Lil Uno: Beats, MC, Vocals

Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap

Sound description: Hip-hop.

RIYL: Hip-hop

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Synoposis

Influences: Cricket, VMS, Steve Vicious, Damu, T-Fresh, J-Irie

Background:

Lil Uno released his CD The Streets on his Sicko Records label. The title track borrows a riff from "Still Water (Love)," the 1970 hit by the Four Tops.

"We had to go through an independent clearance company for the rights," says Lil Uno, who paid a licensing fee of $12,000 for the "Still Water" sample. If he sells more than 84,000 copies of his disc, Lil Uno will pay the licensing company four cents on every record sold thereafter.

Because Sicko is distributed by Fontana/Universal, The Streets earned radio airplay in 40 markets, including Houston, San Antonio, and Phoenix. Uno has hosted a locals-only hip-hop show on Blazin' 98.9, as well as being a DJ on Z90.

In August 2006, Lil Uno said the San Diego Music Awards nominee selection process as it pertains to hip-hop is "embarrassing. It's a joke. I don't know who puts it together, but they obviously don't know what the hell they are doing." He says musicians "that I never even heard of" were nominated and local artists who've had national airplay and major-label distribution (such as himself, Lil Al, Lil Rob, and Mitchy Slick) were ignored. He wonders why the Icons were nominated.

"I don't have anything against those guys, but if you don't sell records across the nation, you shouldn't be nominated for nothing." The last Icons CD, Needlesmicscanslinoleum, was released in 2003, whereas Lil Uno, Lil Al, and Lil Rob have had major-label-distributed releases in the past 12 months.

"I just added tracks for a remix for the Snoop Dogg single 'Vato,' " said Lil Uno in 2006. "Snoop was looking for a Latin artist. He was looking for the right dude, and he came to me." Lil Uno also included songs by local rapper Raul "Blaze" Cervantes on the Sicko Records compilation Lifestyles of the Sick and Famous, which was released in summer 2006.

Uno was nominated Best Hip-Hop at the 2009 SDMAs.

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