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New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR

New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR
Band Hip Hop World


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Goodie Mob, Jacka, Umi of RBG Drop Pearls of Wisdom Around Violence in The Community!"

Last night, a historic gathering took place in san Francisco at the 330 Ritch club. That was the locale for the Stop the Violence panel and townhall featuring reknowned artists like the Goodie Mob, Tha Jacka, Umi of RBG, Elaine Brown of the Black Panther party and a host of others..

The panelist spoke to the issue of violence within and outside of the community. They also spoke about political prisoner Chip Fitzgerald a former Black Panther who has served 40 years..

Umi of RBG/ dead prez speaks to the audience on the Stop the Violence panel about being revolutionary and having love for the community. He talks about how its important for us to turn that love into action and do things that will benefit the group and not just the individual..

"The Pac Work Ethic: an interview wit' Umi of Prisoners of War"

I have known Umi for a good half a decade and he has been a major supporter of the POCC's Code Culture all around the country, whether it was assisting now political prisoner Aaron Patterson when he was on the streets with the many campaigns that he was involved in, or whether it is him giving comrades moving through New York a place to lay their heads. Some of the work Umi has done has been in the spotlight and other work has been behind the scenes. That's why I respect him, now lets get to the music.
Lately Umi, one half of the group Prisoners of War, has been producing a ridiculous amount of music with two albums on the street in 6 months with another coming this summer. It looks like he got that "Pac work ethic". I have only heard songs from one of the albums, that one being "I'm Just a Prisoner" which is being put out by Umi and Project Groundation. It's a dope album with a little bit of something for everybody; dope political lyrics, jazzy and hard-hitting beats, as well as Umi has matured on the mic since his last project. Now I'm gonna let Umi explain to you what he has been up to, and what's up wit' him and dead prez...

M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get into rapping? How did you hook up wit' dead prez to become their manager?

Umi: First and Foremost, I'll like to send Revolutionary love and greetings to all the struggling black and brown folks locked up in society and in concentration camps throughout our fucked up World. My name is Umi, and I consider myself the last of a dying breed. My family line is directly from Ghana, but I was born in Seale Alabama. Because of my southern roots, I have always put family first and known the truth behind this racist system and our position within it... so I have always voiced my opinions in some way or the other. Today I do it through Hip Hop. I have followed the trends of the art form from the beginning, but in 1994 I linked up with 5 other brothers and really started putting it down. That was in CT, and the crew was called The Court. We was def on some WuTang Shit... But anyway, these brothers molded me into a lyricist. We started recording and performing and I vowed to them and myself that I wouldn't stop until I made the world listen... and that's where it began...

As far as dead prez, I met them in the struggle.. They already was poppin, and in my mind was already successful. We first linked through a mutual comrade that I had met in Africa. Through work, exercise and just chilling, we became brothers. I started traveling with them as a DJ and then started helping out with different touring and business related shit.. I never considered myself their manager.. as far as I'm concerned, we managed ourselves and each other. But I put in work with them because I believed in them, and our ideologies and principals where very similar. Once we started putting work in, we became brothers for life. Although, I don't work with them everyday anymore, We still work very close and will always be tightly connected.

M.O.I. JR: Can you talk to us about Prisoners of War, the group that you make up wit' Scribe, how did that formulate? Are ya'll still a group?

Umi: P.O.W... Now thats some shit I seen in my dreams... Because of my affiliation and love for the real PP's... I wanted to make a statement that drew a direct connection with them and the rest of the world... I labeled the outfit Prisoners Of War because I saw us all in chains suffering in the Belly of AmeriKKKA. I wanted to let niggas know, that we all are Prisoners in this bitch cause we can't dictate shit that happens in our country.. in our cities, our neighborhoods... shit barley in our lives. So this makes us Prisoners.. some of us happen to be stashed away in concentration camps but there is no separation. That POW can be broken down a number of ways... its Pissing off Whitey, Pimpin Our Way, Pulling Our Weight, but most of all, its realizing that we all got a position to play out here and there ain't no excuses. So I linked back up with my original team and asked my man Scribe if he was down and we started poppin shots once again. That was 2001... and Hell Yeah we still a group.. P.O.W. will always be here...Right now, we linking up wit my mans MEGAWATT AND GRIOT from THE APOSTLES to from a super group called ORIGINAL MAN... It neva stops... Expect a couple of Scribe solo albums and another POW record as well...

M.O.I. JR: I know that you released two projects over the last couple of months, one by Sony and one by Project Groundation, can you talk about both?

