AZEEM & DJ ZEPH
AZEEM Named Best Hip-Hop Artist!
Best of the East Bay 2004: East Bay Express
"This is one of the best albums of the year by one of the hottest MCs I've heard in quite a while. This guy has the goods, and he's not afraid to show up just about every MC this side of MF Doom as the ciphers they are. Azeem is just a wonderfully gifted MC, fully in command of his abilities and blessed with the type of consistently phat beats that most MTV rappers would kill for. He seems to be that rare member of the hip-hop nation who understands the art and science of true lyricism - the poetry and the rhythm, the use of simple simile and metaphor to create complex effect, and the power of direct honesty to carry true sentiment. This is as fine a rap album as you'll hear all year." Tim O'Neil - PopMatters.com Associate Music Editor
Azeem's album for Bomb Hip-Hop, Show Business, features production and remixes by Paul Nice, DJ Design, Hydroponic Sound System, Anas Cannon, Sapone, Fanatik, Gettic, Christian, DJ Zeph & Platurn, Adamatic, Dawe Fe, DJ T-Rock, Jah Yzer and Architech.
Azeem started his first band Telefunken in 1989, which was a combination of live instrumentation and hip-hop. Years of hard work culminated in their first release (1994) on the then newly-formed OM Records. Soon after, Azeem's spoken word lyrics won him a spot on the Lollapalooza tour, which in turn led to a PBS special, two books, and prestige as the third best performance poet in the country. In 1997, Azeem joined Michael Franti in co-writing songs for Spearhead and then touring for two years as a writer and performer with the band. Finally, in 1999, he decided to focus on bringing together his writing and performing skills as a solo musical act. 2000 saw the release of his first solo EP Garage Opera (Heratik) as well as a track on Afro-Mystik's Future Tropic album. Azeem followed up with the full length album Craft Classic (Stray). Azeem's hilarious vocals and DJ Zeph's funky horn laced beats earned the albums' single "Rubber Glue" the #2 spot on the CMJ radio rap chart. In 2003 the 12" single "Family Man" (Bomb Hip-Hop) featured the Bay Area master craftsman Azeem spittin' lyrical gems in his trademark sing-song style over a fat Hydroponic Sound System produced track that combines the nasty funk sound of late 60's New Orleans with dubbed out keys and delays. Also in 2003 Azeem toured Europe with the Bomb Hip-Hop Tour. In early 2004 Azeem was the frontman on the VU release Mayhemystics (Wide Hive) which has been nominated for a California Music Award.
"This cat's got one of the illest flows around, and one of the hottest live shows you'll see anywhere. Check out his latest album with production from Paul Nice, DJ Design, Fanatik and more. Good sh*t throughout" - Toph One, XLR8R - New York Now issue #81
"Azeem is a very talented, diverse, creative artist that will achieve many profound feats during his musical endeavors" - Hip Hop Hot Spot
"Azeem brings some heat and comes across as a breath of fresh air... Don't sleep on this kid, he represents the otherside of Bay Area Hip Hop." - Davey D
Classic is, unfortunately, a rarity in Hip-Hop. Its an album that
can be listened to straight through from beginning to end without ever losing
its interest. Its records like this that keep Hip-Hop alive and thriving
as an original art form. " Manhunt.com
California native DJ Zeph has been a tenacious disciple of music since the early eighties. In his hometown of Santa Cruz he jumped feet first into hip hop culture as part of a local breakdancing crew called the "Atomic Rockers." Ears predominated over feet and Zeph found himself increasingly interested by what was going on behind the tables. In 1982 the esteemed dj and producer Kutmasta Kurt took him under his wing and showed him the ropes. From Kurt Zeph learned the ins and outs of mixing, scratching, and selecting.
With L-Roneous's Imaginarium album Zeph proved his talent as a producer. In 2001 Zeph came out with his self-titled album on the independent label Wide Hive Records and set himself apart from other hip hop dj's as a musical force to be reckoned with. The album emcompassed Zeph's deep musical knowledge of all things hip hop, jazz, and funk. The first single "Rubber and Glue" featuring Bay Area rapper Azeem hit #1 on the CMJ charts even beating out more mainstream artists like Jay-Z. The following year Zeph was honored with SF Weekly's "Best Turntablist" award.
DJ Zeph's second album entitled Sunset Scavenger features hip hop heavyweights like Lyrics Born, Boots from the Coup, and Vursatyl from the Lifesavas and of course long time collaborator Azeem who is featured on the track "Frogs."
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