A new day is upon us, and hip hop’s answer to the question “what happened to the female rap game” is here. Blessed with the lyrical prowess to compete with the hottest emcees in the business, as well as singing every hook on their albums, and being touted as the female version of The Neptunes, the female duo KIN4LIFE is a triple threat. Together as a group for ten years and friends for over fifteen, Nor and IQ have solidified their family ties and KIN4LIFE has never had a truer meaning.
Born and raised in Mt. Vernon, NY, a town known for its contribution to hip hop in the late 80s and early 90s, KIN4LIFE is determined to bring hip hop glory back to their hometown and respect back to their genre. As young entrepreneurs, they founded their label, Noriq Records in 2002. Under this imprint, they have released the album “KIN4LIFE Volume I” and the EPs “Rock Star” and “I Love KIN4LIFE”. The video for the hit single “Make Up Girl” held a spot on the Click List Countdown on MTV’s Logo for 11 consecutive weeks, and was nominated for The Click List's Top 10 Videos of 2009 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTG-g18xgmc). KIN4LIFE has headlined the GO Magazine New York Nightlife Awards show; Pride celebrations in Philadelphia, Toronto, Columbia, S.C. and other cities; and Inferno Dominican Republic on Labor Day weekend, where they performed for the second consecutive year in 2011,along with Grammy nominee Marsha Ambrosius. KIN4LIFE was chosen as Group of the Year by the OutHipHop.com 2010 Readers Poll.
KIN4LIFE admits that their first love is emceeing, but their production and songwriting skills makes them a hot commodity behind the scenes. Working with the hottest up and coming hip hop and R&B acts, KIN4LIFE garnered comparison to Missy Elliot, prompting them to form Noriq Records’ subsidiaries, Red Eye Productions and The KIN Factory (writing and production). They showcased their talent as producers in the fall of 2009, winning the “King of the ATL” battle at the industry proving ground Producer’s Swap Meet in Atlanta. Their single “Money Brings Trouble” was chosen for placement in the feature film “Changing The Game” which premiered at the 2011 Hollywood Black Film Festival and opened in AMC Theaters in May 2012. KIN4LIFE made their acting debut as cast members in an Atlanta production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” this spring.
KIN4LIFE wrote and produced the single “Lone Ranger” in support of LGBTQ youth, and in response to the recent wave of bullying and attacks that have made national headlines. The track was released as a free download on Christmas Day 2010 and had 2000 downloads in the first 48 hours. KIN4LIFE has also been featured on the PBS Emmy winning series "In The Life: Defying Stereotypes" which they now screen at universities across the country along with an interactive panel discussion for students and faculty. They will release their highly anticipated sophomore album later this year.
KIN4LIFE is the evolution of hip hop -- female MCs, producers, songwriters. The full package.
Nor - Vocals
IQ - Vocals
Its Over Now (Single and Music Video)
Welcome To Planet Noriq Vol.2: KIN vs. KIN4LIFE (Mixtape)
Welcome To Planet Noriq (Mixtape)
I Love KIN4LIFE (EP)
Make Up Girl (Single and Music Video)
Rock Star (EP)
Best Of KIN Freestlyes Vol. 1 (Mixtape)
KIN4LIFE Volume 1 (LP)
KIN4LIFE: The Women, The Music and The Enterprise
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There isn’t any other American female music duo in the United States today whose music and influence...There isn’t any other American female music duo in the United States today whose music and influence compares to Kin4Life’s, or who has accomplished what they have as artists who are out and proud and who are entrepreneurs of a new generation. Just watching them brings a number of things to mind. Among the milieu of what transcends from their prose and their dynamic presence is what distinguished Audre Lorde as a legend of the Diaspora and a leader ahead of her time. It’s what made New York’s Stone Wall Movement legendary beyond refute: The quest for freedom and the right to love boundlessly as we define ourselves as same gender loving people. Yet, as entrepreneurs of a greater enterprise they are truly what we’ve needed and just what we’ve been waiting for.
They are Kin4Life. And as we ensure that the quest for change never falls on def ears, they and other game changers remind us of what the remedy for change truly is. Undoubtedly, it confirms what the freedom fighters of the stone wall movement emphatically and poetically declared and what the message behind Audre Lorde’s words rang clear: That we’ve never been more ready than we are right now.
We caught up with Kin4Life who are manifested as Nor and IQ.
TaschimaAllen: How do you feel you’ve changed the game?
