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Alexandria, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Alexandria, Virginia, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop R&B


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The 28-year-old Crisis Black born Chris Ndangmo, is already proclaiming his fame, “The best emcee coming out of the East Coast in a long time is me,” he boast. As he prepares for the May 2010 release of his album American Graffiti , Crisis is also finalizing distribution deals for what he calls his “Reasonable Doubt“.

It’s no coincidence that this DC native became an emcee. The youngest of five: two brothers and a sister that are emcees and a sister that sings, are the seeds of his musical roots. “I started out as a battle rapper, and I was always younger than the people that I would battle. I’d be like 16; my brother was like 21, so they’d get me up to the open mics where you had to be like 21 and up. I’d battle people and people just started calling me “Crisis” ‘cause they was like, ‘Yo that dude’s crazy, that’s a crisis on your hands,‘ and uh it just stuck,” says Crisis.

Crisis began his career as a part of the group Endless Descendants in 1994. As recognition of his talent increased, he moved on to do shows with his older brother’s group Before Adam. “Everybody was impressed because of the fact that I was so young, but again I was able to carry my weight with more of the big dudes,” he says.

Capital Noise: So, what really inspired you to become an emcee?
Crisis Black: Can I say a specific person?
CN: Yeah
CB: A specific person is Blitz Legacy. That’s my older brother. Dude doesn’t rap anymore, but hands down [he is] probably is the best rapper to ever come from this area. He was way ahead of his time in terms of word play. Being the younger brother I always wanted to out shine him on a track. His being so good made me work at being better. You know, some people can rap and some people can make metaphors, but not everyone can make actual songs. With him its word play; his ability to paint pictures was so on point. It always made me wanna get better because I always wanted people to hear a song with me and him and say that I had the best verse on the track. (laughs) That was so rare for him to be on a track with anybody and not be the focus of attention. So it would definitely be him that really got me into doing music.

CN: You are a DC native, so I know that you’ve done a lot of performances in the area. Can you tell me more about that and some of the other venues you have performed?
CB: Any spot that you can think of in DC that’s synonymous for hip hop past or present I’ve probably performed there. I’ve performed at a lot of different places. I’ve performed at the Kaffa House. I’ve performed at this place in Gainesville, FL called The Venue. In Richmond I performed at Alley Catz. I’ve also performed at a lot of outdoor events like George Mason day.

CN: That’s what’s up! You’ve dubbed yourself the best emcee coming out of the East Coast. What makes that statement true? What makes your music stand out from other artists?
CB: I have something for everybody. I can do the party tracks; I can do the tracks like “Betty Davis Eyez” for the ladies. I can do anything because I’m never stepping outside of my own zone, out of my own reality. I’m always able to pull from things that I’ve known that I’ve been around.

CN: Ok, so we know you can woo the ladies with tracks like “Betty Davis Eyez”. Since you mentioned that song from your new album American Graffiti, how did you come up with the name of this album?
CB: Well of course everybody’s gonna remember that there was a movie called “American Graffiti” that came out in 1973. The reason why I used it as a title is because it kind of embodies everything that I am as an emcee. I’m not one that’s trapped in a box, and that title gives me a lot of room to paint the picture that I wanna paint. Anybody who is a fan of hip hop in the late 90’s, like when DMX was doing his thing and when Jay-Z and them were doing “Hard Knock Life” anyone who’s a fan of music from that time period is gonna hear this and its gonna remind them of that…It feels like it’s the soundtrack to life. You feel like you’re watching a movie.

CN: Wow. So you’re saying your album is pretty much the “soundtrack to life.“ I guess you would say life is what inspired you to make this album, correct?
CB: Yeah, pretty much.

CN: What’s your favorite track on the album? I know you like “Betty Davis Eyez”. I like that one too. The title is really catchy.
CB: Yeah “Betty Davis Eyez” is one of my favorite tracks. Um, wow, it’s kind of hard for me to pick one.

CN: (laughs) If you had to pick one, what would you pick?
CB: Alright if someone told me this was going to be my last time on stage and I had to pick one track then…I guess…ah man that is so crazy… Ok it’s a toss up between a song called “What’s Ya Accent?” and another song called “Wanna Be Like Me (In Da VIP). Both of them were fun tracks but for different reasons. “What’s Ya Accent?” is more of an aggressive type track, more street oriented; whereas “Wanna Be Like Me” is more like a description of the VIP. People always talk about poppin’ bottles, but nobody ever just talked about the fact that you’re in the VIP and you know that the people who are not in the VIP kinda wanna be like that. So it would be a toss up. You’re trying to make me choose and it’s hard to choose.

CN: (laughs)
CB: I honestly feel like every track can be somebody’s favorite track.

CN: Let’s talk about Iron Triangle. You were only producing when you were with them? You didn’t do any music for yourself?
CB: I’m the one who started it. It was around the time when I had just stopped doing shows. I just took some time off and wanted to put on other people from my area that I knew were nice. So I kind of put the CEO cap on and started the company Iron Triangle Records. I was still doing my own music, but that wasn’t the primary focus. I wanted to develop their talent enough to where I would be able to do shows with them and have them open up for me, and eventually put out our own crew. One of the things that people are missing now in music in general is that no one is out here looking to start a movement anymore. If you think about music when it was its most appealing it was a movement. It didn’t matter if the movement was Death Row, Wu Tang, Dipset, Bad Boy, or even Rockafella it was always a movement. That’s what I was kinda creating: the movement. [With] The Northern Virginia/DC area emcees that I thought kind of represented this area the best.

