El Genius
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El Genius

Englewood, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Englewood, New Jersey, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Hip Hop Singer/Songwriter

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El Genius
By MarQ Manner

The hip-hop scene in Omaha was once considered more of an afterthought and a genre that Omaha musicians could not compete in on a national level. A lot has changed in recent years with hip-hop artists from Omaha reaching out beyond this city, putting out quality records and mix-tapes, and putting out some of the more high-quality videos that anyone from any genre in town has produced.

Over the years some of the “underground” or “indie” hip-hop artists have made a name for themselves on live stages, but the artists more in tune with what is happening on the charts and radio have kept to themselves, their studios, and have not branched out. More and more of these artists are getting the opportunity, and making those opportunities happen for themselves and branching out not only in town but well beyond. Omaha hip-hop artist and producer El Genius is one of those making things happen.

I recently interviewed El Genius in his space inside Make Believe Studios in South Omaha. I found him to be confident in his ability, knowing exactly what he wanted, and having a plan to make that plan happen. His plan was streamlined, well thought out, and unlike any that I have heard from any other artist or musician of any genre. He was not talking about groundbreaking things; he was just talking about common sense plans that could actually work. El Genius will be releasing his new CD “The Long Ride II” on June 7 on iTunes and at other outlets. El Genius will have a CD release party on June 9 at 415 in the Old Market as part of Hip-Hop Revival Episode XII. For more information go to elgenius.com.

Shout! – Tell me how you got started?
El Genius – I have ben rhyming since I was 12 years old, and I am almost 29 now. I don’t even remember too much before that time. I just did it because I was curious if I could do it or not. I just got progressively better. I have always believed in myself and I have been coming up like nobody has, especially in rap. So we started off recording on like tape decks, and I don’t mean like reel to reel, but like cassette tapes and we grew from there. I just had a passion for it. Even when I went in the Army that was something I could lean back on. It was an escape from reality for me.

Shout! – When were you in the military?
El Genius – 2000-2004-I was overseas when 911 happened. I was in Kuwait.

Shout! – Do you speak about your military experience in your lyrics?
El Genius - Oh yeah- definitely. A lot of it, a lot of the pride in my music comes out from my time in the military. I take a lot of pride in what I do. You know that.

Shout! – When did you first start to put out music?
El Genius – I dropped The Long Ride in early 2007. Then we rode that little wave and that is when I first came out and was doing shows and meeting people. From 08 to 09 we put out the Big 3 mix tape with ASO and King James.

Shout! – What did you do to prepare for The Long Ride II?
El Genius – I went to Portland and Seattle to get away from everyone for a while. I have a producer out there, two actually. I was working with the guys from Max B’s crew also. As far as the recent indie’s go he is very important. This is one that I started with E. Babbs right before I went to Portland. Then I went to Portland and Seattle and that is when I did a lot of production for it and I wanted to find a place where I could record. I have my own studio at home. I was working out of there for a year-that is when I recorded a lot of music. I have the Gothic City Chronicles mix tape coming out-that is actually coming out with the album and that will be a freebie. That is all original from the ground up to the last sample. It is my s**t. No usual mix tape bullshit.

Shout! – You seem to do a lot of the music and take care of the business yourself.
El Genius – Yeah big time, from start to finish I don’t have to go outside for anything. I like to micro manage shit. I am pretty much in house from the initial idea to the final output besides the mass production. When it comes to making a beat for a visual purpose or a track I can use my business degree. A lot of those people are just hood ass mf’s that do not have the business aspect down and they go nowhere. Some have been someone where and they won’t go there again because their money is not there. This is a business and if you don’t realize that you are an idiot, you just another knuckle head.

Shout! – So what is your business plan?
El Genius – I want to go with the regional market and then overseas, because that is important. You have your regional support and your overseas support and that creates a national support. It’s impossible to reach any major labels without going through all the channels. If you don’t have a lot of money already these cats don’t want to deal with you. So this is just blow up when you show up. Especially now because everyone wants to be a rapper or artist. I just use strategic hustle.

