Kairo Communications
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Kairo Communications

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | INDIE

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




"There aren’t too many artists out there that can lay a finger to Black Elephants vibe. One listen to Eat This Album and you’ll understand how explosive this mixture is – on and off the mic. Do yourself a favor and get in on this before they blow up, because they will. I dare anyone to .find a group as tight, as raw and as refined as BE."

- Xposed section, issue #16 - Unsigned Music Magazine

"Breeding Ground"

"When it comes to Hip-Hop, illseed is picky. I’m picky and I’m big on creativity, originality and definitely skills. So, if you aren't a true original, you better be a phenomenal emcee and you can be original and also wack. So, here we are…I found a new group that I like a lot – Black Elephant!"

”This group has chemistry, skills, old school soul, social activism, hardcore Hip-Hop and intelligence – all things that we need from our artists. . ."
- Allhiphop.com

"Summerfest review: Black Elephant"

Bringing their distinctive style of spoken-word hip-hop to Summerfest for the second time, Black Elephant performed a spirited show Thursday night at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage with Leinenkugel's and WXSS.

Having played together for more than three years, the trio of MCs (Element C. Everest, Derrick "Verbal" Harriell and Dameon Ellzey) was closely connected on stage and didn't talk over each other, a common problem with too many rap shows.
With a five-piece band backing them up, the group sauntered through a number of songs from their recent release, "Eat This Album." Highlights from the hour-long set included the bass-laden "This Joint" and the aggressive "U Ain't Us."
Combining clear, concise lyrics of self-confidence with some scatting by Everest, the Milwaukee natives brought the much-needed but almost absent element of hip-hop to a younger, appreciative crowd that had doubled in size by the set's end. (Steven Potter, Journal Sentinel staff)
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Black Elephant"

Nothing makes me happier than discovering new music, and after hearing Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Black Elephant, I realized why you never stop searching; good music does exist. One listen to "Eat This Album" had me calling Hip-Hop just to say I love you. Every aspect of the group is congruent, from the stellar penmanship of MCs Element and Dameon, to the five-piece band, Cigarette Break, that backs them. With all the right ingredients ready to cook, yet still under most radars, Black Elephant refuses to be discouraged. As Element says with honesty, “I’m not bitter about not getting respect. People can’t respect you if they don’t know you exist. We can’t blame people for what they don’t know, but if we want people to love and respect our music, we have to work harder for them to do that.” - Synthesis Magazine


Musically, Black Elephant has not just found their niche in the local hip-hop/rap scene, they have carved a trench via their socially conscious lyrics, powerfully poetic verse and rhythm that backs their every vibe. They have a knack for making the hard-core sound inoffensive and real, while dropping a dollop of soulful harmonizing that satisfies the most discriminating eardrum. With their second CD, they are growing together as artists, rooting themselves deeply as steadfast representatives of a new, more prolific generation of music in Milwaukee. (Yolanda D. White) - Sheperd Express

"Black Elephant: Eat This Album"

"Brutally honest but refreshingly inoffensive, Eat This Album does for Milwaukee’s hip-hop music scene what Al Jarreau did for the jazz scene: legitimizing it and adding some much needed class and depth to an often times trashy, shallow-versed, and lyrically repetitive cesspool of drum machine producers, hoochie mamas and half-naked rumpshakers." - Riverwest Currents

"Black Elephant defies hip-hop tradition"

"Black Elephant defies hip-hop tradition Group breaks hip-hop mold with thought-provoking lyrics and its own band" (excerpts)

The members of Milwaukee's Black Elephant have a trunk-load of talent. . . .

Black Elephant stands out proudly from the crowd - and that's the trouble with the group.

Radio and television programming monopolies such as MTV and Clear Channel Entertainment, myopic record labels afraid to take a chance and a "get rich quick " mentality among acts more interested in copying a hit than expressing their own vision have led, many feel, to a glut of uninspired, derivative artists.

Black Elephant has performed around the Midwest and as far away as Georgia backed by Cigarette Break, an ensemble flavored with jazz, funk and even gospel.

But live instrumentation is indeed a rarity in hip-hop, and artists who assemble a backing band or pick up instruments themselves, such as The Roots and Common, tend to be relegated to alt-hip-hop purgatory. The sub-genre often struggles to be heard on radio - largely because it's less repetitive and more lyrically substantive than the relentless beats and superficial sexcentric "club bangers" that are easy sells for the top 40 format.

