Knowledge Lives Forever
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Knowledge Lives Forever

Reno, Nevada, United States | SELF

Reno, Nevada, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Apr
09
Knowledge Lives Forever @ The Alley

Reno, Nevada, USA

Reno, Nevada, USA

Apr
05
Knowledge Lives Forever @ Bunkhouse Saloon

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Mar
29
Knowledge Lives Forever @ Club Underground

Reno, Nevada, USA

Reno, Nevada, USA

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Music

Press


3-2-1 video from Don't Kill the Messenger by Knowledge and Fine Print Productions. DRM Video. - DRM Video presents


Original music continues to geyser from the bubbling ground of the Reno scene. Thanks to DIY software, high-tech microphones and download websites -- plus traditional studios in town -- a genre-spanning shower of indie-label or self-produced albums (physical and/or digital) spouted in 2011.

This torrent shows that Reno could be called the Biggest Little Music City. Here are my picks for best local albums of 2011. Criteria inclue solid musicianship, clean production, freshness over worn-out format -- and the "earworm" factor: tunes that stick in your head.
1. Hellbound Glory, "Damaged Goods," outlaw country, www.rustyknucklesmusic.com, iTunes. Hot track: "Bastard Child."
The self-described "scumbag country" quartet's third album shines brighter than a rhinestone with singer Leroy Virgil's deft songwriting, and studio ringers wielding steel-string and Telecaster guitars. This ain't Nashville pop -- it's the whiskey-soaked country of Cash and Haggard. Virgil's brawling boogies and storytelling ballads hail bad hookups, failed rehabs, doomed rebels, cheated childhoods.
"I'm the salt of the earth and a real bad seed/All I'll ever be is all I'll ever need," he proudly snarls in his gravely twang in the anthemic "Bastard Child." He reminds a woman in "You Better Hope You Die Young," "Them haggard old bar flies that look like hell/lived like you and I and lived on to tell." "Damaged goods" is a bargain for lovers of real country.
2. Knowledge Lives Forever, "Hate Me Now," hip-hop, iTunes. Hot Track: "Fallen For You."
Chari "Knowledge" Smith -- backed by a phat, funkified quartet and synth effects -- has released the first two albums of a trilogy in 2011 (the other this year, "Don't Kill the Messenger"), with the third due in 2012. Tracks about scorned love and the artist's struggle feature spirited spittin' rhymes and poppy choruses, in a throaty voice strident, sexy or told-ya-so. 'Tude!
3. Moondog Matinee, "Vacancy at the Wonder Lodge," roots rock, www.store.outboxrecords.com/album/vacancy-at-the-wonder-lodge, iTunes. Hot Track: "Sonny."
The quintet of UNR alumni's debut delivers psychedelia-tinged rock that could have had them opening for the Band in 1973. Pete Barnato's soulful yowl winds over a moody pastiche of retro Les Paul guitar and distortion, Rhodes piano and Hammond organ -- jams shifting jazzily, tracks flowing seamlessly like noir scenes.

4. Apprentice & Cody Rea, "The Calm," hip-hop, spoken word, iTunes. Hot Track: "America."
Rapper Richie "Apprentice" Panelli and instrumentalist Cody Rea deliver socially conscious song poems with pristine sound (Panelli has a Ph.D. in audiology) that raise issues without shouting, and soothe with clear lyrics and melodies. "America," Panelli's Beatnik-type elegy for a nation that's lost its moral vision, is the centerpiece. The soundscape incorporates acoustic guitar, hand percussion and synth beats, piano, strings and street sounds.
5. Tyler Stafford, "On a String," singer-songwriter, available at Discology, The Nest, and shows. Hot Tracks: "Lullaby."
Stafford's natural tenor and understated acoustic guitar connect as sincerely on his debut album as live solo sets -- only he's backed by percussion, strings and harmonies. His lyrics, whether plaintive or ruminative, never stray beyond humble candor. "And your lies are my lullabies. And your lies are turning me on," he sings in the breakup song, "Lullabies."
6. Keyser Soze, "But Not for You," ska, iTunes. Hot Track: "Arti Bella."
The widely touring septet's third album proves infectious dance bands translate well to albums when the tempos consistently shift, solos lock back quickly to the grooves, and vocals are croony or growly as on stage. Keyser Soze delivers ska and jazz-inflected reggae with compact interplay among horns, guitar and keys. A party the whole way through.
7. Elephant Rifle, "Teenage Lover," noise rock, www.elephantrifle.bandcamp.com, iTunes. Hot Track: "Mit Iodine."
Cacophonous sound can evoke angst better than words. In this quartet's four-song EP, shrieks of submerged lyrics slam against pounding bass and toms and atonal guitar riffs that scratch, creak and claw madly. It's gothic and addicting, with surprise effects, shifts and skids at every twist.
8. The John Whites, "Monkey Man," indie rock, www.thejohnwhites.bandcamp.com. Hot Track: "Halo."
John White puts out an album a year with his group. Every track is radically different; you might hear funk or folk guitar, female soul singer, breathy '80s-style poppy vocals and beat, somber organ, tribal chanting -- all listenable. White's pretty tenor has impressive high range suited to airplay.
- Reno Gazette Journal


