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Band Hip Hop R&B


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The best kept secret in music


"Keeping It Clever"

Written by Brita Brundage

Clayson Reed, otherwise known as Cee Reed , is building a mini hip-hop empire in Danbury while nobody's looking.
His business umbrella is called Northeast Ability, and his own group, Workforce , along with several underground solo MCs, has been putting on
showcases at the Empress Ballroom, Hat City Alehouse and Tuxedo Junction. On May
29, they're taking their traveling hip-hop revue on the road for a show at the Roxy in Norwalk,, and they're inviting New Britain jazz band/hip-hop unit Silent Groove along for the ride.

Reed has his heart set on starting a label, but building interest comes
first. His group, which features another MC, Hawl Dig , and beat producer Dutch
will lead the charge. Workforce opened for De La Soul at
Tuxedo's in early April and Reed says his group draws inspiration from the
famous Long Island trio as well as other smooth-groove hip-hop acts like A Tribe
Called Quest.

"It's a mid-'90s sound," he says, "like a live show." None of the acts he
represents, including solo artists Matakhan , O.P. and Lord Kaoz , follow the "what's-on-the-radio hip-hop." Reed, who in his
less exciting life worked briefly as a Weekly
ad representative, sees the same commitment to innovation in
Silent Groove--a four-piece band that melds live jazz, drum 'n' bass and ska
grooves with fast and loose rhyming.

Silent Groove's song "Onetwo" off their latest release, One to
Give , has a chorus reminiscent of "Twelve" from Jurassic 5's Quality Control , but with rolling lyrical
additions like "Whatcha' gon' do, whatcha gon' gon' do." The whole song's laid
over a jazz track played by Mike Straus on
bass, Paul Miniero on drums and
Omer Shemesh on organ, with Matt
Zeigler on the mic. The keys stay light and lively, the bass
pops, and the whole ensemble can stop on a dime to follow the verbal Pied Piper.
The title track "One to Give" gets smoother, the vocals almost spoken-word
style, with Rebecca Correia lending
scintillating singing on the chorus, "I can't sleep anymore, I just pray to the
moon, that all my troubles will be gone soon." The song carries the vibe of a
hipster coffee shop poetry reading where political, street and personal ideas
collide in the flicker of candlelight. On "Logic" the group adds a salsa
back-rhythm, on "Lady Lady," an honest ode to love with more singing than rap, a
ska groove. They can flex their skills musically and vocally, and the constant
interplay keeps the songs fresh.

While not all the MCs stay as positive as Workforce, Reed says that the
trouble they've received from places like dance club Eleven Ives Street in
Danbury is unwarranted.

"They're not rhyming about drugs, guns, money, girls and cars," he says.
"It's more about telling a story. It makes you rewind and say 'what did he just
say?' It's wordplay, clips from movies, it's more clever than what's coming

- Fairfield County Weekly


Workforce (Self Entitled) Debut Album
Certain tracks are in rotation at WXCI during the rap/hiphop programs.


Feeling a bit camera shy


WORKFORCE, Hawl Digg and Dirt E. Dutch, are a classic hip-hop duo representing the Tri-State area. Their first album is a well thought out compilation of bonified bangers for true hiphop heads! Hawl Digg introduces his sharp crisp and catchy lyrics to the world over thunderous beats produced by an old school visionary, Dirt E. Dutch. Workforce performs two to three times a month throughout the area and has established a strong following. They have opened for De La Soul, as well as Wordsworth and J-live. They've rocked at the Lyricist Lounge featuring Slick Rick, Pharoah Monch and Mos Def, and are also featured on several websites, their home site being