Ken Leighton 3 p.m., July 26
Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap
Sound description: Guys yelling a lot.
RIYL: Germz, Acnom, Mitchy Slick, Saul Williams, 2mex, JayZ, Tom Waits, Royce 5'9", Ursula Rucker, Adeem
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Inception: Oceanside, 2005
Current Status: Rapping and recording.
Influences: Plain J.A.N.E. and Delano Sounds, Gz of Marxmen Media, Big Left, R-Kive, Acnom, Marz and Aftalife Entertainment, Germz, Mitchy Slick, Krkt, Optimus, Slaine, Big Ant, La Coka Nostra, Criminal Records, Mr. Diaz, Kevin Sakota, Uncle Festa, Waste of Wits, O'side Creepers, Abyss Prophets, Top Notch and Kartel Records, Natural Selection, Pandora's Box, Dialectx
"A hard-working, lyrically aggressive emcee that is thought provoking and versatile over any production," say N3RO's manager Gz of Marxmen Media. N3RO (Flashlight Down, Army of Three) grew up in Oceanside, a city where color-lines as well as poverty-lines are blurred. This reality has birthed something in the Caucasian emcee... ambition, drive, and a voice in the midst of hip-hop's underground elite.
As a solo emcee, beginning in the mid '90s, N3RO has often diversified and chosen many different paths. "It's the challenge of showing skill, yet entertaining specific and nonspecific crowds," explains the hazel-eyed lyricist who looks more like a member of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club than the rapper he is. When opting for sounds, N3RO has been known for surprising his listeners with a multitude of angles on topics and delivery. A poet's poet and a rapper's rapper, in his mind there is no separation of the two art forms.
Involved in many different projects, N3RO has seen many different sides to the hip-hop world. With the Flashlight Down project, the sound barriers are stripping away to create a new feel to something very familiar. Army of Three includes Big Ant and up-and-coming producer Delano Sounds.
N3RO also has affiliations with the likes of La Coka Nostra, Big Left, Maker (Glue), Stereo Chemix, Illstar Allstars, Kev Sakoda, Pla!n J.A.N.E., Private Eye, and Marz of Aftalife Entertainment, to name a few. N3RO ultimately is a solo emcee. "I can work with anyone on any type of track, but sometimes it's a great thing to walk the path alone. Music, especially hip-hop, comes from a place deep inside that's gotta be discovered over and over. It's evolution. And that's the beauty of making music, even if that very music sounds ruthless!"
-- MySpace profile