Umi: I'm all about dropping projects.. I want to build a Library for the future.. See cats be thinking about what niggas is listening to now, I'm thinking about when my seeds' seeds listen to my shit... I want them to be like... Damn my great, great, great grandfather was the SHIT!! That nigga wasn't no punk... That's all I be thinking about... So I be hoping I can write some shit that inspires a mutherfucker to open their eyes and change this shit we living in... so yeah I got a lil deal wit Sony Reds through 2B1 Ent.. and decided to put out my first album... I called it The other side of history because its my story.. its my people's story... Some real shit.. Not no shit that was reinterperted. I really think every nigga wit a heart beat needs to hear that shit..Its some real sincere shit...and its hot as fuck!!! I also put out a mixtape to let cats know that I got heat.. Me and DJ Childs linked up and put out some classic shit.. Its called I'm Just A Prisoner... That shit is like a audio movie mixed with a history book... Crazy... Both jons are all over the web.. but the Sony Red shit is in Stores every where... IF u don't see it ORDER IT!!!

M.O.I. JR: How did being the manager for dead prez, which is arguably one of the most political hip hop acts since the turn of the millenium, affect your career as a recording artists (contacts, touring, politicking, etc)?

Umi: Fucking wit DPZ not only gave my crazy insight into the industry and the understanding of making a rap group operate, but it also gave me a great deal of confidence in knowing that I could be successful. Their success showed me that I to, could stand firm on my beliefs and principals and still obtain success in this crooked ass music game. And of course I was able to grow from hearing, watching and taking apart in so many dynamic events...

M.O.I. JR: What makes your music different from the other music that is being put out on the East coast, from artists like dead prez, Common, Talib, Saigon, or Mos?

Umi: I think all of those artist are different...They each have their own sound and style. That's the beauty of this hip hop thang... But My style is Like 2 pac meeting Mr.Scarface and a young Ice Cube combined...Jus some sincere, gangsta but informative hip hop shit. And what makes me truly different is ain't none of them niggas me... I'm umi.. born umi... the last of a dying breed baby!!! I'm the first nigga in the room and last nigga to leave!!!

M.O.I. JR: What's the last thing that you want to say to the music buying public?

Umi: I wanna say, LETS GET OURS!!! Lets spend less time talking about somebody else's shit and more time building up our own shit... I wanna say, if u can envision a plan, u can accomplish it... Don't waste time... NOW IS THE TIME!! I wanna also say, depend on me... Look for me, I'll be raising up the flag and putting in the Work.. Look for me on the FRONTLINES!!!

M.O.I. JR: How can we stay up on you online?

Umi: You can get all 7 of my projects and other merch on UMIRBG.COM... Buy the latest projects on line or in a store near you and watch for the new mixtape "Gone But Not Forgotten" on July 4th. Support real music!!

Big up to Chairman Fred Hampton Jr, Minister of Information JR, the P.O.C.C, and all brothas and sistas world wide. - The Minister of Information JR; BLOCK REPORT RADIO


Customer Reviews
Umi Delivers With Passion...

by DWarner-4*

This kid Umi is special. This particular album is nice and very good by todays standards. There's at least 7 excellent 5 mic tracks- Ride with me, Cold as Ice, 50 shots, War, Bullsh**, Crazy World and Portraits of Life. An album with 7- 5 mic tracks? Not many artists can say that...And Umi's other current work, "I'm just a Prisoner" delivers the same number of passionate 5 mic joints...
Like Umi claims, he's one of the last of a dying breed. Very few MCs are willing to elaborate on controversial real life issues because the big record companies aren't buying it. And unfortunately most young hip-hop fans won't either. To me, it's like with magazines, people will look at the pictures and maybe read the quick caption but they won't read the article. Umi,,M-1 of deadprez represent the words in the article.
I you like deadprez, and the conscientious side of artists like Nas and Lupe, you can't help but feel Umi.A truly sincere man and MC in an era of a lot of phonies... -

"Hip Hop's Revolutionaries"

Umi from Brooklyn, New York has worked with Prisoners of War (P.O.W.), the People’s Army and the RBG (Red, Black, and Green) Family – all revolutionary hip-hop cliques in the U.S. Umi’s solo debut album comes out in late 2008, and his film Under the Gun will be released in June 2008. Basics caught up with Umi in Lawrence Heights back in the summer of 2007.

Basics Interviewer: Umi, you were at Lawrence Heights on your trip to Toronto – the largest social housing project in Canada , with Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) as the largest landlord in Canada. The area is located very close to a big mall [Yorkdale], and what the government is trying to do is demolish part of the area and sell it off to condo developers, and then move out the people who are currently living there, low-income working-class peoples, most being East African and West Indian. Is this process happening in the U.S. too?

