Since 2006-2007, Hired Gun has been blessed to be plugged into the global community of hip hop. What started as a mini tour in the Czech Republic in 2008, led to him and his crew, 3rd party rocking stages in Brazil, Germany, France and beyond. Through his travels he has been able to collaborate with artists from all over the globe and through partnerships with Nomadic Wax sharing his own love of the music, creating international connections that span culture and genre.
“Where in the World is Gun?” is a part of a larger series of EPs called “Hits and Pieces”. While completing his second solo album, “Nice Guys Finish” Hired Gun has accumulated a number of tracks from some of his favorite producers, such as Zajazza, Cymon Tru, and DJ Nio. As a way to keep people up to speed on where he’s at musically he decided to release four compilations. This is the first. “Where in the world is Gun?” is a United Nations of rhythm. The ten track compilation is a mix of freestyles, album cuts from international projects and stand alone tracks that were recorded with artists from France, Russia, the U.S., Czech Republic and Italy. Please download, share, and experience the art of global poetry….
Trav’s Take: You might remember Hired Gun from out Artist Spotlight from last year, and dude has always piqued my interest, if for nothing else, he’s just one intelligent ass dude. Listening to this, some great production to be found on here. HG’s voice takes some getting used to for some, but if you listen to what he is spitting, you’ll learn something. Intelligent hip hop in the house….
1. The Dark Keys prod by J-Guru 02:28
2. Ponder for a moment produced by A.J. 02:47
3. The Show prod by Zajazza 02:32
4. Musical puzzle freestyle prod by Zajazza 01:53
5. The J Anthem produced by J Guru 03:36
6. Truth Positive prod by Jaest 03:29
7. We R Machine produced by Phillip TBC 03:08
8. The Diaspora Freestyle produced by Benny Beats 01:00
9. Penmanship produced by Jaest 02:20
10. You… produced by DJ Nio 03:20
Zajazza: Zajazza and Hired Gun have been frequent collaborators. In fact, they along with Rabbi Darkside recently released “The Skillz to take Brazil” album. Zajazza’s deeply jazz influenced rhythms are the hallmark of his production. “The Show” is a one off track, and the musical puzzle freestyle first appeared on his mixtape, “Musical Puzzle” http://www.myspace.com/zajazza
Jaest (Judgematic): Jaest is a part of the Judgematic crew, a collective of rugged boom bapologists in the former Soviet Republic. “Penmanship” and “Truth Positive” are set to be released on a forthcoming compilation by the crew. http://www.myspace.com/judgematic
J Guru: A british producer and mixtape king, The J Anthem and The Dark Keys both appear on a UK only release “For the love of Music”. Another brilliant producer in the mold of the golden Era, J has banging beats and solid tunes.
AJIReal: One of two American producers, AJ is based in Newark and is a jazz trained musician who also emcees as well as produces. “Ponder for a moment” is a testament to his wide ranging musicianship and skill. http://www.myspace.com/ajisreal
Benny Beats: A dear friend and head of Nomadic Wax, Ben has been a champion and at the forefront of this global hip hop movement. The Diaspora Freestyle first appeared on a mixtape compilation of international artists from South America and Africa. http://www.nomadicwax.com
Phillip TBC: One of the sickest Drum n Bass and Hip Hop producers in Eastern Europe. “We R Machines” appeared on a Czech only release, Audible Thoughts. One of the most abstract producers you’ll hear….with soul. http://www.philiptbc.com/profil.php
DJ NIO: I say this will all sincerity…the Chuck D of Italy, Nio is a talented artist, both visually and sonically. “YOU” easily my favorite track on the album. Another soul banger. http://www.zero-plastica.com/
Hired Gun (Mikal Amin Lee) is a world renown hip hop artist, educator, and cultural ambassador. In 2009 he released his critically acclaimed solo album, “The People’s Verses” which garnered him a spot in the prestigious URB Next 100 (alongside artists such as Drake, UFI, and SkyZoo). The last year saw him tour abroad twice, including the 2009 Get Up Stand Up European tour with the legendary J-LIVE, and release “Skillz to Take Brazil,” alongside partners in rhythm and rhyme Rabbi Darkside and Zajazza the world’s first “international, multi-lingual, documentary Hip Hop album”
A global trekker, and educator Hired Gun is a member of the Nomadic Wax crew and creator of the Fresh Roots Music imprint. He has been featured on various international albums and mixtapes, while championing the international hip hop phenomenon. A hip-hop educator he has taught performance poetry and hip hop education classes, and is currently the Program Director for Urban Word, a New York City based arts education organization, and the nation’s leading youth poetry community. Hired Gun has been a guest speaker at such institutions as Yale, Georgetown, Umass, Marist College, Connecticut College, The U.S. Institute of Peace and Trinity College. HG is a featured writer for MTV’s international blog, Iggy and has traveled three different continents on international tours with his group, 3rd Party. Over the course of his career he has played alongside such greats as The Last Poets, Slick Rick, Rob Swift, Sean Price, Rhymefest, Talib Kweli, J-Live, Mykah Nine and K’naan