Tang $auce
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Tang $auce

Hartford, CT | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Hartford, CT | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Hip Hop Afropop




"Tang Sauce: A Young Rapper's Journey To 'Maturity'"

Four years in the life of Hartford rapper Tang Sauce unfold across the 17 tracks of "Maturity," a debut album that marks time, memory and connection.

There are mentors — rapper Self Suffice, for example, who joins Tang Sauce on "The Key" — and hip-hop elders: Abiodun Oyewole, founding member of the Last Poets, adds verses to "The Fountain.

Tang Sauce (John Manselle-Young, 24) is a former member of West End Blend, a 10-piece Hartford funk, hip-hop, soul band. He has worked with blues musician XY Eli. In addition to rapping and playing several instruments (including trumpet and guitar), he's also an accomplished dancer.

Most of all, perhaps, Tang is a communicator. "I could read a book," he raps on "Nakedsense," "and I know I could check Google/but person-to-person knowledge is what I'm sticking true to."

Last month, Tang held a CD release party at Eight Sixty Custom, a skate shop that also hosts hip-hop shows. Local performers — Williano Santoro, G. Young, Orice Jenkins and many others — took turns on the mic. Tang's mother, Leslie Manselle, sold T-shirts and CDs. His girlfriend, Kayla, was there; so was king kraM, who brought his mother and young niece. Giant skeleton puppets by artist Anne Cubberly lurched around skateboard ramps. Tang greeted everyone in person.

Tang's father, Joe Young, wrote and produced "Diamond Ruff," a Hartford-based feature-length film that debuted in January 2015. He operated Young Studios in Hartford, where he worked on the movie, ran a recording studio, hosted talent shows and taught graphic design to kids.

"My dad's been doing his thing ever since before I was born," Tang says. "He's always working very, very hard. He's the busiest person I know. I learned from his work ethic. If you ever want to do something where you are your own boss, you have to just be grinding. ... Being a black business owner downtown, when a lot of businesses were going down, he was staying up."

Early on, Tang envisioned "Maturity" (the working title was "The Hartford Renaissance") as an artistic rite of passage. He recorded tracks on his own for a year, and then took them to producer Era REdux.

"It was like a posse," Tang says. "I would be recording, but I'd have four or five or six people in the studio. The studio was in Era's bedroom, so you can imagine how big that would be. It was tight in there, but everyone got to add to the environment. It wasn't just me. I'd say a line, and someone would say, 'Try and say it like this.' That added a little extra to it. There was a lot of synergy."

As a rapper, Tang homes in on intimate moments. He's facing down a blank page on "Make Moves" ("New ish, I gotta write some new ish/Got the pen to the pad I'm, at it again/Ink on the page spilling thoughts through the pencil/For the mental like Jarobi continental). He's capable of tongue-wrecking alliterative verses, as on "One Time for Your Mind":

Immaculate intentions important internally

Insider insight inside interpretive integrity

Outsourcing's opposite outlines opportunity

Outside, other outer-lying objectionably

Said statements suggested so superficially

Think towards thee, thine thoughts top tier tremendously

Keep your cypher serving you so infinitely

And know forever never ends, like the Fibonacci

Over two years, Tang visited REdux's studio around 12 times. Eastmond (king kraM), one of Tang's best friends, "has only been rapping for about a year and a half," he says, "but he's progressed really quickly." Self Suffice took Tang to open mics in New York. "He helped me out a bunch, just learning music stuff from him," Tang said.

Other performers and producers on "Maturity" include Warren Justice, Oktober Brown, Dan Di Lion, Hi Fadility, Smoked Out Productions, Melodic, Zuly and Paul Philippone, his former West End Blend bandmate.

Three years ago, while dancing with a local company, Tang met Oyewole, the Last Poets founder. "They're the first group to do poetry over drums," Tang says. "They inspired Gil-Scott Heron. I was like, 'Oh, man.' I was elated."

Oyewole, in turn, enjoyed Tang's dancing. At the beginning of 2015, Tang asked Oyewole to appear on "Maturity," and he agreed.

"It was an honor," Tang says. "That made my whole year, somebody I look up to that much. That was full circle. One of my favorite things about this project is that you never knew what one thing was going to lead to. That's why it's always good to be on point, to keep your sword sharp at all times."

Tang Sauce will co-host this year's Trinity Hip-Hop Festival (April 7-10 on the Hartford campus), and will open for headliner Rakim on April 9. He's currently planning a tour — the Maturity Tour — and hopes the album's success will lead to a full-time music career. It's too soon to start on a follow-up, but he already has a title in mind: "Hip-Hop and Coffee."

