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The Pennsylvania emcee’s latest effort, IAMISEE vs DJ DEMON is a rare 14-track dose of well put reality. While sophisticated flow mainstream artists can occasionally afford to play with the form, much of hip-hop’s true artistry, power and significance are lost in what can be put in no other terms but rapper bullshit. IAMISEE vs DJ DEMON, on the other hand, is a uniquely concentrated dose of hip-hop essentials: flow, wordplay, and the kind of beat-emcee simpatico unheard of since Eric B and Rakim blared out of metal-grate boom box speakers. IAMISEE has a steady, precise flow, proof of what he calls "lyrical carpentry" on the track "Hand Grenades." IAMISEE loosens his often deep, gravelly and aggressive delivery on a number of tracks. The balance between the two, and the fact that he can do them both, is the Philly emcee’s signature. On "Hello," the last track of the album, he accomplishes this equilibrium. A sad acoustic guitar riff and a stripped-down beat play canvas to one of the deeper songs on the album. Building on his second release, IAMISEE is quickly developing an underground following. Expect to hear a lot more noise about the Philly kid--he is flat-out nice. The last five tracks may well be the best 17 consecutive minutes of independent hip-hop this year.

Emanuel Jalonschi
Beyond Race Magazine
NYC - Beyond Race Magazine


By Gentle Jones, AllHipHop.com
originally published in the Gannett News Journal

Friday, January 11, 2008

IamIsee (Chris Stevens) has been making hip-hop records since he was a teenager. Once a reckless kid from Fairfax who boosted candy bars; now, as an adult, he boosts sound and EQ levels while he has worked with a variety of artists, including best-selling producer Scott Storch.

A private man whose life is shrouded in mystery, IamIsee doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, though his work ethic shows through his international catalog of tunes and projects like the soundtrack for the forthcoming movie "Planet B-Boy," which will hit theaters this year.

Where are you from originally?

My mom was living in Zaire when she became pregnant with me and was evacuated because of a rebel insurrection. She came back to the states, where I was born in Wilmington General Hospital. I currently reside in Newark, Delaware. Married with a kid, Al Bundy steez.

When did you start making music?

I took piano lessons as a kid and drum lessons, but never excelled at either. I started writing at around 12 and producing at 15. So I've been involved in the creation of the element of rap for 18 years.

What happened with your first rap group, Grace and Divine?

That was a long time ago. Mike Lowe and I chose different musical paths. I became IamIsee, and Mike stopped rapping and just did beats while Scott Storch was doing beats for me, too.

How did you meet Scott Storch?

I met Scott back in '93 at Ruffhouse Records through Kam Houff. He was working on The Roots' album "Do You Want More?!!!??!" Him and Kam were also working on an album for Sony, and I had a production deal to develop material as one half of Grace and Divine. I was 14. It was fun being around those cats. Sony eventually dropped Kam, who is now a writer with EMI, and Scott went on to fame and fortune. Kam bought equipment with his advance money, and that is when I really began making beats and fully arranged songs, lyrics, hooks, etc.

Did you ever release any of your work with Scott Storch?

I did independently. We were always around each other or in the studio, so he would test beats on me or a song would just happen. One of the beats he did for me later ended up on Dr. Dre's "2001." I went to Scott's house in Miami last year and hung out with him at the Hit Factory, too. He said next time I'm in town we should cut a record. I said, "Yeah, I know you're crazy busy though." To which he replied, "I'm never too busy for a friend."

How many of those tracks which you made together do you still have copies of?

I have a few of them. No masters or anything.

How much material did you release with West Chester label Creep Records when you were signed to them?

A four-song EP, and I was supposed to release a full-length album called "Adamantium," but they kept jerking me around. I finally threatened to pursue legal action, so they pressed my album up real quick to keep me under contract. When I got it, the bar code consisted of all zeros. They didn't even give it a real bar code, so I knew they weren't serious about pushing the album. I think they wanted to sell me to a bigger label, but they never did enough work to generate interest.

Did you start your own record label after Creep?

I started my own and also signed a one-off with this Cali label. I tried to make it work, but it was only me and another cat, and I was spreading myself thinner than Lara Flynn Boyle. People don't really grasp how much effort is involved in this industry. The art of creating music and the business of getting it into the hands of the people that listen to that specific kind of music is a daunting task. Long story short: Kam Houff and I had a falling out, so he quit his mixing duties for the Cali label album. So I took what I had and reproduced the album myself. But then my business partner quit, so now my own label is belly-up as well. So I got screwed out of the same record twice. Now I'm in limbo but still finishing the album.

How many songs are you sitting on right now?

A couple of albums worth. I am sitting on a mountain of tracks. I have a new album, "Chop Suey," coming soon and an instrumental album "Autobot Jazz Music" as well. I also am doing production for a French artist named Kayna Samet on Universal Music France. I work on music every day and will, God willing, until I die.

Do you own the masters to everything?

I do now. A lot of songs I recorded in the past are lost or held for ransom. That's a horrible feeling.

You've had a pretty broad range of experiences in this business haven't you?