Original music continues to geyser from the bubbling ground of the Reno scene. Thanks to DIY software, high-tech microphones and download websites -- plus traditional studios in town -- a genre-spanning shower of indie-label or self-produced albums (physical and/or digital) spouted in 2011.

This torrent shows that Reno could be called the Biggest Little Music City. Here are my picks for best local albums of 2011. Criteria inclue solid musicianship, clean production, freshness over worn-out format -- and the "earworm" factor: tunes that stick in your head.
1. Hellbound Glory, "Damaged Goods," outlaw country, www.rustyknucklesmusic.com, iTunes. Hot track: "Bastard Child."
The self-described "scumbag country" quartet's third album shines brighter than a rhinestone with singer Leroy Virgil's deft songwriting, and studio ringers wielding steel-string and Telecaster guitars. This ain't Nashville pop -- it's the whiskey-soaked country of Cash and Haggard. Virgil's brawling boogies and storytelling ballads hail bad hookups, failed rehabs, doomed rebels, cheated childhoods.
"I'm the salt of the earth and a real bad seed/All I'll ever be is all I'll ever need," he proudly snarls in his gravely twang in the anthemic "Bastard Child." He reminds a woman in "You Better Hope You Die Young," "Them haggard old bar flies that look like hell/lived like you and I and lived on to tell." "Damaged goods" is a bargain for lovers of real country.
2. Knowledge Lives Forever, "Hate Me Now," hip-hop, iTunes. Hot Track: "Fallen For You."
Chari "Knowledge" Smith -- backed by a phat, funkified quartet and synth effects -- has released the first two albums of a trilogy in 2011 (the other this year, "Don't Kill the Messenger"), with the third due in 2012. Tracks about scorned love and the artist's struggle feature spirited spittin' rhymes and poppy choruses, in a throaty voice strident, sexy or told-ya-so. 'Tude!
3. Moondog Matinee, "Vacancy at the Wonder Lodge," roots rock, www.store.outboxrecords.com/album/vacancy-at-the-wonder-lodge, iTunes. Hot Track: "Sonny."
The quintet of UNR alumni's debut delivers psychedelia-tinged rock that could have had them opening for the Band in 1973. Pete Barnato's soulful yowl winds over a moody pastiche of retro Les Paul guitar and distortion, Rhodes piano and Hammond organ -- jams shifting jazzily, tracks flowing seamlessly like noir scenes.

4. Apprentice & Cody Rea, "The Calm," hip-hop, spoken word, iTunes. Hot Track: "America."
Rapper Richie "Apprentice" Panelli and instrumentalist Cody Rea deliver socially conscious song poems with pristine sound (Panelli has a Ph.D. in audiology) that raise issues without shouting, and soothe with clear lyrics and melodies. "America," Panelli's Beatnik-type elegy for a nation that's lost its moral vision, is the centerpiece. The soundscape incorporates acoustic guitar, hand percussion and synth beats, piano, strings and street sounds.
5. Tyler Stafford, "On a String," singer-songwriter, available at Discology, The Nest, and shows. Hot Tracks: "Lullaby."
Stafford's natural tenor and understated acoustic guitar connect as sincerely on his debut album as live solo sets -- only he's backed by percussion, strings and harmonies. His lyrics, whether plaintive or ruminative, never stray beyond humble candor. "And your lies are my lullabies. And your lies are turning me on," he sings in the breakup song, "Lullabies."
6. Keyser Soze, "But Not for You," ska, iTunes. Hot Track: "Arti Bella."
The widely touring septet's third album proves infectious dance bands translate well to albums when the tempos consistently shift, solos lock back quickly to the grooves, and vocals are croony or growly as on stage. Keyser Soze delivers ska and jazz-inflected reggae with compact interplay among horns, guitar and keys. A party the whole way through.
7. Elephant Rifle, "Teenage Lover," noise rock, www.elephantrifle.bandcamp.com, iTunes. Hot Track: "Mit Iodine."
Cacophonous sound can evoke angst better than words. In this quartet's four-song EP, shrieks of submerged lyrics slam against pounding bass and toms and atonal guitar riffs that scratch, creak and claw madly. It's gothic and addicting, with surprise effects, shifts and skids at every twist.
8. The John Whites, "Monkey Man," indie rock, www.thejohnwhites.bandcamp.com. Hot Track: "Halo."
John White puts out an album a year with his group. Every track is radically different; you might hear funk or folk guitar, female soul singer, breathy '80s-style poppy vocals and beat, somber organ, tribal chanting -- all listenable. White's pretty tenor has impressive high range suited to airplay.
- Reno Gazette Journal