"As far as the next album goes," Tang says, "my phrase is, 'Cook it until it's hot.' I have some ideas, and I always just want to outdo itself."

Stream and purchase Tang Sauce's music at bangdollatang.bandcamp.com. - The Hartford Courant

"Trinity Hip hop Presents Tang Sauce"

Tang Sauce was recently mentioned as a torch bearer for the direction that hip hop is going by Abiodune of the legendary Last Poets. But let’s go back to the beginning, where it all began. On the 24th day of August 1991, a club footed child was born to Leslie Manselle and Joseph Young Junior. Who would have thought that a child born with a clubbed foot would one day express through movement, I think not many. This is who he is. Tang Sauce brings a positive mentality to the table in which these types of things are possible!

When first given the opportunity to make sound in an organized manner, he would skip music class and refuse to play the cornet in the band at Hartford North End Corps, where Leslie Manselle, or Mama Tang (Again, his mother), was the band master, around this time, on a side note, Tang Sauce’s older cousin Simshindo would talk to him and introduce Tang Sauce to some of his earliest knowledge of African history and Hip-Hop, but, years later what would bring him into making sound? Fast forward to 2008, that answer would be straight ahead jazz inspiration from the Artists Collectives “Youth Jazz Ensemble” founded by Dollie and Jackie Mclean, but not before he trained for 2 years with the Manchester Salvation Army’s senior band. Rewind back to 1995 when he first took a tap dancing class at The Artists Collective. Now fast forward to 2005 after the movie that captured the phenomenon of urban dance at the time thanks to artists like Missy Elliot, “You Got Served” came and influenced Tang Sauce to make movement again after a decade of stillness. Fast forward to 2012 when United Outkast crew which Tang Sauce is a member of, took a victory at “Bboy Massacre 8” also the same year that T.O.B crew which Tang Sauce is also a member of won “Funk the politics”, both dance tournaments.

Rewind back to the 90’s where Tang Sauce was selected to be a published author through a program at his elementary school “Annie Fisher”. Fast forward to early 2013 where Tang Sauce was casted the lead role of Joseph Asagai in the MaPeach production of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Rasin in the Sun”. Rewind back to 2012 where he was casted as a dancer in Sidney Lumet’s “The Wiz”, another MaPeach production. Rewind back to 2008 where he performed with Manchester High School’s jazz ensemble and pit orchestra in Frank Oz’s “Little Shop of Horrors”. Rewind even further back to 2006 when he was asked to speak his thoughts on a panel with his peers regarding the topic of the achievement gap of different races and income levels.

Currently, Tang Sauce is focused on releasing his album Maturity, along with building himself creatively, artistically, and maturely, looking forward to a bright future of peace, positivity, wisdom, understanding, friends, sound, words, movements, thoughts and love. - Trinity Hip Hop

"Artist Feature - Tang Sauce"

