Universal Rebel
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Universal Rebel

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Band Hip Hop Reggae

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"Rebel with a cause"

Spreading a message of love and unity, the members of Universal Rebel use their hip-hop-fused reggae/funk/rock sound to inspire positive social change. But their philanthropic flow doesn't end with their music; it courses through their lives and the world-conscious causes the band supports.

In a time when the majority of popular music (especially hip-hop) tends to consist of nonsense words or glorifying anthems of materialism and sex, the Morristown-based Universal Rebel wanted to expose its audience to more intellectually stimulating lyrics.

"Positivity is possible" said Adeo, born Brandyn Heppard, the band's founder and emcee. "We wanted people to know there's a choice: They can listen to positive music and not just what's forced through their ears."

The band also plays at YMCA fundraisers, gigs for local artists and uses its website, www.universalrebel.org, to connect fans to various websites to donate to causes dedicated to end world hunger, global warming and AIDS.

Now, through Hodges' efforts the band has booked gigs until the end of 2009; they're going on tour (with collaborations by local musicians) and their single "Lullabye" is scheduled for release on Sept. 19.

In the end, Universal Rebel's goal is to show people that everyone has the ability to be a conduit for change.

"Do you, your own way, without compromising who you are," Adeo said. "Everyone can be a rebel."


- The Star Ledger - NJ Newspaper


"Rebel with a heart"

Rebel with a heart
ELLEN S. WILKOWE DAILY RECORD
Brandyn Heppard of Morristown is all about the love. With long dreadlocks, a "no worries" attitude and spiritual pursuits, this Morristown native spreads his message of love as the MC of Universal Rebel, a reggae hip-hop band that plays regularly at an Irish bar.
"Reggae is in my heart," Heppard said.
Playing regularly at the Dublin Pub in Morristown illustrates the universal or the "accessibility" part of the band's name, he said. As for the rebel?
"I'm starting a revolution for love," he says in a video on his Web site.
Heppard's adopted stage name is "Adeo," but fans familiar with his former project RAINation (Real Artist Independent Nation) already know that.
It was during his reign with RAINation that he performed as an opening act for Grammy nominees Robert Randolph and the Family Band, the start of many high-profile opening act performances.
Add to the list: Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, Ludacris, Cee-Lo and Julian Marley, to name a few. Heppard has opened for all of them.
The "why" in touring with music icons is obvious, but the "how" is something independent musicians aspire to in their hopes and dreams. The pursuit of those dreams is what landed Heppard jobs as the opening act for his idols.
"We made a dream list of people we wanted to work with, sent out press kits to management, but Robert Randolph was a local guy and we liked what he was doing, " Heppard said.
The local connection landed Heppard the opening act in 2004.
The credibility established from this show served as a launching pad for other opportunities, including opening for the Black Eyed Peas at Pace University, which he called "the most incredible natural high."
No, he didn't meet Fergie. But he did meet and open for Kanye West, a sold-out appearance at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
"He is one of my heroes," Heppard said. "It was one of the most humbling experiences. ... He was really nice to us, took pictures with us and made jokes."
Back home in Morristown he fronts Universal Rebel, which garnered a local fan base and attention from independent labels.
"I won't just sign with anyone," he said. "The opportunity has to be right."
For Heppard, signing with a record label takes a back seat to his overall mission of universal accessibility and, of course, the love.
"We're not about color or age, we're about accessibility," he said. "This is the perfect mixture of spiritual vibe and rebel music."
This is evident in the band's recent single "Underdog (Overdog)."
The " reggae-dub-style ditty trumpets the plight of the 'little guy' in all of us, that must fight uphill, against all odds, to overcome adversity," band manager John Hodges said.
Inspired by Jamaican reggae musician Jimmy Cliff, who starred in the film "The Harder They Come," the song "Underdog (Overdog)" is also dedicated to the New York Giants fans who watched their team win this year's Super Bowl, Hodges wrote in an e-mail to the Daily Record.
(chorus)
I always root for the Underdog
I root for the Underdog...
I root for the Underdog...
Doggy Dog, Doggy Dog
I always root for the underdog, the one with his back to the wall
Given no chance at all by the oddsmakers taking down the Yankees or the Lakers
But just can't match up to the abundance of paper
Used to undertake, and take, and break you down
I'm talking about the richest and the highest
The battle rages on between the Davids and Goliaths
My mic is my slingshot, ride for the have-nots
I find strength in every kink of the dread lock...
This artist's medium is lyrical music, and he uses it to spread inspirational messages.
"Adeo is a wordsmith," said the band's drummer, Steve Honoshowsky of Peapack. "He is message-driven and a dynamic frontman."
- Daily Record - Morris County Newspaper


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

UNIVERSAL REBEL
Progressing Humanity Thru the Arts.
(Sounds like Bob Marley, Common, & Phish)

Universal Rebel (UR) is an ORGANIC HIPHOP COLLECTIVE based out of North Jersey. UR is what you get when you take Bob Marleys brand of REBEL MUSIC, mixed with the conscious lyricism of COMMON, with the musical experimentation of PHISH; a style UR has titled HipHop Dub/LUV. The bands frontman, ADEO, formerly of the group RAINation, was the featured opening act for such legends as Kanye West, The Black Eye Peas, The Roots, Wyclef Jean, Talib Kweli, Common, Robert Randolph, Jimmy Cliff, Julian Marley, and an array of other artists. Now Adeo & his band of rebels have brought their delicious beats and conscious lyrics together to bring you their new studio E.P.- ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS featuring the smash single U R the ONE.

Band Members