One Be Lo Live at the Linen Building August 12, 2011
Detroit hip-hop veteran ONE BE LO to perform LIVE AT THE LINEN Aug. 12
Former URB 'Next 100' artist's resume includes releases for Fat Beats Records, collaborations with Zion I, Royce da 5'9" and Devin the Dude, plus performances with Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul and the Vans Warped Tour
NOAH HYDE to open
Live at the Linen presents Detroit hip-hop veteran One Be Lo at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St. in Downtown Boise's Linen District. Noah Hyde will open. $15 advance or at the door; advance tickets available at brownpapertickets.com and The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Boise). All ages, full bar (I.D. required), Pie Hole pizza. Plenty of free, off-street parking is available at the Linen Building.
There are many poets, and far too many rappers, but the mastery of One Be Lo's (facebook.com/onebelo) wordplay, metaphors, storytelling skills and socially-conscious lyrics place him in a league above the rest. His ability to translate life experience into music, passion into performance, allows One Be Lo to command attention both on record and stage.
Born just north of Detroit, Raland Scruggs, aka One Man Army (his recording name before he changed it to One Be Lo), would grow up in Pontiac, Michigan, where the once-almighty General Motors Corporation would begin to shut down factories that employed thousands, leaving many jobless and the city wounded. These blue-collar origins would teach him the meaning of hard work, and the impact of Motown in his home would unknowingly plant the seeds for a future artist.
He would end his brief career in jazz band and begin writing rhymes for fun in seventh grade. By age 16, this aspiring producer was digging in his step-father's record collection for samples and recording with high school friends during what many would consider to be the golden years of hip-hop.
The summer after high school graduation, life would take a drastic turn when One Be Lo's extra-curricular activities would land him in prison for two years and some change. While inside, Lo embraces the teachings of Islam (changing his name to Nahshid Sulaiman), and along with fellow inmate Senim Silla would study the music business and form a hip-hop group called Binary Star.
Upon release, Binary Star went straight to work, announcing to friends how they would produce and release their own music. They recorded a four-song EP, "New Hip Hop" (1998), and next an album titled "Waterworld" (1999), while still on parole. Once "Waterworld" hit the Internet, online hip-hop magazines and message boards would dub it a "classic." Without touring, publicity, marketing or management, popular demand would soon prompt distribution company TRC (San Francisco) to sign a distribution deal that would further push Binary Star, with 2000's "Masters of the Universe" album, into playlists across the globe. There are good things that come to an end, and within a two-year period Binary Star would break up, citing creative differences.
In early 2000, One Man Army organized a production team (Trackezoids) and started a new movement/record label called Subterraneous. As an activist, One Man Army would speak to youth in schools, organize workshops, sit on a variety of panels and work as an ally with student and community organizations across the United States. As an artist, he would produce and rap on Subterraneous Records projects ("WaterWorld Too," 2001) that would also help to jump-start the careers of other recruited Michigan artists such as Decompoze, Octane, Illite and others. Under Lo's guidance, the Subterraneous collective would build a reputation for destroying stages throughout the Midwest.
Since his days of little-league baseball, Lo has always been a team player, but even then his voice and technique have always stood out amongst the crowd. Subterraneous would release his solo project, "F.E.T.U.S." (2002), without a manager, a booking agent or industry connections, and he would take his music/movement to cities all over the U.S. in true road-warrior fashion, sharing the stage with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, Mos Def, MF Doom, Rakim, Dead Prez, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, KRS One and many more.
From constant networking and relentless touring, the rising star caught the ears of Fat Beats Records (New York), and he would become the first artist signed to their label division. He would change his name from One Man Army to One Be Lo to avoid further confusion or potential legal tussles with a punk band that shared the same name. FatBeats released "S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M." (2005), URB magazine cited One Be Lo in its "Next 100," and after rave reviews, One Be Lo would again earn critical acclaim, this time as a solo artist.
With a reputation as one of the hardest working artist in hip-hop, national student organizations such as Hip-Hop Congress and community organizations such as Iman (Chicago) recruit One Be Lo as an artist/activist/spokesman. Lo becomes a member of the World Champion Massive Monkees B-Boy collective (Seattle), and is embraced by B-Boy culture performing at international events such as Battle of the Year (Germany) and Freestyle Session (Europe, Asia, U.S.). The Vans Warped Tour booked One Be Lo as one of the few hip-hop artists on its 60-city rock tour for three years. Again in road-warrior fashion, Canada and Europe are added to his tour schedule, as well as a host of music festivals such as SXSW, Bumbershoot, D.E.M.F., CMJ, and Scribble Jam, just to name a few. Lo eventually outgrows Fat Beats and convinces them to release him from his contractual obligations.
Frequent traveling to Europe and the Middle East not only broadens exposure, but also his world view of culture and struggle. In 2007, he relocates from Michigan to Cairo. From a Pontiac prince to a King in Egypt, Lo now commutes to Europe and the U.S. to record and tour.
By this time, Lo has worked with producers like the legendary Pete Rock, as well as Jake One, Vitamin D and Black Milk, to name a few. With no label to call home and a new sound, Subterraneous partners with Integral Music to release One Be Lo's
"R.E.B.I.R.T.H." (2007) album. He spends the summer of 2008 in Seattle working on a new movement called "B.A.B.Y." (Being a Black Youth). This multi-media project includes a documentary, book, clothing and toys. "B.A.B.Y." is not only a bio of One Be Lo as a youth in Pontiac, Michigan, but focuses on the many experiences of youth in school, amongst peers, family, the army, crime and much more all across America. The "B.A.B.Y." album features artist from all over the U.S. such as Zion I (Oakland), Devin the Dude (Houston), Royce da 5'9" (Detroit), Freeway (Philadelphia), Jean Grae (New York), Phonte (North Carolina) and many others. These artists help not only cosign One Be Lo to be a respectable lyricist, they also tell the story.
With the level of respect among peers, the adoration of fans all over the world, the support of various activists, grassroots organizations and schools throughout, One Be Lo's universal appeal and unforgettable voice will continue to be heard for a long time.
The beat-maker and mix-master for the Boise hip-hop duo Eleven, Noah Hyde (myspace.com/2972221) is an accomplished musician and DJ in his own right. A fixture on the Downtown Boise nightclub scene, Hyde can be heard regularly spinning at Neurolux.
For interviews, images or more information, contact Chad Dryden with Bandwagon PR, 208.284.0355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Linen Building and Live at the Linen concert series, contact David Hale at 208.385.0111 or email@example.com. Visit thelinenbuilding.com and interact with the Linen Building on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
ABOUT THE LINEN BUILDING: Built in 1910 and originally known as the American Laundry Building, the Linen Building Event Center has been transformed into an architecturally unique special events center and art gallery. The two-story facility houses three distinct music venues: a 350-capacity concert hall in a retrofitted warehouse space; an intimate, 150-capacity upstairs performance space; and a 1,500-capacity open-air performance space in the epicenter of Downtown Boise's Linen District.
1402 W. Grove St
Boise, ID 83702
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|