GIF
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GIF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Spoken Word

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Music

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"LP (Listening Party): EX?.?O?.?L?.?L (Extraordinary Ordinary Lives of the Living) by Gif - unsignedhype.org"

LP (Listening Party): EX.O.L.L (Extraordinary Ordinary Lives of the Living) by Gif
- Believethehype


"CBGBs, Gif and Molly Moore Music News From NYC"

Emcee and performance artist Gif has turned his live theater project, Extraordinary Ordinary Lives of the Living, into an album experience, releasing EX.O.L.L earlier this month. The album features a mix of music and monologues that cover Gif's views on the conventional perceptions of Black urban youth identity and the accepted idea of progress. The live performances of the show throughout the NYC area have sparked important conversations about race in America and with the release of the album, which comes with a booklet containing the lyrics and monologues, the conversation should continue.

Check out one of Gif's previous songs, "No Born ID." - 101 Distribution


"Radical thought requires radical art"

Radical thought requires radical art - Audio Feign


"Gif represents struggle in an unforgiving world"

Gif represents struggle in an unforgiving world. Expected to change his ways to conform to the public's expectations, he refuses and instead chooses to live by his own rules. Through his music, he tells of his life experiences and offers social commentaries. However, he's not your average, boring conscious internet rapper. Gif's flows are a joy to listen to, meshing perfectly alongside his well-written lyrics. Of course, it's nothing without good beats, and EX.O.L.L doesn't disappoint. I'm not really sure who to credit for these, but the beats are very fresh and suit Gif well, establishing a cohesive sound throughout the course of the album. What makes EX.O.L.L different is how it's broken up, with all of of the songs being preluded by a spoken prologue, setting the mood for the track to follow. While at first it may seem like an annoyance, something that would break the flow of the album, Gif has a way with words that hits home, making these segments easy to appreciate.

Gif's EX.O.L.L is short and sweet, and a must listen. If you're unfamiliar with him, his previous works View Of A Loser From On Top Of The World and Classick are well worth your time. EX.O.L.L is definitely his best work to date, though, building on everything he's learned from his past releases and taking his music to a new height. - Rate Your Music


"EX.O.L.L Stream"

EX.O.L.L Stream - Eastside Morales


"Gif Confronts Race & Identity in America with his new album EX.O.L.L"

Radical thought requires radical art. That’s the idea behind everything emcee and performance artist Shawn “Gif” Folk does, including his latest album, EX.O.L.L.

EX.O.L.L., which was released on May 1st on iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp, was born out of Extraordinary Ordinary Lives of the Living, the hip-hop infused live theatre project Gif has been performing in and around New York City for the past three years. The show challenges conventional perceptions of Black urban youth identity and the accepted idea of progress.

When Gif realized what he had to say about his community was something people hadn’t heard before, might be considered controversial, and could apply to anyone not in the majority, he knew he couldn’t just make an album, he had to draw people into the experience. With EX.O.L.L, he does this by using his own experiences growing up in Spanish Harlem as “a Black wayward youth not bad enough to be saved, or good enough to be praised.” His goal is to address the question of how, in the face of ethnocentrism, do Black youth that identify with the criminalized culture of hip-hop feel about their intrinsic self-value?

Gif’s performances of “Extraordinary Ordinary Lives of the Living” has sparked intense conversations about race amongst audience members and with EX.O.L.L.’s wide release Gif hopes to engage in those conversations with a national audience, and spark changes within communities across the country. - Peace Magazine


"Almost There featured on Hoodhype.com"

Hoodhype - Hoodhype.com


"Hip Hop Ruckus"

"awareness and real talk. As you'll see, it's also good music" - Hip Hop Ruckus


"Up & Coming"

Though the whole "hip-hop is dead" philosophy is a bit melodramatic, one thing is for certain: Lyricism is at an all-time low. Nowadays, it's all about the hooks and catchphrases, with way too many rappers just chanting nonsense over tinny, ringtone-ready beats. When these songs blow up, millions of aspiring mic grippers emulate that style, resulting in a ripple effect that continues to lower the bar for everyone. Luckily, it's not all bad. There are still a few young cats out there who deliver quality wordplay, even if it may not be "hot" to drop knowledge in 2007. One of these artists is Gif.

