Vera Allen aka True V. Vera has been an active artist in music and fashion design since her youth. She grew up in the checkerboard area of the Eastern Agency of the Navajo reservation where sewing and singing were her favorite things to spend her time doing. Having been an African American woman who grew up on the margin of the marginalized, Vera has a detached but thoughtful insight on race that has been rounded out with an education in sociology focusing on African/Chicano American and Women’s studies. Vera Allen is first a mother, then a wife, and she squeezes art and activism out of every ounce left. Vera is currently the Director of Programming for MTN, a public access television station in Minneapolis, MN. She does outreach work to attract young women of color into the field of media art. It is her greatest ambition to create a new model for public access tv in which news is paramount and told by the actual residents of the community: her favorite dream of social justice, currently.www.myspace.com/truev
Jeff “Apostle” Campbell
Cleverly disguised as a literacy teacher by day, A.P.O.S.T.L.E. transforms into a lyrical superhero for justice by night. His super powers include, a dynamic wordplay and vocabulary which he uses to masterfully conquer social issues, mass media, corrupt politicians, and sucka emcees all in a single bound. By joining forces with fellow superhero DJ Quest, this dynamic duo’s live performance is easily the most powerful Hip Hop stage show in the universe.
The new Album, Lyrical Activism features DJ Quest (Bulletproof Space Travelers), Viveca Hawkins, and fellow Heavyweight Dub Champion member Stero Lion. Lyrical Activism features beats by Etheric Double (Resident Anti-Hero), and was co produced by legendary producer Mark Pistel (Meat Beat Manifesto, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Consolidated, MC 900 ft Jesus). The electro-dub-hop sound-scape is the perfect surface for A.P.O.S.T.L.E.’s intensity. He’s created a lyrical force field where materialism, misogyny and nonsense rhymes cannot penetrate. By contrast to the norm, listeners become engaged, informed and inspired. This leaves A.P.O.S.T.L.E. as the last man standing above a sea of mediocrity in a dying genre.
With an extensive tour history around the US in festivals and clubs with his former band Heavyweight Dub Champion, this soldier has earned his stripes as a live show veteran. He has additionally cultivated undeniable name recognition in his hometown of Denver CO. for his work as a grassroots community activist, performance poet, ghostwriter, and performer. Recently A.P.O.S.T.L.E. relocated to the Bay Area to combine all of these efforts into one project. Lyrical Activism is his definitive work that will definitely be an underground classic.
A superhero’s work is never done. There will always be crowds to rock, microphones to rip and injustice to address. Whether it be the clubs, parties, festivals, lecture halls, classrooms or street corners A.P.O.S.T.L.E. will be there. He has stepped up to answer the call of the masses of Hip Hop fans who are eager for change. We have waited long enough, the time has now come. www.7soldiersproductions.com
Adrienna Corrales. Adrienna is a Promotor@ and Project Coordinator and Community Health Educator for Sisters of Color United for Education www.socue.org . For 16 years, she has been involved in community education, awareness and mobilization around reproductive health, human rights, media justice, and art as social justice. As one of the lead trainers for SISTERS, Adrienna developed the comprehensive, bilingual curriculum used in SISTERS 18-week holistic health-awareness Promotor@ training. Currently, she is working as the creator and organizer of specialized educational programs including; Colores Humanos/Art in Motion (a youth development and education program), “HipHipOsiums” (intergenerational conferences and trainings with community artists, students, organizations and urban youth to promote cultural literacy and urban survival through Hip Hop); and “Despierta – Urban Survival Guide” which has nation distribution and publisher of SPEECHLESS!:Street Culture Magazine. www.myspace.com/artnmotion303
Belinda Garcia Executive Director and Co-founder of Sisters of Color United for Education. Belinda Garcia, M.S.W., C.A.C. III, has 25 years experience in creating, developing and implementing ground-breaking human-service projects. In 1991, she established this nonprofit with the vision of advocating for health equity and improved quality of life predominantly for women of color, their families and their communities. Belinda earned a Masters in Social Work (M.S.W.) from the University of Denver in 1994 and is a certified addictions counselor (C.A.C. III). She also teaches part-time at Metropolitan State College of Denver in the Chicana/o Studies Department, bringing cultural fluency to all students. In addition to her work with SISTERS, Belinda has extensive experience addressing the special needs of inner-city populations, developing health programs for women of color, and writing and publishing curriculum in reproductive health-education and rights.
As an Author, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Entrepreneur, Freelance Journalist and Crochet Artist, Afya Ibomu has built a dynamic reputation in the past 10 years by consistently delivering on her promise to educate, guide and inspire people to live a healthy, natural, and creative lifestyle.
