Tags Archives: THE PLAGUE

PH

PH Photo

PH (formerly known as “Pumpkinhead”)

Born Robert Alan Diaz, in Brooklyn N.Y., on Sept. 17th, 1975, PH did not know what his future had in store for him. The son of a single, hard working mother, grew up in Park Slope Brooklyn with his mom and younger sister, in a 2 bedroom apartment. He started getting into Hip Hop in the early 80′s. As a 10 yr. old B-boy, Robert would battle local crews alone in search of acceptance for having heart and skill for his age. Movies like Beat Street, Breakin and Wildstyle, inspired this B-boy to embrace the culture to the fullest and be the best at what he does today.

After gaining acclaim for his breaking and popping skills, he quickly moved on to his next goal, which was to be an MC. After Hearing Dana Dane’s “Nightmares”, young Robert started penning raps during his 6th Grade Language art class, where he was the top Poet.

Soon “Pumpkinhead” first leapt onto the Underground Hip Hop scene, when a friend of his went to Bobitto Garcia, and handed him a promo that PH had created for his Hip Hop radio show, along with the legendary DJ Stretch Armstrong, “The Stretch Armstrong Show”.

They played the promo for 8 weeks straight.

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After New York’s first taste of this underground MC, they demanded more , So PH joined the stable of Makin’ Records, which was home to the group Natural Resource (including Jean Grae) and The Bad Seed. Ph’s first 12″ single was “Dynamic” b/w “It’s Over”. The record was embraced by all and went #1 in the Hits, Gavin and CMJ charts. The rest, as they say, is history.

Pumpkinhead became known as a battle Champion, holding two “Braggin Rites” Championships, winning several End of the Weak (EODub) Challenges and coming in first or second in numerous other battles and contests. During this time, he rocked many performances and destroyed countless opponents in freestyle street battles with ThePLAGUE, a crew of MC’s that he still records and performs with to this day.

PH also formed a group with Mr. Metaphor, Block McLoud, Will Tell & I.C.ON called “Brooklyn Academy”. They released a classic single called “Con Artists”, which charted on radio before the label folded. The group pursued individual careers before reuniting years later to drop the classic Brooklyn Academy album “Bored of Education” in 2008.

Over the years, PH has toured and traveled to Japan, Australia (Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne), Sweden, Amsterdam, Canada and over 40 U.S. states. He has opened up for the likes of the rock group Goo Goo Dolls on the Lyricist Lounge Technology Tour, Bootcamp Click on the lyricists Lounge Tour, Kanye West, Ghostface, Big Daddy Kane, The Lost Boys, Tony Touch, Jedi Mind Tricks, to name a few and has also headlined his own shows all over the United States.

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As Pumpkinhead, PH has released his debut album “The Old Testament”, the E.P. “A Beautiful Mind” and his sophmore album “Orange Moon Over Brooklyn”. He has produced several mixtapes, including “Kill Music vol.1″, “Time Chronicles” Vol.1 & 2 . “Border Blockers” released in Canada, “Power Man & Iron Fist” with Cy Marshall Law, and “Picture That: The Negative”.

In 2010, the MC shortened his name, preferring to go by the initials that most of his friends referred to him as, “PH”, and dropped another classic album, KNOW THE LEDGE,  on MCMI Records. The album did very well, lead by the single County of Kings, a Brookyn anthem featuring Sha Stimuli, Ruste Juxx, Skyzoo & label-mate LR Blitzkrieg. The album also featured notable spitters such as Nems, Poison Pen, Marv Won, Charlie Clips and Plague members GMS and Substantial.

For the next few years PH focused his time cultivating the battle scene, as host and then President of GRINDTIME EAST COAST (GTEC), until he gave that up and threw his hat in the ring, to battle once again, this time using the more modern, pre-written battle rap format. His first battle was against the top West Coast battle rapper Dizaster. PH’s victory sparked a winning streak as he battled in multiple leagues, in the US, Canada and the UK.
[to be continued ...]