Kin4Life: I think we've changed the game by being the only female duo that not only writes their own material but produces, engineers, and mixes the music as well. I haven't seen any female duo in Hip Hop do that. We also have made a statement with our image. We have shown upcoming artists that it’s ok to be who you are and that you don't have to hide your true being just to satisfy the "industry standard" of what they think a female mc should look like.
TaschimaAllen: It seems like you came at the right time, cause so many of us were missing the female MC for a long time before KIN4LIFE emerged on the scene. How does your reception now compare with the reception you received in the very beginning?
Kin4Life: We have always carved out a spot for ourselves in the game. Although there are many female mcs on the rise, we don't fit the mold of the highly sexed up image that's out there. Our journey has always been a tad more difficult but people have had no choice but to fall in love with KIN4LIFE once they actually listen to the music. One listen and you're hooked. Our beautiful fan base expands daily. Our reception has become warmer and warmer as our career grows. It is always our goal to challenge the music fan to rise above mainstream stereotypes and appreciate the talent God has bestowed upon us. Plus we look good while doing it.
TaschimaAllen: Are you working on any projects right now?
Kin4Life: Most definitely. We always have something in the works. We have a couple new music videos in the editing stages as we speak. One of them being the premiere single "It's Over" now which will be released later this year. The "Welcome to Planet Noriq" Mixtape series has been doing really well for us online. Make sure you pick up Volumes 1-3 currently available for free on www.KIN4LIFE.com. While working on a new album we are also writing and producing for other artists signed and unsigned so look out for some great things in the near future. We also have tons of film projects in the pipeline. Our single “Money Brings Trouble” is featured in the full length feature film “Changing the Game” which is currently making its film festival rounds. Also our music has been featured in several documentaries and new sitcom projects. KIN4LIFE is everywhere.
TaschimaAllen: When I look at Kin4LIfe, I see history being made. The very image of you both together is powerful to see and it reinforces the great things that women of color are doing. Does it feel that way for you?
Kin4Life: KIN4LIFE is a revolution all on its own. They way we think, speak, create, and act makes the world around us change. With an industry full of cowards who won't take chances we constantly must create our own opportunities. We are definitely making history with every move we make from being the first black female mcs in OUT magazine to being the first black
female hip hop duo on the MTV LOGO click list. We are the first for many things..trailblazers if you will.
TaschimaAllen: At any point in your career, have you received any mentoring or advice from any MCs who preceded KIN4LIFE? Who would you want to be your mentor if you could choose one?
NOR: We have definitely met a lot of artists out there who have given us advice along the way. I have had some impactful advice from the likes of LL Cool J to 9th Wonder to of course the great DJ Jazzy Jeff. I wouldn't quite call anyone a musical mentor to me besides my own mother. She was an artist back in the 90's and she definitely was the reason I even started rapping. My mom helped me write my first rhyme and that is the moment I never looked back. If I had to choose an artist to mentor me currently I would definitely seek out Missy Elliot or P.Diddy. They both have been successful from being different and innovative.
IQ: LL Cool J definitely left an impression on me; having met him several times in my career he always treated us with respect and never made me feel like I was bothering him. That means something to me because we have also been ignored or treated rudely by other “celebrities” we have come into contact with. In terms of true mentoring I would say our manager Melody Forrester has had the greatest impact on me. From our meeting at a Russell Simmons event, she took the time to listen. She took the time to give us that first call back and to really believe and invest in our talent. If I had a choice of a mentor currently it would be P. Diddy on the business end. My dream/fantasy mentor would be the late great Biggie Smalls.
TaschimaAllen: Your fan base is so diverse, ranging in fact, from children to adults. Do you ever worry that you might leave out a certain demographic or age group of people who feel your music when you write? How do you both cover all bases?
Kin4Life: Our fan base does definitely vary from all ages, races, colors, and creeds. By making music that is true to our lifestyles people gravitate to us naturally. Our versatility allows us to create different sounds and speak on different topics that are relatable to so many people. At the end of the day we make music that comes from an authentic and honest place. Authenticity makes our music universal. Struggle + Fun = The KIN4LIFE Sound.
TaschimaAllen: What impact do you hope to have on young women of color globally?
Kin4Life: We hope to show women of color that there are many representations of us in this world and not to be afraid to be loud and proud about who you are. There are no limits if you put your mind to it. Women of color have a place in this world, we can be engineers, producers, and writers in this game with no apologies for being who we are.
TaschimaAllen: How do you handle the impact you’ve made on LGBT youth and the responsibility that it carries?