You don't have to think when listening to most commercial hip-hop, you just have to nod your head. Black Elephant wants its audiences to do both. It's the onstage chemistry between the vocalists, the dynamic of a tight backing band and the group's dedication to intelligent but entertaining song-craft that has made Black Elephant a star on the local scene since it formed in 2002.

"Black Elephant is one of the most unique groups in Milwaukee," said Jelani Nation, part-owner and general manager of Bean Head Cafe. "It's the combination of hip-hop and neo-soul as well as having the element of a live band." - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

"Hiatus Review"

The Milwaukee area doesn't seem to be the most likely place to find the next big thing. In recent years, Miwaukee's own Citizen King got commercial airplay, but fell under as quick as they came up. Coo Coo Cal sang a little report about his projects, but returned to those same projects and hasn't been heard from since. Now a hip-hop trio named Black Elephant is slipping through the cracks of Milwaukee hoping to blow up and make their presence known.

Black Elephant, consisting of Dameon Ellzey, Verbal High, and the female voice of Element, look like an opening act for a Common and Talib Kweli show on the cover of their album Hiatus, with a confident look saying "tough act to follow." Ironically, that's the attitude on the CD itself. They don't come out and say it, but the music speaks for itself.

Hiatus covers a variety of issues, like love, betrayal and everything to do with a brash attitude towards being supreme lyricists. The title track not only introduces the CD, but also the rappers themselves. A mellow vibe moves the album along musically, but the lyrical attitude is far from that. "Love Supreme" deals with a couple singing about each other from their own points of view. Element's verse tells the story about an abusive man who tries to keep his woman by giving her gifts, but that wasn't enough. The male's point of view comes out in the next verse, telling a story of a woman who wasn't faithful and wasn't there when he needed her, screaming, "Where was the love then?"
Other songs like "15 Min. of Fame" and a quick ditty about a man and his pick-up lines called "Them Jeans" lead up to a louder, faster track called "Stand Still." The song is basically about how "you don't want none of this" and was the only song that bothered me. F bombs fall like rain and sounds eerily close to Redman's "Muh-F***a" off Malpractice. It's not bad, but that fact turned me off to it.

"Cigarette Break" marks the middle of Hiatus, sounding like something between an intermission and a conversation about smoking music like you would other substances (use your imagination). It's an interesting thought if you listen to their points of view. "Sincerely," continues the album with Element rhyming a letter to her man in prison about what she's been doing while he's been gone. You'll have to listen to find out.
Two of the best songs on Hiatus would have to be "Middle Passage" and "Dorothy," with the latter being the best. "Dorothy" begins with a man handing a package to another man, saying he's done a good job for the other, so he is deciding to promote him. The inference is of an illegal delivery of some sort, and the song heightens that inference with the deliverer telling a story of how he has to get out of the game of hustling. Laced in and out of the story is the journey to find Dorothy on the tenth floor. Things like police taking a man to jail and a nappy-headed kid with a black shirt scare him off, but he continues on. The final twist makes the man look like a good guy, but it's too good to give away.

Hiatus, to me, was like a really good book. I just couldn't stop listening because the stories in most of the songs sounded true. It sounded like a lot of other hip-hop acts, but then again it didn't. I can't really explain it, but Black Elephant has a familiar uniqueness (what?). They twist their sound to make it their own, and perhaps will be the next Milwaukee act to make it big. If the formula stays the same, they won't slip back under the cracks of Milwaukee.
(7 of 8) - UWM Campus Newspaper- The Leader

"Brew City hip-hop trio Black Elephant hits hard with new CD"

Brew City hip-hop trio Black Elephant hits hard with new CD

By Bobby Tanzilo

"If you think Milwaukee isn't bumpin' with hip-hop, then you're just not looking around. For example, Black Elephant, a trio that released its first CD to critical and fan acclaim in summer 2002, has been thriving.

After "Hiatus " came out, ironically, the group -- which comprises Dameon Ellzey, Verbal (aka Valentino) and Element C. Everest -- did anything but take time off. Instead the rapper opened for De La Soul and Jurassic 5 in a year that saw them performing nearly 100 shows, at universities across the Midwest and at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. The disc ultimately went on to sell nearly 4,000 copies; quite a feat for a record without major label distribution.

Now, two years on, Black Elephant is ready to unleash its second disc, "Eat This Album," with 17 tracks packed full of intelligent lyrics and hard-hitting beats. We talked to the trio to find out what's going on in the world of Black Elephant and Milwaukee hip-hop." - OnMilwaukee.com


Hiatus, LP
Eat This Album, LP
Burn This Album, Mixtape



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