Cross Culture
Gig Seeker Pro

Cross Culture

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Hip Hop Pop




"Cross Culture and Jules and the Jinks at Joe's Pub"

On Friday, June 26th, the famous Joe’s Pub in NYC hosted two very talented, upcoming bands: Cross Culture, and Jules & The Jinks. You might recall my previous Spotlight features on Jules & The Jinks, but Cross Culture was new to me, and new to EST. 1997! It was an energetic and eclectic night thanks to both unique bands.

Jules & The Jinks opened the show with a set of several of their original cuts, penned by lead vocalist Julissa Lopez and guitarist Erik Rosenberg. The rest of the band is comprised of Ilan Harel on drums, Jeff Richardi on saxophone, and Jason C. Smith on bass. They come together for an unmistakably funky sound, highlighting Julissa’s gritty, soulful vocal stylings. By far, this set was the band’s best yet – Jules never sounded fiercer, and the band never tighter. Perhaps the prestigious venue pulled an extra special performance out of the group. The lead rapper of Cross Culture, Saidu, even joined Jules & The Jinks for a special collaborative performance before his own band took the stage.

Cross Culture is a one-of-a-kind melding of cultures and musical styles; it’s comprised of hip-hop emcee Saidu Ezike who provides thought-provoking lyrical flows with Ruby Gorcey-Biblowitz and Kara Stone, vocal powerhouses, singing on top of a band featuring Scott Sugarman on guitar, Enrique Mancía on bass, Mina Yu on keys, and Ben Charnley on drums. Together, they have the dynamic of, say, The Fugees, but replace Wyclef and Lauryn Hill for Jay-Z and Beyoncé and have them performing alongside The Roots; perhaps on MTV Unplugged. They performed a set of originals as well, featuring lots of dancing (by Becca Fox) and a ton of energy. It was an interactive set indeed; Saidu took the audience on more than one occasion, even sitting at my table to perform one of his raps.

While it was definitely a treat to see these two bands together on the same night, they are most certainly worth seeing individually. In fact, Jules & The Jinks will be performing again at Rockwood Music Hall on July 25th, with another show a few weeks later at Pianos, on August 8th. Check out both artists’ websites and Facebook pages for videos and to stay up to date on upcoming shows and releases. Also be sure to watch videos from the show below! - EST 1997

"Cross Culture and Shinobi Ninja at the Hall at MP"

A wonderfully brisk night should always be capped off with an intense musical experience, one that I was promised when deciding to check out Shinobi Ninja at The Hall at MP. I cased out the venue as suspect as I possibly could be, listening from outside to the jazz playing inside of the New Orleans themed bar/restaurant. First to come on was the host Soul Khan to bring on the opening act Oswin Benjamin, who you might know for doing Sway in the Morning last November, got ‘real’ and sat on the stage to sing for the crowd, then started spitting. That made me appreciate his music even more. He did well, leading into Cross Culture, a hip-hop/rock/funk/soul collective. This was a large group including a rapper, musicians and 3 singers in a setup that reminded me of Motown (I love Motown btw). The singers sang and the spitter spit many a song with great melody, bringing the realness that can never be copied. They utilized their time well, impressing me enough to want to listen to them after the show.

Shinobi Ninja The Hall at MP Highlark Shinobi Ninja The Hall at MP Highlark
After the crowd was warmed up the Ninjas came out, as stealthy as a group of musicians can be, took the torch and ran. The closing act, the home-town heroes, hard rockin’, hip-hoppin’ band Shinobi Ninja fresh off of their stint at SXSW (Video interview from that coming soon). They came on around midnight, but made certain that nobody could stay seated. The one thing I had heard beforehand was that their stage presence is electric, pure soul transfused into the bloodstream of music. This was certainly verified as I watched them perform. Shinobi Ninja has the eclectic sounds that appeals to any music lover. They have an authenticity that makes a huge difference in creating music and they know it.

The Ninjas came out with intentions of entertaining, they have fun on stage and they bring the artistic chops as well. They played a good amount of songs like “Bang Bang” and “Subcon” and a great song that I remember from the NBA 2k12 game, “Rock Hood” which I find so cool, like an ode to the 90’s music which I love. They ended the night in the 90’s vibe with covers of popular hits like “I Got the Power” (1990) and further back with “Another Brick in the Wall”, (1979). Their two main vocalists commanded the stage throughout their set while their bass and guitar players passionately head-banged with their hair flying up and down like a balloon in a tornado. Everyone wished they had long hair after the night was over, I have short hair and when I rock out it looks like I’m trying to get water out of my ears.

The energy was exciting, the talent was endless, the future of local music is impressive. Support local musicians and definitely follow these acts if you enjoy them! - Highlark


Still working on that hot first release.



Cross Culture, boasts a slew of talented musicians led by emcees, Saidu and Nemiss (married in real life).  This crew takes genre bending to a new level while mixing hip-hop with multi-generational styles that range from trap to R&B to dance.  The group is known for their high energy performances and the experience crowds receive from said performances.  Fresh off the release of their debut album, "Majesty," the group is gearing up for their first tour.

Band Members