CN: So you’ve been with Endless Descendants, Before Adam, Global Currency and created Iron Triangle. Well how long have you considered yourself a solo artist?
CB: Wow…Even with all of those groups I was still a solo artist. When I would get shows they were usually booked off of my material (with the exception of Before Adam). So I’ve always been solo, but affiliated with those different units. If you had to put a ballpark figure on it you can put about 10 years.

CN: What has been the most memorable moment in your music career?
CB: The first time I performed in front of more than 400 people. I did a show in like 2006 or 2007 it might have been 2,000 people there. It was me and my hype-man. We did the show and it was cool… To see that many people show you love…I can’t even put a word on it.

CN: Yeah, I’m sure that is an amazing feeling!
CB: When you’re an emcee you’re taught to believe its all about getting props, but for the longest time I only did shows in my area. When I started going outside of my area [to do shows] it’s like you’re not really the man until you can go to somebody else’s neighborhood and tear it down! To do that was just amazing. Between that and the first time I received a check for ghostwriting, like that was great. (laughs)

CN: I know your future is focused on completing “American Graffiti” and getting that out to the people. Did you have anything else that you wanted to put out there?
CB: I did wanna put this out there: the Global Currency movement is definitely in full effect! [The name Global Currency is me paying homage to my brother and them. That was the name of his crew that took me in and got me into music]. We’re also affiliated with the PanaMobb Crew based out of Brooklyn, New York. Blak Keyz: Bar none the best producer out now! That dude has definitely upped the ante in terms of production. When people hear the material we’re doing for this album they’ll see why. We’re bringing that East Coast sound back! Shoutout to: Global Currency. Look out for the “Martial Law” mixtape with my boy Zeus [from PanaMobb Crew], myself and Blak Keyz, Problum Child, Menace, and Killer Eastwood. Free Jacari!

Related Links:
Crisis MySpace
Crisis ReverbNation - Capital Noise

Unlike the Bermuda Triangle, it's no mystery what the Iron Triangle is about to do to Hip Hop listeners everywhere, as founder Chris "Crisis Black" Ndangmo explains it, the group is about to raise the bar. "We're setting the bar high again in Hip Hop," said Ndangmo. "People began to accept mediocre as being good. Back in the day you needed to have at least five good songs for it to be a hot album. Now you can have one ringtone rap and its considered a hot album."

Iron Triangle was formed in 2003 when two best friends Ndangmo and Aaron "Ace" Luciano, formed the group taking its name from the government term used to describe the three branches of government. In this case the Iron Triangle represents the three areas that make up the capitol region (DC, Northern VA, Southern Maryland)

to read the complete article you can go to or
- Artist Magazine


Manic Depression
Project Mayhem
American Graffiti

My music can be heard on XM Radio, Various internet radio stations as well.



“De facto” is the term many use to describe this emcee. Born in Northwest D.C. and raised in Northern Virginia, Crisis Black reps the DMV (the District, Maryland and Virginia) proudly with his versatile, yet honest approach to the mic. His lyrics touch on a wide variety of subject matter—from social justice to the party scene—but unlike many of today’s more mainstream hip-hop acts, he remains true to his own experiences.

Crisis Black first took the stage in 1994 as a member of the group Endless Descendants. Then known as Mista Digg, he teamed up with fellow DMV rapper AC. Together, Crisis Black and AC produced a number of underground hits. By 1995, Crisis Black had became a known and desired commodity in the DMV hip-hop community, landing roles as the featured artist on several tracks by local legends Close Encounters (Blitz Legacy & He Allah), including “Constellations” and “We Live 4 Today”.

As the buzz surrounding Crisis Black grew, one man—The Wizard—knew talent when he saw it, and he offered Crisis Black a spot in the group Rude Clique, one of the DMV’s most promising local acts. Seizing the opportunity to collaborate with some of the DMV’s best, Crisis joined the Rude Clique movement, and they proceeded to pump out tracks like “What is on Your Mind” and “Life of a Soldier”.

Rude Clique’s run came to an abrupt end in 1998, but Crisis Black kept rhyming. He joined the Global Currency label (founded by Blitz Legacy and Ade), and soon thereafter became their headliner. Under the tutelage of Blitz Legacy and Ade, Crisis Black also found success in the battle-rapping arena. His freestyling abilities earned him “Wall of Fame” status at several venues in D.C.

Not one to ignore the need for education, Crisis Black moved to Richmond in 2000 to attend Virginia Commonwealth University. In Richmond, he collaborated with celebrated Virginia artists Antagonist, A.J. Da Smuck, Canayda and Nick Fury, and he also recorded his first solo album, "Manic Depression".

Upon his return to Northern Virginia, Crisis Black recruited the help of his long time friend, Ace Luciano, and together they created Iron Triangle. Acknowledged by many as the premiere hip-hop movement in the DMV, Iron Triangle came to be for the DMV what the Wu Tang Clan was for Staten Island.

Today, Crisis Black devotes much of his time to uniting the DMV’s best hip-hop talent in an effort to put the region on the map for good. He still drops his own mixtapes and singles, which can be heard in clubs and on radio stations up and down the East Coast.