Kin4Life: The impact we have made on the LGBT youth has been an integral part of our movement. We have shown them that no matter what adversity brings, keep fighting and keep pushing towards their dreams. I take great pride in being a role model to the LGBT youth and we are bearing the cross to make it ok for them to have chances in this world. Your sexuality should not be a determining factor in whether you do well in life or not. We are the voice of the LGBT community and we wear that badge with great honor.
TaschimaAllen: In recent years, the number of suicides by LGBT youth have increased. For some of those teens or youth who are bullied in school, who might be reading this in China and the United States, Brazil and the world over, what message would you like to send them?
Kin4Life: Suicide is never an option. We live in a world where people judge you for everything but we cannot fall to the negativity. Your life is more precious than you know and this world needs you here to stand and fight against the opposition. It may seem hard and like no one understands but there are so many people going through the same struggle. Bullies only try to make you feel terrible about yourself because they feel terrible about themselves. It's called projection. We have been harassed for being openly gay on so many occasions in my life but we choose to not let it affect who we are. We know our hearts and no one can take that from us. No one can make you feel less than because we are all here to serve a special purpose. We address the teen suicide issue in our song "Lone Ranger" which you can check out on www.kin4life.com.
TaschimaAllen: What’s your favorite song by KIN4LIFE and Why?
NOR: Wow we have so many songs it’s hard to choose just one. I would have to say "Make Up Girl" because of what it's done for us career wise and for the lgbtq community. The "Make Up Girl" video is still on MTV in several different countries and we released it years ago. Timeless classic! check it out in youtube or just google KIN4LIFE MAKE UP GIRL
IQ: I have to agree with Nor and say "Make Up Girl" is one of favorites as well for a similar reason. But to expand on the question I think I have to throw in our 2002 anthem "KIN4LIFE" as a favorite because that track renamed us. The track and album was so groundbreaking in building our fan base that the fans decided to call us KIN4LIFE. Just in case you didn’t know we were the hip hop duo KIN from about 1999-2003.
TaschimaAllen: What’s the greatest thing about picking up the microphone?
Kin4Life: The greatest thing about picking up a mic is the power that it has once you use it. With a mic I am able to spread messages to the masses on records and live shows. It’s the main tool of any performer; it’s like a basketball to Lebron James.
TaschimaAllen: Like many artists who start out, there are a lot of obstacles to get through. Inasmuch as we know that your acclaimed success signifies that you’ve already overcome many hurdles, what are some obstacles you still face today, socially or politically?
Kin4Life: So many industry people know who we are but won't touch us because we are openly gay. That is the biggest hurdle for us currently. It’s crazy to know that people are watching to see if we can make it on our own because they are too scared to take a chance on a 'OUT" duo. Knowing this, it just makes us work harder to prove to the world that you can be Black, Gay and Successful.
TaschimaAllen: The world has just lost a great icon. Can you tell us the impact that Whitney Houston had on your life as a young woman of color in the United States?
NOR: I was raised listening to Whitney Houston. When my mother would clean the house she would throw on a Whitney record and we would jam out. Being an 80's baby, Whitney told us we were the future! Very inspiring artist and my heart goes out to her young daughter Bobbi Kristina.
IQ: Whitney Houston was the reason for my first live performance. At 6 years old my mother made my sisters and I memorize Greatest Love of All and perform it for our family during Thanksgiving. I think that feeling of all eyes on me singing, I been addicted ever since. She is an icon and a legend, she is MORE than missed.
TaschimaAllen: What do you hope to see manifested in the media and in society in the near future?
Kin4Life: We would like to see more positive representations of black women in the media, period. With so many reality shows out there a lot of young women can only look to shows like the Bad Girls Club and Basketball Wives; shows that depict jealous black women fighting and scratching each other’s eyes out over nonsense. We would also like to see more openly gay black people being highlighted for their accomplishments as well as being covered in gay press which unfortunately, is primarily geared towards our Caucasian brothers and sisters.
“KIN4LIFE's Hit Single and Music Video "Make Up Girl" has made it to MTV UK. ”
KIN4LIFE's Hit Single and Music Video "Make Up Girl" has made it to MTV UK.