Coming out of Bed-Stuy, Gif has everything it takes to be a true emcee. His flow is on point, his subject matter varied, and his message clear. He's been through some heavy issues during his lifetime, but he doesn't dwell on being hood all the time or shouting empty threats. Still unsigned (for now), he has stayed on his hustle full-time, paying dues, refining his skills, putting out his own music independently, and ripping stages all over the East Coast. Among other spots, he has performed at the legendary Apollo Theatre, as well as on BET's Rap City, alongside hip-hop icon KRS-One.

In 2005, Gif released his debut solo CD, View From A Loser On Top Of The World. Twenty tracks deep, the album overflows with consistently sharp verses and thick, soulful production. Not overtly underground or commercial, Gif's music is just dope, plain and simple. With intelligent lyrics and street swagger in abundance, plus an ear for good beats and a ferocious work ethic, Gif is definitely on the come-up. Check him out for yourself and hear one of the most promising emcees in the game today. - MP3.com


"Itunes Review"

A fast-rising emcee and spoken-word artist from Spanish Harlem, Gif has been putting in work for several years now, performing around New York and winning fans with his intelligent, positive wordplay and urgent, shape-shifting flow. He's independently dropped several quality albums, including View from a Loser on Top of the World, Classick, and Cash 4 Gold. EXOLL (Extraordinary Lives of the Living) is his latest project; it's a welcome addition to the rap game. In a break from the usual album format, Gif kicks off nearly every song with a beat-free spoken-word intro, explaining his point of view to listeners in the form of a short story before launching into the actual rhyme. He addresses heavy topics like the struggle for gainful employment ("Good Job"), growing up through hard times ("Open Up"), and the dangers faced by a young woman in the city ("Invisible"). Backed by solid, sample-based production, his poignant urban tales and heartfelt life lessons resound on every track. - Itunes


Discography

EX.O.L.L
Classick
View of a Loser From on Top of The World

Photos

Bio

Brooklyn born and Harlem raised Gif is a rapper, essayist, and performance artist. Often his creative works are described as soulful, provocative, and angry. But what some view as anger others perceive as passion. With emotionally charged songs like “In the Eyes” he, at times, certainly does seem to straddle the line.

In 2005 his “View of a Loser From on Top of the World” album was released to critical acclaim as one Itunes reviewer declared him “A legend in the making”. The album was compromised of 20 songs written over a time span of 5 years in which Gif struggled with a criminal conviction and homelessness. It’s re-release in 2010 garnered over a half of a million downloads.

In 2008 on the heels of the initial success of the “View of a Loser” album, Gif released the single “No Born ID” which was featured on the front page of MP3.com and received over 40,000 downloads within a single week after hitting the front page. It was also awarded a spot on the “Best of Mp3.com” compilation album. Featuring on legendary blend DJ Silva Sirfa’s mixtape “The Rise of Silva Sirfa” with Doug E. Fresh and DJ Ophax’s, winner of Justo award for best international mixtape DJ, mixtapes “Call It How You See It” and “I’mma Take What’s Mine” and write-ups in publications from the New York Daily News to Elmundo in Spain, Gif has managed to keep his name buzzing.

In 2009 Gif headlined at CMJ and debut a variation of his musical titled “Extraordinary Ordinary Lives of the Living.” A product of his experimentation with Hip Hop Theater, 3 years in the making EX.O.L.L can be characterized as Frantz Fanon’s “Black Skin White Mask” meets Charles Horton Cooley’s “Looking Glass Self" through the veil of Hip Hop culture. Broadening the scope of the EX.O.L.L project beyond the stage, Gif released his “Extraordinary Ordinary Lives of the Living” album currently on sale now in digital retail stores.