Don't Kill the Messenger and Hate Me Now write up by Oliver Ex, editor/publisher of Reno Tahoe Tonight - Reno Tahoe Tonight


As the lights dimmed and the stage announcer introduced ‘the best live hip-hop band in Reno’, we had no idea what exactly to expect from Chari “Knowledge” Smith and her band Knowledge Lives Forever, which includes guitarist/bassist Gia Torcaso, Kris Stosic on drums and newcomer Kim Radzik on guitars.

The group played an energetic opening set for an audience steadily growing in size in anticipation of seeing the legendary DJ Quik take the stage as the headlining act later in the evening. The band’s performance was full of thick, live hip-hop beats, dripping sweat beads and the guy behind me yelling, “you’re the s—” after every song. In short, it was amazing.

There was also a memorable cover/reinvention of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes played near the end of the set that really got the crowd movin’ out on the dancefloor. We would *highly recommend* checking this band out next time they’ve got a live show here in Reno … or in your town when they roll through!

Scroll down for a couple of our favorite shots and a link to the full gallery. Also make sure to follow Knowledge Lives Forever on Twitter and give ‘em the ‘ol thumb’s up on Facebook while you’re at it!

- iShootReno


Knowledge Lives Forever is a local Reno Nevada Hip Hop group known for harmoniously blending elements of Rock, Acoustic, Soul, Funk and Electronic. The group, who now consists of Chari "Knowledge" Smith, Asa Dakin, Kris Stosic, Kim Radzik and Vanessa Rodriguez recently released a new album called Hate Me Now, featuring bassist Gia Torcaso. Hate Me Now is full of catchy tracks that explore topics from love and hate to Proposition 8. The first of a future trilogy, it represents of the growth and unity the band has developed since their birth.

“Fallen For You” is a smooth, sexy track full of electric twang behind a chill drum beat. Dancing piano verses lurk in the background as Chari spits heart-felt verses about falling in love. She raps, “Juliet could never love like you / Romeo never felt like I do / one thing that I do know is true / my world minus me equals you / like BB King with no blues / like Michael Jackson without boos / like CSI without clues / that’s how I be without you” The track is laced with a distorted feel-good chorus featuring Reno, NV soulstress Whitney Meyer. Listeners will feel touched by the raw honesty and thoughtfulness.

"Gone" is a piece full of trembling electronic sound effects with a psychedelic funky vibe. Chari’s energetic verses are on the move in this track as she confidently breaks through electronic chaos to spread the message “don’t make me say it again / don’t ever question my name / don’t need no more excuses / I know what’s really goin on”. This track will have listener’s hearts beating a little faster.

The album comes to an end with a song called “Hate Me Now”. Chari enters the song with an in your face, braggadocios tone that says "I have arrived and I’m not going anywhere”. This track constantly bursts into an energetic, climactic chorus as Chari spits “you can hate me now, but you’ll love me later, take my hat off, throw the deuces to the haters”. This anthem to the haters is spilling with raw verses about Chari’s musical journey and fused with scandalous guitar solos that will ring in the listener’s ears.

Hate Me Now is full of honest vocals and lively instrumentals. With catchy hooks coming from all directions, listeners will enjoy listening to this timeless album over and over.

Written by Whitney Lewis at WomensRadio 08-11 - WomensRadio


Mash-ups, new songs that combine two previously existing songs, have been popularized by mainstream artists like Danger Mouse and TV shows like Glee. Reno band Knowledge Lives Forever creates a readymade mash-up of hip hop and funk rock.

