Boston and one half of the Knightz of Muzik production team, moved to New York City with a vision. He has already enjoyed commercial success by producing hit tracks on super-producer Armand Van Helden’s “Sampleslaya – Enter The Meatmarket” album (Ruff House Records). The track “Off Balance” he produced on his recording label for Laster became a big underground hit in ’97 and was also featured on the sought-after and DJ Premier mixed “Haze Presents: New York Reality Check” compilation album (Payday Records). Produced mixtapes hosted by Wyclef Jean. However, he built his following from the music he released himself on his own label Hi-Rise Records,NYC and other tracks produced for legends such as Talib Kweli, Sadat X 1/3 of Brand Nubian, ED O.G, The Last Emperor, Krumb Snatcha, Bobby J from Rockaway, L Da Head Toucha, D. Auguste, Laster, God Complex aka 7L&Esoteric, Immortal Technique, C-Rayz Walz, Da Bulldogs, Virtuoso, M-Slash, Donta, A-Alikes and many others, and produced film/tv music for Calvin Klein’s Truth CK1 Fragrances television commercial, “Remember” by The Last Emperor was placed on the And1 video mixtape, as seen on TV for “My Name Is Barrack Obama” (commercial). Madsol is also known as a quality DJ who spins in the Hamptons, NY, Bahamas and at time toured as a back ground DJ for Talib Kweli, Boulevard Connection tour, and on air DJ for his The Better Days Show.
With countless acclaimed guest appearances to his name, JuneLyfe has been steadily building his musical resume over the years while also running with the crews Cool Collective Reps, Retrospek and The Winners. Releasing an outstanding start to a series, ‘Mood Swings, to then have the Roxbury, MA native step out on his own with his long awaited debut solo LP, Lyfe or Def, he seems to be on a versatile wave. As the man says himself, this is quite literally his life in the form of a raw, gritty hip-hop vibes full of sharp lyricism, hard-hitting production, and impressive musicality. Those qualities can be tied back to his stomping grounds of Roxbury, where influential artists ranging from New Edition to Edo. G called home. And their influence on June’s music is firmly cemented as he carries the torch proudly for his neighborhood. His passion comes through whether he’s gritting his teeth through a menacing track, or flexing his funkier side on timeless charm sounding music. Everything about JuneLyfe’s albums comes together itself but also in the way that June talks about it. He’s frank in discussing the difficulties he overcame to figure out how he would represent himself as a solo artist, and he put in the work to define who he is as a person. “I had to live more, read more, be more empathetic, have more integrity, be a little more vulnerable,” he says. “All these things have helped in the manifestation of the growth presented on the record.”
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