I met a lot of people being in studios like Ruffhouse and later on Sigma and Dr. Dre's studio in L.A. Snoop Dog and Ras Kass and cats like that. Common came to where I lived in Philly when Scott Storch was shopping beats to him and we drank beer, freestyled and saw who had the best "Ghostface Killah" impression. I used to go to the Wetlands in N.Y. with Scott a lot. I rocked on stage with The Roots, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott and The Jazzyfatnastees. I met Rakim. He was on the same train as I was going out west. We talked about music, and he gave me his home number. I called him once, but he was out of town. I never called again.

What do you feel Delaware is missing currently?

That is a complex question. I don't watch MTV or B.E.T. (especially after they refused to play De La Soul's video), and I don't listen to the radio, so I can't go to a bar or a club for the music. I would say the venues are an issue. It depends on who you ask. Some people like cover bands and happy-go-lucky sing-along groups. I don't limit myself to one area. You have to go out and rock all over. You gotta rock for complete strangers and not just the same group of people over and over. I'm old-school, so that's just how I see it. Never let anything hold you back. If you really love making music, then you will make it regardless of financial gain. If you're just in it for money, then approach the situation with a strong business plan and sink or swim. You can do both. It's tricky.

What else does the future hold for you?

I am currently writing the theme song for a movie that hits theaters in March called "Planet B-Boy," directed by Benson Lee.

You can watch the trailer at www.apple.com/trailers/ independent/planetbboy or visit their Web site www.planetbboy.com.

Also, the King of Kings Foundation has asked me to cut a track for their upcoming DVD No. 2 and "The Soundtrack" CD. The organization strives to spread a positive message to youth and adults about the trials and dangers of drug use, gang violence, etc. They're working on a book and film deal, expanding their speaking circuit and will be appearing on Oprah. Some of the other people associated with the DVD are Alicia Keys, Ice-T, Naughty by Nature, C Murder (Cash Money Millionaires), Free and Bruce Jay (Def Poetry Jam Founder). www.kingofkingsdvd.com. - GENTLE JONES WORLD NEWS REPORT originally published in the Gannett News Journal

"IAMISEE Signs Agreement to write and perform PLANET B-BOY Theme Song"

Emcee Artist and Producer “IAMISEE” Signs Agreement to write and perform
05, 2008 – Emcee Artist and Producer IAMISEE recently signed a Master License
Agreement with Woody Pak and PLANET B-BOY as author/performer to provide the
lyrics and vocals for the films theme song entitled “Live from PLANET B-BOY”- Dana L.
Pollitt, manager of IAMISEE made the announcement. IAMISEE currently resides
outside of Philadelphia and is scheduled to make nationwide appearances to promote
the film prior to the Los Angeles and New York City premier on March 21st.
IAMISEE is approaching post production of his 6th album "Chop Suey" and "Autobot
Jazz Music", the first instrumental album in his catalog, is slated for completion by
summer of 2008. IAMISEE is shopping both projects for distribution and an International
tour is anticipated to follow. Regarding the release of the projects and selecting the
right distributor, IAMISEE says, “...every aspect of my career, from the beats and
rhymes to the album art and the packaging...I do it all. Right now the majority of my
focus is on PLANET B-BOY. In addition to that and my own projects, I’m producing for
several artists on major labels in Europe and contributing material to other independent
film releases ("King of Kings", "Impact" [international release]). I want to make sure my
albums are distributed and marketed properly to reach as many of my fans as possible.”
No doubt IAMISEE will have even more eager fans with the release of this film and its
title track.
PLANET B-BOY features electrifying dance performances and astonishing displays of
power and grace, showing how a street dance from New York has evolved into an
inspiring art form for a new generation around the world. Chris Kim, Executive Producer
of PLANET B-B0Y recommended IAMISEE to the films director Benson Lee. "IAMISEE
killed it with the lyrics he wrote for our flim's theme song. I believe it'll become an
instant b-boy classic." said Benson Lee, director of PLANET B-BOY.

After viewing the PLANET B-BOY screener IAMISEE immediately began writing. “The
lyrics were changed numerous times until I was satisfied. It was like discovering break
dancing all over again, feeling the same excitement and energy I did when I was
younger,” said IAMISEE.
“IAMISEE is responsible for Author/performer on the Title track and has just agreed to
Composer/Author/Performer providing the Remix for an additional track titled “Live from
PLANET B-BOY IAMISEEmix”, stated IAMISEE’s manager Dana L. Pollitt. “We are very
excited to be part of the PLANET B-BOY team and IAMISEE is truly moved by the
message that director Benson Lee documents on the big screen”, says Pollitt.
PLANET B-BOY opens In Los Angeles and New York City on March 21st followed by play
dates & screenings in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Diego, Washington, Boston,
Minneapolis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, and Austin. For play
dates and screenings visit www.planetbboy.com.
For more information and digital downloads on IAMISEE please visit
www.myspace.com/iais, www.iamisee.net or contact Dana L. Pollitt at

