“The true definition of an artist” is how the iconic Harry Belafonte describes Aja Monet who is a poet, educator, and songwriter from East NY, Brooklyn.
Three-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with thirteen albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva". The BBC has included her in its list of the continent's 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World.
Brandan “BMike” Odums is the founder and director of 2-Cent Entertainment LLC-a youth education social enterprise that produces mixed media content and events in the overlap between pop culture and social awareness. Founded in 2005, 2-Cent began as a hip-hop‐oriented, grassroots, entertainment company geared towards addressing problems in the community. Since then the company, through Brandan’s vision, has made itself a household name across New Orleans and surrounding areas.
Bryan-Michael Cox is from Houston, TX but started his music career in Atlanta, GA, where he still lives today. Bryan is a 9x Grammy Award Winning Producer/Songwriter, who is responsible for over 175+ million albums sold, and has 35 #1 hits
Bryonn Bain is Brooklyn's own prison activist, actor, author, hip hop theater innovator and spoken word poetry champion. Wrongfully incarcerated during his second year at Harvard Law, Bain was featured on 60 Minutes after writing Walking While Black: The Bill of Rights for Black Men -- which received the largest reader response in the history of The Village Voice.
Delivered with a level of passion and soul equal to the legendary sonic charge of his guitar, the sound of Carlos Santana is one of the world's best-known musical signatures. For more than four decades—from Santana's earliest days as a groundbreaking Afro-Latin-blues-rock fusion outfit in San Francisco—Carlos has been the visionary force behind artistry that transcends musical genres and generational, cultural and geographical boundaries.
Christian McBride is a four-time GRAMMY® Award winning bassist/composer and the host of NPR's Jazz Night in America.
Chuck D is the leader and co-founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy. He redefined rap music and hip hop culture with the release of PE's explosive debut album, Yo Bum Rush The Show, in 1987. Since then, Public Enemy has completed 86 tours in 85 countries, and they're still going strong. Chuck D and Public Enemy were celebrated in the May 2004 issue of Rolling Stone magazine as one of the "fifty most important performers in rock & roll history.
With his multi-Grammy Award winning music career, his continued accolades in film winning a 2015 Academy Award, 2015 Golden Globe Award, 2015 NAACP Award, 2015 Independent Spirit Award and 2015 Critic’s Choice Award, Common has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after leading men.
Climbing PoeTree has been described as “A soulful expression.” by philosopher, author and intellectual, Cornel West. Over the last 13 years, Climbing PoeTree has infused our movements for justice with healing and imagination, inspiring thousands through their award-winning multimedia theater, dual-voice spoken word, visual art, sustainable touring, and community organizing.
Danny Glover has been a commanding presence in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years. From the blockbuster Lethal Weapon franchise in film to hit television shows such as ER, Glover has distinguished himself as one of his generation’s most consummate actors.
With hard-hitting beats, politically aware rhymes, deft lyricism and strong song concepts, dead prez emerged in 2000 as one of rap’s most politically strident outfits. Stic.man and M-1’s music provided a voice for the voiceless, a sobering look at the global power structure that was crippling billions of people internationally and millions of Americans domestically.
The Legendary DJ Kool Herc is consistently credited as the founder of Hip-Hop. His mastery at the turntables known worldwide, as are his positive contributions to the evolution of Hip-Hop culture.
With all the accomplishments in Estelle’s career she understands that she could not have made it to this point without the help and guidance of family and mentors. Because of this, Estelle runs her foundation All of Me, which focuses on educating and expanding the horizons of young people through college scholarships and volunteer opportunities abroad.
Jasiri X first burst on the National and International Hip-Hop scene with the powerful hit song Free The Jena 6 which was played on more than 100 radio stations and was named Hip-hop Political Song of the Year. His debut album, American History X, was named Album of the Year at the Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Awards.
Chicago-Born, Kingston, Jamaica, Miami and Brooklyn bred Jesse Boykins III is an innovative singer, songwriter and creative visionary. Jesse’s music is a medley of soul, electronic and indie rock, which he’s dubbed “World Soul.” His signature sound is the product of being an independent artist with freedom to experiment fearlessly. It is inspired by visual art, his Jamaican roots and world travels.
A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Jesse began his professional career teaching American, African and African-American History in low income Philadelphia public charter schools. From there Jesse moved to Brooklyn, New York and, after working in Manhattan law firms, began his professional acting career.
From a young age, Legend aspired to use his position in the entertainment industry as a platform for social change. In an essay competition Legend won at age 15, he wrote of his dream to become a star recording artist and to use his influence and resources to give back to his community. And that is exactly what he has done – throughout his career, Legend has committed his time, energy, and resources to social justice and equality.
Jussie Smollet stars in the highly regarded television series, Empire.
His role allows him to blend both his acting and musical skills in this high-octane family drama which is a historic hit on FOX.