Grinding is a word hustlers use to describe their struggle. It’s a word that embodies Hip-Hop culture and what The Associates have been doing way before the Fresh Prince was on TV Land.
The Associates, made up of rapper, Corleone and producer, stkee combine to create a sound that challenges the definition of rap, at the same time taking you through the Bay Area streets from their perspective.
With their typical Bay Area upbringing they bring to the Hip-Hop world an atypical outlook. Both stkee and Corleone were on their own grinds when they met through Alpha Kappa Omega fraternity and realized they both saw music as the glue that kept their lives together.
“Being a group was more of an elevation than a motivation,” recalls Corleone. “We worked well together and decided that we should continue to make music together, that simple.”
Avoiding the threat of watering down their sound, The Associates have not given up quality for quantity, keeping only hits among the hundreds of songs written. Corleone’s cool, calculated delivery and stkee’s stirring instrumentals are distilled and refined from influences ranging from obscure ’70s soul to modern pop.
Staying on the grind, The Associates find their own inspiration through family ties and the desire to become legendary musicians.
Get Associated is the debut album featuring the singles, Friday Night and In The Zone. The LP is anticipated to make major waves in the Hip-Hop game and the new players rockin’ the boat are holding their own & staking their claim on the Bay Area scene. The Associates are calling you out:
“Get associated, get used to the fact that we’re going to be here for a while.”
For booking information and other inquiries:
c/o Christine Fernandez
142 N. Milpitas Blvd. #303
Milpitas, CA 95035
San Jose, 2008
A.D.H.D. (Rock Out), March 2009
Friday Night, March 2009
In Da U, August 2009
This Track, August 2009
F Up Live Shows, September 2009
Pledge For AKOmega, September 2009
Bob n Lean, November 2009
Meeting Demands, December 2009
Mic Robbery, December 2009
She's Fresh, December 2009
San Jose 2010, February 2010
Game Is Over, February 2010
Two Stand Up Dudes, April 2010
Patrick, April 2010
Successful, April 2010
Throw It In The Bag, April 2010
In The Zone, June 2011
Get Associated, December 2010
Broken Hearts Club, February 2011
Streaming Online Radio Stations:
Spinatiks Online Radio, March 2009
iPhone Jam Sessions, November 2009
Radiolicious.fm, November 2009 - November 2010
HotNewHipHop.com, April 2010
StreetzRadio.com, TBA 2010
YourLocalHDBand.com, TBA 2010
Hangout Corporation Podcast - January 2010
Runner up for Radiolicious Elite Artists, November 2009
Hip-hop duo striving to be recognized
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With their first mix tape still in production and a determination to get noticed, the hip-hop group,...With their first mix tape still in production and a determination to get noticed, the hip-hop group, The Associates, are working to get recognition.
Corleone (Maxwell Corleone) and Stkee Phl0 (Dean Anthony Ramos), both members of the fraternity Alpha Kappa Omega, chose the name The Associates because it embodied the relationship they have towards one another, said Corleone in an e-mail.
Ramos, who is graduating this May from SJSU with a bachelor's in management information systems, and Corleone who is a business administration graduate from California State University East Bay, say they met through their fraternity.
"We were already affiliated with each other through Alpha Kappa Omega," Corleone said, "and I heard that he was rapping and making beats."
Stkee Ph10 began talking to Corleone about collaborating on some songs, and after they wrote their first song together, everything else fell into place, Corleone said.
The group went on to perform a couple shows together, including the First Mosaic Talent Show in fall of 2005, where they took third place.
Before making the group official, Stkee Phl0 was rapping, making music on his own, and filmed a music video that he turned in to musicnation.com - a video music competition for independent artists.
"The video I've submitted at musicnation.com was a video for 'Revenge of the Nerd,'" Ramos said in an e-mail. "The majority of it was filmed at SJSU and I wanted to represent the life I was living."
A senior at San Jose State University, Ramos song "Revenge of the Nerd" is about going to school, promoting himself and "kicking it" at San Jose State, Stkee Phl0 said.
Ramos also said he chose that song because it was one of his more popular songs that he performed and what he used to promote his Web site.
Out of 600 videos, Ramos music video stands at around 250 in the ranking and was recognized by Harp Magazine as "cinematic."
Now in the studio with his partner Corleone, the duo is getting ready to release its first mix tape together.
"Right now we're getting that settled and getting ready to have the product ready so when we do perform people can leave with more than a business card and Web site," Ramos said.
Like a second job, The Associates go into the studio ready to work hard and ready to lay out their tracks.
"It's a very tranquil feeling when you feel all the words coming out right, and the passion poured behind the voice," Corleone said.
Ryanjoseph Dionisio Reyes, who produced a song on the group's mix tape, called "Pacquiao Couch," - after the highly acclaimed Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao - met Ramos at a show called "Hot Import Nights" in San Mateo, where he received a copy of Ramos early CD, Reyes said through an e-mail.
Reyes said that The Associates strengths are its ability to work fluently and consistently with its raw style of music it produces.
"It's from the heart," Reyes said, "it's not about marketing clothes, or cars or even lotion. A lot of it is personal from what I've heard, and draws into the big picture.
"I wouldn't have worked with them if I knew they would just be another rhyming ad campaign. Respectfully, they do music for fun, which is the way it should be done."
With inspiration ranging from Tupac to Notorious B.I.G. for Ramos, and the environment and general surroundings for Corleone, the group said it's hard to describe its music because it ranges depending on the mood its currently in when writing its songs.