KIN4LIFE SHOOTS NEW VIDEO JUNE 17-19 AT MBN STUDIOS IN PHILADELPHIA
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America (Free-Press-Release.com)...FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America (Free-Press-Release.com) June 9, 2011 --
Hip hop/R&B supergroup KIN4LIFE will shoot their highly anticipated new video on June 17-19 at MBN Studios in Philadelphia. The video is the group’s second official music video and follows the unpredicted commercial success of their first video for the hit single “Make Up Girl”, which held a spot on MTV Logo’s Click List Countdown for eleven consecutive weeks, and was nominated for The Click List's Top 10 Videos of 2009. The video was also honored as Best Music Video of 2008 by the Afterellen.com Visibility Awards. Dorian G. Stone, director of the “Make Up Girl” video, returns to helm the new project, in collaboration with Director of Photography Mike Hechanova of UrbanMouse Productions, an independent film and video services boutique based in New York City. The project will utilize the revolutionary RED ONE digital cinema technology. Vince Wright, of Wright Films, will document the production, with R.Brian Chacon of RBC Production Management handling set design.
As the founders of independent label Noriq Records, Nor and IQ of KIN4LIFE have consistently grown a cult-like following during a time when female rappers have struggled to maintain prominence in hip hop. Under the Noriq Records imprint, the group has released the album”KIN4LIFE Volume I” and the EPs “Rock Star” and “I Love KIN4LIFE”. The yet to be announced single chosen for the new video is slated as one of the tracks for the upcoming KIN4LIFE album due this fall. KIN4LIFE’s recent performance schedule includes headlining the GO Magazine New York Nightlife Awards show; Pride celebrations in Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and other cities; and Inferno Dominican Republic on Labor Day weekend 2011 (with recording artists Marsha Ambrosius and Kelly Price). Last year wrapped with the OutHipHop.com 2010 Readers Poll choosing KIN4LIFE as Group of the Year. KIN4LIFE's film credits include the single “Money Brings Trouble”, chosen for the 2011 feature film “Changing The Game”, and anthem “Lone Ranger” which has been selected for two documentary soundtracks.
MBN Studios is a subsidiary of Media Bureau, Inc., producer of the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival. MBN Studios hosts the KIN4LIFE video event as a precursor to the festival’s opening on June 22nd. Media Bureau is a homegrown digital media agency with an 11, 000 square foot facility in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood; it houses 5 studios, an internet café, HD projection screening room and audio/video recording suite.
KIN4LIFE Returns to Inferno Dominican Republic; Marsha Ambrosius headlines Labor Day weekend event
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KIN4LIFE PRLog (Press Release) - Aug 26, 2011 - On September 1st through 5th, Hip Hop/R&B su...
PRLog (Press Release) - Aug 26, 2011 -
On September 1st through 5th, Hip Hop/R&B supergroup KIN4LIFE returns to Inferno Dominican Republic for the second consecutive year and will open for six-time Grammy nominee Marsha Ambrosius, who is enjoying commercial and critical success with her top-charting J Records debut “Late Nights & Early Mornings”. The artists will be featured at a September 3rd concert hosted by comedienne Tammy Peay.
As the founders of independent label Noriq Records, Nor and IQ of KIN4LIFE have consistently grown a following during a time when female rappers have struggled to maintain prominence in hip hop. Under the Noriq imprint, the group released the album “KIN4LIFE Volume I”, the EPs “Rock Star” and “I Love KIN4LIFE”, and the 2010 mixtape “Welcome to Planet Noriq”. Last year wrapped with OutHipHop.com Readers Poll choosing KIN4LIFE as Group of the Year. Film credits for KIN4LIFE songs include the single “Money Brings Trouble”, chosen for the 2011 feature film “Changing the Game”, and the anti-bullying anthem “Lone Ranger”, selected for two documentary soundtracks. KIN4LIFE is currently completing their new mixtape, “Welcome to Planet Noriq Vol. 2: KIN vs. KIN4LIFE”.They will release their highly anticipated full-length CD project later this year, featuring the single “It’s Over Now”. The music video for “It’s Over Now” was filmed in June using the revolutionary Sony RED ONE digital cinema technology.
Launched in 2008 by founder Will Williams, Inferno Dominican Republic is the premier LGBT international Labor Day event held at the beautiful Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana--the all-inclusive resort boasts of world-class accommodations and amenities, 14 bars and 13 restaurants.
For more on KIN4LIFE visit:
For more on Marsha Ambrosius, visit
For more on Inferno Dominican Republic, visit:
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Artists First is a full sevice entertainment management and consulting company.
Managing recording artists, musicians, music producers, screenwriters, film and television producers, directors, videographers, spoken word artists and actors.
KIN4LIFE's “Money Brings Trouble” Chosen For New Rel Dowdell Film “Changing The Game"
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PRLog (Press Release) - Oct 27, 2010 - The unreleased single “Money Brings Trouble”, written and p...PRLog (Press Release) - Oct 27, 2010 -
The unreleased single “Money Brings Trouble”, written and performed by Hip Hop/R&B supergroup KIN4LIFE, has been chosen for placement in the feature film “Changing The Game.” The song will also be featured on the film’s soundtrack.