Growing up in a single-parent home in St. Paul, MN., Afya was born to overcome obstacles and do things her way. She was born with a crooked hip and wore a hip brace for the first 2 years of her life. Afya was very sickly, stricken with allergies, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and a host of other ailments. She was shuttled from doctor to doctor and placed on various medications.
At 15, her mother found an allergy specialist who told her the foods she was eating might be contributing to her health problems. This information and the hip hop song “beef” by KRS-ONE motivated her to stop taking her medications, become a vegetarian, and begin her journey to self-healing.
With concern for her community and environment Afya was involved with progressive groups such as The African Student Alliance, and The Uhuru Movement, as well as eco-friendly activities. After high school, Afya was accepted to Florida A&M University. She decided that with a civil engineering major she could work hands on helping the environment. But her actual intern experiences, coupled with funding her own tuition, changed her mind. While in Florida she also met her boyfriend (now husband) and after 2 ½ years, she quit school and moved to NYC to find her true passion.
Afya was inspired by her family at a young age. Her grandmother was an entrepreneur who had her own day care and seamstress business. Afya would watch her grandmother make elaborate outfits and would frequent fabric stores where she learned about choosing fabrics and patterns.
In NYC, Afya got her first retail job as a sales associate. Within the first year and a half, she worked her way up to head merchandiser of one of the busiest stores on 34th & Broadway in Manhattan NY. While working one day a lady at her job showed her how to crochet. She caught on quick and soon crocheting became her hobby. Her crocheting hobby grew into a custom making hat business called, Who the Cap Fits. Afya began selling her designs at international arts fairs around NYC and boutiques up and down the east coast. Her designs soon began to adorn artists, such as; Erykah Badu, Common, and dead prez. Her hats have also appeared on album covers; Mama’s Gun by Erykah Badu, music videos The Light video by Common, and magazines: Complex and Jet. In 2004, Afya received a publishing deal for her crochet pattern book from The Taunton Press. Her book, Get Your Crochet On! Hip Hats and Cool Caps, will be released Nov. 7th 2006.
Afya’s love of food came from a rich heritage of Creole, Soulfood, and Midwest cooking. She would help her mother bake her annual holiday cookies, bars, and desserts. Living in Brooklyn, NY allowed Afya to be around some of the most progressive people in the natural health industry. She soon learned about being a vegan, taking herbs, fasting, and live food. Becoming a vegan, led Afya to start cooking again and she began to make her own recipes.
After working in retail for 3 years, Afya quit her head-merchandising job, took a cooking intensive course at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School and started her own catering business called Healthy Soil. She started making gourmet vegan desserts for health food stores around Brooklyn and at international fairs around NYC. Her apple pies became so popular that she was known as the “pie lady”.
Yet another twist in Afya’s life would bring her to holistic healing. Afya’s mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Helping her mother to live a better quality of life through holistic health inspired her to go to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Holistic Health Counselor. After graduation, She began health counseling, teaching vegan cooking classes, and writing for various magazines, such as; Know Your Health- Minneapolis, MN; Free Magazine –Brooklyn, NY; San Francisco Bayview Newspaper, San Francisco California.
In 2003, Afya was the personal nutritionist for Erykah Badu and her family on the Worldwide Underground Tour. That same year, she also produced, directed, and starred in a collaborative TV show for a local cable station in Brooklyn called Mind, Body and Soulfood.
In 2005, Afya, created a nutrition guide called Vegetarian Sources of Protein. Which is currently sold in health food stores around the country.
Since her teen years, exercise has been a part of Afya’s life. In her early 20’s Afya began to practice martial arts. She took various forms such as, Wu Shu Kwan, Ile Ijala, Capoiera, and Jeet Kune Do (Bruce Lee’s style). In 2001,Afya was blessed with a child. Because of her natural lifestyle, she chose to have her child at home with a midwife. After 50 hours of natural labor she had a beautiful, healthy, baby boy. She also took yoga, tai chi, and African dance while pregnant with her son.
Now and the future
In, 2004, Afya moved to Atlanta with husband, stic man of dead prez, and their son Itwela.
Afya is currently the CEO of her holistic lifestyle company, Nattral Unlimited, LLC (www.NATTRAL.com). She is working on the 2nd installment of the book series Get Your Crochet On!, a vegan cookbook and she is a contributing writer to the monthly ezine, Free Your Soul: The Art of Living (www.fys.buttaflyunld.com). Afya continues to write articles, keep an active lifestyle and motivate her community.
