Toni Blackman

Toni Blackman

Toni Blackman

Toni Blackman is the first Hip Hop artist selected to work as a Cultural Ambassador with the US Department of State.She is an Echoing Green Fellow, an alum of Soros Foundation’s OSI fellowship, creator of Freestyle Union Cipher Workshop and Rhyme Like A Girl. Toni is both highly respected as an artist and social entrepreneur having performed at a host of festivals and legendary venues including the Roxy in L.A. and with her band at Apollo in NYC.  This influence led to Toni being honored by DOVE soap’s 2012 Real Woman campaign.  Toni has performed, led workshops and spoken in 34 different countries including ASPEN Institute’s World Summit on Creativity in Oman, the Pio Manzu Conference in Italy, the World Social Forum in Barcelona, a featured speaker at Chicago Ideas Week, TEDx UMass at Amherst and most recently at Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturdays. She has shared stages with the likes of Erykah Badu, Mos Def, KRS One, Vernon Reid, Meshell, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Gokh Bi System and Youssou Ndour. Toni’s next book, “Wisdom of the Cipher” will be released Spring 2014 along with music from her Hip Hop Meditation project, and a memoir of her work in Hip Hop diplomacy, “Travels of a Lyrical Ambassador”, later in 2014. “Inner-Course”, her first book was released in 2003 (Villard/Random House). Toni earned her B.A. and M.A. at Howard University. She was recently featured in Forbes Magazine and on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.  Toni leads workshops, lectures, consults and performs.

Rhymes: Eric B. & Rakim “Eric B. is President,” Goodie Mob “Cell Therapy,” The Fugees “Ready or Not”



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Toni Blackman on Soundcloud

Article on Toni in Forbes

Songs from this Interview:


Sharrieff Muhammad

Sharrieff Muhammad

Sharrieff Muhammad writes, performs, listens. He is a founding member of Tomorrow Kings Chicago Hip Hop Collective. Sometimes he is known as IL. Subliminal.  He is inspired by progressive art. He is an Illinois Arts Council and Fire This Time Grant Recipient. He is a friend, mentor, son, brother, lover, hater, food service worker, comic book collector, song writing aficionado,  film geek, and a self proclaimed hip hop historian.

Rhymes: Eric B. & Rakim “Microphone Fiend,” Public Enemy “Fight the Power,” A Tribe Called Quest ft Leaders of the New School “Scenario,” Cypress Hill “How I Could Just Kill a Man,” Outkast “Elevators (Me & You),” 2Pac “So Many Tears,” De La Soul “Stakes is High,” Notorious B.I.G. “Everyday Struggle,” and Common “Resurrection (Large Professor Remix)”


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More Info on Sharrieff:

Poet Laureate of Wicker Park

Tomorrow Kings

Songs from this Interview:

Brand Nubian “Looking at God/Wake Up!”

Eric Clapton “Crossroads”

Eric B. & Rakim “Microphone Fiend”

Public Enemy “Fight the Power”

Public Enemy “Bring the Noise”

A Tribe Called Quest ft Leaders of the New School “Scenario”

A Tribe Called Quest “Excursions”

Cypress Hill “How I Could Just Kill a Man”

The Police “Every Breath You Take”

Puff Daddy ft Faith Evans and 112 “I’ll Be Missing You”

Outkast “Elevators (Me & You)”

Ghostface Killah “Iron Maiden”

2Pac “So Many Tears”

De La Soul “Stakes is High”

The Notorious B.I.G. “Everyday Struggle”

Common “Resurrection (Large Professor Remix)”

Killarmy “Feel It”

Lupe Fiasco “Muhammad Walks”

Amina Norman-Hawkins

I dreamed of writing songs and poems, sharing them on stage, and finding creative ways to affect change in my world… And when I found hip-hop, those dreams became a reality!   Or maybe hip-hop found me!  Either way, it was a match made in heaven and from the day we met I have never looked back. Hip-hop has given me a platform, a voice, a vehicle.  Hip-hop has given me freedom…  The freedom to live my dreams!  Thank God I found her.

Rhymes: Public Enemy- “Burn Hollywood Burn,” Eric B. & Rakim- “Chinese Arithmetic”


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Songs From This Interview:

Isley Brothers- Between the Sheets

Fela Kuti- Water Get No Enemy

James Brown- Living in America

Public Enemy- Night of the Living Baseheads

Public Enemy- Burn Hollywood Burn

Isis- Face the Bass

Eminem- Yellow Brick Road

X-Clan- Raise the Flag

Ezzdean Duane- Live Your Life

Noble MC- Hip-Hop 4 Ever

Soldats Du Hip-Hop remix Ft. Bird, Christ Carter, Venum Le Chef, & Face2Face

Beastie Boys- Hey Ladies

El General- Head of State

KRS-One- 9 Elements

Brand Nubian- Dedication

Eric B. & Rakim- Chinese Arithmetic

Hannaan “HB Sol the Policy King” Joplin

HB Sol the Policy King

Hannaan “HB Sol the Policy King” Joplin has been described by many as that special, once-in-a-lifetime emcee–gritty, yet intelligent; witty, yet upfront and brutally candid; smooth, yet fiery; universal, yet straight from the block. He works with Chicago producers AntonGenius and Grant Parks. Look for newly  released material from HB in 2012! He currently works as a Career Coach with the Cara Program.

Rhymes: Eric B & Rakim – “Follow the Leader,” Scarface – “The Wall,” Nas – “NY State of Mind”


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HB Sol’s Music
HB Sol on Facebook

Songs From This Interview:

Eric B & Rakim- Follow the Leader

Eric B & Rakim- My Melody

Eric B & Rakim- I Ain’t No Joke

LL Cool J- I’m Bad

Wu-Tang Clan- Wu-tang: 7th Chamber

Eric B % Rakim- Microphone Fiend

Eazy E- Boyz In Da Hood

Scarface- The Wall

Geto Boys- My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me

Nas- Halftime

Dr. Dre- Let Me Ride

Nas- NY State of Mind

Nas- One Love

Alicia Keys feat Nas and Rakim- Streets of New York