“Changing The Game,” based on the screenplay by award-winning director Rel Dowdell, is the gripping story of two childhood friends from a gritty North Philadelphia neighborhood who choose divergent life paths but find themselves facing the same risks and, quite possibly, the same ending.
Darrell Barnes is a gifted student reared by his devoutly religious grandmother who wins a scholarship to Columbia University. Dre Newell is a street-wise hustler guided by the tactics of Niccolo Machiavelli who has put together a crew of teen-age drug dealers. Dre tries to introduce Darrell to his Machiavellian ways, giving him a dog-eared copy of the Italian philosopher’s book “The Prince.’’ But soon after “Dre” is blown up as he starts his car, leaving Darrell to ponder the lessons his friend hoped to impart.
Armed with an MBA from Columbia, Darrell is recruited by a leading investment house and becomes one of Wall Street’s most charismatic and powerful young players. But a corporate scandal, a corrupt ex-roommate, and a mysterious banker with a unique business service threaten to end his career and possibly his life.
On a trip home to Philadelphia, Darrell recalls the words of his late friend. Taking a page from Machiavelli, he conceives a plan to “evade one’s enemies and gain power” that triggers a climax as explosive as it is unexpected. The film is scheduled for a 2011 nationwide release and will be screened on the film festival circuit.
Yet again, Dowdell has assembled an enviable cast, including Tony Todd, Irma Hall, Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones, Suzzanne Douglas and Sean Riggs. Among his other credits, Dowdell wrote and directed the number one African-American themed film in 2005 for Sony Pictures, “Train Ride” which grossed over $20 million in revenues.
“Money Brings Trouble” will also be featured on KIN4LIFE’s upcoming CD, also due for release next year. Under their imprint, KIN4LIFE has released two studio albums,”KIN4LIFE Volume I” and “I Love KIN4LIFE”, the EP “Rock Star” and the 2010 mixtape “Welcome To Planet Noriq”. Their video for the hit single “Make Up Girl” held a spot on the Click List Countdown on MTV’s Logo for 11 consecutive weeks, and was nominated for The Click List's Top 10 Videos of 2009. The group’s 2010 schedule includes headlining at: the GO Magazine New York Nightlife Awards show in April; appearances in Philadelphia, Toronto, Houston, Atlanta, Columbia, S.C. and other cities; and performing at Inferno Dominican Republic on Labor Day weekend.
KIN4LIFE admits their first love is emceeing but their production and songwriting skills also make them a hot commodity behind the scenes. Working with the hottest up and coming hip hop, R&B and pop acts, KIN4LIFE garners comparison to Missy Elliot and The Neptunes, which prompted them to form Noriq Records’ subsidiaries, Red Eye Productions and The KIN Factory (writing and production). KIN4LIFE showcased their talent as producers by winning the “King of the ATL” battle at the industry proving ground Producer’s Swap Meet in Atlanta in the fall of 2009.
For “Changing The Game” press inquiries, contact Philly First Entertainment at:
For more on KIN4LIFE, visit:
Official Website: www.kin4life.com
Press and Booking Inquiries: Melody Forrester, Esq.
Artists First, Inc.
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Artists First is a full sevice entertainment management and consulting company.
Managing recording artists, musicians, music producers, screenwriters, film and television producers, directors, videographers, spoken word artists and actors.
KIN4LIFE - "Lone Ranger" In Dedication To The LGBT Youth
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Here's some early ear candy prior to #MusicMonday: KIN4LIFE'S "Lone Ranger" has hit the net! With o...Here's some early ear candy prior to #MusicMonday: KIN4LIFE'S "Lone Ranger" has hit the net!
With over 1,100 downloads so far today, this is truly a must listen to track. With the vast amount of suicides happening nationwide in part to our LGBT youth being ridiculed and bullied by their peers because of their sexuality, "Lone Ranger" is among the many efforts put forth to bring this to an end.
KIN4LIFE got together with YouTube personalities, Studology101, and acoustic artist Neftunes to create "Lone Ranger" which with KIN4LIFE's soothing voices, sincere words as well as talented beat making skills [all music was created by them], Neftune's "Acoustic Gangsterism ", and Studology101's facts creates a song that surely needs to be in heavy rotation and on the airwaves!