The difference between Knowledge Lives Forever and other rock-hip hop hybrid bands, like Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock, is a propensity for political awareness and the lack of “hos and 40s” in its music. It’s also a genuine mash-up of prerecorded hip hop beats and live rock music.

Rapper Knowledge, 25, born Chariell Smith, had been spitting poetic lyrics on her own before she mashed her poetry with the live music of bassist Gia Torcaso, 30, drummer Kris Stosic, 29, and guitarist Travis Dunn, 28. They became a four-legged creature.

At a recent rehearsal, the band members vibe off of the collective talent in their sardine can-sized practice room, no bigger than a large bathroom, sans shower.

Knowledge stood at the mic facing her bandmates like the conductor of an orchestra, instead of with her back to them like some rap artists. Her braids, pulled back in a baseball cap, hit mid shoulder. Baggy jeans completed the ensemble.

In the corner of the cramped room, Stosic sat behind his drum set, warming up his tattooed arms, bobbing his head to the beats.

In the center, stood the tall, statuesque Dunn. He stepped among the many effects pedals he uses while playing.

“He tap dances while he plays,” said Torasco.

Her spritely physique and pixie haircut seem opposed to the gigantic strength with which she slaps the bass.

Their diverse musical backgrounds help explain their sound, with the group growing up on everything from Jimi Hendrix to Debbie Gibson, from Nirvana to gospel.

Although the band members want to start writing together, Knowledge currently provides the songs. She composes basic tracks on the computer and suggests to her band mates an emotion or color to help the feel of each song. This is followed by a jam session, with each member contributing until the song is complete. As the songs progress, some of the initial beats get phased out, allowing for more flexibility.

Knowledge Lives Forever creates upbeat music that doesn’t rely on Glocks and gang wars or sex to sell. The band’s collective story would not fit the bill for 8 Mile II, and Smith doesn’t like to write songs about clubbing, drinking and hitting it from behind.

“There’s so much of it out there already,” she says. “Even if I were to do that, there’s a hundred thousand ducks in a pond, and I’m just one of them. I try to tap their inner booty.”

Instead, she writes about love, life, social structures and the music industry. The band’s music ranges from mellow, blues-infused songs with serious lyrics, like “Prop 8,” to feel-good music with elaborate guitar riffs, like “The Sunshine.”

Both the music and the lyrics could easily stand on their own, which is why the songs could be described as mash-ups. Together, they create a sound as enticing as ketchup and cottage cheese; they aren’t meant to go together, but it sure as hell tastes good when they do.

Written by Toni Nunes 06-10-10 - Reno News and Review


I won all my fights,” Chariell Smith says of her days as the only female on the University of Nevada, Reno boxing team. “If people don’t like it, and it’s too uncomfortable for everyone, that’s too bad for them.”

She brings that same hard-assed attitude to the microphone.

“The world through my eyes—filled with hate, greed and lies. So many hurting hard—trying to make it through hard times,” she raps on the song “Freedom,” the first that she ever recorded.

“When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. I’m down to walk that green mile.”

Smith, 23, who goes by Knowledge on stage, gives a mix of conscious rhymes, street grime and sexual references in her music. She cites two major influences: college—she holds a degree in health ecology—and her younger brother, Lil’ Murda.

Talk about mixed signals.

As for the sex stuff: “I’m tasteful with it,” says the openly gay rapper. “I might write a song where I had a relationship, and it didn’t work … but it’s not [about] gay or straight … it’s [about] life.”

Smith, originally from Las Vegas, made a name for herself doing shows at UNR. Aside from opening for other local rappers a few times, she hasn’t made much of an effort to get her name or her music known past the comfortable confines of campus—until recently.

“It’s allowed me to sort of sit back and watch everyone,” says Smith, regarding her reticence and its influence on her spot in the Reno rap game.

“I figure you gotta know your place,” she says. “Know your time.”

And now is that time. But how does a college-educated, lesbian rapper break into an industry living in a cramped closet full of its own harsh stereotypes?

“I pride myself on being real,” she says. “I don’t write about stuff I don’t know. I write about life, myself, what’s going on with me.

“When I get on the mic and speak, I’m not a girl. I’m not a gay girl. I am just a rapper. And when I start rapping, all that stuff just melts away. It’s secondary. It’s not important.