Hartford, Connecticut’s Tang Sauce is a fresh artist rising from the Connecticut underground. John Manselle-Young, who performs under the alias, Tang Sauce, has just released a 17-track album, Maturity, which has been gaining a lot of positive notoriety. Recently Tang gave an energetic performance at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival 2016 that left us vibrating with good energy. We reached out to Tang Sauce with a few questions about his sound, inspiration and connection to jazz culture.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as a laid back, golden era (of Hip-Hop) inspired, old school flow with a new school perspective.
What effect has jazz had on your music and life?
That’s a good question! Well first of all, jazz and Hip-Hop for me are the same music, just presented in different platforms and era’s (Just like jazz, Hip-Hop has an improvised element, called an “off the top” freestyle). As far as my music though, during the golden era of Hip-Hop (Late 80’s early 90’s), Hip-Hop producers were sampling jazz records quite often, and that’s where I get a lot of inspiration for my sound so a direct effect would be the style that I have in mind when choosing beats. I’m definitely looking for “Jazzy” sounds most of the time. I trained in jazz a few years with the Youth Jazz Orchestra at the Artists Collective, and the skills I learned there on my cornet absolutely stayed with me and “transposed” into rap when the time came. In my life, jazz has taught me how me how art can break barriers, and push social change. I know that at times where racial tensions were high, the bandstand was a place where people could be equal regardless of their color! That was really new and uncomfortable for some people at the time, but I believe a great way to introduce positive social change is through the ear!
Which three public figures, musicians, politicians, etc. have inspired your art?
This is a good question as well! Number one would be, Will Smith. I always loved his swag and fun- loving vibe, but when I researched him, I realized how deep and intelligent he is as a person. From there I really respected him and wanted to use him as a role model for my own journey! Number two would be, Daniel “Cloud” Campos. First of all he’s one of the most original dancers I’ve ever seen, but also, he’s one of the most creative people I’ve ever heard of! He’s multi talented plus humble and hilarious! He showed me how much of a good effect it can be to be great person outside of your art. Number three would be would be Oprah, I read her biography and saw all of the obstacles she had to overcome to get to where she is and that story really made me realize that if you create opportunities for yourself, and take advantage of the good opportunities that you do have, you can be successful, regardless of where you begin!
If you could collaborate with any artists, who would you ask to work with and why?
If I could collaborate with any artist, I would have to collaborate with either Herbie Hancock or Kendrick Lamar. They’re both really spectacular, super creative, and ahead of their time as I see it, and I would love to absorb some of what they have going on in their minds! The continuity in Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” with his ongoing poem was really mind blowing and Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” was so different from anything I heard coming from any other Jazz artist at that time! To be a part of a project that they are a part of would be a humongous honor.
Where do you see your sound five years from now?
Five years from now, I see myself having a really cutting edge sound, but at the same time maintaining my signature style. I’d like to dig deeper into myself to find a sound where I’m mixing together all of my different influences to make a cohesive sound. I’ve got some brass band in me, some Souza in me, some African drum in me, and even some break beats in me that have yet to have had the chance to be heard, and I can definitely see myself working with all of that plus more in five years!
What have you been listening to?
Lately, I’ve been listening to a mixture of things, it’s been golden era Hip-Hop like Monie Love & The Native Tongues, current Hip-Hop/R&B like Drake, Bryson Tiller, Kendrick Lamar, but then it’s also been jazz from late 1950’s like “Four” by Miles Davis and some things the Jazz Messengers were doing around that time as well. Being around town often, I listen to a bunch of local music from multiple genres like Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Soul, which are all really nice scenes to be a part of. Orice Jenkins’s new album SOAR is in heavy rotation for me right now, but I am also still listening to my album “Maturity” pretty often, I feel like it’s an album that grows on you more with time.
Where can people interested in your music find it?
You can find my latest single “One Time For Your Mind” on YouTube here: https://goo.gl/PjfjPj, you can listen to my album here: bangdollatang.bandcamp.com, and now you can make your own “Tang Sauce” radio station on Pandora!Tang Sauce Maturity
How would you summarize your overall aesthetic as an artist?
My aesthetic as an artist is peace, love, and positivity! Also, I aim to bring Hip-Hop into a place where it is more respected & appreciated. The amount of talent it takes to make and understand Hip-Hop is huge, and I want people to know that there is much more than you can get at face level with this craft, there are layers! With rap alone, we have many layers to observe, and/or create such as flow, rhyme scheme, delivery, wordplay, alliterations, assonance, consonance, and even medley sometimes! That’s just one element of Hip-Hop right there (for those looking to learn, the four basic elements of Hip-Hop are Breakin’ [Dance], Rap, Graffiti, and DJ’ing). All the element’s are layered just like this and it must be known that Hip-Hop is art just as much as any other art form.
Do you feel Connecticut’s music scene has had an effect on you? How?
Connecticut’s music scene has absolutely had a huge effect on me! This scene has been really good to me in supporting me honestly being myself. I consider Sully’s Pub, Black Eyed Sally’s, and The Russell to be training grounds for me to experiment, grow, and network! I’ve learned so much at all of these places (I have to include the Tapas Wednesday open mic that we used to hold as well), and the common thing between all these venues is that you can try new things here, and you will have a cushion of love and support to fall back on no matter what happens. It shows you that if you have the courage to put yourself on stage and express yourself the best that you can, people will recognize, appreciate, and respect that. You might even have some fun in the meantime, and meet some really great people! Also, I feel like CT’s music scene is like a family, so were all connected, and if you are good to the community around you, you can end up right where you want to be!
This is not a question. Thank you for inspiring people every day with your performances and words. Thank you for seeing that and for reaching out to me! All the best, much love! - CTNow


LP Maturity Released February 27, 2016
album available ((https://bangdollatang.bandcamp.com/releases))



Tang Sauce is a multi-talented performer who brings his hip-hop delivery to the mic, superb break-dancing to the dance floor, and exceptional musicianship to the drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, trumpet, and cornet, his signature instrument.  Since releasing his "Maturity" mixtape, he has performed all over the country, bringing flow, choreography, charisma to today's tireless alternative hip hop buyers.  He has collaborated with legends such as Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets, and shared the stage with stars like Talib Kweli.  A native of Hartford, CT he has established himself on the New England music scene as well as acting, appearing in notable productions from the reknown Hartford Stage as an actor and dancer.

Band Members