KIN4LIFE: Empowering The Businesswoman
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“Real music makes us happy. We define real music as music that comes from the true heart and soul of...“Real music makes us happy. We define real music as music that comes from the true heart and soul of a person, completely ignoring music industry perceptions of what's hot and what's not. KIN4LIFE's new single, "Queen Latifah", exemplifies just that. While lesser musical talent would have chosen to emulate icons that they could not relate to or make sense of, K4L chooses an '80's Baby' favorite and an example to business-women everywhere. The self-engineered Hip-Hop/ Street-Rock duo and owners of Noriq Records, go in on the various scams being run by the 'vultures' of this industry, the fame centered attitude of many of today's artists and how to handle your business like a true Queen Latifah,.. ”
KIN4LIFE 2008 Year In Review
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The Southern Voice Atlanta, GA The sounds of Pride ...The Southern Voice
The sounds of Pride
Stage lineup offers diverse musical styles for everyone
HOME > SOVO SCENE > MUSIC
Oct 30, 2009 | By: MATT SCHAFER and | COMMENTS | |
Over 200 musicians applied for fewer than 20 slots on Atlanta Pride’s two stages this year, resulting in an eclectic mix of straight and gay performers from Atlanta and across the country.
Organizers combed through applications to find performers who offered a diverse array of sounds and styles, from beat-boxing “American Idol” Blake Lewis to Nadirah Shakoor, the former lead singer of Arrested Development.
“Every year we have a process where we allow people from across the world to apply … then we have a pretty diverse panel,” Pride Events Manager J. Sheffield said.
Pride accepts applications online and then culls through the applications to find a lineup that is diverse and affordable.
“There’s some people who send us things that we love, but we absolutely can’t afford… Our entertainment is free, and while we would love to have Cyndi Lauper on stage, we are an un-ticketed festival, so there are some things we just can’t do,” Sheffield said.
The lineups at the Coce-Cola and Budweiser stages look different than they have in the past, and include more current and upcoming artists, exchanging headliners like Tiffany in 2008 for Blake Lewis in 2009.
“Blake Lewis is a kind of entertainer that we have not had before. Number one, most of our headliners have been female, and our community loves throwbacks,” Sheffield said. “We really haven’t had a headliner who’s as current as Blake, especially when you take into consideration that he wasn’t just on ‘American Idol,’ he was a finalist on ‘American Idol.’”
Lewis plays the Coca-Cola state Sunday at 5:50 p.m.
While Pride wants a diverse lineup, the committee doesn’t ask performers about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Obviously we want to support our gay artists, but we don’t ask on our applications if they’re gay, or trans or bi… we do have on our application a whole paragraph that says that this is a GLBT community event and we support people who support the community,” Sheffield said. “A lot of times artists will come out and tell us their orientation during the application process.”
This year’s festival includes a mix of Atlanta Pride veterans like Eric Himan and Josh Zuckerman. Also this year, queer rap duo God-Des and She and Kin4Life perform on the Coca-Cola Stage.
KIN4LIFE IS THE LESBIAN “street rock” duo Nor and I.Q. The New York artists who recently relocated to Atlanta impressed Atlanta Pride so much they won the first spot of the festival, cranking up the Coca-Cola stage at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“It’s the first time they’ve submitted to apply to play at Pride, and not only did they get accepted, they’re on the main stage, and that never happens,” said Sheila Merritt, a vice president of Q&A Events, which books the events for Pride.
I.Q. said the band is called Kin4Life “because we’re like sisters. We’ve known each other our whole lives, we’re like sisters, not partners, like sisters.”
“Yes, like sisters,” Nor added. “She was the one who taught me how to drive actually.”
“I’d like to go on record saying she started calling me gay when we were in junior high and look who is gay also,” I.Q. said.
The hip hop duo has made a living playing Pride festivals throughout the country and were able to clear time for Atlanta Pride this year because it fell on Halloween, and outside of traditional Pride season. Since moving to Atlanta they’ve played a mix of straight and gay venues to solid reviews, from winning beat battles and performing at The Earl to playing in front of gay scenes like Mary’s and the queer arts and music fest MondoHomo.
“We love, love playing Prides,” I.Q. said. “Also what’s fun [is] when we sing our song ‘Makeup Girl,’ we pull a girl up on stage and we sing to her and we get the reaction like the big stars do, and people act like they’re going to faint. It’s great.”
Kin4Life has tried to create their own niche inside the larger hip hop genre, and promise to give the Pride crowds a good time.
“We call it street rock — it’s basically an infusion between hip hop, rock and bass… so it’s high energy stuff, funny stuff, we sing about our lives,” Nor said.