 

HYDRA

HYDRA

HYDRA (LR Blitzkrieg, WildChild, GMS)

GMS and Wild Child met in Grade School and soon collaborated on their first Hip Hop song – a homework assignment where they rapped and beatboxed their report. By Junior High they began earning their stripes in local contests and talent shows and by high school Wild Child’s younger brother LR Blitzkrieg joined the group

Growing up in Brooklyn, the trio strived to surpass the lyrical mastery of their “Golden Era” role models. They began to make noise in the underground music scene, performing all over New York, battling rivals with their crew, The PLAGUE.

For awhile, the three entered as many open mics and competitions as possible, gaining valuable stage experience. They formed HYDRA in 1999 and when it became clear that HYDRA could attract a crowd to fill a venue, promoters and club owners began booking them. They performed at S.O.B.’s, Knitting Factory, The Tunnel, China Club, CBGB’s, Wetlands, Joe’s Pub, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Lion’s Den, Downtime, Pyramid, Marc Ballroom, Culture Club, Southpaw, at several colleges and Lyricist Lounge events, just to name a few.

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The strength of their following led GMS & LR Blitzkrieg to create STORMTROOPERS ENTERTAINMENT, producing and promoting Hip Hop concerts, parties and events in NYC for several years. In 2006, they replaced Stormtroopers with their current brand MCMI Incorporated, under which they have developed MCMI Records, MCMIreport.com, MCMI Apparel, MCMI Studios, MCMI Radio and MCMI Warzone (MC battle league).

Over the years, HYDRA’s lyricism, musicality and showmanship developed them a following and earned them mentions in The Source, Trace, Stress, Mass Appeal & Frank151, dozens of music websitesand a few appearances on local Hip Hop radio.

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For years, HYDRA focused on collaborations with members of their crew The PLAGUE, releasing 2 CD’s, “The Plague: Gang Green” and “The Plague: 28 Tracks Later“, appearing on highly acclaimed QN5 Music’s EF@MM album “Happy F*ck You Songs”, PUMPKINHEAD’sOrange Moon Over Brooklyn” (Rawkus/SoulSpasm) and other Hip Hop mixtapes and compilations.

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In 2010, they focused on the release of the album “Know The Ledge” by Plague member and label-mate PH (formerly ‘Pumpkinhead’). GMS & LR Blitzkrieg appeared on the song Never Had, Never Will and LR Blitzkrieg was also on the album’s lead-off single County of Kings.

STOMPIndividually, Keith “WildChild” Middleton joined the cast of the musical sensation STOMP at the Orpheum Theater, later touring the world with the show, doing a 3 year residency in Las Vegas, staring in films, commercials, HBO Specials and TV Drama’s as an actor and musician. During this time WildChild performed at The Oscars (Academy Awards), on David Letterman, Jay Leno and even Sesame Street, teaching kids how to make music with bobby percussion and found instruments. He wrote and/or produced some off-Broadway Theater productions and even did some choreography and comedic writing for the hit animated film “ROBOTS“.

stomp575While WildChild was performing with STOMP and working in theater, film and television, LR Blitzkrieg was further developing the MCMI brand as a graphic artist, creating the designs for MCMI Apparel, logos and album covers, while GMS started DJing and working on his own music production, dropping several DJ mixtapes and the single “Freedom (How We Get)” with singer Chordz Cordero, in January 2012.

On December 23, 2012, HYDRA released a one-off concept single called “Twelve“, in collaboration with Plague members PackFM, Substantial & MrMecc, on MCMI Records. The song was inspired by the number 12, which was the original amount of members in The PLAGUE (-aka-Army of the Twelve Monkeyz). It was recorded on 12/12/12, each MC on the song spit 12 bars, etc. Although a Plague song, it was marketed as a collaboration between two sub-groups DOMINION & HYDRA and is the first time the name “HYDRA” appeared as the artist on any official release.

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In 2013, they decided to put out the HYDRA song “Love Is“, originally a demo, that had gotten a lot of praise at performances, as a digital single on MCMI Records. Both “Twelve” and “Love Is” feature the production of WildChild, the main producer of the group.
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HYDRA is currently in the studio working on a project that will feature all three members as individual artists, as well as a group. This is slated to come out sometime in 2015. In the meantime, WildChild is releasing his solo spoken word debut “TRANSITIONS“, a unique merging of his original production and poetry written as he lay up recuperating from a near-fatal car accident. The singles, Supreme, B.M.F and FeelsGood are available now with pre-order of the full album, here. You can check the videos for B.M.F & FeelsGood at YouTube.com/MCMIreport.

