A quadrangle of acts
Ximena Sari’ntilde;ana has the potential to be a crossover superstar like Spanish-singing predecessors Shakira and Ricky Martin. Maybe you’re not a big fan of music sung in another language, but the songs on Sari’ntilde;ana’s Warner Music debut album Mediocre could easily translate into English radio hits. Single ‘Vidas Paralelas’ has even had radio play on some English-speaking radio stations.
Classically trained at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and an actress in her native Mexico at the age of 4, Sari’ntilde;ana is no stranger to the spotlight. The spotlight is shining bright already with Sari’ntilde;ana having been nominated for a Latin Grammy since the young age of 22. Sari’ntilde;ana will begin her U.S. tour April 18 in Miami. The tour will be coming to town May 1 at the House of Blues.
Freestyle Bully lives by the mantra of 95 percent hustlin’, 3 percent having fun and 2 percent sleep. Freestyle Bully isn’t Terrance Howard’s character from Hustle and Flow, but he lives the life of hustle and flow, which is evident in his release I Tried To Tell ‘Em. ‘Alwedy,’ featuring guest spots from David Banner and Riff Raff, is a hard-hitting, Southern hip-hop song that represents Freestyle Bully’s sound to a tee.’
Freestyle Bully’s rhymes and style are straight from the old school, yet he keeps it fresh with the current H-town sound. Not afraid to step out of the traditional hip-hop of the south, Freestyle Bully raps over a guitar sample of The Plain White T’s ‘Hey There Delilah’ on his track ‘Time.”
It isn’t hard to find Freestyle Bully – he can be seen on campus soliciting CDs, positively hustling in every sense of the word. Look for the ‘Briargate Records’ bling around his neck – it is blinding. Freestyle Bully can be found at http://www.myspace.com/freestylebully or at http://www.myspace.com/briargaterecords.’
Blu, or Johnson Barnes, isn’t necessarily an ‘up and comer,’ per se. Blu started his career as a hype man for acts such as Slum Village and would eventually come into his own as a rapper. He’s been around for a while and has remained an indie rapper for the past few years.’
In 2007, he released Below the Heavens as a collaborative effort with acclaimed underground producer Exile. Together, they crafted one of the finest contemporary independent rap releases. Blu is highly reminiscent of Common during his days with J Dilla and Questlove. Blu is both entertaining and conscious, a trait in rappers that’s rare these days.
In the past few years, he’s released several mixtapes, including So(ul) Amazing 1 and So(ul) Amazing 2, and Her Favorite Colour, all of which can be downloaded on his MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/herfavcolor. Blu is definitely not an artist you want to pass on.’
A-Trak is perhaps the best DJ you’ve never heard. His list of honors is a force to be reckoned with, to say the least. In 1997, at the tender age of 15, he was named the world’s best DJ in the DMC DJ competition. He also spent the last few years of his career being Kanye West’s touring DJ, supporting his stints during the Late Registration and Graduation eras. He’s also had his hands full managing artists such as Treasure Fingers and Kid Sister on his record label, Fool’s Gold.’
At the moment he’s fresh off of the release of his latest compilation, Infinity + 1, which dropped on March 31. The 21-track album features songs from Kid Sister to DJ Mehdi to MSTRKRFT, and is sure to be blowing up the blog network in no time. Be sure to go to his MySpace to preview songs from Infinity + 1, as well as some of his new remixes.’