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Arkatak, a member of the El Paso hip-hop group Giantz, sees the potential hip-hop has in El Paso, especially with local groups making their own music.

"I see it as small and growing," said Arkatak (aka Mike Cardoza). "It's a slow process. Within the next five to 10 years, it could be as big as Austin or Phoenix's hip-hop scene."
Arkatak wasn't always a fan of hip-hop, but once he heard it, he was hooked.

"When I was 7 or 8, I didn't know what hip-hop was," Arkatak, 26, said. "I was into the '80s music like the Jets, the Cure and Depeche Mode. I had a neighbor who used to beatbox (creating rhythms with the mouth) and he asked me what kind of music I liked. He told me and then he told me what he liked. He showed me Run-DMC and I liked it right away."

Soon after, he bought his first hip-hop record -- "Radio" by LL Cool J.

"That certain style intrigued me," Arkatak said of why he started to perform hip-hop. The Giantz also includes group members D-A (Darell Willis) and DJ Bless 1 (Erik Gavin). - El Paso Times


The Giantz-The Beanstock Vol. 2: Drawbridge Castle (CD Baby,, Lead By Example (i-Tunes), Keep The Realness Alive Vol. 1 Hosted By Guru of Gangstarr and DJ Solar (7 Grand Records, Top Notch Records)



Although a newcomer to the national scene, the extremely humble and hardworking El Paso, Texas artist that goes by the name of Arkatak has managed to keep the true elements of Hip Hop alive at home and throughout his many travels. Due to his hardwork and dedication, in a very short time he has been blessed with the opportunity to work in collaboration with a number of established artist including but not limited to: Ali Shaheed Muhammad of the legendary A Tribe Called Quest, Chip-Fu of The Fu-Shnickens, Artson from Rock Steady Crew, RBX of The Dogg Pound, LMNO of The Visionaries, Bahamadia, and Ariano of Technicali Sound, Guru of Gangstarr just to name a few.

His strong vocal delivery, innovative lyrics, and energy create the energy and showmanship that true Hip Hop heads have come to expect from a live show. Personality and professionalism play a great role in the image of Arkatak. Making a name with a foundation of unlimited skill is simply the icing on the cake. Arkatak believes that an artist is more likely to be successful for the rest of his or her life if he or she has the right attitude, as well as a dynamic performance. The show must be one that is not forgotten.

Arkatak has proven himself with opening acts for the following groups: Wu-Tang Clan,Twista, Fat Joe, Juvenile, Shawnna (Disturbing Tha Peace), Houston, Terror Squad, Kurupt (DPG), Rock Steady Crew, Del the Funky Homosapian, Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz, Sunz of Man, Tech Nyne, Living Legends, Motion Man, Kut Master Kurt, The People Under the Stairs, The Lifesavas, Murs, Brother Ali, The Chapter, Eyedea, 2Mex, Mystic Journeyman, Odd Jobs, Diverse, Zion I Crew, Deuce Eclipse, Lyrics Born, Kiotti, Roscoe, The Chapter, Constructive Ruckus, KRS-ONE, B-Real of Cypress Hill, The Visionaries, LD and Ariano, Jeru the Damaja, The Pharcyde, and many more.

Ark's lead off single "This Is Hip Hop" is a true product of his self-released (Top Notch Records) solo album coming soon entitled, "Easier Done Than Said". Also available on Top Notch Records, Arkatak's "Keep the Realness Alive" Mixtape Volume 1 hosted by Guru of Gangstarr and DJ Solar with featured artist: Iriscience (Dilated Peoples), Zion-I, LMNO (The Visionaries), Jade Foxx (Bum Squad DJ's), Termanology, DJ Premier, Prince Po of Organized Konfusion and many more.