“At least no one’s ever came up to me and said ‘You’re gay! You can’t be a rapper.'”

But Smith says she does have a fan base in the gay community.

“It’s hard to explain it—gay people love hip-hop,” she says. “They really do. They’re probably some of the biggest supporters in the community. I think that all of us have been through so much, being judged … that we’re really accepting.”

Being an intelligent lesbian rapper may be Smith’s key to signing a major-label deal one day, she says, wearily noting her potential to be seen as a gimmick in an industry already overflowing with pimp cups and 14 karat gold-plated grillz.

“I don’t want to limit myself to that audience,” she says of the gay community. “I don’t want to be the gay rapper. I want to be the rapper.”

The rapper—a tough enough job to get.

Her voice is rough and raspy. Her message is revolution. But she talks about her music more like an author talks about a new novel than most rappers talk about a new song.

“I feel like people write about who they are, where they come from and the things they’ve been through,” she says. “I think college was really the point in my life where I discovered myself. I felt like my writing developed more because the classes I was taking, the books I was reading.”
- Reno News and Review


"We can't forget where we come from as a country. The history is very important."

The Black Student Organization’s “Urban Idol” talent competition displayed a myriad talent ranging from self-written freestyle rapping to ballad singing.
“This event is a way to open our doors to different talents,” SAID Michelle Antoine, secretary of BSO. “We wanted something cool and fun, so we decided to have a talent contest.”
“Urban Idol” was the first competition of its kind produced by the BSO and included many talented performers. The winner was afforded the opportunity to perform at the Black Student Organization Ball which was held Saturday, Feb. 28. The competition was held Feb. 24 in the JTSU Alumni Room.
The term “urban” was chosen by BSO to describe the winner of the competition because they felt it embodied the personality of their generation.
“Young people are cool and hip…urban, basically,” Antoine said.
Though some performances were unpolished, all showed effort and talent. Many performers chose to use rap as self-expression, and the Urban Idol was among them. Chariell Smith won by an Apollo Theater-style vote of applause from the audience.
“I got words of thanks for DJ for hooking me up with the track,” Smith said shortly after winning. “I just want to thank all of my friends for encouraging me. I want to dedicate this song to my best friend.”
Her performance was a self-written rap and enlightened the audience about the trials and tribulations of being a black woman in today’s society. It took a historical perspective and demonstrated how the values of the past affect her life.
“We can’t forget where we come from as a country,” Smith said. “The history is very important.”
While Smith was the winner of the competition, many of the other performances brought large rounds of applause from the audience.
After some, the contest conductor Antoine would tell the contestants they were “so hot right now,” succinctly summing up the popular sentiment. - Nevada Sagebrush


Discography

Hate Me Now - 2011, Pixie Records, Reno, NV
Don't Kill the Messenger - 2011, Fine Print Productions, Reno, NV

Photos

Bio

Knowledge Lives Forever, a five-member band led by singer/songwriter/rapper Chari “Knowledge” Smith, is enjoying surging popularity due to its high-energy shows, hooky songs suitable for airplay, and indefatigable work ethic.
KLF is much more than a grooving hip-hop ensemble delivering uplifting, socially conscious flows. KLF rocks hard, pumps up the funk and mixes in electronica in its audience-engaging sets. Formed by the throaty spittin’-and-singin’ Smith in 2009 after she decided to take her sound live after four solo albums, KLF has quickly gained a fiercely loyal following in the fertile Reno music scene.
The band has played the Knitting Factory and other big local venues booked by national acts, and grabbed the ears of promoters who’ve had the quintet open for legendary rap band Nappy Roots, Los Angeles electro-pop band Uh Huh Her, and rapper DJ Quik.
No group is working harder than KLF. With three full studio albums released in the span of 18 months (earning raves in the Reno Gazette-Journal’s list of best albums of 2011), Smith and her band mates are poised for a breakout year in 2012, preparing to tour and perform regionally while the prolific Knowledge continues writing and creating her unique and accessible music.

Knowledge Lives Forever is:
Chari “Knowledge” Smith — vocals, track production, lyricist
Kim Radzik — guitar
Asa Dakin — bass
Kris Stosic — drums
Vanessa Rodriguez — vocals

Contact information:
Phone: 775-232-4571
knowledgelivesforever@yahoo.com

Links:
http://www.knowledgelivesforever.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Knowledge-Lives-Forever/183347635012722