The group has songs that vary in theme from violence, clubs, being in control of their own destiny and relationships.
But Corleone describes their music as versatile, evolving and true to the spirit of hip-hop and hope that with hard work, one day they can leave a legacy behind.
"When we work together it truly does work," Corleone said. "We might have two different ways of approaching the same track, but we can both ride out the same idea and give helpful input to bring that idea to life a lot stronger."
Get Associated Album Review on BayUndaground.com
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The Associates is a freshly founded group made of two northern California artists: rapper Corleone a...The Associates is a freshly founded group made of two northern California artists: rapper Corleone and producer / emcee Stkee. The first one was born in San Leandro and now resides in Hayward, while the leading beatmaker of the duet represents City of Sharks in the 408 area code. The "Get Associated" album dropped in Winter 2010 and is officially their debut project, although truth is they're also sitting on dozens of never released songs, plus you could have heard Stkee's work on the "Future Of The Hip Hop Vol. 1" compilation from 2004. What's more, The Associates producer is not your average, amateur piano man, yet a certified artist with a musical education. Let's cut to the chase and look closer what new players from the Yay served us on their debut cd.
Just the cover artwork itself is already an intriguing and catchy element, as despite the fact it includes hackneyed rap symbols (stacks of banknotes, expensive whip, half naked chick) it is definitely one of the freshest graphics I've recently seen. The cd itself was put into a digipak and was filled with vibes almost to its limits. The track listing inside the box says it features 14 titles, yet it appears that we receive 6 additional bonus cuts put at the end of the album, which eventually make a total of 75 minutes of undisturbed music. Speaking of which it surely does not remind me of a typical contemporary Bay Area rap, yet more of a calm and ambitious hip-hop / rap. Corleone and Stkee fancy talking about their own lives, so you'll definitely hear them narrating stories about feelings and women (mostly on the bonus material), getting at ladies ("She's Fresh") and about the everlasting fight between the passion as well as love towards a girl and the music ("Music Got My Soul"). Obviously you'll also find a few tracks with a threadbare, played-out topics, for instance the single called "A.D.H.D." or "Boom Boom" and club-type "Friday Night". Fortunately most of the songs have a specific intention and well-considered lyrics, hence they're soaked with stories about pursuing one's goals, misjudging other people or an Internet generation. By the way, check out a few interesting lines from "iGen":
Napster got yo boys on lock
And we free out on the block
They download our mp3's
Do torrents to mess with me
If you haven't heard of me
Than it's time to google me
Go ahead and youtube me
Go to Twitter follow me
Go to FaceBook be my fan
Go to MySpace add my band
The above verses may not be abounded with sophisticated rhymes, yet it's easy to notice that the artist smoothly plays with words, which makes his stanzas really catchy. It's a pity that the guys from The Associates weren't gifted with more charismatic and original voices. Stkee had a few more lively moments, while Corleone had usually followed melodies in a steady, monotonous way. A similar, quite satisfactory quality refers to the beats, which were entirely delivered by Stkee himself. A major part of them are at least decent and sound professionally. They don't really remind me of any other rap sub-genres I've heard before, but they definitely create a new, refreshing ambiance. Undoubtedly the producer should be praised for composing the music on the songs like "Bob n' Lean", "Friday Night", "Nothin' But The Hitz" or "Last Breath", but also for the ingenious sample loops on "No Way" and on a couple of bonus tracks. On the other hand the reviewed album is missing something: a wider palette of sounds, more energy or louder, distinct bass lines. Last but not least will be the RnB artists that accompanied the hosts on a couple of hooks and gave the project additional melodious vibes. Therefore people like Tae, Amaliza and Ver5e should be mentioned. "Get Associated" is a fresh air on the Bay Area rap scene that includes an ambitious lyrical message, nice production and decent vocals.
Album is available in digitals on iTunes. Also visit artists' official websites: GetAssociated.net and StkeeBeatz.com.
Props to Christine for sending us a cd for the review and a smooth networking.
Written by: lethaface
Mixtape: The Associates & Friends – Broken Hearts Club
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Another one of our user submitted mixtapes to make it to the front page. The Associates & Friends ha...Another one of our user submitted mixtapes to make it to the front page. The Associates & Friends have a strong following behind them and the music is dope as well. Check them out below.
User Submitted Mixtape: The Associates & Friends – Broken Hearts Club
It all started last year when we were recording a bunch of random songs for fun. Heitman had a penchant for finding ill beats and we ended up writing to a Lil Wayne and Bobby Valentino beat. The result was a song about females entering and leaving our lives. A year later we revisited our original recordings and finally got an artist to sing the hook.
As a result of reviewing the song, the Broken Hearts Club was created. We realized everyone’s been hurt and there’s lot of different stories and perspectives that all results with someone being hurt. Life isn’t black and white. With this project we’re exploring many different situations where things can go wrong in a relationship.
Recruiting the talents of The Associates, Hitman, Ver5e, Bossquach, and DJ Eternal this mixtape offers unique and entertaining perspectives how everyone approaches a bad situation. I hope that with our lyrical prowess it can help support anyone suffering a broken heart.
Download “The Associates & Friends – Broken Hearts Club” at:
We can do about ten of our original songs. We play sets as long as the venue requires. We hate to leave the crowd sitting and waiting for more live music.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.