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Keith WildChild Middleton –  ”TRANSITIONS”

MCMI Report: Keith ‘WildChild’ Middleton – Transitions (Interview)

MCMI’s own Keith ‘WildChild’ Middleton (STOMP/HYDRA/ThePLAGUE) gives us an exclusive interview on the set of his video shoot for his song “Feels Good”!

Keith MCMI LogoEven though he is a my brother from another mother and fellow recording artist on MCMI Records, it is hard to catch up with Keith ‘WildChild’ Middleton these days!! When he is in New York, he is locked in the studio, creating, recording, mixing almost 24/7. Between back and forth trips to Japan to promote his album, video and photo shoots – the man stays busy! So at a recent video shoot for his song “Feels Good,” off of his upcoming album “TRANSITIONS“, I asked him some questions, to give the fans some info on his music, his life and his new project. Here is a snippet of it. Click “Read More” to go to the full interview.

Follow: GMS | Keith ‘WildChild’ Middleton | MCMI #Transitions

GMS: Most people know you from STOMP, the musical, producing and rapping for HYDRA and The PLAGUE, but you are working on this incredible Spoken Word album now, that many people did not even know about. How did that come about?

Keith: I always kept my poetry on the low. It’s private. I had played with blending it with my original music for years with aspirations of completing an album but never went further than the thought. Jan 15th 2008 12:15pm was the car wreck that became the game changer. From my Hospital bed I vowed to complete my album and live my life to the fullest! Thank Goodness for the second chance.

GMS: This album is being simultaneously released in the US and overseas in Japan. You’ve been getting a lot of support from Japanese radio and been doing performances in Japan. How did you develop your Japanese audience?

Keith: A great friend of mine / manager in Japan, Ayumi Hoshikawa, has been instrumental in introducing me to radio stations, musicians, venues, festivals and just good people in general. She’s awesome.

GMS: Having been an MC and cast member of STOMP for many years, you are no stranger to the stage or the mic, but this time you are performing your poetry. Does it feel different? How does that compare with your past experiences?

Keith: It’s more frightening because in STOMP there are no words and it’s an ensemble. Now it’s just me sharing my truths. So I am literally exposed and leaving myself open. (more…)

MCMI Report: GMS featured on NoticeWorthy (#Recognition)

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GMS, co-ceo of MCMI Incorporated, one third of the rap group HYDRA and founding member of The PLAGUE, has been featured on the new website NoticeWorthy.com! Noticeworthy features “a brand of nightlife and entertainment tastemakers who paid their dues, came out on top, and deserve the recognition.” 

According to the site, GMS is a visionary who’s contributions to Hip Hop help shape and mold the culture. Browse around the site and you will find other notable industry insiders “making moves and leaving their indelible mark.”

To see GMS’ and other industry insiders profiles, click on the image below. MCMI Report: GMS

NoticeWorthy

GMS: INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK
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Bop Alloy ‘Another Day in the Life of…’ [Album]

BOP ALLOY cover webBop Alloy ‘Another Day in the Life of…’

Coming off his recent release of remixes for Home Is Where the Art Is, entitled “Art is Where the Home Is”, Substantial has teamed up again with Marcus D, his partner in Bop Alloy, who handles all of the beats. The DMV duo have released their second full-length collaboration, Another Day in the Life Of… 

While Marcus D handles the production, Substantial, part of the Hip Hop crew ThePLAGUE and 1/4 of QN5′s Efamm, spits about everything from his marriage proposal to letters from prison. The lead single “Count On Us,” features Grammy Nominated vocalist Carolyn Malachi. Other features on the album include Cise Starr (of CYNE), Justis, Oma Pearl (of Conjure Woman), Pismo and Steph the Sapphic Songstress.

Bop Alloy is on a West Coast tour right now, on CunninLynguists’ Strange Universe Tour with J-Live, Sadistik & Nemo Achida, with some other dates added as well.  Click here for TOUR DATES.

@GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport | @BopAlloy