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New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop World


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"Apostles:Spreading the Word of Hip-Hop Across the Globe"

From the dark underground of Castle Hill Avenue in the Bronx, tracks are being laid and lyrics are being spit as you read this. The Apostles, a group of four lyricists (Icon, Griot, Megawatt and Skills), have been laying down the foundation for the last five years from their base in the BX, and are still handling their business, all the way to the nether regions of Brisbane, Australia.

Coming off their most recent performance at the South Park Music Festival in Colorado, the Apostles aren’t content. In the words of Michael Jackson, they won’t stop ‘till they get enough. “We feel like that was just a jumping off point for us,” said Griot, “We’re about ready to blow, and not just in NY, I’m talkin’ about all over the damn globe.” If South Park was any indication, the Apostles are well on their way. In addition to selling mad albums, they created quite a following in South Park. Although they wont divulge the details, its seems like they got that groupie thang down.

The Apostles have been like family, more than brothers, for decades. Their first album, The Dead Zone, was created out of all-night, blunt-filled ciphers in Manhattan and captured in their personal recording studio, “The Place 2B Studios”, in the Bronx. Their lyrics can be best described as socially and politically conscious, as it raises questions and seeks to raise awareness. Their topics range from love, lust, freedom and oppression, to poverty, education and hangin wit yo peoples. They aren’t yappin’ about money, cars, and bling like all the rest of the rest of the so-called “G’s” who are driving on 22’s, with a quarter tank of gas.

“C’mon man, we’re speakin’ about real things, the truth,” said one of the four men behind the mic, Icon. “People need to wake up and see what’s going on in this country, he continued, “Look at this puppet in the White House, does he really have a clue about what’s really going on in America?” And by what we’ve seen in recent weeks with Hurricane Katrina, Lil’ George seems to be proving Icon’s point.

Icon, who was born and raised in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, blends his poetry to the music, makin’ you say Whut the #%$?, after you hear his lyrics. In their classic track, Burn the Bush, Icon spits, “You got guns use ‘em/ his laws refuse ‘em/ remove ‘em/ from a position where he can keep losin’/ the youth to a lost cause/ troops made of all ya’ll/ die for a lie.” Can you really argue with that??

Markell Parker, aka, Megawatt, is Bronx to the core. He’s a veteran in this game. With two older brothers introducing him to the lyricist’s world, Megawatt began free-styling with the older gods since he hit his first free throw. Before joining Apostles, Megawatt and his brother Kilowatt founded the production company Watts Ink (Griot soon joined making it a trio). Watts Ink is now the production engine behind the Apostles, and several other acts. Megawatt brings not only a sick flow, but also thorough and informed production skills. Megawatt is known as the GZA of the Apostles. As Method Man said about the GZA in Wu-Tang, “We form like Voltron, and GZA happens to be the head.” The same can be said about Megawatt’s role in the Apostles.
The Apostles are gearing up for The Uhuru War I Tour, a nine-day, six-show excursion that will take place all over Australia and New Zealand this November. The headlining acts with be none other than Naughty by Nature, (yeah you know them!). Dead Prez will be the other headlining act, along with fellow New Yorkers, P.O.W. “This is what we need right now,” said Megawatt, “I’m not even talking about exposure, but just seeing how Naughty and Dead Prez do their thing, that will be huge for us. They’re definitely cats that we can learn from.”

The groundwork for this Australia tour started on the same night Ron Ron went buck wild in Detroit. That’s the night Griot landed Melbourne. His six-month, solo odyssey had him rhyming with some of the illest aborigines the continent has ever known. Griot got down with the hip-hop scene (if you can call it that, down-under), and some could say he even revolutionized it. Not only was he headlining shows on the solo-tip, he was also holding down workshops for inner city kids who were interested in getting into the game.

From the day he returned to the City, Griot has been oozing confidence. His whole focus is getting the Apostles to the next level. They recently held it down in lower Manhattan, at the world-renown Knitting Factory. In front of a crowd of hundreds, the Apostles had the people bumpin’ with their hottest tracks. Who dis?, Reach for the Top, and Burn the Bush nearly brought the house down. “That was a wonderful feeling being able to get up in our hometown, in front of mad peoples and rock the mic like that,” said Skills.

Skills is the mad-scientist of the group. But there is a method behind the madness to this high-school teacher. As he spreads the word on the track Feel No Pain, “Scrapin’ the pavement/ enslaved and engraved in/ a cracked-out, fucked-up system of education/ why label it?/ so we can start changin’ it. This social thought master seeks to spread the word that change is possible. "I think education is power. I’m here to encourage people to empower themselves. We can’t just sit here, complain and do nothing." After six months of traveling through the darkness of Cuba and Central America, Skills has seen first hand what literacy can do for people. This lyrical mastermind is ready to go toe-to-toe with any wanna-be holding a mic.

You may or may not have heard of the Apostles (you better ask somebody if you haven’t!). But that’s because they’ve been going at it, at The Place 2B Studios so hard that they haven’t been able to get their name out there. But all that is about to change, according to Griot, “This is our time. We’ve just been grinding the past couple of years, getting our shit down on wax. Just perfectin’ this shit.” And that’s the appeal of the Apostles; they make their own beats, write their own lyrics and produce their own shit, themselves. Everything is homemade, just like your mama’s sweet potato pie.
Written by Mathew Jacob, mat.jacob@gmail.com
- Mathew Jacob Good Life Magazine New York


Dead Zone - released June 2000
Apostelyptic - released Aug. 2004
Chapter 7 (Icon solo)- released Dec. 2005
Underglobe - (released in Australia) April 2006
Grown Folks Hip Hop mixtape- (Nov. 2006)
Makin the People Move- Sept. 2007



Grown Folks Hip Hop
The Biography of Apostles

Griot and Megawatt are Apostles; leaders of a new movement in the rap game called Grown Folks Hip Hop. Lyrics center on real life themes that people with jobs, kids and bills can relate to. At the same time it is not rim-and-jewelry-bashing hater music either. It’s socially conscious, from an intelligent-ghetto point of view. Songs like “Stay on Ur Hustle,” from their latest LP, Makin the People Move, showcase their perspective and lyrical talent with bars like “Late night working hard 9-5 plus overtime/ believe it or not we’re modern day slave walking the chain line/ without the whip….”

Griot and Mega have been writing, spitting and producing together since 1999, and separately for even longer. They are a pair of studio rats and a couple of showmen in every sense. Griot (aka G. Riot) has lived on three different continents and has been the driving force behind Apostles since the start. He began by making beats using a free download and now he and Mega own and manage The Place 2B Studios where they make their hits. Megawatt is a High-Honors graduate of the world-renown Institute of Audio Research in New York City. In addition to being two of NYC’s finest emcees, they are both prolific producer/ engineers.

Three years ago Apostles recruited an army of musicians from the NY area and formed the dynamic Apostles Band. They have been expanding their fan-base and their sound ever since. Smashing famous Rock venues like The Knitting Factory, Crash Mansion and Webster Hall with their Grown Folks Hip Hop, Apostles has built a name for themselves as one of the best stage shows popping in the streets. Crowds in Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, of course all 5 boroughs in NYC and even 5 cities in Australia have all borne witness. Apostles is everything Hip Hop has been missing and all the good sh-t it never lost.