Shout !- Explain - Shout! Weekly


"Tru-Beat"

In a World of popcorn beats and profressively simple verses, you can sitll trust your Unkie Troubie to bring that grown-up music. For example, take my current featured artist, El Genius. This is truly a man among mice-check the credentials. First off, the man is literally a modern-day Buffalo Soldier after serving as part of the 1st Infantry Division; much respect. Second, he's leading the artist-comprised movement of self empowerment..... - Omaha City Weekly


"Satisfied Cd Baby Customer"

"El Genius is the realest hip hop ive heard in years! tha album is fire!" - CD Baby


"Summer Showcase"

"This is an artist that is serious about getting his music out there. The one word that I would use to describe El Genius' music is anathematic. Big beats, big choruses, and a hard rap with infectious samples"- Marq Manner - Omaha City Weekly


"Omaha Hip Hop"

“The Omaha hip-hop music scene, or lack thereof, has been itching for someone like El Genius. Born Monte Maxwell, El Genius was raised in Omaha’s Hilltop Projects and has the persona of both teacher and pupil; patient yet adventurous. After serving in Iraq where he was injured, El Genius moved back to Omaha in 2004 and has been building sonic momentum ever since. El Genius dropped his Long Ride LP in 2007, while working from a studio he created from scratch. His lyrics are often touching and showcase his journey- and it’s refreshing to listen to Kanye West-caliber songwriting without the huge ego. Okay, so he does refer to himself as a young Tupac in “Epic”, but still, it’s a statement that feels legitimate. There’s attitude in his rhymes for sure, but it’s grit that’s deserved, a flow he’s worked hard to earn.” - Jarrett Fontaine - The Reader


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio


New York, Ny United States (2011-Present) Englewood, NJ
(2011-Present) born.Omaha Ne, United State Monte Bernard Maxwell , is an
American rapper/producer/songwriter/entrepreneur/ and current president
and CEO of Psquared Media and first artist for Phat Phuk Records now P
Squared Media Music, LLC. He is more commonly known as El Genius or more
affectionately "Money" by his close friends. He is regarded as one of
the most prolific and successful Omaha emcees in recent history and is
known for his sharp lyricism, witty metaphors, extremely adaptive flow
& outstanding freestyling ability. He entered the small but very
talented arena of Omaha emcees in 2006 after serving 4 years in the
United States Army with the release of El Genius Presents "The Long
Ride" on Phat Phuk Records now Psquared Media Music,LLC. Currently El
Genius has been nominated for multiple regional hip hop awards including
Best Hip Hop and Best New Artist of 2009 presented by the Omaha
Entertainment Awards Academy located in Omaha, Nebraska. Until finally
winning Best Mixtape with "Big City Lights" in 2012. He is currently
working in New York City with GT Visionz on a number of projects set to
release in the upcoming future.


Discography: The Nine League Presents League Lounge Unreleased


Psquared Media Presents Deadly Kombination ft. Mello and Streetz (Unreleased)


El Genius Presents: "The Long Ride" (Released January 28, 2006 on
Phat Phuk Records Published By Psquared Media Music,LLC) In Stores Now!!


Da Big 3 Presents: "Big City Lights" Starring El Genius, King James
and Aso aka Mr. Omaha (Released June 24, 2009 on Psquared Media in
Association with Handz On Music and Soldier Entertainment) available on
Datpiff


El Genius Presents "The Long Ride 2: Prints of the City" (Released June 7, 2011) In Stores Now!!


El Genius is currently signed with Ear Goo Inc writing and composing
songs for companies such as MTV, ABC, HBO, Nickolodeon, The Travel
Channel, VH-1 Bet Networks, CNBC, Sony, Fox Searchlight Pictures and
more. email us at mmaxwell@elgenius.com Follow Us @
twitter.com/el_genius facebook/therealelgenius


Band Members