After years of successful movie and music projects/collaborations, national appearances and awards, stic continued to make strides in being a positive inspirational voice for today’s generation. He assumed the role as the CEO of Boss Up Inc., a dead prez inspired music and entertainment company that offers information, music, and gear that reflects a sense of self-determination, creative consciousness, and entrepreneurship. WWW.BOSSUPBU.COM.
It was under Boss Up Inc. that stic released his second book, The Art of Emcee-ing , an instructional hip-hop book providing tips to emcees on vocal health, writing, publishing, and producing that was not only featured as a BET Rap City “Book of the Month”twice, but was also incorporated into music and cultural curriculums in high schools, universities and community programs around the country. His first book, Warrior Names from Afrika came after the birth of his son Itwela while searching for a meaningful baby’s name. This year stic’s Boss Up Inc will publish three more books. Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within, The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy (written by his wife Afya Ibomu), and lastly RBG Fit Club: A Revolutionary Beginner’s Guide to Fitness, Nutrition and Getting Goals Accomplished.
Stic is also the founder and editor-in-chief of .Ammo Magazine, a monthly online subscription magazine that is charged with “arming” subscribers with access to a plethora of holistic street knowledge on revolutionary politics, health, self-defense, martial arts, edutainment, spirituality, parenting, money, relationships, and survival, business and more.
“Life is a series of serious choices, theories is formed from experience never mysterious forces ” – stic.man
Reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X profoundly transformed stic’s perspective on himself and the world around him, and he continues to incorporate those real-life warrior aesthetics into his music and lifestyle. In his teens, as an active member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement he worked on a grassroots level in the streets of Florida, Chicago and New York building community programs and fighting for justice around local issues.
The very personal issues of drug addiction and trafficking were tackled in the mixtape, Can’t Sell Dope Forever (Boss Up Inc.) a collaboration album with dead prez and the Outlawz, and in 2007 stic released his debut solo album Manhood (Boss up Inc.) that features cameo appearances by Khujo Goodie and Young noble of the Outlawz and stellar production by respected producers JWells, Sol Messiah, Hi-Tek and and stic’s own signature production delivering a mature and refreshing vibe, vision and very relevant voice.
Stic is currently writing and producing for Nas’ upcoming album “Nigger” (Def Jam) and is also a featured actor in a short action drama “The Black Panther Blood Ties” (R.L. Scott). Stic, is also a real-life student of Afrikan Martial Arts (Egbe Ogun) and is the director and editor of the first ever Afrikan Martial Arts Documentary called The Way of the Black Fist, and is starring in the forthcoming Miramax martial arts flick “Slum 13”. Stic is determined to stay true to his roots residing in Atlanta with his wife of 15 years and 6 year old son, on a continuing mission to Boss Up!
DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill)
Defari (Los Angeles)
Immortal Technique (The Fillmore)
Strate Crooked (Guatemala)
Boca Floja (Mexico)
Akil Amar (Mexico)
Olmeca (Los Angeles) E-LEGAL is also the President and Founder of Somos Hip Hop RaDiO (SHHR) wich is a collective of Rappers and media from the U.S and Latino America Pioneering the Revolutionary Hip Hop en Español Movement in the United States since 2003 (www.Somoshiphopcom)
Edgar Medina A.K.A.DJ Warlock one was born in Guatemala Central America, Immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 10 and grew up in the Mid City/Pico Union District and currently resides in south central Los Angeles, CA.In 1997 he was influenced by B-boying and DJing, two of the four elements of Hip Hop. In 2001 Edgar, Decided to stop dancing but kept on djing and worshiping the Hip Hop culture. Grown up around gang violence, social injustices and police brutality, Edgar has dedicated %90 of his spare time in music, expressing his surroundings and opinions through raw sounds and wicked drum breaks, Edgar has collaborated with various names in the revolutionary latin hip hop movement, currently active as a DJ programmer at somoshiphopradio.com Latin Hip Hop online radio station with founder Luis Ramirez AKA E-legal.
Faatma Mehrmanesh Faatma Mehrmanesh is a vegetable nerd, mudslinger, guerrilla nutritionist and anti-chef . She is a lover of food and people and the secret life of plants. Faatma sits on the Board of Directors of the Mile High Business Alliance and plans to change the face of business by opening a community owned and operated cafe in Denvers own Historic Five Points Neighborhood. Faatma is a long standing food justice activist, worker and food educator in and around Denver’s underrepresented communities. She is a mother of three beautiful children who create the force which drives her to champion sustainable communities and businesses across the Universe. She is honored to be able to share her knowledge wisdom and understanding with anyone who is willing to break some rules. www.solarlivity.com