Artists of the Week: UC Irvine's Hip Hop Scene

Wait... what? UC Irvine... and... Hip Hop? You rarely hear those two words in the same sentence. I understand: UCI is known for its renown research facilities, nationally ranked undergraduate/graduate programs, plethora of dance crews, bizarre (and by bizarre, i mean awesome) mascot, and abundance of asian students. It also should be known, that UC Irvine houses an emerging hip hop scene. Since 2001 HHC has been the only outlet for Hip Hop minds alike on campus and has brought numerous artists to rip the stage for UCI students and community members for free. So enough with the history lesson. The reason I am writing this post because I want to promote some of the artists that are current, or former Anteaters. All opinions aside, much respect to all the artists out there grindin' for what they love.

Azad Right:
This guy right here, if you haven't heard of him, you should. He's getting love from blogs all across the world and he's blowing up right before our eyes, recently opening up for Kendrick Lamar in LA and getting recognized by XXL mag. I'm not going to say much about him, other than you should definitely check out his music. Let's not forget where he started: here at UCI, where he graduated with a degree in Poli Sci. Show some love on Twitter @AzadRight and be sure to download Azad's "The Time Is Right" mixtape!

Nyne Dymondz:
Allow me to introduce you to Nyne D, an exchange student from Spain who is calling UC Irvine his home for now. If you visit the blog often, you might of read some of this dude's pieces. I've been working with this guy for a couple months now, and I am impressed more and more by his lyrical ability. Dude spits fire: "It's a cold world, there's no justice just ice." Not convinced? Download his EP titled "The Edge of Future" and show love on twitter @NyneDymondz

Ricky Rivera & The Duke:
Second year Business Economics student Ricky Rivera is an up-and-coming rapper out of the Bay Area, still finding his ways through the cuts of hip hop. Avid followers of the blog have probably read some of his posts as well. This guy has a knack for catchy hooks and clever punch-lines. Look for his debut project in the near future. I also want to recognize a rapper that goes by the name The Duke. A recent graduate from UCI and HHC alum, The Duke has been busy adjusting to post-college life, but continues to kick rhymes. Check out this collab the two of them did last year. Recorded in a dorm room in Middle Earth. What you know about that!? @ricknoflair @thedukeiv

Elroy of Axum:
HHC Alum, Elroy of Axum combines the beautiful sounds of blues, jazz, hip hop, r&b, and soul in his music. His unique sound soothes the soul and allows you to appreciate the various music forms. Check out his EP and follow @ElroyOfAxum

CJ White:
Freshman, Mechanical Engineering major out of Los Angeles. Yes, I said Mechanical Engineering major. CJ White aka J. Cole's little brother (if you ever see him, you'll know why I said that). For now, check out his track over a classic 9th Wonder beat.

Shawn Isaac:
If you ever watched MTV's True Life series "I want to be a Rapper," you might recognize this guy. As a 4th year UCI student Isaac has made his mark through various means. He caught my eye as a really intelligent guy, demonstrated by this video here. On top of being a student and entrepreneur, Isaac is a producer/rapper and has also been featured in Forbes magazine. Hit him up @realshawnisaac
Another example of the talent produced here at UC Irvine. Rocom, a rapper/producer, who also has a crazy skill for creating sick art pieces. His artwork has gained him a lot of attention outside fom the recognition he has received from his music. Follow @rocom


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