- Business and Press Manager - Dana L. Pollitt


"83" - 2001 - Full length album - CD / Digital Download - Self Released

83 Welcome (Who Me?) - Digital Download
Life Or Death - Digital Download
Crosstown Traffic pt. 2 - Digital Download
Gnu In The Spotlight - Digital Download
While You're Here - Digital Download
Off With Your Head - Digital Download
Heavenly - Digital Download
Frances - Digital Download
Zero Bit - Digital Download
Drugstore Cowboy - Digital Download
8.3 On The Richter - Digital Download
Outshine - Digital Download
Game Over (No Continues) - Digital Download
The Age Old ? - Digital Download
No Matter What - Digital Download
Hey J-Budda (Still Here) - Digital Download

"Tell It To My Face" - 2003 - EP - CD - Creep Records

"Adamantium" - 2004 - Full length album - Unreleased - Creep Records

"IAMISEE vs Dj Demon" - 2006 - Full length album - CD / Digital Download - Soul Air Records

Words - Digital Download
Exodus Ft. 3rd Sun - Digital Download
20 D Batteries - Digital Download
Formula 52 - Digital Download
Golden Sky - Digital Download
Jesus - Digital Download
Bruce Lee - Digital Download
Heartstopper - Digital Download
Indestructible - Digital Download
Hand Grenades - Digital Download
Devastate Ft. Gary Stuchell - Digital Download
Change - Digital Download
Chaos - Digital Download
Hello - Digital Download

"Live From Planet B-Boy" - Theme song - Film - Planet B-Boy

"Laisse nous croire" - Kery James ft Kayna Samet - Produced by IAMISEE - Warner France Music

"83" and "IAMISEE vs Dj Demon" can be heard/purchased on Apple's iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, Last FM and over 70 other digital music sites as well as countless internet radio stations and podcasts around the world.

"IAMISEE vs Dj Demon" made the CMJ College Music Charts top 40 in the hip hop genre.



IAMISEE began rhyming at thirteen years old in basements around Wilmington, Delaware as one half of the duo, Grace & Divine named for Philadelphias infamous Father Divine and Daddy Grace. Divine (IAM), backed by the beats of a then unknown Scott Storch, had a prodigious flow and a charismatic presence on the mic that quickly got him noticed. Within a year he had left school, his family, and his home outside of Philadelphia to begin work on a project with Ruffhouse Records. This was not an uncommon occurrence in the early nineties era of experimentation as record labels were clamoring to find a formula within the new urban genre and as a result Hip Hop saw its greatest major distribution of diversified and innovative styles. However, it would not last.

As the mid-nineties approached Congress pushed through a Telecommunications Act that allowed duopolies multi-station ownership in a given market. By 1996 garish and overly indulgent fantasies on wax backed by third-party loophole payola spit in the face of FCC policy and saturated the industry with chart-topping singles and record sales numbers for mediocre albums. Labels found their formula and stations found their cash cow. Divine (IAM), like many of peers considered as abstract, backpack rappers, or too artistic to be adaptable, endured backlash in the way of soured contracts and lost friendships. When the deal with Ruffhouse fell through Divine found himself as a solo artist and chose the name, IAMISEE- I am what I see. It would prove to be a prophetic moniker as he took his place in a then unknown elite of artists forced back down into the basements from whence they came; from their hunger, commitment to artistic integrity, and spite for their cross-over counterparts in the mainstream, they formed The Underground.

True to his name IAM's reputation as a solo artist grew because his lyrics evolved to focus intensely on expressing the complex demise of Hip Hop culture and society as a whole, while still plainly reflecting the joy and the struggle of everyday life. The rise of the independent artists could be tracked in correlation to innovations in technology and the sophistication of home recording and -though labels like Rawkus Records were coming into their heyday- IAMISEE invested in his own equipment and released two albums with no label backing. He also rhymed on stage alongside Talib Kweli, The Roots, Common, Hezekiah and many of his reputable peers before the turn of the century marked the peak of The Underground success in the traditional industry model. The tide was turning again and this time IAM, observing what was happening around him, firmly planted his heels on the shore while others were swept up in its momentum.

Since 2001, IAMISEE has continued to build his home-studio and has become equally respected as a producer and graphic designer. He has contributed four more albums to the culture and more specifically to Philadelphia's Hip Hop community. The albums are mostly self-produced, engineered, and all feature his original artwork. IAM recognized the restructuring of the industry before many which allowed him to survive as an independent artist. He kept his ear to the street, his heart in the music, his loyalty to his community, and his vision on the horizon. He secured his own merchandising, digital distribution (in seventy online stores as of 05/2007), oversees all his online operations and physical sales, and works closely with independent companies such as Soul Air Records, 800 lb. Guerrilla Marketing and (formerly) Creep Records which handle his promotion. IAMISEE's commitment has paid off with international exposure (receiving spins in France, Germany, Russia, and the UK to date), an online fan base of 20,000, writing and performing the theme song for the documentary film "Planet B-Boy" and production for French artists Kery James (Warner) and Kayna Samet (Universal). IAM is what he sees. And he clearly sees the future of Hip Hop.