ALTHOUGH ERIC HIMAN HAS PLAYED ATLANTA Pride before, this year he is bringing an entirely new sound and a new band with him when he performs at 4:55 p.m. on Sunday.
“I am very excited to see Eric Himan with the band,” Sheffield said. “We have booked him several times over the past couple years, but this is the first time we’ve booked him with a band and we’re hearing great things about the band.”
Himan, sometimes called “the gay Johnny Cash,” has teamed up with brother-and-sister duo Jimmy Adams and Angel Adams to give his work a more rock sound as he starts to move away from the folk acoustic scene in which he’s established himself.
“Even though I played acoustic guitar I always assumed I was folk because folk is people playing acoustic instruments. But all the shows I would go to, people would tell me that I wasn’t folk, I was rock,” Himan told Southern Voice.
Himan counts among his influences bands like the Black Crowes and Cake, but never moved towards that sound because he considered himself more of a Bluegrass performer. While living in Tulsa, Okla., he met the Adams — Jimmy plays bass, Angel the drums — and the three started to forge a new, more rock-centric sound.
“Everyone seems to have a very, very strong reaction,” Himan said. “We’re still playing the songs I’ve been playing my entire career, but now they have full sound behind them.”
Himan’s set at Pride will include some of his staple hits, but also some new cuts from his recently recorded album that is set to drop in December.
“We played a few of them out in Tulsa where we live, and this will be the first time we’ve played them outside of Tulsa so it will be cool to see people’s reactions,” he said.
ANOTHER VETERAN OF ATLANTA PRIDE, openly gay singer/songwriter Josh Zuckerman, said he is debating whether to perform in costume to celebrate Halloween.
“I’m curious as to whether the other entertainers will be in costume a lot,” he said. “I think it would different if everyone knew who I was then I could do it, but I wouldn’t want that to be my first impression of me as an artist.”
Zuckerman will be appearing at Pride as a part of promoting his new album, “Got Love?” an endeavor that he says reflects his soul as an artist.
“My music is definitively eclectic; it’s a little bit of rock music, pop music. It’s like all these different musical styles all rolled up into one,” he said. “The message that I really sing about revolves around loving yourself.”
The title track of the album is a funky song love song that has been hanging out on the top-10 of Logo’s video countdown.
Zuckerman said he loves Prides, but won’t get to see much of Atlanta this trip, arriving the night before his 1:50 p.m. performance on the Coca-Cola stage on Saturday and leaving the same day.
Zuckerman is trying to make a push to increase his overall visibility in a bid to achieve crossover success.
“I’m trying to gain more fans, and trying to get my music on television or in movies, trying to get my music out there,” he said.
Baruch Rapper Tiffany "IQ" Jones Makes a Name for Herself
By Phillip Gong
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Share this article Published: Monday, May 12, 2003
Updated: Sunday, February 15, 2009
My first class of the spring semester began with my Chemistry 1000 class. Little did I know that there would be someone famous in my class and that this person would turn out to be my lab partner. I got to know her a little more on the second day of class and found out that she was a rapper. She then proceeded to tell me that she was the CEO of a record label, Noriq Records. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, so she told me to check out her website at KIN4LIFE.com to verify what she was saying. So when I went home and checked the site, I was amazed to find out she was actually telling me the truth. I just made friends with a CEO! From that day forward, I have learned a lot more about Tiffany “IQ” Jones since. I’m going to tell you more about IQ’s journey as a performer.
IQ has always felt the beats and the rhymes of rap music. She wrote poetry during all four of her years in high school, and eventually gave beats to her verses. In high school, she was one of the smartest kids in her school and that’s where her rap name came from: all the kids called her IQ because of her smarts. Despite running a record label, this Baruch senior majoring in Music Management Enterprises has still managed to maintain a 3.4 GPA. She has found time for her classes by studying in between classes during her breaks and while she is riding on the train to school from her hometown in Mount Vernon. “I’m surviving,” she says. The rest of each of her days is dedicated to Noriq Records which includes engineering, producing, managing and maintaining the label’s website, KIN4LIFE.COM.
IQ and her rap partner Nor, who is also from Mount Vernon formed the rap duo known as Kin. Kin was formed in early 1999 and has been gaining popularity ever since. Kin has performed at various colleges including all the CUNY colleges and NYU. Jimmy’s Uptown and Club Downtime have shown Kin much love as well. Kin’s performances have not been limited to New York either. They have gone down to Virginia and Philadelphia to do live shows and promo tours. In addition, the Philly radio station 103.9 and KCLA in Los Angeles have given Kin some airplay too. What is most impressive about Kin’s accomplishments is its continual growth overseas. European countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands all play KIN4LIFE, Kin’s current single, on the radio. Yet, the country that loves Kin the most is Croatia; Croatian Radio gives Kin the best airtime and plays Kin’s songs at least once a day.