Umi: The gentrification process you’re talking about has been going on for a long time. It used to be about race, but now it’s about economics. Right now, the rich are saying, “We don’t want to be secluded in the suburbs anymore.” You know, in the 1960s, they wanted to be in the suburbs to get away from the Civil Rights movement, which they felt was our day of reckoning - African people getting courage. But not just Africans, Browns too. Our struggle to be mobilized as a people affects rich people’s positioning. So, back then, they said “We don’t wanna be downtown, we wanna be in the suburbs.” And the suburbs used to be all the furthest spots of the hood that you could go out to in most cities. So they condemned them, and turned them into suburbs. And now, it’s just the opposite, and this started in the early ‘90s, or late ‘80s. They said, “We wanna take downtown, we wanna revamp downtown.”

This started in the larger cities first. But it’s cities like Chicago that we don’t here a lot about, where people are the most disenfranchised because they’ve been doing this shit relentlessly for the last twenty years… Now they want the downtown areas, so they take black people and now they’re moving them to the suburbs. A lot of black people don’t have cars, so it’s fucked up, and a lot people are not accounted for. When they take their houses, they don’t replace them with new homes immediately, they get stuck with stipends to just survive day-to-day. Look at the shit they did at Katrina – don’t be fooled, that’s trickery right there: that’s another form of gentrification right there. That’s something that’s gotta be studied because that’s something that’s been planned for over 55 years. They knew Katrina was going to happen – and they were just waiting to take land from certain people.

Basics: You all are not just artists in the RBG Family – obviously fantastic artists – but you’re revolutionaries too. You’re organizing, you’re out there with the people. How have people in the U.S. been responding to the ongoing process of gentrification?

Umi: Well, people are mad as hell. We are aware of this negative process, and the way the system stings us. We can’t help but feel the effects. But the problem is that we haven’t organized ourselves and come up with a strategy as a community that can combat to put ourselves in a better position.

The things that are affecting me as a man affected my father as he became a man. What I am most adamant about is not just talking about shit – when I go into the communities I’m linking with people like Fred Hampton Jr. in Chicago, for instance. I try to link with people who are doings things that can help people transform their communities in a strategic way.

At this point, they’re actually trying to destroy us as a people. It’s not just about taking over some property – they are crippling and destroying people’s families… If you cripple a man first, dehumanizing him to the point where it affects his family. At this point, we’ve got to come together and combat this process.

Basics: With the organizing we’re doing in the community against gentrification, can we count on you to come back and help us build this struggle.

Umi: Anytime, anywhere, I’m there. Umi, P.O.W. – even Dead Prez, RBG, I can speak for us all. You call on us and we’ll be there. - Basics Free Community Letter


As of date, Umi has released six solo projects:

•A Race Against Time
Released: February 2005

•Rest In Freedom: A Tribute To J. Dilla
Released: December, 2006

•Rider Music (EP)
Released: February 2007

•I'm Just A Prisoner Ft. DJ Child
Released: December, 2008

•the other side of history
Released: November 11, 08 (Sony-Red)

•Gone But Not Forgotten
Released: January 2010

Together Umi and Scribe make up the dynamic group POW. They have collaborated to bring forth the following projects:

•P.O.W; The Street Report Volume 1
Released: January 2003

•P.O.W; The Street Report Volume 2
Released: January 2005

...And with the "tell it like it is" duo dead prez, umi has helped bring out:

•Dead prez, RBG Family; Turn off The Radio Volume 2
Released: November 2003

•Dead Prez (& umi) Live in San Francisco DVD & CD
Released: August 2007



BEYOND BARS with DJ Child ft. M1 and Chairman Fred Hampton Jr.



Umi from POW/RBG FAM was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. His sincere approach to making music helps remind people that their true independence is still waiting to be claimed. He continues to use music as a tool of social development and economical enhancement.

Born a creative musician with an insightful sound, Umi has been practicing and performing since 8 years old. He has brought forth numerous works with Prisoners of War and The People's Army/RBG FAM (dead prez) and now introduces his solo works. In his respective career, he has opened for or shared the stage with Jay Z, Ice Cube, The Roots, Dave Chapelle, Mos Def, Method and RedMan, Maceo Parker, Femi Kuti, Busta Rhymes, dead prez, Goodie Mob and Erykah Badu just to name a few.

Most recently, Umi has teamed up with Scribe and The Apostles to form new super group Original Man. Their new self-titled debut album is set for release Mid-May 2010. For more information check

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