Shake Da Mayor
Shake Da Mayor
The hip-hop culture struck a chord in him early on, and although a child, he was quick to recognize the outlet the fledgling movement presented for all the thoughts in his head. Drawing from the lessons his father taught him, as well as his own experiences as a young black man in California's Central Valley (Fresno to be exact), Shake had more than ample fuel for the tales he would tell the world. By age 13, he had already formed his first group, America's Most Wanted, with schoolmate and budding hip-hop vizier, Planet Asia. "Asia was really the one who introduced me to the game.
He was already in the mix when I met him, so I looked to him to get direction on the best ways to formulate my flows and organize my stage performance. I was actually his hype man in the early days." While developing their skills as performers and artists, Shake, Asia, and mutual friends Supreme, Protest, Kubiq, Phoof, and Kemet formalized their relationship to form Skhool Yard, giving birth to arguably the best hip-hop crew to ever emerge from the California Central Valley. 'The Yard' as their fans called them, quickly cultivated a reputation as one of the fiercest crews in California with their down-home messages and prodigal versifying, eventually leading them to win a 1994 award from the now defunct BOX Music Video Network, as the best rap group in the Central Valley. With the release of their 1995 single "Cali MCs," Shake and The Yard were officially in 'the game.' Shows with rap mainstays like DJ Quik, Cypress Hill, Souls Of Mischief, X-Clan, and E-40 followed, as did the beginning of their formal education in the business of hip-hop.
As the Skool Yard and its individual members grew and branched out to do solo and group projects, Shake stayed patient; observing and learning. He took time to perfect his trade while touching down on a number of notable underground albums including numerous releases by Planet Asia, like his self-titled 1997 EP Planet Asia (Heratik), 2000's LP Last Stand (Landspeed), as well as work on his debut The Grand Opening on Avatar Records. Shake was also featured on fellow Cali emcee and underground legend Rasco's 2001 LP Hostile Environment, and wrote and performed the hook for the song "The Revolution," which was featured on the Tomb Raider Soundtrack (WEA/Elektra)-- un-credited. After years of standing on the sideline, Shake began to take his first steps toward establishing himself as a solo artist.
Even with the doubters "slamming the door in (my) face," Shake would not allow himself to be stopped, and soon enough would prove them all wrong. With everything stacked against him, Shake and Skhool Yard embarked on a 38 city national tour called Cali Comm, featuring some of the biggest Indie hip-hop artists from the West Coast, including The Coup, Pharcyde, Cali-Agents, Souls Of Mischief, Mix Master Mike, and Kut Masta Kurt among others. Although not featured on the bill, beyond his affiliation as one of the members of Skhool Yard, Shake quickly emerged as notable performer on tour, gaining the respect of his peers and fans across the country. The experience would prove to be a windfall for Shake and Skhool Yard who would eventually sign an album deal with Kut Masta Kurt's Threshold Records, for the release of their 2002 EP New Way Of Thinking.
Shake's undeniable appeal lead producer and Souls Of Mischief member, Tajai, to approach him with a plan to record his debut solo release. Shake's album, The Fruit of His Own Thinking (Clear Label Records/Palmtree Entertainment 2006). brings his experiences full circle, while helping to bring some of the truth back to hip-hop. When reflecting on his life and the current state of commercial hip-hop culture, Shake says "Man we don't live like that.
It's a struggle to bubble and stay humble." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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