IQ's record label, Noriq Records was incorporated on June 5, 2002. As the CEO of Noriq Records, IQ has recruited some raw and undeveloped rappers from the streets. IQ has also brought a few R&B and Gospel singers into her label. The roster at Noriq Records is not big, but the quality of talent is. IQ only recruits those who have both the talent and the drive to perform. IQ looks for performers who give “110 percent” and have “the same drive as we [Kin] did.” Part of the talented Noriq family is R&B singer Kacie who has an astonishing voice. Another developing talent is a bright, upcoming 10 year-old rapper known as Kas Littles. Noriq Records continues to grow in size, and the label will only get better. Their popularity spreads each day when members of the Noriq street team spread the word to others about Kin.
The latest news involving Kin is the release of their street single, KIN4LIFE. Their hot new street single can be purchased through their website at KIN4LIFE.COM. They will also be featured in the new magazine Rap Illustrated. The first Kin album is expected to drop in stores sometime in July. If you like rap, you will like Kin. If you don’t believe that their rap is good you can go check out the website where samples of Nor and Iq’s songs can be heard. In a few years, Baruch student Tiffany “IQ” Jones and her friend Nor will make it big in the rap game. Keep an eye out for them.
KIN4LIFE 2008 Year in Review
2008 started off with a bang for KIN4LIFE....January was filled with several first that set the tone for the new year.
January saw KIN4LIFE featured in Emmy Award Winning PBS Series "In The Life” KIN4LIFE would like to thank director Rick Mordecon who was an integral part in putting together our episode.
January also saw main stream hip hop pay attention to the KIN4LIFE movement with one of AllHipHop.Com’s most controversial articles to date...”Black Lesbians Rock” A title that at first sat with us funny until we realized that an entire article about Black Lesbians Rock should be about KIN4LIFE. It was one of the most commented articles on Allhiphop.com for a signed or unsigned artists. We started dialogue sometimes ignored in that African American community and for that we are proud and that we are grateful to Tanisha Alston for having the guts to write about your girls in such a positive light.
February also saw KIN4LIFE featured in the groundbreaking documentary “black.womyn.conversations” by Director Tiona M. The film is still being showed nationwide so make sure you catch it when it comes to your area or visit the official youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/tionanm
March KIN4LIFE linked up with GONYC Magazine to tear down Public Assembly NYC for their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit. Shout out to GONYC Magazine who has supported KIN4LIFE for years!
We also took our band on the road for the first time when we rocked Fran’s Place Unplugged. We gotta show love to our band some of the most talented group of musicians we have ever met. Thank you Scotty, Santos, and Tony for bringing our production to life with our live show! Extra Special thanks to SheSoFocuzed Entertainment for making that show happen after a couple beantown promoters tried to block our original show! You can not stop KIN4LIFE!!!
In May, KIN4LIFE recorded their groundbreaking video “Make Up Girl” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTG-g18xgmc) under the amazing direction of Dorian G. Stone and the hardest working cast and crew ever. The video was shot in the most rewarding 39 hours of our lives. 2 Days of non stop work and dedication by everyone led to the video that has our storming into 2009 and taking no prisoners.
May we also headlined MondoHomo2 for the second year and this time we brought our band out! Shout out to Ria and KiKi that help make that concert happen every year.
One of the highlights of June for KIN4LIFE was our performance at Portland Oregon Black Pride. Not because it was the best show ever but led to the best and longest KIN4LIFE Travel Terrors to date!!! You can check out all of our Travel Terrors by visiting our YOUTUBE Channel at WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/TIFFJONES820
We also premiered our video during NYC Pride with Hot Nickel Entertainment. Thanks for making that premiere a success and shout out to Evon by way of the UK for opening up for your girls. Check her out.
July we got back in the studio to continue to craft our forthcoming album KIN4LIFE Vol. 2: I Love KIN4LIFE. Album coming soon!
Known for thier live show a standard 30 minute set is going to be high energy! We never stop moving on stage even when we infuse our r&b driven tracks into an energentic hip hop show.
"Money Brings Trouble"
"Make Up Girl"
"Its Over Now"
There are no upcoming dates at this time.